Page 1

March 2016 Entrepreneurial engineers page 3

Closer ties with China page 7

Technology manufacturer expands page 11

Business grants and opportunities page 21

CONTACT. Paul Kearsley Group Manager Greater Dandenong Business Sandra George Manager SEBN City of Greater Dandenong Council Offices 225 Lonsdale Street Dandenong, Victoria 3175 Enquiries to 8571 1550 Adrian Boden South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance (SEMMA) Ph: 9768 2524 Amanda Checken Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce Ph: 9794 8881 Bill Underwood Stakeholder Editorial Ph: 8571 1455 Views expressed by individual contributors in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the City of Greater Dandenong. Material from Stakeholder, Greater Dandenong‘s business news may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged, e.g. ‘This material first appeared in the City of Greater Dandenong’s Stakeholder publication, March 2016.' To subscribe email: Cover: Boron Molecular Operations Manager, Justine Walter. See page 20 for the company profile



elcome to the first Stakeholder of 2016.

In this edition we proudly introduce six dynamic small businesses awarded Greater Dandenong Business Grants and profile a number of innovative local companies including Clayworks Australia, Pixel Technologies and Boron Molecular. Congratulations also go to AL-KO International and Bombardier, and local engineers Adnan Masinovic and Laurent Herisson, on winning prestigious Mobility Engineering Excellence Awards. We feature a wide range of business resources and programs to assist you to take advantage of the opportunities and address the challenges generated by our ever changing business environment. Our JVA Engineering story for example illustrates the benefits of participating in the Australian Government’s Entrepreneur's Programme. We are delighted to report two recent State Government announcements: the prioritised removal of the Abbotts Road level crossing in Dandenong South and the selection of the City of Greater Dandenong as the home for Victoria’s first Indian Cultural Precinct. Updates are provided on a range of Council’s business support activities including the Mayor and CEO’s

Paul Kearsley.

Forums, the Positive Charge energy efficiency program, Food Enterprise and Tourism Promotion, and the Healthy Workplaces and Social Enterprise Programs. If you are establishing a new business or moving to new premises I also recommend that you read our planning and building ‘tips and traps’ article. Here's to a successful 2016. Paul Kearsley Group Manager, Greater Dandenong Business

Business Grant awards celebration the Greater Dandenong community. “The City of Greater Dandenong is proud to support your businesses – we are very proud of your achievements and we wish you every success for the future” said Mayor, Cr Heang Tak, at the awards presentation event held in December.

Business Grant Awardees, the Mayor, Councillors and guests.


he City of Greater Dandenong’s Business Grants Program is going from strength to strength with six innovative small businesses being awarded grants in the latest round of the initiative. Young Uncles Coffee and Sandwich Bar was awarded the inaugural business grant in 2014 and has gone on to become one of Thomas Street’s premier meeting places 2 STAKEHOLDER

and eateries. Five grants were awarded in 2015. Applicants for the 2016 program underwent a rigorous and competitive selection process. The assessment panel was impressed by the quality of the applications and the passion applicants demonstrated for their businesses and

Grants were awarded to bio-diesel producer, Biofuel Innovations; middle eastern food manufacturer, Arabian Bites; LED screen and security product supplier, Customade LED; bespoke furniture maker and joiner, Silkwood Furniture; CFO (financial) service provider, Billson Business Advisory, and ballet school operator, Melbourne Ballet School. Profiles of each of the winning businesses will be published in this and the June editions of Stakeholder.


Engineering an entrepreneurial spirit A

family business in Dandenong South has boosted its marketing activity and made valuable connections through the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs' Programme. JVA Engineering, which provides tailor-made solutions for all types of plant maintenance, steel fabrication and structural projects, began the process in April 2015 via the former Enterprise Connect Program. “The business review was absolutely free and we jumped at the chance,” said company Director Vince Raschillà. “We received a report with a list of recommendations and we chose to focus on our strategic plan and marketing. “As part of grant we received 50 per cent of the costs towards upgrading our website; whatever we put in, the government matched up to $60,000, if it was for business-improvement initiatives recommended in the review. “We now have a new website which is a vast improvement from the old one. It highlights that we work with the waste industry, food and beverage sector, and also some infrastructure projects.” Mr Raschillà said the Entrepreneurs’ Programme had given JVA Engineering a renewed focus on the company’s strategic direction and a focus on supporting local industry and businesses. “We’re preparing 100 brochures for the food and beverage industry to target potential customers in the Dandenong area; being close geographically is mutually beneficial. “Previously our clients were word-of mouth, so this is providing us with more of a sales focus to grow our customer base and business. “It’s also led us to other forums, workshops and networking such as the South East Business Networks – we get to meet other local businesses we may not have been aware of. It’s always good having fresh eyes on the business.” Vince Ràschilla, JVA Director.


Luncheon series success

reater Dandenong’s Mayor and CEO’s luncheons will continue in 2016. The luncheon program was successfully introduced in 2014 under the leadership of then Mayor, Cr Jim Memeti. Last year Mayor Sean O’Reilly and Council CEO John Bennie hosted four informal sit down lunches with directors and CEO’s from a range of Greater Dandenong businesses. The luncheons provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to discuss and advise Council of the issues and trends impacting their respective industries. The luncheons also facilitate business connections, as Callum Reeves from Kaiju Beer experienced. “The lunch gave me an opportunity to meet a logistics company, which is exactly

what we needed to grow our business to the next level” Callum said. Council also uses the forum to outline its business support activities, infrastructure investments and advocacy on behalf of the local business community. Council has, for example, been a strong advocate for the recently announced prioritised removal of the Abbotts Road rail crossing. Mayor Heang Tak and Council CEO John Bennie are looking forward to hosting the 2016 luncheons on: • Friday 22 April • Friday 10 June • Friday 26 August • Friday 28 October If you are interested in attending one of these invitation only events, please contact STAKEHOLDER 3


Taking our food sector forward C

ouncil has committed significant resources to implement the Greater Dandenong Regional Food Strategy including the employment of a Food and Tourism Officer, Helen Beekmans. Helen has been engaging with a wide variety of local food businesses and also raising the profile of Greater Dandenong as a food and cultural experience destination and a food manufacturing hub. In response to successful media tours in both Dandenong and Springvale last year, the municipality is receiving even greater exposure as a food and tourism destination. Building on this momentum, Council’s Greater Dandenong Business Unit (GDB) is accelerating its engagement with food leaders, the media, Tourism Victoria and Destination Melbourne. Food manufacturers are not missing out either with the launch of a new food processing network being held on 3 March. Stronger partnerships with key industry players are being forged to increase support for local food business. In 2016 GDB also plans to host a series of Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) workshops providing local food processors with access to business growth and development opportunities including export markets and government grants. To get involved please email

Andrew Lipiszko, owner Polish Rye Crust Bakery, one of Dandenong's popular cafes.

Nick Sheridan, 99th Monkey Owner.


ick Sheridan has taken the guilt out of peanut butter with his 99th Monkey brand, providing an ethical, sustainable and healthy product range. Established in 2013, the business has seen steady expansion and recently began producing its nine nut butter products at a Dandenong South factory. “I was training for a marathon and got obsessed with peanut butter because you’re running all the time and are always hungry,” Mr Sheridan said. “I thought I could make a chocolate peanut butter that’s not that bad for you and a lot of my friends tried it and liked it. “When I started doing farmers’ markets, some of the market managers suggested I do traditional style peanut butter as well. That became popular and has always been the real anchor for the business then everyone started asking for almond butter, so I started making that.” 99th Monkey then introduced an almond cacao (chocolate almond)


flavour that was so well received, it saw the end of the chocolate peanut butter product. At the beginning of 2014 an independent food store picked up the brand. “The retailer had a big Instagram following so other shops started approaching me. I now have a distributor and we’re in over 100 stores. My plan is to get into New South Wales and Queensland this year,” said Mr Sheridan. “Where available, I’ll only buy fair trade, sustainable cacao – if you’re getting cacao at $2 a kilogram then you’ve got to wonder who’s getting paid. I’m trying as much as possible to buy the nuts from Australian farmers.” Part of 99th Monkey’s product range is made with organic peanuts and almonds. “Everything’s vegan and palm-oil free. I don’t put anything in my products that doesn’t make perfect sense.”


Acting on Intellectual Property Right myths can have costly consequences


Myth #3 – A change of 10% avoids infringement

Myth #1 – We can sell our product because we didn’t copy

It’s more complicated than that. It’s critical to get good advice in connection with IP infringement.

ere are some of the common Intellectual Property Right (IPR) myths that get businesses into trouble.

IPRs can be infringed regardless of whether you copied or not, e.g. you can infringe a patent without knowledge of the patent or the patent owner’s product (or process). Myth #2 – That’s not clever enough for a patent People often assume that their new products are not clever enough for a patent then needlessly lose profit when imitations appear on the market. Only a ‘scintilla of invention’ is required for a standard patent. Innovation patents have an even lower qualification requirement.

Myth #4 – I can use my trade mark because it’s just common words If your use of a word might cause customers to wonder whether your goods (or services) originate from another supplier, it may well be trade mark infringement or a similar offence. Myth #5 – No one else can use my business name Business names, company names, domain names and trade marks are separate things that serve different purposes and are not cross checked.

Trade marks can be registered in connection with selected goods and services. Trade mark registrations are infringed by the unauthorised use of the trade mark (or a deceptively similar mark) as a trade mark in connection with the same or similar goods (or services). Registering a business name does not provide this protection. “Turning to IP Australia for background information or to a registered patent attorney for a simple discussion can help avoid the costly consequences of acting on the many myths that surround IP.” advises Ben Mott, Principal Mechanical Engineer & Patent Attorney at Wadeson.



ouncil and local business groups were delighted to hear the Victorian Government’s recent announcement flagging the fasttracked removal of the Abbotts Road level crossing. As well as being identified as a major road safety hazard, the traffic congestion generated by long delays at the crossing has become a major impediment to doing business in the area. Removal of the crossing will build on the transport efficiencies

generated by Council’s current Abbotts Road duplication works outlined in the December edition of Stakeholder. The Level Crossing Removal Authority, established by the Victorian Government to oversee the removal of 50 of Melbourne’s dangerous and congested level crossings, is managing the Abbotts Road project. The Authority is currently conducting community and business consultations in the area as part of the planning process, which includes

consideration of the option of building a new road link over the rail line between Remington Drive and Pound Road which connects to the South Gippsland and Monash Freeways. Visit then click on ‘View all level crossings’ to find out more. You can also track progress on the removal of the Corrigan, Heatherton and Chandler Roads level crossings on this site.



Local grants success T

he Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Programme supports businesses and regions affected by the closure of Australia’s three major auto assemblers by 2017. It targets businesses establishing or expanding high value manufacturing operations. Three local companies were awarded grants in Round 1 of the program. Each business will make a complementary investment to enhance the impact of the grants. Aluminium Industries of Australia Pty Ltd received $2.26 million to establish a new facility in Dandenong South, to manufacture aluminium components for the light and heavy transportation sector and complex metal based engineering industries. The facility will include Australia’s largest linear computer numerical control machine. Walkinshaw Automotive Group Pty Ltd received $5 million to establish facilities in Springvale, to undertake local market modifications of vehicles from global product ranges and to manage the supply chain for the manufacture of component parts. Bombardier Transportation Australia Pty Ltd received $3.2 million to expand its rail vehicle manufacturing capacity in Dandenong South, through the installation of assembly lines for robotic welding and electrical propulsion equipment, and extension of its final assembly and testing facilities. Round 2 of the programme is now open. Applications close on 18 April 2016 > Growth Fund 6 STAKEHOLDER

Max Campbell, Clayworks Director.

FIRING UP FOR NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN POTTERY “It’s a very nice business to be in because our customers do it for the love – most of them are artists or students and they become our friends,” says Clayworks Director Max Campbell, whose company has been operating in Dandenong for more than 35 years. Clayworks manufacture around 30 different types of pottery clay ranging from the robust raku to Southern Ice Porcelain, the Rolls-Royce of clays, and exports to the UK, USA, New Zealand, Hong Kong and throughout Western Europe. “Our production technique, which is a wet blunging technique, is far superior to dry mixing which most people overseas do,” Mr Campbell said. Clayworks is the only manufacturer of Southern Ice Porcelain in the world, developed by renowned potter Les Blakebrough while he was Professor at the Tasmanian School of Art. Mr Campbell is close-lipped about its secret recipe. “When fired, it produces a white, translucent and vitrified body and is one of the best porcelains for studio potters in the world. “Initially we went into the English market by contacting a very prominent porcelain potter. We sent him samples of the clay, he used it and liked it. From that we were able to generate a UK distributor.” Clayworks is also innovating to produce pottery clay requiring far less energy consumption. “For a long time we’ve had the view that potters are going to have to work at lower firing temperatures. We developed a porcelain indistinguishable from Southern Ice called Cool Ice that fires at 1180˚C [as compared with 1280˚C]. “Going from 1180 to 1280 takes about as much energy as going from ambient to 1180 – it’s a significant difference.” Clayworks also problem-solves for customers and began manufacturing woodfired pizza ovens around 10 years ago due to popular demand.


Greater Dandenong businesses build closer ties with China


he City of Greater Dandenong led a business delegation to China in late September 2015 involving four local businesses and representatives from RDA Southern Melbourne and Economic Development Australia. Group Manager Greater Dandenong Business Paul Kearsley said, “The activities on this trip to Nanjing and our Sister City Xuzhou included businessmatching events, meetings with Chambers of Commerce and tours of factories. “The activities were a culmination of two years hard work and previous visits that created an environment where business meetings with Chinese companies could be undertaken. “It was clear to me again, that there is significant Chinese interest in Australianmade and processed food products.” Participant Steve Bitzios from Future Bake Australia said the trip provided a good understanding of what the Chinese market was expecting from Australia and its products. “Good shelf life is important to the Chinese market. We visited a soy-

producing food manufacturer and the scale of things was impressive; I was surprised to see how automated they were. “Meeting the people responsible for decision-making was good and eliminated a lot of hard work. We’ve had a few responses back from contacts we’ve made – nothing will happen overnight, but we’ve sent samples to some of them and we’ve had good feedback. “Paul Kearsley and his team have strong contacts in China and their network will speed things up for anyone interested in exporting,” Mr Bitzios said. For Ward Petherbridge from Waste Converters Recycling, it was his first time to China. “I was looking at the opportunities in waste to energy, particularly converting biomass [timber waste] to electricity. “I was surprised to see what looks to be a transformation to a much cleaner economy in China. It was heartening to see the beginnings of the transitioning of industry to renewable energy and

waste to energy power stations are part of that. “It was useful going with the delegation to basically hold your hand. We met with AusTrade and the Victorian Government trade department in Shanghai. It provided those introductions and I met people in the waste-energy sphere,” said Mr Petherbridge. “Going with the Council and the Mayor, you get treated very well. They’ve obviously established a good relationship, they’re well respected and there’s genuine friendships there, which is really helpful for Dandenong businesses looking to explore opportunities.” Council is planning another delegation to Nanjing and Xuzhou in September/October 2016 to build on the opportunities available to local businesses. Members of the delegation will be responsible for their own travel expenses. Email business@cgd.vic. or phone 8571 1571 by end of March 2016 if you have an interest in being involved.


hina's online shopping frenzy is creating unprecedented opportunities for small and medium Australian businesses. With over 300 million consumers online, China has become one of the world’s largest E-commerce marketplaces. Online retail sales in

China grew by close to 50 per cent in 2014 to reach half a trillion Australian dollars, and the sustained growth in the middle classes means this trend is set to continue. Online marketplaces are giving Australian exporters direct access to Chinese consumers, with lower costs,

minimal risks and easier market access compared to traditional exporting. Austrade has recently released its E-commerce in China: A Guide for Australian Business to assist local suppliers break into this lucrative market. Access the guide at www. STAKEHOLDER 7



educing energy consumption is not only good for the planet, but also good for your business and bottom line. City of Greater Dandenong has partnered with independent experts, Positive Charge to offer FREE Business Energy Assessments. Whether you’re a large manufacturer or small retailer, these energy checks will help pinpoint the most effective ways to achieve energy savings. Each business assessed will receive a short report, advice and ongoing support if you want to take the next step.

increase efficiency. This revealed their main boiler was using far more energy than it should. Further investigations helped pinpoint the main culprit; a faulty steam trap, which has been replaced. Other changes implemented at Tri Tech included replacement of fixed speed motors with variable speed motors for compressors, fans and cooling towers; insulation of boilers and pipes; and installation of energy efficient lighting and a 59kW solar electricity array. The company is expecting to save $30,000 annually in energy costs as a result.

As an example, the Tri Tech Chemical Company is a manufacturer of specialty lubricant additives and surfactants, based in the western suburbs of Melbourne. On Positive Charge’s advice, the company used Eco-Tracker monitoring software to understand their energy use and find opportunities to

"I was a bit sceptical about the claim that we would identify inefficient use of energy with the energy monitoring software, but in fact the benefits were significant” Managing Director Greg Weston said.

Enhanced Indian Precinct for Dandenong

Precinct in Foster Street and its immediate surrounds.


he Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott announced in December 2015 that the City of Greater Dandenong will be home to Victoria’s first ever Indian Cultural Precinct. The announcement provides an exciting catalyst for the accelerated activation of Dandenong’s Little India


recommends quality products and companies to help you save energy, money and the planet. Their mission is to cut carbon emissions and to assist businesses taking control of their power bills. Contact Positive Charge to book in your FREE Business Energy Assessment: Energy helpline 9385 8555

Positive Charge is an energy advice service which independently

Dandenong was selected as the first of two precincts following extensive engagement with the Indian community and an independent feasibility study. The State is proudly home to Australia’s largest Indian community, with more than 111,700 Indian-born Victorians representing 40 percent of Australia’s Indian population. Seven percent of Greater Dandenong’s population was born in India. Investment in the new Precinct will

generate more employment, encourage tourism and create a more vibrant local community. Economic activity in the rest of central Dandenong will also be boosted along with the impact of Council’s existing food and cultural tourism activities. John Bennie, CEO of City of Greater Dandenong agrees with Robin Scott when he said “this Precinct will become a hub of activity – hosting festivals, a drawcard for tourism, supporting small businesses and boosting the local Dandenong economy”.




he Victorian Government has identified six priority sectors that have potential for “extraordinary economic growth and the capacity to create high-skill, high wage jobs”. These include: transport, defence and construction technologies; medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; new energy technologies; food and fibre; professional services; and international education. Through three separate grant programs, the Victorian Government’s Future Industries Fund will support companies in these industry sectors to compete in the global marketplace. A number of these sectors already feature prominently in Greater Dandenong’s industrial landscape, others offer the potential for significant growth.

Transport Technologies One in ten of Victoria’s manufacturing workforce, or around 25,000 people, are employed in the transport equipment sector including the rail, heavy vehicle, recreational vehicle, automotive aftermarket and aerospace industries. Greater Dandenong manufacturers play a leading role in the sector given their advanced skills and production facilities. Employing over 3,600 people, the sector contributes $296 million value added annually to the local economy. In terms of employment, transport technologies are the second largest manufacturing sub sector in the city, accounting for 16 per cent of manufacturing jobs in the municipality.

Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals The medical technologies and pharmaceuticals sector is an important contributor to the Victorian economy, employing approximately 20,000 people and generating global revenues of over $10 billion.

The sector includes pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, information and communication technology enabled healthcare products and diagnostics. It also embraces organisations involved in advancing health and wellness outcomes through the application of new technologies and thinking. In Greater Dandenong pharmaceutical manufacturing contributes $110 million to gross regional product annually and provides 665 jobs. The sector displays high worker productivity and higher average annual salaries. Locally, medical equipment manufacturing supports 200 jobs and produces $14 million value added every year.

Energy technologies Although currently a small part of the economy, this sector has enormous growth potential due to the increasing focus on policies to address climate change as well as economic efficiency drivers. The sector includes new and emerging technologies related to renewable energy generation and storage as well as energy efficiency products and services.

Food and fibre Food and fiber manufacturing includes the agriculture, fisheries, forestry, animal feed, textile, clothing, footwear, and food and beverage manufacturing sector. Given the State’s significant competitive advantages, this sector is a key driver of the Victorian economy, particularly in regard to the food and beverage industries. It contributes 4.9 per cent to Gross State Product and accounts for almost half of the State’s total goods exports. The growing demand for quality food and fiber products in domestic and international markets is a major driver of growth in the sector.

Over 500 food and fiber businesses currently operate in Greater Dandenong, employing almost 3,700 people and contributing $353 million value added to the local economy.

Professional services Victoria’s professional services sector includes professional, scientific, technical, financial and insurance services. Professional services is the largest employment sector in Victoria with 344,700 employees. It contributes $63 billion to Victoria’s total economic output. The sector enables productivity, innovation and competitiveness in other industries, a contribution which is crucial for an economy that is moving towards advanced, knowledge driven industry. Greater Dandenong professional services generate 3.1 per cent of total employment in the municipality and account for 3 per cent of total value added. Employees are generally highly skilled and well paid earning 30 per cent more than the average worker in the municipality. The key professional services activities in the city are engineering, legal, accounting, finance and banking services.

The Future Industries Fund will assist companies in these six high growth industry sectors to compete in the global marketplace through three separate grant and assistance programs: • The Manufacturing Program • The Sector Growth Program • The New Energy Jobs Fund Companies can apply for grants to support projects that create new jobs and stimulate industry investment. To learn more go to STAKEHOLDER 9


L-R: AL-KO Technical and Manufacturing Manager, Robert Funder, Young Engineer Winner, Adrian Masinovic from Bombardier, Professorial Engineer Winner, Laurent Herrisson from Bombardier.



reater Dandenong businesses and engineers featured prominently in the prestigious Mobility Engineering Excellence Awards announced in late 2015. The awards are sponsored by SAEAustralia, a non-profit organisation aimed at advancing the mobility engineering professions in Australasia. The judging panel included some of Australia’s most eminent engineers and academics AL-KO received a Gold Award in

the Trailer/Caravan Category for its revolutionary Electronic Stability Control (ESC) brake technology for caravans with electric brakes. ALKO’s ESC automatically monitors any dangerous sideways movements and takes immediate preventative action by applying the electric brakes to maintain stability for both the caravan and the towing vehicle. Designed and manufactured at AL-KO’s Dandenong South facility, the technology is now patented worldwide and is expected to have huge export potential. Bombardier received a Gold Award in the Rail Category for its Melbourne E-Class Tram Cab Design. The Victorian Government’s recent order for 20 new E-Class trams was the catalyst for a cab redesign to improve driver’s sightlines, particularly when departing from stops where there are high numbers of pedestrians. The innovative design has been shared

SMART MANUFACTURING 16 Dandenong will come to a halt on 17 May with a massive showcase and symposia highlighting the economic strength, vibrancy and innovation of the manufacturing sector in Greater Dandenong and South East Melbourne. “The Smart Manufacturing 16 event will actively promote Dandenong and South East Melbourne as the country’s largest manufacturing centre and position the region as Australia’s premier Manufacturing Zone,” said organising committee member, Jill Walsh. “The 2016 event will significantly build on the Dandenong on Wheels event held in April 2015”. 10 STAKEHOLDER

throughout Bombardier’s Australian and international light rail design teams. Adnan Masinovic was awarded Young Engineer of the Year for his work on the Melbourne E-Class Trams. Adnan and his team developed a custom designed monitoring system to allow simultaneous on-board data gathering for both the tram and network infrastructure conditions. Laurent Herisson won the Professional Engineer of the Year Award for his work on Melbourne’s E-Class Trams. His tram redesign improved vision through the windscreen from 58° to 77°, side window vision from 22° to 34° and reduced blind spot due to the A-pillar from 26° to 7°. Adnan and Laurent are based at Bombardier’s Dandenong South facility. An exhibit at the 2015 event

The Smart Manfacturing 16 Symposia, featuring a program of key note speakers and interactive workshops for investment ready projects, will be held in the Drum Theatre and a spectacular Smart Maufacturing 16 Exhibition will be staged along Lonsdale Street and in Harmony Square, Dandenong. Smart Manufacturing 16 will be complemented by a major marketing campaign focusing media attention on the region’s manufacturing achievements, expertise and diversity. The event will also demonstrate the economic importance and growth potential of the manufacturing industry in Dandenong and South East of Melbourne.

If you are interested in participating in this event as a manufacturing exhibitor please email the Event Organiser, Daryl Herbert at or phone 0419 360 125.


2015 Snowfest Festivities.


t will be snowing again in Springvale this winter. The award winning Springvale Snow Fest is back on Sunday 24 July from 12pm to 7pm. Now in its fourth year, the highlight of this street festival is the 40 tonnes of real snow straight from Mt Buller. The 2015 event attracted 32,000 people and generated a net boost of

$482,000 for the Springvale economy. It is anticipated 40,000 locals and visitors will attend in 2016. To be held in Springvale’s Buckingham and Balmoral Avenues, this year’s event will feature a real snow play area, ice sculpting, roving performances and live on stage acts, fireworks and food,

market and community stalls. The event presents a great trading and sponsorship opportunity for local businesses. If you want to raise your business profile as a sponsor, or take up a stall to market your products, email, or phone 8571 1000.

Manufacturer makes the move to Dandenong for expansion


lectronic components manufacturer Pixel Technologies made the move to Dandenong South in November 2015 after outgrowing its premises in Mitcham. CEO Peter Foster said the company had resized its facility to increase its capacities. “In this new building we’ve incorporated an additional SMT line (surface-mount technology) line which basically doubles our manufacturing capacity and we’re looking at further infrastructure investments. “We picked this new estate for its location on the edge of Eastlink; you’ve basically got dual choice of access to the city.” Managing Director Eral Aykutyan started Pixel Technologies in 1994. It is now a major supplier to the local telephone, lift and escalator industry. “We make all components within our facility with some of the world’s most state-of-the-art machinery,” Mr Foster said. “So you only need a few operators to manufacture the printed circuit boards. What also keeps us competitive is we have high

quality standards of manufacturing in Australia.” The business now has offices and service facilities in Carlton, Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore with 45 staff. It exports primarily to Asia in addition to United Arab Emirates, Europe and Canada. “We’re looking at expanding into the US in the next 12 months with the more competitive Australian dollar.” Pixel Technologies has previously exhibited at the bi-annual Interlift in Germany and uses distributors to expand its business. Its Australian liftcompany clientele also generate sales to their counterparts in other parts of the world. Mr Foster said one of the company’s strengths was professional growth. “Some of our Business Managers started in junior roles when the business was only three or four people. “We’re looking at further employment in 2016 and we support university graduates and cadets that need work experience as part of their course.”

Pixel Technologies CEO Peter Foster, and General Manager Mark Sabadin.



Home-made success W

hen enough people told Mona Lumani she made the best falafels, she began selling the Middle-Eastern staple at farmers’ markets.

marketing and networking support which I received in addition to the financial support. I think it’s really going to boost the business.

“Initially it was all about getting the same taste I get at home,” said Ms Lumani. “It’s an authentic, Lebanese family recipe. I’m so confident and passionate about the product; I think whoever tastes it always comes back for more, including kids.

“We may look at employing someone part-time for the kitchen as we grow and I’m looking for a sales rep at the moment. R DANDEN TE







After advertising on the Fine Food Wholesalers website, Arabian Bites began distributing to IGA; it now supplies cooked patties to the South Yarra and South Melbourne stores, targeted to consumers who want more convenience.



“At the farmers’ markets I make up the paste then customers take it home, make it into balls and cook it themselves.”

“This is a family-run business and I’m really excited about seeing where it goes,” Ms Lumani said.



Arabian Bites only uses fresh ingredients, has no preservatives, is gluten free and suitable for vegans so appeals to many markets, according to Ms Lumani who set up the business in 2014 while working in the science field. “Cooking has always been a passion of mine. I wanted to do it properly and take it slowly. I’m now looking at the bigger picture, getting into 20 to 30 IGAs interstate. “The Greater Dandenong Business Grant is about the exposure for me so I’m looking forward to the mentoring,



Peng Wu, who runs the manufacturing and retail business with his family in Springvale, said their products had many competitive advantages. “It’s a relatively new technology in the Australian market… a lot of businesses are using standard signs which don’t have an attractive design. Many of our clients have mentioned what a difference our signs made after we installed them and how the illumination made them stand out. It attracts more customers for them.



ustomade LED is helping Melbourne businesses stand out with its energy-efficient signage and video billboards.





A bright future


Arabian Bites products.



“One of our clients installed a video sign and it displays more detailed information. They can change the messaging so it makes them more flexible. Our signs are also more cost-effective and environmentally friendly as they use about one-fifth of the power consumption of other illuminated signage,” Mr Wu said. The Wu family ran a manufacturing business in China for years before immigrating in 2010 and Peng studied electronics engineering in England. “We opened the shop in Springvale about six months ago and we were doing wholesale electronics. Later we began designing and doing the whole manufacturing process through to installation. We’ve advertised through Google Adwords and we do sales visits to customers. We’re working hard!” Mr Wu said the grant would enable Customade LED to make connections with others businesses and stay abreast of government developments through Council’s Economic Development Unit. It would also be used to renovate the shop and conduct marketing activity to expand the business. Customade LED also supplies high-tec security and electronic control systems. 12 STAKEHOLDER

Customade LED Marketing Manager, Peng Wu.











Melbourne Ballet School owner, Michelle Johnson.




ichelle Johnson’s Melbourne Ballet School has experienced phenomenal growth since she launched it five years ago to provide ballet, jazz and tap tuition. In November 2015, the school moved to a permanent, dedicated studio in Noble Park, replacing the three community centres where Ms Johnson, a local to the area, had previously rented spaces. “We seem to double student numbers each year. A lot of it is word-of-mouth, plus we do displays and stalls at the local festival and parents often sign up after that.

“Our students have had many achievements over the years with a top mark of 95 per cent in the classical ballet exam – which is graded externally – plus we have received numerous placings in Melbourne dance competitions. “Finding the right place was difficult but students and parents love the new studio and location. The Mayor officially opened the new school at the end of January and we ran free classes and a barbecue to celebrate. “The grant has allowed us to buy the tarquette dance surface which is what the professional schools and The

Australian Ballet have. It’s perfect for slip versus grip” The school has added boys’ hip hop classes and singing this year and now runs 45 classes, six days a week with four teachers employed. Ms Johnson herself has more than 18 years’ experience teaching dance, working with many different schools within Victoria before opening the Melbourne Ballet School. She has also taught dance internationally as a guest teacher in both Europe and Asia.


“Most traditional accounting practices focus on the tax and audit side of things – I’m not doing any of that", Mr Billson said.




Mr Billson is also a costing specialist in the manufacturing area – “the foundation for any business” – and has presented on this topic across Australia.


“When I contact potential clients they say they already have an accountant or bookkeeper so there’s a bit of an education process. The perception is that only large companies have CFOs. In fact, SMEs cannot afford to be without a part-

“Part of the grant is mentoring services and that’s been good in terms of branding and marketing. The grant is also helping me to relocate the business to South R DANDEN Dandenong.” TE G ON

“I’m partnering with businesses on a longer-term basis to add value, improve profits and cash flows and take a strategic perspective on their organisations.

“The response has been good. I’ve done a lot of cold calling, networking events and mail-outs and people are enthusiastic about the area I want to focus on. There’s not many of us around who do this niche work, particularly for manufacturing SMEs.


As a former CFO for the Australian arm of a listed, US multinational company, and with an international background in accounting for the manufacturing industry, Mr Billson moved the business to Dandenong South in November 2015.

time or virtual CFO in my view.


oss Billson, owner of Billson Business Advisory, has set his new firm apart by providing a ‘Virtual CFO’ (Chief Financial Officer) service, targeting manufacturing in south-east Melbourne.





Billson Business Advisory owner, Ross Billson.



NOT BETTER, NOT WORSE, JUST DIFFERENT Why not join your peers in a manufacturing network? SEBN 2016 ROUND TABLES & PROGRAMS INCLUDE: • General Manufacturing Leadership • OH&S & Healthy Workplace Network • Quality/Environment/Sustainability • Manufacturing Excellence • Export/Globalisation • Lean Leadership Academy • Building Future Leaders • CEO/Business Leaders Program • MATE Network (Materials and Time Efficiency) • MIIdAS (Manufacturing Industry Ideas Awareness Series)

SOUTH EAST WOMEN IN BUSINESS (WIB) ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: • Showcasing WIB Series • Women in Business Network Contact



articipating companies in this new SEBN program, designed primarily for the challenged automotive sector,


s well as celebrating their 2015 achievements, the audience at SEBN’s 2015 Christmas Industry Breakfast was given the opportunity to explore the exciting business opportunities the future has to offer. Guest presenter and futurist Morris Miselowski both challenged and inspired attendees with his power packed presentation. “The future will not be worse or better, just different” said Morris. He supported his thesis by highlighting a range of on and over the horizon trends and innovations. Taking UBER, Airbnb and Snapchat as examples, many companies will have no major physical assets yet still experience phenomenal growth. The term ‘Unicorn Companies’ has been coined to describe start-up businesses like these whose valuation has exceeded $1 billion within three years – there are now 178 of them on the planet. Innovations like wearable technologies which collect and transmit huge amounts of data will create new business opportunities. Internet based ‘bot’ software applications will perform simple and structurally repetitive tasks, even writing articles like this one. are discovering ‘what lies beneath’ when taking a different approach to their perceived business challenges and constraints. Not operating within a rigid program or set of rules, companies can choose their own path with guidance from a pool of expertise that SEBN has engaged. This innovative program takes a fluid and explorative approach to

Morris Miselowski, futurist and key note speaker.

Big Data – the application of predictive analytics to huge data sets, will lead to better decision making, resulting in greater operational efficiency, cost reduction and reduced risk. Accounting firms for example are now offering lower priced ‘stand-by’ services to clients as they are able to identify down-time periods to transact non time critical tasks. The same variable pricing and scheduling benefits can be taken advantage of across all industries including manufacturing. Big Data analytics in partnership with 3D printing and related technologies will also drive the trend toward real time production and customisation in response to demand. Having been inspired by Morris’s insights in the past, and his continuing emphasis on the power of collaboration, the SEBN team has tailored its 2016 offer to assist local businesses better understand and access the technologies and pursue the opportunities identified during this presentation. You can view the presentation at: SEBN Business Groups and Roundtables: issues including sales and marketing, capability and product development and strategic planning. If you are interested in further information and are within the automotive supply chain – or at risk of impact from the closure of the local vehicle assembly plants – contact

Somewhere special for something special G reater Dandenong business women are invited to attend this special event at Springvale Botanical Cemetery’s beautiful new function venue, the Clarence Reardon Centre. In the week of International Women’s Day, guest speakers Dandenong


Market Chair Julie Busch and the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust CEO, Jane Grover will lead the celebration of local women’s achievements at SEBN’s Showcasing Women breakfast on 10 March.

For further details and to register your interest email or phone 8571 1576. You can find out more about International Women’s Day and the 2016 theme: Pledge for Parity at


Why not consider your employment options? N

ext time you are thinking about engaging a new employee, why not think outside the square? We have a remarkable tapestry of talent within our community that is not being tapped into – sometimes because of ‘fear of the unknown’. We all tend to be risk averse, particularly when it comes to engaging a new employee, which often precludes us from ‘giving someone a go’, yet many within our community need someone to give them a go – whether it be work experience, casual work or a full time position. How can a person with a skill or degree attained in their own country gain ‘Australian’ experience and test their skills here if they’re not given the opportunity? How better to improve English language skills than be put

amongst a diverse workforce? How better to develop a ‘fresh’ mind than employ an eager young person? People who are more than capable may have impaired eyesight or hearing and can be a valuable contributor to your business – should you not consider this untapped talent? The Greater Dandenong Employment Taskforce promotes ‘employment prosperity for all’. Comprising key stakeholders including Chisholm Institute, SEMMA, ACFE (Australian Council of Further Education), Victorian Government, SELLEN (South East Local Learning & Employment Network) and South Eastern RDA, the group is working to develop collaborative solutions to improve employment opportunities across

Greater Dandenong. A key focus is addressing the ‘supply and demand’ of talent to ensure that businesses have access to the ‘best fit’ talent for their employment needs and identifying what sort of support (if any) you, as an employer, may need. One of the initiatives of the Taskforce for 2016 is actively encouraging every business who could do with another pair of hands to give just one person a chance to demonstrate their capability and loyalty. Are you willing to work with us and give someone a go? If so, please contact This initiative has the potential to make a significant impact both socially and economically.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! I ndustry faces new challenges in today’s world where the cost of waste disposal is on the rise. ASPIRE (Advisory System for Processing, Innovation and Resource Exchange) is an online marketplace which intelligently matches your business with potential purchasers or recyclers of your waste by-products. It saves on your disposal costs and cuts the amount of waste going to landfill. Led by Kingston Council and developed by CSIRO in partnership with Greater Dandenong, Knox and Hume Councils under the Victorian Government’s Digital Futures Fund, the ASPIRE software tool identifies potential business-to-business resource exchanges, enables new business opportunities and jobs growth, improves awareness of waste streams and increases knowledge of resource exchange opportunities. For further information contact or register your outputs and inputs to find a match at

SEBN – Building better businesses. This page features stories from Council’s Business Networking Department. South East Business Networks (SEBN), together with the South East Melbourne Manufacturers’ Alliance (SEMMA Inc) highlighting their work with industry and the diversity and innovation typical of the manufacturing sector in this region.



FOR launches a tasty enterprise F

riends of Refugees (FOR) in Dandenong has launched a catering social enterprise to provide employment and training for asylum seekers and refugees. The service covers the Greater Melbourne area and offers authentic flavours from refugee-originating countries such as Afghanistan, Africa, Iran, Sri Lanka and Burma. Clients can choose from readyto-serve food delivered to their function, through to a fully-catered event including set-up, waiting and clean up.

requested, but people seem to enjoy our cooking whether it’s hot or not. “FOR Catering offers customers exciting, multicultural, healthy, fresh, homemade food and excellent service at competitive prices. We can also cater for all dietary requirements whether it’s corporate, boardroom or home events.” Ms Samy said the social enterprise hadn’t undertaken marketing since it launched on World Refugee Day – 20 June 2015 – but had generated business through FOR’s networks and supporters.

“The feedback has been that the food is amazing,” said FOR Founder and CEO Sri Samy. “We don’t ‘westernise’ the food – the only thing we change is we don’t add much chilli if that’s

“We do want to have regular work to provide more employment opportunities for migrants and refugees, so we encourage local businesses to contact us.


The aim of the program is to transition participants from this entry level employment experience into further study or future employment.

Greater Dandenong welcomes TRY Clean, a new social enterprise run by Melbourne based charity, TRY Australia. TRY delivers a range of programs to meet the ever changing needs of disadvantaged young people, the long term unemployed and families. TRY Clean is a ‘for purpose’ social enterprise providing commercial office cleaning services across the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne. They deliver a quality, environmentally sound, cost effective cleaning solution. The young people TRY Clean employs are referred through local employment service providers and welfare agencies. 16 STAKEHOLDER

TRY Clean is looking to expand their reach in the Greater Dandenong area in 2016. TRY Australia’s CEO Julia Cambage said “this is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses to support young people on the path to achieving their potential and becoming contributors in their local communities”. TRY will invest all profits from the social enterprise back into activities creating further employment for disadvantaged youth in the Greater Dandenong community. Visit to find out more “This job has about the service.

helped boost my

“We found that when migrants started getting work in Australia some were being taken advantage of and getting paid $2-$3 an hour, so we started this social enterprise utilising our participants’ existing skills. It provides practical work experience along with English language, interview skills and resume help.” FOR also provides social enterprise services such as: garden maintenance; property management; removalist work and social support services including emergency relief, food aid, family literacy programs and children’s education support.




nfluenza vaccinations in the workplace can result in increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. For healthy working adults, influenza vaccination programs represent a cost-effective strategy that can result in an improved workplace environment. Research has shown that healthy employees vaccinated against flu take nearly half the number of sick days and have nearly half the number of doctor’s visits compared to unvaccinated employees.

Healthy women make for a healthy workplace C

elebrity GP Dr Sally Cockburn a.k.a. ‘Dr Feelgood’ will present at the SEBN Showcasing Women Breakfast on 2 June. Local businesses are encouraged to send both female and male staff to the special event held in conjunction with the Healthy Workplaces Team. As a television and radio presenter, and advocate for health policy and education, Dr Cockburn specialises in demystifying medicine. The team at Healthy Together Greater Dandenong is also encouraging businesses to conduct their own initiatives promoting a healthy workplace environment for women. Various local organisations can provide companies with support in this area. According to WHISE, a regional women’s health service, the two priority areas for females are mental health, including the prevention of violence against women and sexual and reproductive health. Its research shows one in five women and one in three women will experience an anxiety disorder and 16 percent of new mothers in Australia will experience postnatal depression. Dandenong based WHISE can partner with organisations to provide workplace training in areas such as gender equity.

The Jean Hailes For Women’s Health organisation recognises mental health stress triggers can include caring for children, family problems, migrating to another country, missing family and home, and money problems. It also identifies bowel, bone, breast and cardiovascular health as important areas of focus for women. The organisation provides workplace wellness programs and is able to create niche initiatives to fulfil the needs of women in your workplace.

Holding a workplace 'flu vaccination clinic' means staff don’t need to take time off to visit their own GP. The convenience of nurses coming to the workplace at a time that suits your business usually results in a greater uptake of the flu vaccination by employees. The City of Greater Dandenong’s annual workplace flu vaccination program commences in early March, and our experienced nurse immunisers vaccinate more than 10,000 people each year. Call the Immunisation team at City of Greater Dandenong on 8571 1477 or email for competitive prices for workplace flu vaccinations and other workplace vaccinations on offer.

The Healthy Together Victoria Achievement Program provides practical steps and easy-to-use tools and templates to promote and improve health and wellbeing in workplaces. The program sees workplaces recognised by the Victorian Government and positions them as an employer of choice. Other benefits of participation include improved productivity, reduced sick leave and ongoing support from health professionals. www.healthytogether. For details of the 2 June SEBN breakfast check this edition’s Calendar of Events. For further information on health in the workplace programs email STAKEHOLDER 17


Establishing new premises or relocating? T

he following planning and building regulation ‘tips and traps’ will be of interest to you. Lease purchase agreements – Don’t sign a lease agreement or purchase a property until you are sure the property is appropriate for the intended use. Planning and/or Building Permits may be required and some uses may not be permitted. Mezzanine floors – Prior occupants/ owners could have added these features without a permit. Check if Planning and Building Permits have been issued, if not you may need to apply for a Planning and Building Permit and if these are refused you will have to remove the mezzanine at your expense. Exhaust extraction systems – You can assume that any system that vents/extends outside the building will require a permit. If leasing or buying a premise containing this equipment make sure it has the relevant permits. Permit conditions – Planning and Building Permits will often come with conditions that have to be met before the permit can be acted upon. Make sure that you check for any permits issued to a property to determine what the conditions are and if they have been addressed.

AND CONSIDER Car parks – Planning Permits usually require the provision of on-site car parking to ensure streets are kept clear to facilitate access, particularly for larger vehicles. Dedicated on-site car spaces cannot be used as hardstand areas and for storage. “We are keen to ensure that businesses have a positive experience when moving to new premises and that they avoid the possible pitfalls highlighted above. Council is just a phone call away” said Peter Shelton, the City of

Greater Dandenong’s Planning and Design Manager. Please phone the Planning Enquiries Service on 8571 1000 if you have any queries or concerns before you lease or purchase a new premise. You can also make your enquiry in person at Council’s Planning Enquiries Counter, Level 3 of the Dandenong Civic Centre, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong. The counter is open Monday to Friday, from 8.30am–5pm.

2016 Business Seminar and Workshop Series T he City of Greater Dandenong in partnership with the City of Kingston is currently delivering a series of Business Seminars and Workshops to support home based, micro and small businesses across the two municipalities.

Seminar and workshop topics include ‘Start Up and Business Basics’, ‘Online and Social Media’, ‘Marketing and Growing Your Business’, and ‘Winning Government Business and Exporting’. The Australian Taxation Office, Dawtek Industry Capability Network (ICN), Pitcher Partners, Macpherson and Kelly Lawyers, Manex, RaraPR, Social Traders and Small Business Victoria are involved in delivering the program. 18 STAKEHOLDER

This is a great opportunity to access advice and knowledge from leading industry experts to assist you to grow and protect your business. The program runs until October of this year with over 30 sessions being conducted at either Dandenong

Council’s Level 2 meeting rooms, Dandenong Library or Kingston’s Council Offices.

To find out more and book online visit businessevents


Fuelling innovation P

assion isn’t a term you’d usually associate with Chemical Engineers, but the team at Biofuel Innovations are excited about their work in sustainable fuel, converting cooking oil to biodiesel. Founder Dale Barnett established the organisation two years ago; after living in the country and travelling long distances, he became motivated to make his own diesel. Dr Rebecca Yee joined the business at the start of 2015 after completing a PhD investigating how to convert waste water into electricity. “The chemistry is quite straightforward for biodiesel; we've been exploring new enzyme technology that is more efficient and uses a much less toxic process than traditional biofuel production, and the grant will allow us to commercialise it,” said Dr Yee. “We’ll be moving into our own factory space, purchasing equipment and getting our name out to local contacts.

“The mentoring service, as part of the grant, has been really useful – being able to speak with people in business about marketing, dealing with clients and managing costs and expectations. “Because we’re using a waste resource, it’s a very sustainable product. Australia is so dependent on trucks for our supply chain, so getting a sustainable fuel out there that’s locally made and collected is very attractive. “We’re looking for drivers and operators to collect oil or subcontract out at the plant, so we spend more time working on the research and technology side.” Biofuel Innovations is looking to produce other sustainable products like food-grade lubricant in the future. It is also collaborating with Monash University on student projects. The organisation has been sourcing cooking oil from local fish and chip shops and small restaurants, but with its increased storage capacity is now seeking new partners wanting to dispose of oil sustainably and locally.













he Australian Government’s new National Innovation and Science Agenda announced in late 2015 presents a range of potential opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

In launching the Agenda, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne highlighted that the opportunities for Australia have never been greater. Australian businesses have unprecedented access to the global economy through new trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea and Australian businesses, universities and research organisations like the CSIRO are among the best in the world. Unfortunately Australia is falling behind on measures of commercialisation and collaboration, consistently ranking last or second last among OECD countries for business-research collaboration. Our appetite for risk is lower than in comparable countries, which means Australian startups and early stage businesses often fail to attract capital to grow. Through the new Agenda, the Government will invest $1.1 billion in four priority areas: Culture and capital - to help businesses embrace risk and incentivise early stage investment in start-ups. Collaboration - to increase the level of engagement between businesses, universities and the research sector to commercialise ideas and solve problems. Talent and skills - to train Australian students for the jobs of the future and attract the world’s most innovative talent to Australia. Government as an exemplar - to lead by example in the way Government invests in and uses technology and data to deliver better quality services. To find out more visit

Biofuel Innovations Director, Dr Rebecca Yee.

Greater Dandenong is a foundation member of the South East Melbourne Innovation Precinct (SEMIP) group created to build linkages between Industry and Research. If you require introductions to local research agencies including CSIRO, the Australian Synchrotron and Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, please email STAKEHOLDER 19




he commercialisation of a range of Australian technologies will be accelerated after CSIRO and Noble Park’s Boron Molecular signed a new technology transfer agreement Under the agreement, fine chemicals manufacturer Boron Molecular will be able to access and license CSIRO technologies and develop them into commercial products that can be massproduced and marketed globally, with CSIRO receiving a royalty on all sales. Boron Molecular Director Zoran Manev said the organisation, a CSIRO spin-out established in 2001, had proven the benefits of such a collaboration after signing a RAFT Agent agreement in 2014. “The RAFT Technology was developed by CSIRO in conjunction with DuPont around 18 years ago and was dormant throughout that period. We demonstrated taking their technology and selling hundreds of kilos to individual customers. The next discussion was about what else we

Boron Molecular Director, Zoran Manev, and Senior CSIRO Research Scientist, James MacDonald.

could replicate that model on,” Mr Manev said. Technologies that fall under the new agreement include polymers used in the biomedical industry and specialist fine chemicals for polymer manufacture. “It basically puts in our capability field a whole range of new chemistry that has been developed and proven by the CSIRO. We have the capability to meet, present, demonstrate and ultimately supply the molecules. Being small, we’re nimble." Boron Molecular employs 13 staff in

Australia and two at its US office with more than 95 per cent of its products sold overseas, mainly in Asia, Europe and the U.S. “The reason for our growth is that in Australia we respect patents so companies will come to us with difficult chemistry challenges.” CSIRO research scientist Dr John Tsanaktsidis said, "Ultimately it's collaborations like this that will lead to the creation of new jobs, new infrastructure and increased capacity for export."


he Industry Capability Network (ICN) is an independent organisation supported by Australian, state and territory governments that connects project owners with local suppliers. The ICN Gateway online tool facilitated $2.5 billion worth of contracts last

year and currently lists $400 billion of work opportunities. Supplier searches average 12,000 per month. A current ICN focus is providing Australian businesses with the opportunity to contribute to the City of Christchurch’s continuing $40 billion Construction work in the Avon River Precinct, Christchurch. Photo courtesy of CERA.

rebuild following the catastrophic 2011 earthquake. A 26 strong ICN led delegation visited the city in October 2015. Participating industries included heavy and architectural steel fabricators, architects, construction, labour hire, hydraulic and fire services, hospital furniture, fittings and equipment, engineering and project management. “Opportunities worth an estimated $10 million were identified during the visit” said ICN’s Commercial Manager, Andy Balmain. “ICN is planning a follow up delegation to NZ with a focus on public and private construction and infrastructure works in late 2016. I invite Greater Dandenong businesses to join us and explore the many opportunities on offer”. You can find out more about the upcoming delegation and the ICN Gateway by contacting Andy at 9864 6736 /



Grants & Opportunities Want to do business in Asia?

About to lease retail premises?

sialink Business is supported by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the University of Melbourne and the Myer Foundation. It provides a wide range of quality resources to assist Australian companies enter Asian markets. These include comprehensive ‘Starter Packs’ for India, China, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand. View these and more at

Based on his extensive experience, the Victorian Small Business Commissioner has recently published a very useful list of ‘tips and traps’ for businesses about to lease retail premises. You can find them at

Interested in gaining defence sector work?

Sustainability Victoria offers a free investment facilitation service to promote local opportunities in the sector, inform the development of your investment business case and coordinate your relationship with the Victorian Government. Visit www.sustainability.vic. to find out more. You can also subscribe to Sustainability Victoria’s ‘In The Know’ E-newsletter at info@


The Australian Industry & Defence Network - Victoria Inc (AIDN-Vic) facilitates interaction and communication between Victoria’s smaller defence supply companies and assists members to take advantage of the opportunities in Australian and international defence markets. With the assistance of the Victorian Government, AIDN-Vic has created three Defence Alliances – Land Systems, Maritime and Submarines supported by Capability Directories. These industry-led alliances provide a catalyst for Victorian businesses to secure work in defence supply chains. Find out more at

Looking for start-up facilities? The Eastern Innovation Business Centre is a new high tech facility located at 5A Hartnett Close, Mulgrave. It provides a hothouse environment to turn innovative ideas into commercial successes. The Centre’s layout encourages interaction, innovative thinking and creativity. Work spaces are designed to be flexible and can include wet and dry laboratories to assist science, technology and research-related businesses. Phone Jeffrey McAlpine on 8562 2222 or visit to find out more.

Interested in waste and resource recovery opportunities?

Need to keep up with rail industry developments? The Rail Manufacturing CRC invites you to subscribe to their newsletter ‘OnTrack’ by register at

Looking for bio-energy project funding? The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is providing up to $100 million as a cornerstone investment in a new equity fund for bioenergy and energy from waste projects. Managed by the Foresight Group, the fund is targeting equity investments in projects from $2 million to $100 million covering small-scale anaerobic digestion to mid-scale energy from waste developments. Find out more at www. under the ‘Renewable Energy’ tab.

Impacted by the auto industry restructure? Funding is available to support industries impacted by the impending closure of Australia’s three major car assemblers. Under the Victorian Government’s Victorian Automotive Transition Plan grant funding is available to support business transition planning, merger advisory services and eligible projects. Further details can be found at support-for-your-business then search ‘Victoria’s automotive transition plan’. Also see SEBN article page 14.

Want to keep up with Austrade news? Austrade regularly publishes news and insights on Australian trade and investment including an Export Update providing export news, event details, success stories and information to help Australian exporters do business. An Investment Update covering global investment news, reports on the investment climate in Australia and success stories from foreign investors is also available. Subscribe at www.

Wondering who gets the grants? Interesting examples are provided on the Accelerating Commercialisation Program website. This initiative offers eligible small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers access to experienced and connected advisers to address the challenges associated with commercialising novel products, processes and services. Go to then enter ‘Accelerating Commercialisation Funding Offers’ in the search box. STAKEHOLDER 21




Food Industry Meet and Eat

Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program – Series 4

• Thursday 3 March • 4.30pm – 6pm Council Offices, Level 2, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong Contact or ph: 8571 5598 for more information or to register your interest.

Showcasing Women Breakfast Event – Celebrating International Women’s Day • Friday 4 March • 7am (for 7.15am start) – 9am $55 per person or $500 per corporate table of 10 SMCT (Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust), 600 Princes Hwy, Springvale

Focus: Engaging your workforce in healthy wellbeing • Friday 2 April • 12pm – 2pm Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong Contact or ph: 8571 5321 for information or to register your interest.

Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce Premier Regional Business Awards 25th Gala Dinner • Wednesday 13 April • 5.45pm – 12am Sandown Greyhounds, View Road, Springvale Contact or call 9794 8881 to book your tickets.

Small Business Workshops and Seminars

Focus: Introduction to the Achievement Program

Commercialising Your New Idea Workshop – 2 Parts • Wednesday 20 April and Wednesday 5 May • 9.30am – 12.30pm and 6pm – 8.30pm $75 per person, Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong Contact or ph: 8571 1550 for more information or to register your interest.

• Friday 11 March

Mayor and CEO Luncheon

• 12pm – 2pm

A round table of up to 12 businesses for lunch with the Greater Dandenong Mayor and CEO • Friday 22 April • 12pm – 2pm Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong Contact or ph: 8571 1550 for more information or to register your interest.

Contact or ph: 8571 1576 for more information or to register your interest.

Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program

– Series 4

Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong Contact or ph: 8571 5321 for information or to register your interest.

Small Business Workshops and Seminars Starting Your Business Right Workshop • Tuesday 15 March • 6pm – 9.30pm $30 per person, Moorabbin & Mordialloc Room, 1230 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham Contact or ph: 9581 4786 for information or to register your interest.



fter 10 years of operation the Greater Dandenong Free City Shuttle Bus service will cease on March 8.

Greater Dandenong Mayor Heang Tak said the bus was introduced as a trial in 1995 to help local businesses by encouraging shoppers to get around the Dandenong central activity district more easily. “With the completion of Harmony Square and Halpin Way, the centre of Dandenong has opened up into a more pedestrian-friendly environment, and many commuters find it easier to walk from the train station into the 22 STAKEHOLDER

Small Business Workshops and Seminars Winning Local Government Tenders • Thursday 28 April • 9am – 10.30am $20 per person, Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong Contact or ph: 8571 1550 for more information or to register your interest.

centre of Dandenong,” Mayor Tak said. “There are also public bus routes that travel throughout the centre, so people can now get around Dandenong that way.” Over recent years patronage has steadily fallen while the cost of the service has increased significantly. At the service’s peak 160 passengers used the bus daily, between September 2014 and July 2015 those figures had dropped to an average of 68 per day, making the service no longer viable. Travellers who want to get to Dandenong Hospital or Chisholm TAFE can take routes 802, 804 and 811 from Dandenong station. Visit to check timetables.




SEBN Industry Breakfast – Tap into the Talent

Showcasing Women breakfast event

• Tuesday 3 May

• Thursday 2 June

• 7am (for 7.15am start) – 9am

• 7am (for 7.15am start) – 9am

$55 per person or $500 per corporate table of 10

$55 per person or $500 per corporate table of 10

Highways Tabaret, Corner Princes Hwy and Corrigan Road, Springvale

Highways Tabaret, Corner Princes Hwy and Corrigan Road, Springvale

Contact or ph: 8571 1576 for more information or to register your interest.

Contact or ph: 8571 1576 for more information or to register your interest.

Small Business Workshops and Seminars

Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame

Planning For Your Business (Strategic Business Planning)

Recognising the stars of the Victorian Manufacturing sector

• Tuesday 10 May

• Thursday 9 June

• 10am – 1.30pm

• 7pm til late

$20 per person, Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong

Palladium Ballroom, Crown Entertainment Complex

Contact or ph: 8571 1550 for more information or to register your interest.

Small Business Workshops and Seminars

Contact Cathy on or 9768 2524 to book a table or for more information or to register your interest.

Mayor and CEO Luncheons

Winning Government Business Workshop

A round table of up to 12 businesses for lunch with the Greater Dandenong Mayor and CEO

• Tuesday 17 May

• Friday 10 June

• 6pm – 9.30pm

• 12pm – 2pm

$30 per person, Moorabbin & Mordialloc Room, 1230 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham

Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong

Contact or ph: 9581 4786 for information or to register your interest.

Small Business Workshops and Seminars

Contact or ph: 8571 1550 for more information or to register your interest.

SEBN Industry Breakfast • Thursday 16 June

Protecting Your Idea – Intellectual Property IP

• 7am (for 7.15am start) – 9am

• Thursday 26 May

$55 per person or $500 per corporate table of 10

• 6pm – 7.30pm

Highways Tabaret, Corner Princes Hwy and Corrigan Road, Springvale

$20 per person, Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong Contact or ph: 8571 1550 for more information or to register your interest.

Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program – Series 4

Contact or ph: 8571 1576 for more information or to register your interest.

Small Business Workshops and Seminars

Focus: Achievement Program in action

Save money at ‘tax time’ and learn about online options for managing tax

• Friday 27 May

• Thursday 16 June

• 12pm – 2pm

• 9am – 10.30am

Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong

Council Offices, 225 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong

Contact or ph: 8571 5321 for information or to register your interest.

Contact or ph: 8571 1550 for more information or to register your interest.

DON’T MISS OUT – Limited spaces left Through funding from the Victorian Government Grow Your Business Program, Council has secured leading Australian Shared Value expert, Phil Preston to coach a limited number of forward thinking manufacturing businesses on learning how to embed social outcomes into their business plan to produce currently untapped business growth opportunities’. Email now to or phone 8571 1550 STAKEHOLDER 23

The Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce invites you, your business colleagues and partners to…

The 25th and final decider


Wednesday 13 April, 2016 Sandown Greyhound Park, View Room 5.45pm

Come and celebrate the 25th and final Premier Regional Business Awards, featuring a glittering night of celebration and entertainment hosted by comedian and broadcaster, Libby Gore.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Ticket Information Tickets are now available, strictly on a first served basis, so order now to ensure you don’t miss out. Early Bird Specials (Expires Friday 26th February, 2016) Individual Tickets $230 incl. GST each. Corporate Tables of 10 $2,250 incl. GST

Non Early Bird tickets (booked after Friday 26 th February 2016) Individual Tickets $250 incl. GST each. Corporate Tables of 10 $2,400 incl. GST

To purchase tickets …


Proudly sponsored by Contact: Amanda Checken at the Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce on or phone: 03 9794 8881

Stakeholder March 2016  

The City of Greater Dandenong's Business News / Entrepreneurial engineers / Closer ties with China / Technology manufacturer expands / Busin...