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I S S U E 5 M AY 2 0 1 7


Wander, play and love local living in the greater Nepean




Photography credit: Marcus Hart  @marcushartimages

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Wander, play and love living in the Greater Nepean


>> GOT A STORY IDEA? Reach out and contact us

I’m Samantha Foley

WEB PHONE 02 4722 2017 ADDRESS PO Box 626, Penrith NSW 2751


All prices and information are correct and to the best of the publisher’s knowledge at the time of print. Roaming Panther Magazine does not accept or assume responsibility for advertising material accepted. Comments and opinions of contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinion or view of the publishers or editor.

First and foremost, thank you to all our readers who took the time to call, email and Facebook us to tell us how much they loved our ANZAC issue. It was truly nice to hear your warm stories and how our issue touched your hearts. Thank you. Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel like this year is zooming by. Every time I catch a glimpse of the calendar, it’s a new month! And this month, it’s all about Mum. We found four very special ladies, who not only take care of their own offspring, but find it in their heart to look after all our kids too. Thank you, Michele, Lana, Brooke and Holly. You women are a true inspiration and set the bar very high indeed. You can read about their stories in our ‘Extraordinary Women’ feature, pages 22-25.





Welcome to our May Issue.


We also have some exclusive offers from our friends at Nutrition Station in North Penrith, Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub and York Jewellers. If you want to take Mum somewhere nice for breakfast or lunch, then head straight to Nutrition Station in North Penrith. The team there are offering ALL Mums to eat free this Mother’s Day. All you need to do is mention you saw them here, on page 8.



And what about Firass. Our very own, locally grown Hollywood star who is not only generous in soul, but also modest and downright inspirational. He is living proof that when you want something bad enough – just go after it. The worst that can happen is you just might get it.


Enjoy May issue!

Sam 

All reasonable efforts have been made to trace copyright owners. We recommend material such as dates, times and prices of a changing nature be confirmed with individual advertisers, contributors or persons and industry professionals in regard to advertising and editorial. Material in Roaming Panther Magazine is copyright © Penzance Publishing and may not be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Issue 5 May 2017


Published by Penzance Publishing Pty Ltd ABN 18615296118. Printed by Fairfax Media 159 Bells Line of Road North Richmond NSW 2754 Distributed by PMP Limited 31 Heathcote Road, Moorebank NSW 2170

Hi Readers,


Editorial Creative Director Kwang Tran With thanks to Carolina Kazzi, Graphic Designer Advertising Manager Samantha Foley Magazine Co-ordinator Mel Bevan Sub-editor Kristyn Levis Journalists Cassandra Elliott Ros Smith Writers Robyn Foyster, Founder of Women Love Tech Reporter Kieran McEwan Jo Munro, CEO of The Savvy Shopahoilic Dr Rachele Low resident vet With Thanks to Our Contributors for This Issue Samantha Sargent AEOS Skincare Expert Marianne Arthur Fashion Writer Ross Dobson Food Writer Regular Contributors Melissa Ferrari, Counselling & Psychotherapy Melissa Brown, Accountant at A&TA & The Money Barre Emily Macgregor, Naturopath & Marketing Manager Blooms Health Products Dr Erin Short, Veterinarian Correen Ave Veterinary Clinic Helena Crumpton, Property Central Images iStock

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@roamingpanthermagazine @roamingpanthermagazine Issue 5 May 2017








4 - 6 MAY

19 MAY – 2 JULY


4 MARCH – 21 MAY

PENRITH PANTHERS CONFERENCE CENTRE Your adventure starts with thought-provoking presentations and robust discussions about issues relevant to women in local government. Delegates can expect to be entertained and engaged throughout the conference and learn new skills to help them succeed in their careers.

HAWKESBURY GALLERY Australia’s most famous/infamous painting prize for portraiture, The Archibald Prize, is the most popular art event in the country, creating quite a buzz wherever it goes. We promise a gala opening, guided tours by trained volunteers, talks by a number of the featured artists, and, to top it off, a $500 people’s choice prize sponsored by ANZ.

PENRITH REGIONAL GALLERY A Wayfarer on the Nepean features drawing and animation works resulting from the artist’s recent Summer Studio Residency.

PENRITH REGIONAL GALLERY Hill End: Seven Decades traces 70 years of artistic response to the historic Australian goldmining township of Hill End, NSW.


UWS ASTRONOMY NIGHT 6 MAY UWS PENRITH OBSERVATORY If we change the laws of nature just a little bit, our universe would be very different to what we have now. After explaining the science of what happens when you change the way our universe works, we will ask: what does all this mean? Guest speaker, Luke A. Barnes. Includes presentation, short 3D movie, tour of the dome area and viewing of the night sky through a range of telescopes.

HIGH TEA AT MULGOA VALLEY RECEPTIONS FIRST AND THIRD SUNDAY OF THE MONTH MULGOA VALLEY RECEPTIONS Situated on 27 acres, with breathtaking views, immerse yourself in the country life whilst sipping on the finest teas and eating from a delicious menu of homemade quiches, sausage rolls, sandwiches, scones jam and cream and petite fours. 4





5 - 7 MAY

26 - 28 MAY

20 - 21 MAY

28 MAY

HAWKESBURY SHOW Australia’s most famous precision driving team, Isuzu Team D-MAX, will wow crowds with a spectacular display of stunt driving. Meet the drivers, take photos and get up close.

HAWKESBURY RACE COURSE, CLARENDON Orchids Out West comprises of beautiful displays put on by the local orchid societies with a great selection of plants to be purchased.

PANTHERS PENRITH An exhibition of antique and modern arms. Take a step back in time and enjoy a day of examining historical and cotemporary weapons, memorabilia and arms equipment.

DEPARTS FROM TENCH RESERVE, JAMISONTOWN Local psychics from Basically Crystals will be on board for those who would like a reading. Must book.





LEURA MALL, LEURA Dedicated to showcasing the outstanding produce, fine fare and innovative sustainability initiatives taking place in the Blue Mountains and wider region.

SYDNEY INT. REGATTA CENTRE Come and spectate or join in the fun with these radio control power boats.





BUNNINGS NORTH PENRITH Enjoy the FREE Kids Self Serve D.I.Y Garden Workshop.

BURNS ROAD, SPRINGWOOD A space allowing people to express themselves freely in a creative and shared working space while learning about growing food.


More than just a bed, the Sleepsense® is a truly exquisite sleep experience.



A great night’s sleep doesn’t just happen – it starts with finding the perfect sleep surface. Enter the Sleepsense ® Range by A.H.Beard, the Australian-made smart bed that lets you customise your comfort using a wireless remote or via an app on your smartphone*. When looking for next-level comfort, the Sleepsense ® Genius adjustable base will deliver the premium performance you desire. With four pre-set positions – Rest, Recline, Relax and Recover – you can select the ideal option to suit whatever mood you’re in. And the pièce de résistance? The built-in massage function will help soothe and rejuvenate your tired muscles, letting you drift off to sleep in a state of supreme relaxation. *Internet connection required. Data and usage charges may apply. Check your internet service provider for details. Features may vary between models.

Sleepsense ® Queen Mattresses from $2499. Visit our stores to view the full Sleepsense ® range today.


TEMPUR® Zero-G ‘Lifestyle Aspire’ Queen Adjustable Base with TEMPUR® ‘Orion Cloud Plush’ Queen Mattress. $3999

Combine trusted comfort from TEMPUR ® with an ergonomic sleeping solution. The TEMPUR® ‘Cloud 19’ mattress provides an innovative balance of softness and support while the Zero-G ‘Lifestyle’ adjustable base offers the perfect position for any activity, be it watching television, reading or working on your laptop. 15 year limited warranty.




PENRITH SUPERSTORE Cnr Mulgoa Rd & Wolseley St. 4737 5111


Ends 07/05/17. Harvey Norman® stores are operated by independent franchisees. Accessories shown are not included. *1. Bonus offer applies only with the purchase of the selected products. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Bonus can only be redeemed at the store from which the applicable product(s) are purchased. Bonus is not transferable for a discount, cash or gift card. For a full refund, all items must be returned in their original condition. Terms and conditions apply. See in store for details. Issue 5 May 2017


Local Roaming LOCAL MUSIC







20 MAY

12 MAY

24 MAY


10 MAY

13 MAY

JOAN SUTHERLAND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE PSO is joined in this concert by the forces of Penrith City Choir, Warrimoo Chorale, and Academy Singers.

O’DONOGHUE’S Seattle Sound is Sydney’s No1 Cover Band with a 20 year history of huge live shows and crowds. Still bringing the flavour of the 90’s grunge era!

JOAN SUTHERLAND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE This talented and versatile group of musicians will present an irresistible program of all-time greats that will have you humming.

LITHGOW WORKMENS CLUB, LITHGOW If you’re a big John Farnham fan come along and enjoy the show.

BLUE MOUNTAINS THEATRE & COMMUNITY HUB A fabulous show celebrating 60 years since the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Australia. Let the good times roll at the Hub.

HOTEL GEARIN, KATOOMBA Jeff Lang’s momentous new album, Alone In Bad Company presents the most organic union of his talents and influences yet.







5 - 13 MAY

27 MAY

BLUE MOUNTAINS THEATRE & COMMUNITY HUB Be transported into a smoky, jazz, blues vibe from an era best remembered live with a good dose of pure acid bohemian vintage rock! It’s an interpretational musical presentation, celebrating a woman who exploded onto the music scene and quickly became the queen of rock ‘n’ roll.

THE JOAN SUTHERLAND PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE The Penrith Musical Comedy Company Production presents the smash hit musical Chicago, in Penrith.

EVAN THEATRE, PENRITH PANTHERS. Feature some of the Festival’s hottest acts on stage for an incredible two hours of hard hitting laughter.







20 MAY


ROOTY HILL RSL Seen as the best Queen show in Australia if not the world, they are bringing to Australia their Magic Tour reliving the concert at Wembley Stadium.

ROOTY HILL RSL Blessed with a cool, solid baritone voice, Bo takes his seasoned performance as he brings words and music to life once again in both English and Filipino.

ROOTY HILL RSL Whilst The Beatles and Rolling Stones were the headliners, The Animals were the back bone of blues! With their legacy undeniable, fans are in for a treat. Don’t miss this party!

EVAN THEATRE, PENRITH PANTHERS. Australia’s most unique international comedy legend. A must see for any person OVER 18 wanting to see absolute original Australian comedy.


Rhonda Burchmore and Lara Mulcahy present their hilarious new concert, ABBA-SOLUTELY FABULOUS! They’ll have audiences dancing in the aisles as they sing their way through ABBA’s hits. Dancing Queen, Waterloo, Mamma Mia, Take a Chance, Ring Ring, Money Money Money, Fernando and more, it’s the ultimate party night out!


Scholarship dreams TO F OLLOW HER

Last month RPM announced the recipients of the seven 2017 Penrith Conservatorium of Music Scholarships. At 13, Meg Whittaker was one of the youngest recipients. She will be awarded ... Scholarship in the voice category, receiving 12 months of fully-paid lessons with industry professionals. Her mother Jenny says Meg’s musical journey began about nine years ago, with dance. She would spend about 16 hours a week dancing, she says, but with a re-occurring knee injury, doctors told her to stop. Instead of giving up, Meg re-focused her love for music into singing, which she’s been doing for over three years now. Meg sings a range of genres, but her love of classical music began when she performed with Opera Australia in Graeme Murphy’s production of Turandot, as part of the children’s chorus in the 2015 winter season. She’s currently performing with Opera Lirica, in an amateur production of Yeomen of the Guard, under the direction of Vincenzo Nesci. Meg is pursuing her dreams, and winning this scholarship is another step in the right direction. When she’s not singing, Meg is learning to play the guitar and piano. She’s also an avid songwriter. As Meg’s demonstrated, dreams can change and she encourages others to follow their dreams too.

The startingup might be hard, but you’ll keep improving, and... the more chances you’ll be given in life.

She says, “No matter what happens in your life, never give up. The starting-up might be hard, but you’ll keep improving, and when you do that, the more chances you’ll be given in life.”

This is Suzanne. High achieving dance student Advanced English scholar Aspiring sports physiotherapist Unearthing the potential of Year 11 at St Paul’s.



Accepting enrollments now. 02 4777 4888 BOOK A TOUR OR ENROL TODAY

Issue 5 May 2017


Circus Oz

Local Roaming



udaciously unpacking the myths of modern Australia in their latest high octane circus show Model Citizens, the first creation fuelled by new artistic director Rob Tannion. Circus Oz was founded in 1978 as an amalgamation of two already successful Australian groups: Soapbox Circus and the New Circus. The founding members of Circus Oz loved the skills and tricks of traditional circus but wanted to make a new sort of show that a contemporary audience could relate to, adding elements of rock’n’roll, popular theatre and satire. Today, Circus Oz produces a seamless blend of risk and beauty – of breathtaking physical improbability with theatrical choreography and that distinct brand of Australian humour. Stunningly lit and driven by a sensational live music soundtrack, Model Citizens unfolds within a cleverly designed model-kit world that challenges perspective, scale and concepts of normality. You can expect to see acrobats back-flip off a giant vertical clothes peg, become tangled in an oversized cotton reel, balance on a house of oversized collapsing cards and fly high in an enormous pair of aerial undies! SHOW OPENS Friday 26th to Saturday 27th May Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre 597 High Street, Penrith.

LOCAL SHOWS ADAM HARVEY & BECCY COLE 2017 27 MAY ROOTY HILL RSL Something very special happens when this duo hits the stage, the audience experiences an extremely entertaining blend of wits along with their shared love of true and authentic country music. Fans are set to benefit when they hit the road in 2017 with The Great Country Songbook Volume II Tour.

Mums Eat Free this

Mother’s Day at

LACHLAN BRYAN & THE WEEPING WILLOWS 19 MAY ROOTY HILL RSL Lachlan Bryan, The Weeping Willows & special guests bring new and old country and folk to Rooty Hill. With a full scale band in tow this will be a unique show filled with tales of the road. 8

nutrition station north penrith 16-19 Lambridge Place, North Penrith, 2750 Ph: (02) 4729 2484










THIRD SUNDAY Craft, art, fashion, jewellery, accessories, health and wellbeing, sweet treats, plants, homewares and fresh produce items.

EVERY SATURDAY Featuring local fresh produce and food in Richmond Park, corner March and Windsor Streets, Richmond.

FOURTH SUNDAY Located at the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub. Proudly hosting over 50 local growers and producers. Local, fresh food and products.

PENRITH SHOWGROUND MARKET EVERY WEDNESDAY Penrith’s only weekday market has approximately 250300 stalls selling products ranging from plants, fruit and vegetables, clothing, lingerie, tools, craft supplies, car supplies, pets, bric a brac and much more.



EVERY SUNDAY Located in the George St Mall. Quality handmade homewares, arts, crafts, fashion and fresh produce. Local bands and buskers offer great entertainment.

FARMERS MARKET• FIRST SATURDAY Local shoppers stock up on organic fruit and veggies, sour dough bread, home baked cakes and biscuits, pickles, jams and honey and lots of other goodies.

COBBITTY VILLAGE MARKETS BLAXLAND SATURDAY MARKETS SECOND SATURDAY Blaxland Chambers is bringing back the markets to the heart of the CBD area, come along & support local businesses.

FIRST SATURDAY Located at Cobbitty Public School, Cobbitty Road. With 150 stalls selling an exciting range of craft, gourmet foods and local produce.

GENERAL MARKET • THIRD SATURDAY Quality jewellery and crafts with plenty to spoil yourself. Gardeners can delight at the array of flowers and plants.


The Janis Joplin Show 8pm, Saturday 24 June 2017

Featuring Cry Baby, Move Over, Piece of My Heart, Me and Bobby McGee & many more hits Plus the influences of greats such as Bessie Smith, Leonard Cohen & Bob Dylan Chris Keeble Fish out a Water Productions Musical Direction by Jeremy Edwards Written and Directed by



g fee $3.30 bookin y pl ap ay m

Your local Tesla Powerwall 2.0 Certified Installer

Blues, jazz & a good dose of pure acid bohemian vintage rock!

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Issue 5 May 2017


Local Roaming

Marching Beat TO THE


This talented and versatile group of musicians, directed by John Saunders, will present an irresistible program of all-time greats that will have you humming all the way home on May 27. The NSW Police Band returns to the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre for a morning of fabulous music to entertain and delight you. With multi-award winning vocalist Belinda Adams, the NSW Police Band will take you on a journey through the big Broadway hits, movie themes, orchestral and timeless classics with this repertoire of favourites. The NSW Police Band was established in 1895 and is the longest standing concert band in Australia. It operates as a full time unit with professional musicians who are employed as Special Constables. The band is an external organisation but continues to maintain a significant link in ceremonial and social activities. The NSW Police Band is a high-profile public relations unit of NSW Police, helping to forge stronger links between the Police and the community. The 33-piece concert band, performs at outdoor concerts, major recitals, concerts at schools, and collaborates extensively with charitable organisations. The band has set the tone for numerous ‘Ticker Tape’ parades - Australian Cricket, Hockey and Rugby Union teams and Commonwealth and Olympic athletes - leading as a marching band for ceremonial and parade activities, including Police graduations and award ceremonies, State Government protocol events, Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. The NSW Police Band is part of the Morning Melodies series so you can enjoy a 10am Devonshire Tea, included in the ticket cost.

TICKETS ON SALE or at the Box Office 4723 7600





 2/129 Coreen Avenue, Penrith  0412 130 767



Community Roaming


Sydney Women


here’s a rising epidemic of women experiencing homelessness in Sydney and something needs to be done to help these women in crisis.

So why haven’t we heard more about it? Often scared to speak out in fear of being considered vulnerable and weak, they keep their situation private. Women usually have a good support network and can easily find themselves staying with friends in times of need. Therefore, we don’t necessarily see an increase among the number of women sleeping on Sydney streets, or an increasing in numbers on government databases, but these women are technically homeless. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. There are many services out there for women to seek assistance in times of crisis. Women’s Community Shelters (WCS), a not-for-profit, is one of these services. Women’s Community Shelters are working with the Federal Member for Lindsay, Ms Emma Husar to build a much needed second women’s shelter in Penrith. “We know that across a one month period this year already, 56 women and 95 children in our community were turned away from crisis accommodation because there were simply not enough beds. These were women fleeing violence in

their home, and many of them were forced to return to that violence,” Husar said. Having been a victim of domestic violence herself, it is a cause close to her heart. Husar shared her story in Parliament late last year, in hopes of advocating change. The start-up costs for this shelter is $50,000. With that in mind, Husar said, “in the absence of adequate funding from State and Federal Governments, we’re reaching out directly to the community to get this project off the ground”. “We’re asking locals to help raise an initial $25,000 to get this project started.” WCS chief executive officer Annabelle Daniel said, WCS will match the initial $25,000 through their corporate and philanthropic sponsors, and then provide two thirds of the recurrent operating funding for the first two years, and 50 per cent thereafter. “There are many ways to participate - through volunteering, fundraising, and donations in kind are all welcome. In each location we work with, we are delighted to see a ‘whole of community’ response to what is a pressing national issue,” Daniel said.


JOIN THE CAUSE & DONATE If you’d like to donate, you can visit our-shelters/#shelter-establishment and click on the link for the Penrith Shelter.





Issue 5 May 2017


Local History

Gerry O’Farrell IS AN AUTHENTIC PENRITH ELDER Having lived here for most of his life, he has witnessed changes in this region that the rest of us can only read about in the annals of history. This is His Story.


iling into a 1922 Dodge, four-year-old Gerry O’Farrell and his family left Bathurst and toured across New South Wales before deciding to call Penrith home.

It was a far different place back then. Roads were made from stones and pebbles and milk was delivered to the door by horse and cart. At school, Gerry and his siblings were all taught by nuns at St Joseph’s Convent. “We had a big can of milk each day and it was my job to dish out a cupful to each child,” recalls Gerry. “After finishing sixth grade at the convent I went to St Pat’s at Strathfield where I remember walking to Flemington railway station to save a penny to have money to buy a chocolate frog - the bus ride was a penny each way! “Penrith was seen then as a country town. A lot of kids at school did not know where it was.” Gerry’s parents owned and operated O’Farrell’s Bakery on High Street. Their neighbours included an ambulance station (a hand-operated bell instead of a siren) and a garage that housed the Cobb & Co. coaches that later travelled to the Blue Mountains. Gerry has fond memories of growing up in the area. “The businesspeople were always very welcoming and friendly,” he says.


“As children, we used to go to Neale Bros. and buy a bag of broken biscuits for a ‘three pence’.

“I was so very blessed to be married to Kate for 65 years only to lose her to heaven in July 2015,” says Gerry.

“I played tennis, cricket and football, competing against local teams in the area. I was also involved in starting the first Catholic Youth Organisation in Penrith and we went to dances all around the district. We loved our dances.”

“We had four children, Catherine, Anne, Helena and Gerard who was born sleeping. We also have four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.”

During war time, Gerry’s father worked as a warden and he walked the local streets, ensuring all lights were switched off. “During the Japanese raids on Sydney the Army guarded the Nepean Bridge with pick handles because they didn’t have guns,” says Gerry. “I remember being worried how I would get home from high school in Strathfield the day Japan invaded Darwin. We had air raid trenches dug in the playground. I was relieved to make it home by train.” Gerry’s first job was as a trainee carpenter at Blacktown, earning five shillings for a 44-hour week. He then worked at the family bakery before becoming a labourer, then foreman, at 3M where he hand-made the first abrasive belts in Australia, followed by 3M tape and other products. Through the Catholic Youth Organisation, Gerry met his wife, Kathleen (Katie), who he married in 1950. Being together and raising children shaped his life forever, according to Gerry.

Gerry says his parents made the right choice choosing Penrith years ago and he is proud to call it home. “Penrith has changed significantly since my early years. It has become a much richer area to enjoy a better life. The opportunities for young and old have improved with aged care and better hospitals and with the beautiful Nepean River and Blue Mountains as our backdrop – there is no better place to live and raise a family.”

Penrith was seen then as a country town. A lot of kids at school did not know where it was.



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The engraving says it all: “We’re Here To Be The Best,” and since 1967 the Penrith Panthers have been doing just that. Now you can celebrate your team with a handsome men’s chronograph which embodies the game and the club you love most! The case is hand-crafted of stainless steel for rugged good looks. The watch shows its true colours on the face with the official Panthers emblem that gets your heart racing at kick off and every minute of the day. Only 1,967 watches will ever be made, so act now to reserve yours for just five instalments of $49.99, a total of $249.95, plus $19.99 postage and handling. Our 120-day money-back guarantee ensures your satisfaction. Send no money now. Return the coupon or go online today! at




Show your pride for the team you love with a stunning new jewellery creation – “The Penrith Panthers Charm Bracelet,” only from The Bradford Exchange. Officially licensed by the NRL, this Panthers bracelet features 13 magnificently hand-crafted charms gleaming with rich 23K gold plating and genuine Swarovski crystals. Individual charms include two Panthers emblems, a Panthers jersey and glass beads hued in the Panthers colours. A stunning 18cm rope-style bracelet completes the look. This bracelet is remarkable value at $199.95, which can be yours in 5 easy instalments of $39.99, plus $19.99 postage and handling and backed by our unconditional 120-day guarantee. To reserve your bracelet, send no money now. Just return the coupon or go online today at

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Please allow up to 10 business days for delivery. All sales subject to product availability and reservation acceptance. Credit criteria may apply. Our privacy policy is available online at From time to time, we may allow carefully screened companies to contact you. If you would prefer not to receive such offers, please tick this box. q Issue 5 May 2017


Local Profile

JOE GRASSI A young Joe Grassi was larking around in a rowing club in Sydney when one of his school mates told him he’d never be able to pass the Diploma of Law at Sydney University. Now the Italian migrant, who hated having to ditch his homework to work in the family restaurant after school, intends to keep up his legal practice “as long as he can still hold a pen”.


oe Grassi never meant to stay in Penrith.

He had trekked out here as a newly qualified lawyer with just a couple of years in mind – enough time to learn the ropes then head back to Sydney. That was 38 years ago. It wasn’t just that the daily commute along the old Great Western Highway that brought him here permanently; nor was it the early offer of a partnership at Lamrocks (he was only in his 20s at the time), nor was it the fact that the long days kept him from his young family.

Lois and I have been blessed with our family – the kids loved growing up here and we love the lifestyle.

The self-confessed softie – he mostly takes on property, conveyancing, probate, estate planning and such work – does very little litigation work, preferring to leave emotional entanglements to others.

for the Education and Health Precinct and now setting up the Nepean Blue Mountains Education Research Foundation to raise funds for the local health district.

After his mate’s taunt he studied at night while working for a legal firm by day – he had ditched his role as a pen-pusher at the Institute of Technology – having, after a strong hint from his new employers, cropped his shoulder-length hair to be respectable enough to wander through legal corridors.

He just loved Penrith. “We bought an acre in Leonay with a reserve behind us, the golf course around the corner - and then revelled in the lifestyle,’’ he said from his office in Henry Street where he now runs his own growing legal practice. “It didn’t take us long to become involved in the community and the kids’ sporting activities and I loved dealing with the people in the area – I found it refreshing and I loved working five minutes from home.” Over the years he has become very involved with the community and the business world of Penrith, most notably the Chamber of Commerce – he is currently vice-president – as a board member of the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, a member of the Sydney West Area Health Service Research and Ethics Committee, on the task force 14

He is also the instigator of the pedestrian bridge across the Nepean – it was his letter to the then member for Penrith Karen Paluzzano pointing out the dangers of the Victoria Bridge that set the whole vast project rolling. “Penrith and the people of Penrith have provided me with a living. I’m not just taking a wage from them - they are giving me a lifestyle so I think it is important to give something back to the community. “I like to help and to be involved.”

He has a Masters degree in law from the University of Western Sydney and is now considering becoming a qualified mediator. But law wasn’t an obvious choice – at one stage he had his eyes on architecture and, with his family background, could also easily run an Italian restaurant. (When the kids know Dad’s cooking they are in their cars and up the M4 with forks at the ready before he’s even started peeling the onions.)

It is all a long way from his parents’ life as young Italians in the 1930s, eking out an existence in a Perth restaurant, then as cooks in a migrant hostel in Port Kembla then as owners of the Aurora restaurant in Forest Lodge in Sydney with the whole family working there seven days a week. “That was what life was like for us then.” The balance of professional and personal life in Penrith is something Joe has had to learn over the years, with family life being very important to him.



He is married to Lois, with three adult children, one in London and two in the inner city, and one beloved grandchild, Chloe, born just eight months ago.

1. He makes his own pasta. 2. He once owned a doberman. 3. He was once a martial arts devotee. 4. When he first started work as a young articled clerk his salary was $17 a week. 5. His idea of a lively dinner party would include Barak Obama, John Monash and Winston Churchill.

Joe acts for a number of residential developers who end up ensuring bulk transactions come his way.

Penrith has changed slowly since Joe has been here and he loves the vibe he sees now.

“If you treat people properly, give them the respect they deserve and try to minimise conflict they will refer you to others,” he said.

“We have a lot more coffee shops and places to go – I like to see people sitting in restaurants as I drive home at night. We never saw that before.

Outside work he gardens, runs, walks, hits the gym and – if you’re around Jamison Park – might be seen at the odd boot camp.

“Penrith used to be a dormitory suburb but I’d still like to see more activity in High Street, lots of high rise residential and commercial development and much more retail, all with a central hub, and plenty of bikes for hire.”

“You’ve got to have an outlet, a physical activity to let off steam and to find a balance in life.”

Setting up his own practice was quite brave – he was 58 and had always worked for established firms – but the very growth of Penrith has helped him and the other solicitors that now dot the city. “I believe that if you do good work for people they’re the best referrers so I don’t see the competition as a problem.”

And he needs it – if he can still think in 10 years’ time and beyond he will still be at his desk. He ain’t retiring any time soon.

contains Black Pepper for absorption

“I enjoy interacting with people, and the legal problems that people bring through the door are vast and varied. “It’s a great life, I have a great family and this area has a great lifestyle. “I’ve really been very lucky.”

Issue 5 May 2017


Lovin’ it local

What we are loving locally this month Officially Licensed Penrith Panthers Necklace

O’Donoghues Irish Pub The place to be on a Tuesday night is O’Donoghues Irish Pub. Every Tuesday they are serving up chicken and ribs for only $20. While you’re there why not get involved in Trivia Night – entry is free and there are plenty of prizes to be won. Trivia stars from 7:30pm.  Book your table by calling 02 4735 5509

Penrith Panthers ladies, are you ready to score some serious game-winning style points? Well, this season is your time to shimmer and shine with the fashionable “Penrith Panthers Necklace”. Officially licensed by the NRL, the edition features five charms accented with authentic team colours, precious rhodium and a genuine Swarovski crystal! Stylishly put together and ready to wear, our necklace is the perfect jewellery accessory for game day or any day!  or call (02) 9841 3311

Wickedly Delicious Burgers Newly opened Beefy’s Burgers are serving you up the freshest gourmet burgers in town. Get down to their restaurant located on High Street and try the Beefy Classic – we did and we loved it!  492 High Street, Penrith

Blue Sky Shutters Fresh Meals Your Way

Call Peter from Blue Sky Shutters for a free measure and quote. With nearly 20 years experience in the industry, he will be able to give you the best advice on all you need for your home. Blue Sky Shutters specialising in Plantation Shutters, Roller Blinds, Vertical Drapes, Dual Shades, Panel Glides, Security Doors, Grilles and Awnings.  Call for your free measure and quote Office 4733 6214 and Peter 0414 706 142

Puppy Preschool Coreen Ave Veterinary Clinic Puppy Pre-School provides the very best start for both you and your puppy, teaching you both basic training techniques before behavioural issues become ingrained. From 7:30pm to 8:30pm, one night a week for four weeks, your pup will learn basic skills in a positive, balanced and supportive learning environment.  Call 02 4731 3055 to book

Fresh Meals Your Way brings you freshly made, packaged meals that are created daily and delivered to your door. Meals start from as little as $6.00 and you can even customise your meal. They also prepare meals to cater to vegetarians, vegans and our gluten free friends.  Visit

New CoQ10 With Enhanced Absorption The proprietary AquaCelle delivery system in Blooms CoQ10 150 AquaCelle Enhanced may increase the absorption of CoQ10. CoQ10 is essential for the production of energy in the body and is found in virtually all body cells, but is especially concentrated in the heart and liver. Conveniently blister packed in 60 vegetarian capsules (two month supply). Always read the label, use only as directed. CHC71971-0117


F45 North Penrith Grand Opening May 6

Take Mum for Free If you want to treat mum to a night out, The Blue Mountains Theater and Community Hub are inviting you to take mum free to the showing of a classic “Mermaids”. You just need to mention Roaming when booking. Call the box office on 4723 5050 to secure your tickets, be quick tickets are selling fast. 

Here at Roaming we love the F45 phenomenon, get your friends together and book in for your twoweek free trial. We promise you will be back for more after your first session.

 Call/email owner Christine if you have any questions – 0412 130 767 or

Welcome to Seared Catering

Hot Property Land is selling fast at Penrith’s newest residential community – Caddens Hill. The next release includes a range of options to suit all lifestyles. Some lots feature a stunning outlook over the future hilltop park. 

We are very excited at the Penrith Gaels to welcome Seared Caterers as the new operators of our Shamrock Grill. They have a great lunch menu with meals starting at $10 and specialties with the “Taste of Ireland” boasting Guinness Pie and Gammon Steak. 


Get in touch with our friendly staff about booking one in and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Same Day Service & Reporting Available • Experienced • Caring • Friendly Staff • Well Trained Qualified Technicians & Doctors (North American Qualified MRI Fellowship Doctors)

• Penrith’s FIRST 3T WIDE BORE Digital MRI • Penrith’s LOWEST DOSE 640 SLICE CT Scanner • Digital X-ray & Ultrasound • OPG & Bone Density • Digital Tomosynthesis Mammography • Biopsy & Injection


For Medicare eligible examinations

ALL REFERRALS WELCOME Including Workers’ Compensation


Mon-Fri: 7am-8pm Sat: 8am-12pm

a. 362-368 High Street, Penrith p. 4789 0009 f. 4789 0010 Business Hours: Weekdays 8am-5pm, Saturday 8am-12pm Issue 5 May 2017


Luxe Less FOR



t is no secret I love to shop. One of my favourite categories to shop is jewellery. I never leave the house without, at the very least, a gorgeous ring, cuff or pendant to brighten me up. I love to purchase that stunning unique piece that speaks to me, that marks a moment in time and has some significance. My tastes range from the ultra modern to the timelessly traditional. I have so many meaningful pieces in my collection that I feel like my jewellery drawers are autobiographical. Ask me about a piece I am wearing and I will have a story about it. I confess some pieces are shamefully expensive and some not so but all valuable to me. Even my well chosen, less expensive items look good because I have applied some savvy strategies. Yes, you really can have Luxe for Less!

My Mother taught me some valuable lessons I am guided by to this day. LESSON 1. An item doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive. I would like a dollar for every time someone has complimented my 1ct diamond heart shaped studs. They are set in a beautiful 18ct yellow gold setting. They look, act and sparkle like they cost me $15k when really they are good quality cubic zirconia in a very good quality, real gold setting. Fashionable and beautiful does not have to cost a lot! LESSON 2. Listen to experts and industry insiders. If you can pick the brain of someone in the industry, take advantage of it. When purchasing diamonds I pick the brains of the experts to understand the four Cs. How Clarity, Colour, Cut and Carat weight determines what identifies a quality diamond. Even when selecting a modern sterling silver piece or two-tone modern design from Tiffany I want to know the insider secrets. This is how I learned about jewellery and have selected my personal collection. With a good eye for quality and some savvy insider advice, beautiful jewellery can be picked up for a song. Perhaps in time for a lovely Mother’s Day gift.

Some great jewellery pieces from The Online Jewellery Company


So what is the trick to Luxe for Less when choosing beautiful, affordable jewellery? 1 Look for great design – whether you love classic pieces

like a pair of studs (example top right) or the very latest ear jacket, choose items that have an eyecatching and comfortable design.

2 Beautiful workmanship - look for well set stones, with

true colour and good quality stones that pick up the light and sparkle.

3 Real metals – I do like costume jewellery however, I

avoid base metal jewellery at all costs. Not only because it doesn’t last very long and can go green on your skin but because I have an allergy to it. Many people do. Look for affordable, beautiful jewellery made with precious metal settings. Good quality gold plating on sterling silver can look as lustrous and flattering as the real thing. Affordable sterling silver based jewellery (even gold plated) will last longer, look real and agree with your skin – no greening.

Recently when shopping for a gift, I was delighted when I came across The Online Jewellery Company (let’s call them OJCO). I was browsing online for some gift suggestions for my Savvy Shopaholic’s Buyers Guide and happened upon Wow, they ticked all the boxes for me. OJCO are the insiders bringing amazing quality and delivering aggressive pricing due to the fact they are so well placed in the jewellery industry. It is like shopping with a wholesale insider. I Love, love, love this. They have much more than the standard jewellery fare they also regularly curate a selection of slick, modern pieces. I was so impressed by their range. OJCO are not offering the same old same old seen in every suburban shopping mall. If you are buying for a loved one, perhaps looking for a lovely piece for your Mum, peruse the OJCO Crystal pieces set in gorgeous sterling silver settings. Yes, they are from the best crystal company in the world, Swarovski of course! I love the gorgeous bling rings.

It was when I was chatting to the team at OJCO about designing a “shopaholic” necklace (shown above) for me that we decided to collaborate. The more I browsed the more excited I got by the range, the designs, the quality and, of course, the wonderful value. I can feel a whole new chapter in my jewellery biography about to be purchased. Lucky for me OJCO also have Zip pay which will allow me to power shop now and pay later no interest! Now you can see why I love, love, love OJCO! The success of the online market has positively impacted the price we pay, the quality delivered and how products come to market. The best news is that the ease of online communication has also opened opportunities for shoppers to avoid the costly middleman and shop with the experts. Now you can shop like an insider too!

HOT SHOPPING TIPS FOR MOTHER’S DAY 1. Check out your local market for artisan made gifts, don’t just head to the shopping mall. Paddy’s has some fabulous and unusual gifts for your Mum and you can snap up a bargain on a bunch of flowers too. 2. Give the gift of an experience rather than a product. If Mum loves to learn head to and buy her lessons with Gordon Ramsay on Cooking, Kevin Spacey for Acting or perhaps Christina Aguilera if she loves to sing. The are so many famous masters giving classes on this website. It is a stunning gift. 3. Shop for ingredients, not just prezzies. Make Mum her favourite dish, dessert or snack so she feels extra indulged.

Local Business ROAMING WITH



ere’s one lady in Emu Plains, who is on a mission to change the rhetoric into palatable morsels of information, that even I find hard to resist. Susan Williams from Zest Nutrition has a simple philosophy; it’s a non-diet approach to dieting.

>> HOW LONG HAS YOUR BUSINESS BEEN OPERATING? I started Zest in 2007, this year will be the 10th anniversary!! >> WHEN/HOW WAS IT FOUNDED? I completed my studies in 2000 and thought “I’ve made a dreadful mistake” and ran away from dietetics. I worked in medical nutrition sales for about 5 years and loved it! I intended to return to this role part time after my first daughter was born, but the company structure changed during my maternity leave and I had to return part time. I lasted a little over a year. I decided I didn’t want to work full time, travel, work late and it was time to revisit this dietetics degree, but maybe I could do it my way. And so, Zest was born. >> HOW MANY STAFF DO YOU EMPLOY? I’m a sole operator but over the last 10 years I have had 4 other dietitians working for me. I’ve had 2 more daughters and I’ve needed other dietitians to fill my shoes. Those dietitians have gone on to do PhD’s and/ or have babies of their own. I’ve streamlined Zest significantly in the last 2 years and now it’s back to being me again. >> WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS INDUSTRY? Prior to Dietetics I studied a Bachelor of Hospitality Management, so food, eating, and people have always been of interest. During my hospitality training I had excellent nutrition and food microbiology lecturers, I found those subjects really interesting. I started working at Panthers as part of my industry experience for my hospitality degree. I met my now husband around this time (we worked together in Dominiques!!) and he was studying physiotherapy and so the world of allied health opened up to me. Prior to that I didn’t even know dietitians existed!

Some people might say “what do you mean, relationship with food?” but if you struggle, you know what I’m talking about.

>> NAME THE SERVICES YOUR BUSINESS OFFERS. I’m known as a non-diet dietitian. This means I work in a weight neutral way. I work with people who have a difficult relationship with food. B/O Some people might say “what do you mean, relationship with food?” but if you struggle, you know what I’m talking about. My clients tend to “know what to do” but struggle with how to do it. They battle feeling guilty about their eating choices and then overeating because “well I’ve messed up anyway”. I would say the majority are chronic dieters and started dieting in their early teens. I work with them to help them develop a more peaceful calm relationship with food and their body. I also work a lot with body image in teens and adults. >> WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK? I love that my work builds up my clients’ confidence, their sense of their own competence and their self worth. What I offer is sustainable and positive. So much in the world of diet and weight is negative and disempowering and downright damaging, helping someone heal their eating and body relationship goes some way to undoing that.

>> WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF WHAT YOU DO? When clients trust me enough to tell me something they’ve never told anyone before, or when they have an amazing insight that changes the way they think about themselves in a really positive way. It is incredibly powerful. >> ANY HIGHLIGHTS/ACHIEVEMENTS THAT YOU ARE PROUD OF? Any time someone refers a friend gives me a little burst of pride, and gratitude, there’s nothing quite like that level of trust. I’ve recently been nominated for a Changemaker award in the Altitude Awards which really tickled me, maybe I’m starting to get a troublemaker reputation!! haha. >> HAVE THERE BEEN ANY CHALLENGES YOU HAVE OVERCOME? The non-diet approach is slowly gaining traction as we start to realise literally nothing is working to change our countries weight status. Good evidence shows that every approach – all the big names as well as the crazy fads have the same 95-97% failure rate in the long term!!! Yet people are still advised to lose weight for their health. Focussing on health behaviours is the foundation of the non-diet approach and it’s still seen as somewhat controversial, crazy. So, in short every day offers challenges, working in a way that isn’t conventional is a bit like swimming upstream. My clients’ reactions to the way we work together is what helps overcome the challenges. >> HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS GROWN OR CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? When I started Zest I tried to be everything to everyone. I worked for nursing homes, corporates, childcare, saw every referral sent my way. As I’ve got older (I’m not sure if its wiser or crankier!!!) I’ve really narrowed my practice to the work I love, the work that brings me joy and great satisfaction. I’ve had to be really brave and say no to things. I’ve recently changed my hours so I can have more time with my children, they are only young once and I’m trying my best to role model the importance of self care and prioritising. It’s tough and I’m extraordinarily grateful to the amazing people who love and support me and make it all possible. >> WHAT IS THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS? Authenticity, passion and a bit of fun. Life is short. >> WHAT DO YOU APPRECIATE MOST ABOUT BEING PART OF THIS COMMUNITY? I love where I live and work. I’ve been in the Nepean/ Hawkesbury/Blue Mountains region since I moved to Australia in 1981. People are friendly and look out for each other, there’s plenty of space, beautiful natural beauty, a great food/restaurant/café culture, terrific live entertainment – bands, plays, ballet, excellent schools. I am lucky to have a lovely close knit group of friends who all live and work in the area, our children know each other and play sport or go to school together. It’s wonderful.



Get in touch with Susan by visiting

Issue 5 May 2017


Local Pets


Pets with Arthritis

Local Vet

Dr Erin Short Coreen Avenue Veterinary Clinic

According to Sydney Vet Dr Rachele Lowe, there are a number of ways you can help your pet once stiffness in their joints starts to cause them a problem. First and foremost you need to keep their weight under control, but there are many other practical ways you can relieve symptoms of pain associated with arthritis.

Lily Poisoning in Cats

Arthritis is unfortunately really common and can be a devastating disease for both dogs and cats but the good news is, is that there are lots of things you can do to help an animal that suffer from arthritis.

During May, many people buy flowers for Mother’s Day. Lilies, commonly in flower arrangements are toxic to cats as they cause kidney failure. The toxic chemical in lilies is unknown but all components of the plant are toxic – this includes the petals, stamen, leaves and pollen. The Liliaceae family is large, containing more than 160 genera of plants, however only plants belonging to the genera Lilium (true lilies) and Hemerocallis (day lilies) have been associated with renal failure in cats.

At home, for example, you’ve got to make sure they’re nice and slim. For dogs and cats with arthritis, the less weight they have to carry around with them, the better they’ll cope and frankly, the longer they’ll live. The other thing you should think about with dogs is tapering their exercise program and making it consistent. They need to do a little bit of exercise a day but it should be non-jarring. So swimming rather than running; walking for little distances rather than pounding the pavement and that really helps. Thirdly, make sure you look after the areas that they sleep. They need to be nice and warm, they should have nice and soft >> SUPPLEMENTS could be invaluable in preventing and treating arthritis. These types of supplements include chondroitin, glucosamine, zinc and rose-hip. Rose-hip is a really good example of an organic, natural antiinflammatory and anti-oxidant that you can add to the food.


Cats and kittens are inquisitive and will often play, bite and chew parts of the plant. This can easily occur without owners noticing. Even ingestion of 1-2 petals or leaves or chewing at the plant can be enough to cause fatal toxicity.

bedding. You can even think about a nice hot water bottle and a nice protective kennel if you live in a cold area particularly. Supplement products are really easy to administer. The Rose-Hip Vital Canine, for example, just add a certain number of scoops to the meal depending on the weight of the dog. Then after that, pain relief is really important. Arthritic pain is just the same in cats and dogs as it is in people and the vet will prescribe some anti-inflammatory pain relief medication. So as long as you do all those things and keep them nice and slim, they’ll go on for a long time comfortably.

Dr Rachele Low is’s resident vet.

Signs of lily toxicity usually start within several hours of ingestion and signs may include depression, loss of appetite and vomiting. Within 1-3 days, the toxin will cause sudden kidney failure and this will cause pain, drooling, vomiting and a marked reduction in the amount of urine produced. At this stage, aggressive treatment is needed. Even with treatment cats can still die. If you suspect your cat may have ingested lilies it is vital that you seek immediate veterinary attention as early detection and treatment is vital. If treatment is started as soon as ingestion is noted the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent. If you have cats you should never have lilies in your house or garden.

Local Neighbourhood


Breast Check

Are you Breast Aware? Do you have a detailed look and feel once a month for any signs of change?


IF YOU ARE CONCERNED WE STRONGLY ADVICE TO VISIT YOUR GP. High Street Medical Imaging offers Digital Mammography services performed by female radiographers from 9am- 5pm during weekdays. Please call to make an appointment and bring your referral with you on the day. P. 4789 0009 A. 362-368 High Street, Penrith

You know your breasts better than anyone else so if you don’t already check - now is the time to start. Early detection is the best prevention. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.

STEP 1 - The Shower Check Put your left hand behind your head. With the sensitive pads on your right fingers, use small circular movements to examine your left breast for anything unusual. At first feel lightly, checking for anything near the surface. Then press quite firmly, feeling for anything deeper. Continue around the breast, checking all areas. Also examine above your breast, up to the collarbone and out to the armpit. Then do the same for the right side.



The Breast Unit also undertakes clinical trials and ground breaking research.

STEP 2 - The Bathroom Mirror Check After showering, place your hands at your sides and check your breasts in the mirror. Look for anything that is not normal for your breasts - changes in color, size or shape, any dimpling of the skin or “pulling in” of the nipple. Put your hands on your hips and push your shoulders forward to flex your chest muscles. Finally, raise your hands above your head and check for any changes.

STEP 3 - Check Lying Down Lie on your left side with your knees bent, roll your shoulders back so they are flat on the bed. Place your right arm under your head. Your breast should now be as flat as possible. Examine your right breast using the methods outlined in Step 1. Reverse procedure to check other breast.


The Breast Unit at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a holistic treatment, research and education facility for breast cancer. It provides breast cancer surgery, oncology, radiotherapy and reconstruction treatment for patients which is coordinated by a multidisciplinary clinic.

If you would like to donate, please visit

3 THE NSW WOMEN’S BREAST CENTRE NEEDS YOUR HELP! The NSW Women’s Breast Centre are raising funds for a tomosynthesis mammogram machine that costs $310,000. This machine uses 3D cutting edge technology and provides enhanced diagnostic possibilities for women. If you would like to make a donation, contact the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation on P. 9382 6720.

If you do find something, or notice any changes in your breasts, see your GP immediately. Selfexamination should be done in addition to, and not as a substitute for yearly breast examinations by your GP, and screening mammograms every two years (these are available free of charge through BreastScreen NSW by calling 13 20 50). It’s important to remember that the vast majority of breast changes aren’t cancer, but visit your GP as soon as possible anyway to see if further testing is needed.

Issue 5 May 2017



Extraordinary Women IN OUR COMMUNITY Cassandra Elliott

Brooke Elliott


ne night, while cooking, Brooke needed some herbs, but didn’t want to drive to the shop to get some. She thought ‘I wish we had a herb garden.’ Now, two years later, Brooke Elliott and her family have created the Bligh Park Community Garden, right in their front yard. Brooke’s main motivation was to help those in her community offering free herbs and seasonal fruits and veggies. She wants to bring a sense of community back to the neighbourhood, like when she was younger, through getting to know her neighbours, and hopes this sense of giving is something that will rub off onto her three boys. “So that was my idea, to save people money in their pockets, plus also bring people together,” she says. Over one week, the garden will donate to an average of 50 people, whom she calls her ‘regulars’. Local community members often thank her, but Brooke’s not after that, she says, “it’s not about me, it’s about everybody else.” As well as fully funding and establishing the community garden with her family, Brooke runs an embroidery and laser-engraving business and a charity, all from her home in Bligh Park. “I do have three boys, I have a mortgage to pay, I do have a business, and I run a charity at the same time, as well as our community garden,” she says. Through their charity, Giving For Life, Brooke’s raised just under $60,000 in the last seven years for different charities. The idea started when she hosted a breast cancer breakfast, which no one wanted to attend, so she changed it to a trivia night, which was successful. Now she raises money for many different causes this way, through her charity. Brooke’s also found a way to incorporate her laser-engraving business into the garden, she’s made little garden signs like ‘please pick me’, and ‘available soon’. Everything grown in their garden is pretty-much organic, because they don’t use any pesticides, they use crushed egg shells to repel bugs and seaweed solution to feed them. The local community have been very receptive of the garden, many people come to take a sprig of herbs for their dinner, people walking past, grab an ear of corn, and kids really enjoy their themed garden on holidays.

For me it’s just helping other people, and I’m hoping that we’re raising our boys to do the same thing in the future a little bit upset. Someone had sent their kids to pick all the pumpkins they had growing. “We do live in a very low-income earning area, Bligh Park. I don’t have a problem with people taking, that’s what they’re there for, I just wish people would be a little more courteous, there are other people out there who will like some too. This doesn’t mean you take them all. Who needs five pumpkins -I don’t know?” The garden’s run entirely by the Elliott family. Brooke says, the boys “get a bit distracted at times, being boys, but they definitely like helping out where they can,” and her husband built the garden out of tin and helps her maintain it. “It’s all out of our own pocket,” she says, “my husband and I try to be very community orientated.” “For me it’s just helping other people, and I’m hoping that we’re raising our boys to do the same thing in the future. I’m hoping that it rubs off on them.” To nurture this sense of community and giving, Brooke encourages people to “take what you need, not what you want.”

TRIVIA NIGHT FOR CHARITY Save the date... 19th of August 2017 For more details get in touch with Brooke P. 4572 7444 E.

There was one incident though, Brooke says, that gets her 22


Extraordinary Women

Holly Priddis


o you think you’re using your time efficiently? Holly Priddis is. She says she’s very good at time management, because she knows about being busy. Holly’s a Midwifery Researcher, University Lecturer, Co-Founder of the Luke Priddis Foundation, Advisory Committee Member at Beyond Blue, along with being a birth photographer, supportive wife, and devoted mother of four. Holly thanks her husband for what she’s achieved, saying, “neither of us would have achieved what we have, without the other person. We’re such a strong team.”

When their third child was just 2 years old, they noticed he was becoming more withdrawn. At 2 and a half, Cooper was diagnosed with Autism, which had a far-reaching impact on their whole family. At the time, Holly and her husband didn’t know much about Autism. They learned the best possible outcome for their child would be achieved with early intervention, so they sought out ways they could help him. Using the status of her Rugby-playing husband to create a further reach, the Luke Priddis Foundation was opened in 2007 to help support families affected by Autism.

If we’re strong, compassionate and dedicated, they can follow our lead. I want all my children to know that anything’s possible

While all of this was going on, Holly was working as a Midwife, and obtaining her Honours at university. She says it was challenging, but she had the support of her husband, which made it possible. Since then, Holly has achieved her PHD in Birth Trauma Research and became a Midwifery Lecturer at Western Sydney University.

child when you’re gone? That’s the biggest concern for us,” she says. Now Cooper’s 15, Holly worries about his future. Some of the services available to him now, will only be there until he’s 18, then their family will have to re-assess their situation again. Cooper’s diagnosis means that he may never be fully independent. Holly explained that even if someone receives the same diagnosis, every person on the spectrum displays these traits completely differently. She says, “to meet one person with autism, is to meet one person with autism.” There are some options available for young adults with developmental issues, like cooperative home arrangements with part-time or full-time carers, this is something the Priddis’s may consider looking into in a few years. Holly says, “the services for teenagers and young adults is really lacking.” The Luke Priddis Foundation is constantly growing and is driven by the needs of the community and through their experience, they have noticed a gap in the system for these young adults. “My motivation is to make the world a better place for my children,” says Holly. With her eldest son currently studying towards a Master’s Degree, she hopes her commitment and dedication is something that’s been passed down to her children. Holly said, “although I’ve achieved a lot, my greatest achievement is being a mother.”

Holly’s many roles all include working with women, she enjoys supporting and “embracing other women and their journey’s through life; becoming a midwife, or a mother.” She says, “working with women inspires everything I do.”

As parents, “we say a lot of things to our children that they ignore, but by being a rolemodel, hopefully they follow us. If we’re strong, compassionate and dedicated, they can follow our lead.”

It hasn’t been easy for the Priddis family. Holly says, they’ve had to constantly re-assess their lives and they’re always concerned about the future of their children. “Who will care for your

Holly says, “I want all my children to know that anything’s possible.”

Issue 5 May 2017




indness with no strings,’ are the founding ethos for Mama Lanas Community Foundation (MLCF).One couple’s love of giving, helped bring their family closer together. Lana Borg and husband, Roger helped feed the firefighters battling the Blue Mountain Bush Fires in 2013. They both found they shared a passion in helping their community, so together they founded Mama Lanas. MLCF is a not-for-profit, offering meals, clothing, supplies, and services to the homeless and underprivileged in the greater Penrith region. These services are offered with a smile, to improve the lives, and prospects of the disadvantaged in their community. The meal service runs 6 nights a week, MondaySaturday, from the same location, providing hot meals and clothing, along with takeaway items and a footpath library. They also offer direction for those in need of other services. Currently operating out of two vans, Lana says, ultimately, they want to have a permanent facility, to offer some more dignity to their patrons. “That’s our main goal, to be able to have a facility where they can come and actually get them off the street, and sit down and eat with a bit more dignity than we’re doing now.” “So until we can find a facility and until we can actually get the support behind us to sustain the rent, we really can’t move forward,” she says. Lana says, MLCF receives a great amount of donations, but the financial support is what’s really needed to keep them providing for a variety of people every day.

Lana Borg “We’ve got families that come down that are just managing to pay bills, and have no money left for food, then we’ve got our homeless; a combination of rough-sleepers and couch-surfers. Then we’ve got the teenagers up to 25, there’s a pretty big bunch of them we’ve got, that can’t seem to find work, can’t keep housing, and are mainly on the streets.” The couple are married with six kids, four grandkids, and another one on the way. They both work full time, six days a week, and run Mama Lanas every afternoon, after work. They come from a cooking and catering background, and Lana says they both get the same amount of joy from helping others. “We’re very fortunate, I think, both my husband and I are both passionate about the same cause, and we both support each other 100% where Mama Lanas is concerned, and we both put in the same amount of time and effort and it brings us both the same amount of joy, which is great,” she says. Having been down on their luck themselves, the couple understand, what a service like this can do for someone. Lana says, awareness of the service is just as important. People need to know where to turn in their time of need. “We actually nearly lost everything, about 8 or 9 years ago,” Lana says, “we literally went hungry so many nights, we made sure our kids ate, and we would go without.” “We didn’t even know that there were services out there, that could’ve helped us back then. So that’s what our main goal was, to create something that people knew was there, that existed, so that if they’re in that situation they don’t have to go hungry.”

That’s our main goal, to be able to have a facility where they (patrons) can come and actually get them off the street Lana says, the younger kids, who are still at home, are always helping with Mama Lanas. In honour of this extraordinary woman in our community, we asked Lana to offer some pearls of wisdom, to her children, that we could immortalise in print. She said: “Never walk past somebody without asking if they’re ok.” “I hope they always continue to always think of others,” and she hopes they all continue to be grateful for what they have, and don’t take anything for granted. MLCF has “definitely brought the whole family closer together,” she says, “making us very grateful for what we have, even though we don’t have much ourselves.”

GET HELP, OR HELP THE CAUSE If you’re in need of some help, or you’d like to offer some support, visit


Extraordinary Women

Michele Ellery


here’s a silent epidemic traumatising our kids. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2005, One million, two hundred and ninety-four thousand people living in Australia had experienced sexual abuse before the age of 15. That’s over 337,000 young boys and almost 957,000 young girls who are victims of sexual abuse in one year, right here in our backyard. Bear in mind, this does not reflect the total number of incidents, as most sexual abuse in children goes unreported. With stats like this, why isn’t something being done? With Penrith being the second highest suburb in the state for domestic violence and child sex abuse, Michele Ellery decided to do something. She established the Queen of Hearts Community Foundation in Penrith. “The Queen of Hearts Community Foundation is a legacy for future survivors of abuse and violence, that will provide a safe place for their journey of justice and healing,” Ms Ellery says. Offering a range of support to victims of child sexual abuse and domestic violence, the foundation provides free services to men, women, and children in their time of need. The Queen of Hearts Community Foundation (QOHCF) has been running for 3 and a half years. Ms Ellery set out to reduce the significant waiting time for victims seeking assistance.

“The services here are great, but with an 8-10 week waiting list, it’s just not satisfactory given the current demand,” she says. The QOHCF have a 7-10 day waiting list for these vital services, which, she says, is achieving their objective. Despite having their demand triple since last September, Ms Ellery is an unpaid volunteer of her own organisation. Being non-government funded, the QOHCF fundraise continuously to make sure victims are receiving these services free of charge. Some of the free services provided include; counselling, group programs, case-management, referrals, advocacy and education programs and support.

I think it rocks that you can stand up to a bully and say no... ... it’s the survivor who is the bravest, and the strongest, they just don’t realise it yet.

They’re always looking for support, if you’d like to offer yours, visit their website, www.queenofhearts. The QOHCF offer an educational service called The Yell and Tell Safety Show for children, which Ms Ellery hopes to get into schools to further spread awareness. Created with Western Sydney University, it’s designed for young children to be more cyberaware and provides resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers. You can find out more about the program through the QOH website.


If you, or anyone you know, are experiencing sexual abuse or domestic violence, please call 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732 for support, any time. This free national hotline is always available and confidential.

The stigma about sexual abuse of children needs to be addressed and removed. Kids need to know where to turn and that they have the right to be safe. In most cases the key factor to aid in a child’s recovery is the support of the mother. Ms Ellery’s not only the founder and CEO of the Queen of Hearts, she’s also a mother of three. Having a personal connection to this cause, Ms Ellery offers some pearls of wisdom to those who may be experiencing abuse.

The Queen of Hearts Community Foundation can be contacted on 1300 856 737 and is located at Suite 4, 129-133 Henry Street, Penrith, NSW. They welcome walk-ins, if you’d like to speak to someone in person.

She encourages you to speak out where there is darkness. “To me, every step forward is always a successful step,” she says, and “I think it rocks that you can stand up to a bully and say no.” Ms Ellery reminds us, “it’s the survivor who is the bravest, and the strongest, they just don’t realise it yet.” Issue 5 May 2017




Lo cal





hen Firass Dirani told his parents he wanted to become an actor at the age of four, they didn’t realise how serious he was.

While some people take years to determine which career path to pursue, Firass says he always knew. “For as long and early as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to do this. It never varied. It was always the same line of dreaming and thinking.” Despite his passion for acting, Firass says his parents did not initially support his decision, instead encouraging him to embark on a career in law, medicine or engineering. “My parents are traditional so they didn’t really like the idea. They saw acting as a huge risk. “When I started getting paid – that’s when things turned. “I received one of my first substantial payments for the film Pitch Black when I was 18 and Mum thought I had made a mistake when I read the amount on the cheque. “It turned out I hadn’t made a mistake and from that day on her perspective shifted.” Now a Logie Award-winning actor, Firass’s television credits include Underbelly: The Golden Mile, The Straits and House Husbands. He has also appeared on the big screen, with films such as Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson, Pitch Black with Vin Diesel and Killer Elite starring Robert De Niro, Jason Statham and Clive Owen. Firass says it was amazing working with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. “Robert De Niro has been an acting icon of mine since forever and is one of the best, if not the best, still in the game right now. To get the opportunity to work opposite him was a dream come true. I remember thinking, ‘How the hell did I get here?’. It was definitely a pinch myself moment. But I just kept reminding myself to be present and breathe.

Photography credit: Marcus Hart  @marcushartimages

‘He is so good at what he does that I felt like the luckiest actor in that moment.” Firass has come a long way from his days growing up in Werrington but the actor has fond memories of childhood. A sporting enthusiast, he played basketball and soccer and often rode his bicycle through Werrington Lakes. And then there were the family barbecues – magnificent Lebanese feasts featuring his mother’s popular home cooking. “Chicken skewers sizzling on the coals with fattoush and tabouli salads waiting to be served, bowls of freshly whipped garlic... we loved Mum’s cooking,” says Firass. “She’d always go an extra mile preparing food and because my Dad and uncles all owned supermarkets, we would share anecdotes and laugh about episodes that occurred days or weeks prior.” In fact, Firass’s parents still own the supermarket where he worked as a check-out operator from the age of 13. “People love to tell you intimate stories at the checkout counter,” recalls Firass. “I just think people

sometimes need someone to confide in and I found myself playing the role of a therapist as well as being a clerk. You get to bend the rules working for family because it’s not so regimented. I had a problem taking orders from my older brothers and so at times it got a little heated because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I loved to stir things up. Being the youngest - and being an ‘accident’, as mum would be put it - I felt the need to prove myself.” Firass says he and his mother are both ‘passionate and fiery’ and he credits her for teaching him the value of respect. “She has always drilled into me to respect myself and respect people. She was always mindful in what we wore and the people we hung with. As a kid, under specialists’ orders, I needed a specific diet because I was lacking red blood cells. She went out of her way to create a diet that was high in iron which consisted of beans, lentils and greens. That must have taken a lot of patience and extra work. “There was no room for fast food unless she was making burgers at home. Mum was careful of what we ate as kids and I thank her for that.”

Firass says he and his mother are both ‘passionate and fiery’ and he credits her for teaching him the value of respect.

In addition to family, friends were important to Firass growing up. He particularly enjoyed visiting a boy called Sam who lived on a farm. “I remember going to Sam’s house to ride quad bikes and go for walks in the national park at the back of his house. When it was cold we’d build a fire and design makeshift tree swings. My family lived in surburbia so to visit him was a real treat because he lived on acreage with cows and horses. It was nice to escape to the farm every once in a while.” Firass visits home whenever he is in Sydney, spending time with family including his two nephews, and leaves feeling ‘more centred and nourished’. The majority of the time, though, Firass is based is Melbourne where House Husbands is filmed. “The fact the show is shot in Melbourne is brilliant. I’ve come to really love Melbourne city as my second home...the people, the food, the coffee, it’s easy to get around. I’m a big fan,” he says. As for his House Husbands character Justin Baynie, Firass says they have quite different personalities. “I’m much more tongue in cheek and jovial. If drama imposed itself on me in real life as it did in the show, I’d be in real trouble. I tend to avoid drama in life, at all costs. Justin has had so much drama in his life, from raising three kids alone to losing his wife and having brotherly issues. He has truly been through the ringer. “But as an actor, it’s about exploring different sides to yourself and the journey of Justin has allowed me to do that.” One of the things Firass loves most about House Husbands is working with the cast and crew. “Some of these actors have been doing it for a long time and it’s a gift to get to mix it up with them on a daily basis. You’re always observing, learning and crafting. It’s a never-ending process and that’s what I love about it. There’s no perfect performance.”

Issue 5 May 2017


Acting is a ‘tonne of fun’, according to Firass, which is why he loves it so much.

Seizing new opportunities is important in life, Firass believes.

“Firstly, you get to play different characters that you get to create yourself in imagined and manipulated worlds. Whether it’s comedy, drama or action, you get the opportunity to explore new experiences within whatever genre the writers have created. With every job, there’s a new story, fresh crew and a new location which keeps it exciting.

“Challenging yourself or pushing boundaries is paramount as an evolutionary species.

As much as Firass enjoys being in front of the camera, he also loves being behind it and he recently wrote, produced and directed a short film, Bang! Bang!. When he is not working, he enjoys keeping fit with yoga, meditation, callisthenics and boxing to ‘keep motivated and energised’. He also enjoys the rewards that come from volunteering. “I just came back from a trip to Kenya. I spent six weeks there volunteering at two organisations. I ran a sports program, where I taught boxing and played soccer every afternoon with disadvantaged kids. I also built soccer posts and donated goods to the centre. I’ve always wanted to volunteer my time in Africa and having spent some time there now, I have a real inside perspective on the situation in Kenya.”

“I don’t believe opportunities are given to you, you create and manifest opportunities through dedication and hard work.” As for aspiring actors eager to follow in his footsteps, Firass says it is important to make bold choices and stay true to yourself. “Don’t listen to anyone but yourself. By that, I mean listen to your heart. Always ask yourself, ‘What is my truth here? What will make heart sing - for me, not anyone else? And the answer will always come knocking.” RECENT FILMOGRAPHY >> MOVIE - Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child (2016). Character: Carmel >> MOVIE - Hacksaw Ridge (2016) Character: Vito Rinnelli >> TV SERIES - House Husbands (2012 - 2017) Character: Justin

I don’t believe opportunities are given to you, you create and manifest opportunities through dedication and hard work

On the set of The Osiris Child

House Husbands, always full of surprises

Firass starring in Hacksaw Ridge


Playimg Justin in House Husbands

Photography credit: Marcus Hart  @marcushartimages, House Husbands images - Greg Noakes 

“But in the end, as actors, we are storytellers and when all elements in making a series or film come together, if we spark someone’s imagination, influence their perspective or affect the audience emotionally, then we have done our job.”

“If you’re not reading, creating new opportunities for yourself, travelling and meeting new people, then you’ve given up on yourself.

Local Section

Issue 5 May 2017


Roaming Food

Guilty Pleasures MOTHER’S DAY

Chocolate Mousse This simple recipe is one of my all time favourites, Who ever knew something so tasty that uses so little ingredients could be good for you? Sweetened with rice malt syrup this mousse is low fructose and can be whipped up in minutes. Set in the fridge and serve chilled. INGREDIENTS > 400m can of coconut cream > ½ cup rice malt syrup or Coconut Nectar > ¼ tsp Vanilla Bean Powder > ½ cup Cacao Powder DIRECTIONS > Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a blender and set in the fridge for 5 hours or more. For best results store over night. > Step 2: For a peppermint mousse, add 1 tsp of spearmint flavouring. Article printed from Loving Earth: Web address to article:

3 Ways

Brussels sprouts with pancetta, almonds and sherry vinegar.

WITH MONTECATINI You can’t keep a good man down. When Roland Melosi of Montecatini Smallgoods finally retires, it will be his third time. Montecatini Speciality Smallgoods Unit 1/6 Roberston Pl Penrith NSW 2750 P. 47212550 Open 8am-3pm Mon-Fri Open 9am-3pm Sat



is first business was the well-known Melosi Smallgoods which he sold. After a brief period of retirement he operated a quail farm near Kemps Creek then he retired again. Roland’s second retirement was short lived. In 2009 he started Montecatini Smallgoods which operates out of a warehouse in South Penrith. Roland named Montecatini after his fathers’ birthplace in Italy. Montecatini supplies a wide range of award winning Italian smallgoods; salami, prosciutto, pancetta as well as the lesser known but no less delicious cotechino, bresaola and his famous pork and fennel sausages. The products are stocked by leading supermarkets but nothing beats going into the retail outlet in South Penrith and meeting the man himself.

> Put 2 cups finely sliced brussels sprouts in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. > Drain well and set aside. This will make them tender. > Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan on high heat and cook 200g chopped rosemary pancetta for a couple of minutes, until golden. > Stir through 2 cloves crushed garlic and the brussels sprouts. > Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. > Pour in 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds and handful chopped flat leaf parsley. > Season with sea salt and ground pepper and stir to combine. > Serve with grilled fish, prawns or chicken.


Unlike prosciutto, pancetta is raw and requires cooking.




Banana + Salted Caramel Spelt Muffins Salted caramel chocolate and bananas taste as though they were made for one another. You’ll see what we mean after eating one of these incredible Banana and Salted Caramel spelt muffins. SERVES 6 INGREDIENTS For the dry ingredients > 2 cups White Spelt Flour > 1 cup Sugar of choice > 1 + ½ tsp Baking Powder > ½ tsp Baking Soda > ½ tsp Salt > 1 tsp Cinnamon For the wet ingredients > 1 tbsp Ground Flaxseed (mixed with 3 tbsp Water) > 3 Large Bananas, mashed > ½ cup Vegetable oil > ½ cup Coconut Milk > 2 tsp Vanilla Essence > 1 block of Loving Earth Salted Caramel Chocolate, roughly chopped


DIRECTIONS > Step 1: Preheat oven to 170º. > Step 2: Whisk together the dry ingredients. > Step 3: Whisk together the wet ingredients (except chocolate) until well combined. > Step 4: Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined – do not overmix! > Step 5: Divide into a lined muffin tray and bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

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$1 from every gift voucher sold will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Australia

Article printed from Loving Earth: Web address to article: recipe/desserts/banana-salted-caramel-spelt-muffins/ Credit: Sam Murphy of So Beautifully Real for Loving Earth

Bresaola with parmesan, rocket and truffle oil.

> Arrange 12 thin slices of bresaola (air cured beef fillet) on a platter. > Scatter over a handful of small rocket leaves. > Use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave 100g parmesan cheese over the rocket leaves. > Drizzle with just a small amount of truffle oil (available at Montecatini or large supermarkets) and finish off with freshly ground black pepper and some lemon squeezed over. > Serve as a starter with crusty bread.

Pasta with prosciutto, 3 prawns, lemon and chilli. > Cook 400g spaghetti according to packet instructions. Drain well and set aside. > Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large frying pan. > Add 20 large, peeled and deveined raw prawns and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until the prawns are pink. > Stir through 4 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (more if you like it hot) and stir fry with the prawns for just 1 minute, to flavour the oil. > Stir through 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 loose-packed cup of chopped flat leaf parsley. Add the pasta, using tongs to combine all the ingredients. > Remove from the heat and stir through 8 slices of prosciutto, roughly torn. > Remember, prosciutto is already cured so it doesn’t need cooking. > Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Delivered fresh to your door

Issue 5 May 2017



In his words. June 2016: “I am Nawal Khatiwada, a registered nurse at Nepean Hospital. I am also an artist and a former refugee from Bhutan to Nepal. I was nine when I left Bhutan and went into a refugee camp in Nepal with my family. I spent 20 years of life in a camp. In 2010 I arrived in Australia under a special program to resettle more than 5,500 people who had become stateless in Nepal. I studied and tutored art in Nepal and when I came to Australia I completed a Diploma in Fine Arts at TAFE and a Bachelor of Nursing at Western Sydney University. Currently I work on W4A at Nepean Hospital. It is a respiratory ward with most people having heart or lung problems. The ward is very busy and a great place to learn. I love this ward and nursing care. My next rotation is in Mental Health which will be good as I want to be an art therapist in future.”

whichever way he could. It was last year in August when he was assigned to his next rotation; the Older Persons Mental Health Unit and was asked if he could contribute to the hospital’s occupational therapy program. His artistic talent would soon be put to very good use. The acute and high dependency unit of the Nepean Mental Health Centre, cares for many unwell patients. The challenges that face nurses are real and formidable. While he carries out his primary role of nursing, Nawal also provides group art sessions to his patients and even provides some with individual art lessons. “I have extensive experience in trauma because I spent 20 years in a refugee camp and this experience has helped me to work in mental health in a non-judgemental way and given me a practical understanding of trauma”, he says. “Art is a powerful tool to communicate ideas and emotion and to promote health”. For the very unwell, Nawal uses various art strategies but there is one in particular called ‘quick painting’ which he has found to be very effective in helping to soothe and connect his patients.

What the future holds. In his spare time, Nawal runs art classes within the Bhutanese community of Sydney. His goal is simple. He wants to extend his healing art therapy to those people who have survived a similar experience in refugee camps. Through the powerful, visual storytelling of art, Nawal aims to turn trauma into meaning, and sadness into strength. Nawal plans to complete a Master of Art Therapy so that he can channel both his talent and aptitude into a singular vocation of Art Therapy. “I’d like to work with different communities as an art therapist. I have experience in trauma as most of the people in the refugee camp had a background of trauma”. And you can be sure Nawal, that the team at Roaming Panther, will be right here alongside to support you.

I was nine when I left Bhutan and went into a refugee camp in Nepal with my family. I spent 20 years of life in a camp COMMISSION AN ARTWORK If you would like to commission an artwork from Nawal, go to his Facebook page and send him a message

Mental Health Rotation. Fast forward to today and Nawal has settled in to his next rotation at the Nepean Mental Health Centre. Nawal’s ambition was always to become an artist, but it was nothing more than a pipedream; how could he realise this ambition when his family had no resources and living in a refugee camp? He became despondent and believed that this dream – might just escape him. It was at the seminal age of fourteen, and whilst still living in the camp, that Nawal entered an art competition. He won. Buoyed by this victory, he became determined to pursue his dream,


492 High St, Penrith NSW 2750

Local Health

Health Expert Emily Macgregor Naturopath and Marketing Manager for Blooms Health Products


Turmeric And Curcumin? How are they different? Which is better? FIVE FACTS TO HELP CUT THE CONFUSION


ith so many supplements labelled Turmeric or Curcumin and some using both Curcumin and Turmeric

on the label, all shouting about being 20, 30 or 46 times better absorbed, it’s not surprising there is a touch of confusion around. As a naturopath working in the vitamin industry, I believe it’s time to call in some sanity, and offer some basic facts here. FACT 1. Turmeric and Curcumin both come from Turmeric.

Both Turmeric and Curcumin come from the Turmeric plant root, same as the yellow spice you can purchase from any supermarket. They both have antiinflammatory properties and also provide digestive support. However the spice in your pantry you add to a curry, won’t have the same levels of active ingredients, and will certainly not be standardised to guarantee potency.

Fact 2. Turmeric and Curcumin are different extracts. Regarding supplements on the shelf called Turmeric and Curcumin, what is the difference? Curcumin is a refined Turmeric extract containing more “Curcuminoids” which is the active component of Turmeric,responsible for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The active component (Curcuminoids) in a Turmeric supplement are lower than 95%, and depending on the extract, will contain anywhere between 3-65% active Curcuminoids. Fact 3. Be wary of “Curcumin” without an AustL number on the label (bottom right hand corner of the product).

All Curcumin supplement products that are listed product with the TGA (our Australian government therapeutic watchdog) must contain 95% Curcuminoids to be able to be named Curcumin.

Fact 4. Turmeric and Curcumin are both hard to absorb. Because of this fact, vitamin companies will usually add an ingredient or modify the formula in some way to improve absorption. Products that do not address the low uptake of Turmeric, will not be as well absorbed and will therefore not be providing value for money. Fact 5. Curcumin strength cannot be compared to Turmeric. The reason for this is that the strength of “Turmeric” varies wildly. A very low grade Turmeric may only contain 3% Curcuminoids, however some extracts contain as high as 65% Curcuminoids. Given that Curcumin contains 95% Curcuminoids, a sweeping claim that any Curcumin product makes about being “30 times stronger than Turmeric” is highly misleading. Remember, if in doubt ask lots of questions and do your own research. Research not just different products, but also the general benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin, as there have been many clinical trials over the years.

Issue 5 May 2017


Roaming Relationships


Local Expert Melissa Ferrari Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. With mess, children, work, lack of time and issues around intimacy/sex, we can all find it difficult to stay connected to our partner – at the best of times. Adding to this that most people at different times can experience mental health issues, suddenly there can be a real strain placed on your relationship. I am an advocate for writing and talking about mental health, particularly in relationships. In fact, I have been named as one of the top 34 bloggers who advocate for mental health and wellness in the world, as named by Australia Counselling. When mental health issues are present in a relationship it can affect family life, work, social life, sex, finances, life balance and overall happiness. Often your partner experiencing a mental health issue may just be described as “a bit distant”, “lazy”, “a bit flat”, “worn out” or possibly even “angry”. Coping mechanisms that a partner may employ can include things like self-medicating through drugs or alcohol, having an affair or overuse of internet porn. This can create all kinds of hurtful feelings between a couple so addressing these issues early, is crucial. Good news is that today we have so much more information and help regarding mental health. B/OIf you suspect your partner is suffering a mental illness, it’s important to approach them about it because quiet often they have no idea that this is going on. Someone who is experiencing mental illness is sometimes only just “hanging in there” so your intervention can make a huge difference. Often people suffering a mental illness can feel better very quickly once they speak to a professional or go on prescribed medication, and this can be a real life saver for a relationship.

Here are some tips to consider if you think your partner may be suffering a mental illness: • MAINTAIN YOUR OWN BOUNDARIES, be careful to take care of yourself and maintain your outside relationships. • TALK TO YOUR PARTNER, gently approach them telling them what changes you have observed that they may not be aware of such as being distant or yelling at the kids. • DON’T OVER-FUNCTION IN THE RELATIONSHIP. This means that you may start to do “everything” for the


home or family because your partner is not able to. Make sure you take care of yourself. • HELP YOUR PARTNER TO FACE THE ISSUE OF THEIR MENTAL HEALTH. Being able to help them recognise where they’re avoiding it, may be a blind spot for them. Help them stay with the process of getting better and gently challenge them if they’re avoiding. • NEVER IGNORE THE FACT THAT YOUR PARTNER MAY BE SUFFERING A MENTAL ILLNESS. Left untreated it can get worse and affect both of you greatly. • VIEW THE DIAGNOSIS FROM A GOOD MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL as something you can challenge together. Externalise the “depression” or “anxiety” as a third entity that you two together challenge and try to fix together. • CONTINUE TO WORK ON YOUR MARRIAGE. Create a relationship with the key elements of safety and security including staying connected throughout the day with love notes or text messages, a solid kiss or hug goodbye and a heartfelt welcome home at the end of the day. Spend at least one hour a day talking about your day and any worries or concerns. • CONTINUE SAYING “I LOVE YOU” or “I appreciate you”. Any words that help both you and your partner feel connected and able to face this challenge together. Let your partner know that you are in this for the long haul and committed to them. Let them know that regardless of the process, you are prepared to walk the road to health together. Take note however, that if you find your partner

is not getting help and is behaving in ways that doesn’t feel right to you, then you need to take care of yourself. Pay special attention if your partner is drinking excessively, using drugs (particularly around children), gambling family income or becoming verbally abusive or violent. You need to know that despite their illness, this is never acceptable – ever. Always remember that having a partner with a mental health illness does not mean your relationship must come to an end. If your partner is willing to get the right help, you may find your relationship becomes better than ever. And if you both become aware that taking care of your own mental health signifies taking care of your partner, then this will go even further in creating closeness, intimacy and connection between the two of you.

Melissa Ferrari is a psychotherapist and relationships specialist who works with both couples and individuals. Mental health issues are part of her interest and extensive training. Her curiosity as to how mental health issues affect a relationship and vice versa how a relationship with safety and security can help keep mental health issues at bay is an ongoing passion of hers. You can find Melissa by going to her website or by following her Facebook page Love, Life, Relationships & Transformation.

ACTIVATED PHENOLICS The New Hero of Antio xidants

IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY HEARD THE TERM ACTIVATED PHENOLICS, YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN A WHOLE LOT ABOUT IT SOON. SPLASHED ALL OVER RECENT NEWS REPORTS, DR VINCENT CANDRAWINATA IS CLAIMING AN AUSTRALIAN WORLD FIRST EXTRACTION METHOD TO WHAT HE CALLS “THE HOLY GRAIL OF ANTIOXIDANTS”. DR VINCENT, A RESEARCHER AT UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE, TELLS US HOW HIS BREAKTHROUGH HAS BEEN QUIETLY CHANGING PEOPLE’S LIVES AROUND THE COUNTRY. Whilst we may have heard of the word ‘antioxidant’ bandied around in health blogs, I hazard a guess that not many of us really understand what it does. In general, antioxidants fight the oxidation process in the body. Oxidation is a natural chemical reaction in the body that can be accelerated through stress, cigarette smoking, and alcohol. Cell-oxidation, which is caused by molecules called ‘free radicals’, damages cells and can cause cells to mutate. Cell mutation is the main cause of various forms of cancer. Overall, the body is made up of more than one hundred million cells. Cancer and other degenerative diseases start with changes in one cell or a small group of cells. The oxidising free radicals are highly unstable molecules, like pollutants, in the body that travel around attacking cells and disrupting the body’s systems. Some free radicals are naturally generated by the body, but are also present in foods and air. Some even come through exposure to sunlight that can harm the eyes and skin.

The body’s immune system kills at least one cell a day that would otherwise turn into cancer. In this day and age where everyone is exposed to many more sources of free radicals, taking an ultra-antioxidant is one of the ways to support and maintain one’s health. Antioxidants fight these free radicals and the oxidation process and neutralise them. Phenolic antioxidants are the best of the best at doing this

I believe we should take antioxidants every day for improved health and wellbeing. Following six years of research and testing, Dr Vincent and his team of experts at the University of Newcastle have developed a new ‘ultra’ antioxidant - the most potent dietary antioxidant available anywhere in the world and they developed it from an apple. This world-first break through, is something teams of scientists have been trying to crack for over 60 years. This research has resulted in a real product called ‘activated phenolics’. “This is nothing like any dietary antioxidant currently available,” said Dr Vincent. . Activated Phenolics are more than twelve times more potent than any other natural dietary antioxidant available and they are made from apples and nothing else.” “We have received feedback from people who are taking Activated Phenolics who are losing weight, feeling healthier than they have in years, have loads more energy, experiencing improvements in their long-term digestive issues and some are even reporting reductions in joint and muscle pain. Some customers are telling us it is helping with their arthritis, back pain and one customer even called me to tell me her grey hair is returning to its natural colour!”

know scientifically that phenolic antioxidants reduce inflammation at the cellular level in the body. It is also the most potent dietary antioxidant at mopping up celldamaging pollutants in the body called free radicals.

Activated Phenolics works in synergy with the body’s systems to support your own body’s balance and to fight cellular inflammation everywhere in the body. For non-scientific minds, many of us may be left wondering exactly how Activated Phenolics work in the body. Dr Vincent explains: “Ultra-antioxidants are easily absorbed by the body and they work at the cellular level, providing protection against cellular oxidative damage. They help to fix, manage and increase the efficiency of the body’s cellular functions. Activated Phenolics helps to increase energy levels, fight fatigue, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. They also help with the digestive system and assist with weight loss.” “When our research started in 2010, we were looking at trying to safely extract and activate phenolic antioxidants because a series of international studies had shown that phenolic antioxidants had both significant preventive and recovery benefits for degenerative diseases like cancer and heart disease.” Dr Vincent continues, “The best thing about my work has always been and will always be, listening to the stories of people who use Activated Phenolics and whose lives have been transformed. Many customers tell me how strongly they believe that taking Activated Phenolics has truly given them a new life in that they are now healthier and happier”. “As a scientist, this is the best achievement because I am using what I know to make this world a better place or in my case, a healthier place.” These products are available online at or as well as at selected stockists throughout Australia.

While an experience of getting back to natural hair colour might be unique, we do Issue 4 April 2017



Mother’s Day



mother’s touch and love is unrivalled compared to most relationships. So, when Mother’s Day comes around each year most of us become overwhelmed with the thought of buying a gift that doesn’t compare to what our mothers, grandmothers and other inspiring women in our lives, have done and given us. We spoke to Samantha Sargent, natural skincare expert and distributor of AEOS, and she recommended a whole new approach to gifting this Mother’s Day. The act of loving presence as one of the most powerful gifts you can give, and one that is too often forgotten. Being fully present is such a powerful, more intimate, meaningful and rare gift to give a mother. Samantha shares with us her ultimate DIY at-home bath experience that your mum will never want to leave, with crystal tinctures and herbs that will improve wellbeing and restore energy.

1 Create a relaxing environment by lighting a natural beeswax or non-GMO soy wax candle scented with essential oils in the bathroom. Choose relaxing and uplifting scents such as lavender, sweet orange or geranium, for example.



Ask mum to turn her phone off, dim the lights and close the bathroom door so that she can enjoy this moment for herself.

Run the bath for her, and add a couple of drops of 100% pure essential oils to the warm water. Choose calming herbs and flowers such as lavender, roman chamomile, patchouli, ylang ylang or geranium.

4 Lead mum in and remind her to lay back and relax for 10 to 15 minutes. Tell her to take this time to breathe out any worries with each exhale, and breathe in relaxation and the scent of calming essential oils with every inhale.

Did you kno w?



5 When she comes out of the bath you can surprise her with a gift of a nourishing body lotion – my favourite is the AEOS Beauty Body Lotion Harmonising. With the added benefit of emerald and amethyst crystal tinctures within the lotion it provides the final step to seal this loving experience. Amethyst is renowned for helping to harmonise the nervous system, having a relaxing effect that is beneficial in times of stress, and helpful for promoting peaceful sleep. Emerald is renowned for its balancing effect on hormones and helping to balance emotions. All she needs now is her favourite cup of tea, a pair of slippers – and yours, is a job well done!


Health & Wellbeing


LEADERSHIP LESSONS YOU MUST TEACH YOUR TEENAGER Many talk about the importance of leadership, but should we teach it? Does the world need any more that are hell bent on securing power, privilege or position? What about followership? What about the integrity there is in being a faithful team member? Then there is the second question of whether leadership can actually be taught. Can we really put in what God’s left out? Is not leadership an inherited skill? The question of whether you can create a leader is one that needs answering. Research indicates that between a half to three quarters of leadership skills can be taught. The rest are inherited. This is important to realise lest we lapse into the stupor of doing nothing to improve the lives of our young. However, the type of leadership needed is not a narcissistic quest for significance. Neither is it the self-serving sort of leadership that is endemic in contemporary politics. What society is crying out for is authentic leadership. There is a hunger for servant – hearted leadership, the sort of leadership that sees the leader sacrificing themselves for the good of others.

The perfect time to teach leadership is when we are young and free of the calcified habits that age can bring. It is also vital to tackle leadership skills when young because it can do something to counter grey lives devoid of purpose and an unrelenting dependency on others. A well-designed leadership course can help realise potential and develop resilience. The latter is particularly important in an age where depression is the fastest growing ailment among young people. As a topic, leadership is attractive – far more attractive than a personal development course. However, much that is in a personal development course can be placed within a leadership course. The two topics are linked. If you cannot take control of your own life, then you are not going to be able to lead others. Our young need to be challenged to acquire the traits of a leader. They need to be reminded that they are a miracle of creation, that they have unique gifts and abilities that should be used not only to enrich themselves, but society

in general. Leadership is not necessarily about conquering a kingdom before breakfast and an empire before dinner. It can be expressed by supporting the lonely, controlling the angry and posting an encouraging note on social media. These small initiatives should not be underestimated. Collectively they determine the health of a nation. In an age that sees schools assailed by accountability measures such as league tables and Naplan tests, there can be a temptation for schools to concentrate on those things that are publicly reported. This would be a betrayal of our tasks of educators. We should not just be preparing our students for an exam. We should be preparing our students for life. A wonderful way of doing this is to introduce a leadership course. Such a course can be taught in the home and at school. If we were to do this, we would reclaim our role as parents and our purpose as educators. Ten Leadership Lessons You Must Teach Your Teenager by Dr Tim Hawkes ($32.99), published by Machete Australia

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Issue 5 May 2017


Photo taken by Kieran McEwan with the Oppo R9s


SURPRISING FEATURES Right from the box, it is clear that the Oppo R9s presents an experience well above its low price point. The build quality of the phone is immediately impressive. It soon became obvious that the R9s’ greatest asset in day to to day use would be its battery which, after easily lasting a day of heavy use, would charge back to full within an hour and a half. Also of note is the speed of its fingerprint scanner, which is the quickest I’ve used by a large margin, including when compared to the iPhone 7. I found myself merely tapping the home button with my thumb to open the phone without it failing me once.

INSPIRATION The R9s is a phone that takes clear inspiration from its competitors and, in particular, Apple’s aesthetic. The shape of the phone, app icons, settings menus, and arguably even the design of their website have all been heavily borrowed from the American tech giant.

Photo taken by Kieran McEwan with the Oppo R9s

This comes with advantages, however, as the phone successfully manages to replicate the ease of use that is so attractive in iOS devices. While more hardcore android uses may lament the loss of features such as an app drawer and the greater customisation available on most other android devices, the more immediate usability of the R9s will appeal to those looking for a phone that will be intuitive and suit them well from the get go.

AN IMPRESSIVE CAMERA The most impressive of the Oppo R9s’ features are its 16 MP front and back cameras. While reviewing the phone, I took the camera to Clovelly beach at sunrise to test it out in difficult lighting conditions. The camera rose to the challenge, dealing well with the low light prior to the sun’s rise remarkably well, and taking good selfies that focused well both on my face in the foreground, as well as the sun as it rose over the horizon in the background. While its ~ 2 second shutter delay might have proved more challenging for action shots, the camera punched well above its weight, taking fantastic photos in difficult conditions. Available for $598, the R9s presents an attractive alternative to flagship smartphones which now ask well over one thousand dollars for the latest and greatest, presenting similar features for a fraction of the cost.

KEY SPECS SIZE AND WEIGHT: 153MM TALL X 74 MM WIDE, 147G SCREEN: 140MM DIAGONALLY, 1920X1080 PIXELS BATTERY: 3010MAH, ~16 HOURS VIDEO PLAYBACK CAMERA: 16MP FRONT AND BACK CHARGING: MICRO USB W/ FAST CHARGING THE VERDICT When I was given the Oppo R9s I expected to review a phone whose features reflected its budget price, and that suffered from the same shortfalls as most other phones in its price range. What I found, however, was a phone brimming with features, including an impressive camera, a lighting fast fingerprint scanner, and a huge battery life. The R9s is an attractive alternative to $1000+ flagship smartphones for those looking for similar features in a phone almost half the price, and comes strongly recommended.



KNITWEAR With the cooler weather approaching, knitwear will be a must this autumn for mum. Whether it be a jumper, sweater or cardigan, layer up in style. Try this Forever New Fi High Neck Crop Jumper from Forever New RRP: $79.99





CELESTE MILITARY MAXI COAT Autumn is where the weather is starting to warrant a warm coat. It is one of the most important perennial items for a mum to own as it’s the outerwear that everyone sees first. Look effortless and glamorous in this Forever New Military Maxi Coat RRP: $269.99


HANDBAGS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS A lady should always carry herself in style because a woman’s handbag is not only functional, but also personal statement of self-expression and a fashion accessory. Every mum should have an everyday handbag that is both versatile and chic like the Tori tote bag from Collette Hayman RRP $59










Every woman loves shoes; your mum is no exception. Ankle boots are a quintessential wardrobe item for mum this season. If you’re going to surprise mum with a pair of boots, opt for a timeless shoe, that will last her all season like these designer boots from Edward Meller. The Tory is an elegant suede Chelsea boot set on a block heel. The Aquatalia weatherproof upper and dual leather lining provides warmth and comfort all day long RRP $575, or the Wagon featuring an impeccable design crafted from snake embossed Italian Leather and a touch of attitude RRP $645

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BOMBER JACKET The Cara Bomber is another staple winter wardrobe item. Take mum from every day sophistication to street savvy chic. It’s fully lined with a cotton blend and padded for premium comfort. The exterior is decorated with quilted detailing. However she wears it, make sure it’s with attitude and conviction. Also comes in white RRP: $99.99 Issue 5 May 2017


Roaming Interiors


ruthie L. designs is a customised, bespoke service and all rugs and wall art can be bought through Ruth. Her showroom is in Alexandria and opens by appointment from the third week of May.

Acrylic panels start at around $290 and are fully customisable in colour and sizing.

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RRP starts at around $4100 for a 160cm x 230cm rug.

Create a beautiful space, for your headspace If you’re anything like me, meditation is a difficult thing to master. Sitting still for five minutes in nothingness is a lot harder than it seems. But there are some things that you can do at home to put you in the right frame of mind. We chat to Trudie Ann Moore of Soul Surgery in Springwood, to get some insider tips on how to create a beautiful meditation space. 1  Choose a room away from living/dining room

areas where you can close the door. 2  Adding a few drops of essential oil to a burner, lighting a scented candle, or incense, clears stale air in the room, and your sub-conscious mind associates it with relaxation. 3  Select a favourite chair just for meditation. Adding a cushion, or lovely material, makes it special. 4  A Himalayan salt lamp adds to the ambience and ionises the air which is beneficial to your health.



5  Having statues of a Buddha or Angels in the room

gives a feeling of peace and comfort.

6  Crystals radiate energy into the atmosphere. Rose

Quartz or Amethyst are ideal. Large ones can be placed on a desk, or you can hold a smaller piece. 7  Soothing music at a low volume also adds to the atmosphere and evokes a relaxation response. Trudie Ann Moore has taught meditation to adults, teens, and young children for over 25 years. If you’re interested in finding out more visit

DID YOU KNOW? Within the carpet industry, child labour and exploitation is unfortunately rampant and the culture within traditional weaving communities is being destroyed because of the demand of the mass market. An estimated 12 per cent of children aged five to 14 are engaged in child labour activities, including carpet production (UNICEF, State of the World’s Children 2010). Some children are forced to weave up to 18 hours a day, often never leaving the confines of the factory or loom shed. ruthie L. designs is committed to producing products that are beautiful but still remain ethically sound. ruthie L. designs prides itself on being both honest and ethical in their production of pieces. “We must not neglect the ethical responsibility we have as product manufacturers to both the people who make our products as well as the carbon footprint we leave on the earth,” Ruth comments.


REAL ESTATE AS IT SHOULD BE Roaming Relationships

Issue 5 May 2017


COUPLES MONEY AND THE TALK When you’re in the first bloom of romance you don’t want to be thinking about something as unsexy as money. Sure, you might think about whether you should split the bill or who should pay for the date. When it comes to finances and your relationship, for many of us, that’s about where it ends. That’s because too many couples avoid the financial side of their relationship as it feels awkward. So they don’t ask curious questions, they don’t find out their partner’s money values, they don’t find out whether they’re financially compatible, whether their partner has a lot of debt or a bunch of outstanding tax returns and it means money starts to become an issue. Simply because both parties are unwilling to deal with it. Yet research proves again and again that finances are the most common source of fighting among couples – provoking three arguments per month on average. That’s because the fact your partner insists on always buying rounds at the pub, brings gifts and always buys dinner might seem incredibly generous early on. Yet when you’ve moved in together or are saving for something significant it becomes a source of tension because you feel they’re squandering funds. Or the fact you have four credit cards and are thousands of dollars in debt might feel like a shameful thing and you don’t want it to affect your partner’s opinion of you so you’re motivated to avoid conversations about money. Which becomes an issue the longer it goes on to the point where your partner feels blindsided when they start talking about buying a house and suddenly realises you can’t contribute.

Local Expert

Melissa Browne Money & Business Strategy Expert

fight about and you want to ensure it’s not something that becomes an issue in your relationship then you are introducing the topic as a positive thing. Perhaps you can start by talking about your money values, how you feel about money and even take the brave step of offering a little financial transparency of your own such as what you have and what you owe, what’s easy for you when it comes to money and what’s hard. Or perhaps you might talk about how money was modelled to you growing up and what you struggle with when it comes to finances and start a conversation about how that has affected your relationship with money as an adult.

Will it be awkward? Probably. Will it be worth it? That depends if the relationship is worthwhile. If it’s a one night stand you’re probably not going to bring it up but as a relationship develops money needs to become just another topic we’re willing to talk about.

Melissa is a financial adviser, accountant and shoe addict. She’s the CEO of A&TA, The Money Barre and author of More Money for Shoes and Fabulous but Broke.

So how do you start to make money a healthy part of your developing relationship? How do you avoid the ick factor and include finances as one of the many subjects you’re willing and able to talk about as a couple? You just start. I think many topics are potentially awkward if we’re not used to talking about them. Or doing them. By suggesting to your partner that you understand money is the number one thing couples

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Helena Crumpton PROPERTY Expert

WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG NOBODY TELLS YOU FOR ALL THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THE PENRITH AREA DO WHAT YOU CAN TO GET INTO THE PROPERTY MARKET Join forces with a brother, sister, cousin, parent or a friend. Just get in. My parents made me buy my first property at the age of 22 and it was that property that empowered me to buy other properties. I paid $76,000 for it and today it’s worth around $750,000. Ah the good old days. The interest rates were 17 per cent and I worked three jobs to help meet the repayments accompanied by the rent from the tenants. Thank goodness we don’t have interest rates like that today. So, can I suggest you need to work hard, get that deposit, buy a property, pop in a tenant and watch the property grow in value. It will be the best stepping stone you ever jump on. Although the prices are much higher today at least we have the advantage of the first home buyer’s grant and stamp duty concessions. Don’t think that buying a property is out of reach and that you will buy one when you are older. Consider what you need and get working towards it NOW. Invest in a good area like Penrith and do your homework. Remember 2017 will one day be called the ‘good old days’ - time to create your own real estate story.

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Issue 4 April 2017


The pros and cons of solar energy for your home

5 things to



And a battery system will take your savings even further. You can store and sell excess energy back to the electricity company. You can even store your electricity company’s electricity during offpeak times, when prices are lowest, and then use that energy during peak periods. Lots of options! CON: THERE IS AN UPFRONT COST BEFORE THE SAVINGS KICK IN Yes, solar definitely saves you money, particularly over the long term. But the cost of manufacturing and installing solar panels is still high. The bigger your energy needs, the larger your investment. Nevertheless, it is an investment, and some companies even offer payment plans that make it incredibly accessible. PRO: SOLAR ENERGY IS A RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCE Solar energy is a renewable energy source. This is unlike other forms of energy that have a limited lifespan, such as coal and fossil fuels. As long as the sun remains alive (and that’s going to be a while – about 6.5 billion years, in fact!), we can’t run out of solar energy.


It’s also abundant – we could power all of earth with solar energy and still have solar radiation left to spare! CON: IT REQUIRES SPACE This one isn’t really a con because, let’s face it – what else are we going to do with the real estate on our roof? But the more energy you require to power your home, the more panels you need. And while we work out your specific energy needs before calculating how much power can be 44

produced in your space, generally speaking the larger the home, the more panels you’ll need. PRO: SOLAR ENERGY IS SUSTAINABLE, WHICH MEANS A BETTER PLANET FOR YOUR CHILDREN (AND THEIRS) Sustainable energy sources meet the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. We can’t over-consume solar, and it leaves no harmful side effects. And yes, while the manufacturing, transportation and installation of solar power systems do cause some emissions, they truly are minimal compared to most conventional sources of energy.


CON: WITHOUT A BATTERY, SOLAR POWER IS INTERMITTENT As our access to sunlight is limited to daytime (not to mention good weather!), solar energy is an intermittent energy source. This is somewhat resolved with the decreasing costs of battery systems, making them far more accessible to the average homeowner. But without one, your solar system won’t meet 100 per cent of your energy demands. PRO: THEY’RE ULTRA-QUIET AND REQUIRE LITTLE MAINTENANCE Many alternative energy sources are limited to remote areas because of the noise they make (wind turbines are a prime example). But residential solar panels have no moving parts, so they weave their magic in glorious silence.


In terms of maintenance, they only need cleaning twice a year, purely so dirt and bird droppings don’t reduce their efficiency. And with no moving parts, they also last for decades. From a technical maintenance perspective, there are products that alert us to issues and let us update your firmware remotely – you don’t even have to pick up the phone if you suspect there’s an issue!

CON: NOT ALL SOLAR PANELS ARE CREATED EQUAL A huge variety of panels on the market, with varying levels of efficiency, durability, reliability, output and design, mean that there’s also a huge variety of price points. Choosing the right system can be difficult – it can be tempting to invest in an option that’s purely based on cost. But considering the impact of all of those factors in your system’s performance and longevity, it’s worthwhile to do your research and invest in quality panels. TO SOLAR OR NOT TO SOLAR… THAT IS THE QUESTION When you consider it, the negatives are minimal in comparison to the benefits. But solar isn’t going to be the right choice for everyone. There are a whole lot of factors to take in, from environmental and economical through to grid independence, your location, and even advancing technology. But the bottom line is this: in the energy world, solar power compares incredibly well against other technologies for all of these factors.


The reality is, the future of solar is looking rather bright. Quite literally!

s l a o G g n i k c i K l l a We’re Call Helena Crumpton 0415 119 019 or Bec Cleary 0499 484 555 for everything Real Estate! propertycentral

4728 4000 Issue 5 May 2017


Memoires OF A


Welcome to our second installment of Memoires of a Mortician. Talking about death in our culture is not only uncomfortable for most people, but downright frightening. And whilst it’s something that we will all have to face at some point in our lives, most of us would rather not think about it. But what happens if you stumble upon your dear, old aunty Mavis one afternoon…. and she is dead. In this edition, we ask Cody Hambly, director of Joseph Medcalf Funerals, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?



Firstly, you should ensure that the person has actually passed away, no good calling the Funeral Director if aunty Mavis is just resting. If someone has passed away at home the first thing you must do is phone your regular GP and the police. The police will attend and ensure that there is no reason for aunty Mavis to be taken to the Coroner. If this is the case the next step is to have aunty Mavis’ GP write a medical cause of death so that the Funeral Director can take aunty Mavis into their care. This can sometimes vary depending on whether the person was receiving palliative care at home. If this is the case there is no need for the police to attend.


Depending on what funeral home the family chooses, the deceased will be either taken to the Funeral Director’s premises or a central/public mortuary. I think it is important for families to ask and know where their loved one will be taken, as many people assume that all funeral homes have full facilities on site. This is often not the case, especially with a lot of the larger ‘brands’ that operate central/public mortuaries. If someone is required to be taken to the Coroner’s in Sydney then the deceased will go to Glebe Coroners and be held there until they can be released to the family’s Funeral Director.

Q HOW DO I CHOOSE A FUNERAL HOME? Often families use the same local Funeral Director for generations. However, now the industry is much more competitive and people move around the city a lot more. People often Google local funeral directors or may be recommended one, but like most things in life it pays to do your home work to know what sort of service you will receive. Quite often people assume that the cheapest funeral is the best, however you only get one chance at a funeral. You should always make


sure you are going to get the service that your family expects and that they will do their best for the loved one who is now gone.


The process of embalming can be quite involved but without going into great detail, it is essentially the process of preserving a deceased body for above ground interment in a vault or crypt or for repatriation overseas. This is usually the only time that embalming is required in Australia. It is not compulsory nor is it required for most funerals and certainly shouldn’t be charged by the Funeral Director unless clearly required.

Q IS AN OPEN CASKET ALWAYS REQUIRED? In most circumstances, an open casket is a decision that is completely up to the family and should be something that everyone is comfortable with. Some religions or cultures encourage open casket/viewings. However, in all my years I have never had anyone be forced to attend a viewing if they really didn’t feel comfortable in doing so. It is certainly not something that the Funeral Director should insist on, especially if the family does not want that.



The short answer is YES, aunty Mavis can be buried at sea. There are certain criteria that must be met for this to happen and a lot of paperwork that is required for the family and Funeral Director to complete so that aunty Mavis’ wishes can be fulfilled. It is not just a matter of packing her up on a boat and taking her out into the bay and saying farewell.

place and conduct a ‘bone picking’ ceremony with special chop sticks prior to the deceased’s remaining bones being turned into ash. This is something that anyone can do (not just Japanese) and you only need to ask your Funeral Director prior to the cremation taking place. Sometimes families also keep the titanium parts of hip or shoulder replacements of their loved ones as these don’t break down in the cremation process.


Yes, it is legal to take photos (selfies) of our loved ones. They are OUR loved ones and we can pretty much do what we think is best for our families or loved ones at the time. It has become a trend in Mexico to have family members embalmed after death and take them home or to their favourite places to have photo shoots prior to the funeral itself. I wouldn’t recommend doing this at funerals unless you are a direct family member of the deceased.

READER QUESTION. IF I BOUGHT LAND THAT HAD A FAMILY BURIAL SITE, COULD I MOVE THEM OFF MY LAND AND INTO A CEMETERY? JEREMY ‒ WINMALEE This is a tricky one as the answer is both yes and no! You could easily move the deceased buried on your land into a cemetery with the consent of the family members. However, you would have to seek clarification from your local council prior to doing anything without the deceased family’s consent. It is very difficult to get permission to bury on private property so the local council would certainly have records of what has taken place on the land.



Yes, you can keep bones of loved ones – and it’s a Japanese tradition that still takes place today. Families attend the crematorium after the cremation has taken

If you have a question you would like to ask Cody, email us here at Roaming and we will publish it with his response in the next issue.



WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU TAKE OFF By The Carousel’s motoring writer Janelle Gomez from Blue Toro

ROAD TRIPS IN AUSTRALIA TAKE PLANNING… DRIVING WHEN YOU’RE OVERSEAS IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT BALL GAME Border crossings, varying road rules, no speed limits, signs in different languages (or no signs at all!), no lane markings, and sharing the road with hawkers, cows and tractors are just a few.

FREAKED OUT? Don’t be. Heading overseas for a road trip is one of

the best ways to get off the beaten track and see some incredible sites. The key is simply to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know before you embark on an international road trip.

1. GET AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVER’S PERMIT Loads of countries require an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) and if they do, driving overseas without one could be a criminal offence, voiding any travel and vehicle insurance and being unable to rent a car – ouch! You can obtain one at your state Motoring Club (such as the NRMA, RACV or RACQ). 2. THE RIGHT INSURANCE COVER Your travel insurance needs to cover driving, damage to vehicles and other property/people as a result of your driving. If it doesn’t, make sure you take this out through your car hire company (however this will generally cost you more).

10. KNOW THY EMERGENCY NUMBERS Your car rental company, hotel or guidebook should be able to give you the numbers to call in an emergency, including police, ambulance, breakdown services or highway patrol (if available) and towing companies. 11. FIND A ROADWORTHY CAR Drive through Europe and you may be lucky enough to drive a brand new European car. Drive through Cuba and you’ll get a 40-year-old has-been. Particularly in developing countries, keep an eye on how your car is running. Is the car blowing smoke, making strange noises, or just rough to drive? If you’re really unsure, check out other local car rental companies, and always get a phone number you can contact in an emergency. 12. GET DOWN WITH THE LOCAL LINGO Learn important travel phrases and pleasantries and take a phrasebook with you. Some basic phrases such as ‘which way to’, ‘gas station’, ‘left’ and ‘right’ will come in handy if you’re lost and need to ask directions from a local. 13. TAKE YOUR OWN TOILETRIES! Australian outback toilets can be bad. Toilets (or holes in the ground) in Southeast Asia are much worse. Take what you need to be prepared for a rest stop. And be cautious of stopping by the side of the road for a quick pee — it’s illegal in some countries, or at the very least seen as poor taste. 14. ENJOY THE ADVENTURE A great road trip will be stored in your memory bank as some of the best times of your life. It’s one of the best ways to get to know this planet, without the interruption of guides, tour buses and other foreign tourists. A little bit of planning and you’ll have the time of your life driving overseas.

3. DIFFERENT AND DANGEROUS (EVEN SHOCKING) DRIVING CONDITIONS Ineffective law enforcement, dangerous driving, not obeying lane markings, unroadworthy vehicles, motorbikes EVERYWHERE, driving on the right (wrong) side of the road, unconventional transport (things like camels hauling wooden carts), and human and animal traffic, all moving at different paces. That’s just some of what you’ll be up against and it can be a real shock. Amongst this chaos there are actually road rules and you need to be aware of them. You can download a guide for any of the 150 countries at 4. PLAN THE ROAD TRIP IN ADVANCE Talk to the locals, get a guide, and ask the hotel staff to plan your route in advance. Some things to consider include: • Things could have changed since the guidebook was written. Locals can tell you if conditions have changed, and they usually have a different view of the best things to see and do.

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• If you’re travelling to a non-English-speaking country and don’t speak the native language, the number of English-speaking locals is likely to reduce the farther you venture out from the major cities. • Will there be plenty of places to buy food, water and petrol? 5. GET YOURSELF A GPS These are worth their weight in gold when you don’t know where you are — especially if you can get one in English. Most car rental companies will have them as an optional extra (ask if they have an English version). You can also use your phone, but you’ll need to make sure you have a local SIM card, as international data roaming charges will apply. 6. HAVE SOME LOCAL CASH Have local cash on hand when driving overseas, and if you plan to cross a border, ensure you have some cash for your next destination as well. Not everyone takes credit cards. 7. KEEP YOUR PAPERS ON YOU If you get stopped by the police or have to cross a border while you’re driving overseas, the first thing they’ll ask a foreigner is to see your passport. If you are crossing a border you’re likely to have to show your plan to leave and that you have enough cash to survive. So make sure you have your itinerary (including name and address of where you’re staying), flight home, and credit cards and cash in your wallet. Also ensure that you meet any visa requirements and have evidence of this 8. BORDER CROSSINGS Always be prepared with your papers and be polite to staff at the border. Cheeky doesn’t go down too well with some, and different cultures have different senses of humour. Stay calm, polite and patient — just because you’re a foreigner doesn’t mean you’ll get special treatment. 9. HAVE A MOBILE PHONE THAT CAN MAKE INTERNATIONAL CALLS Forget about roaming costs — if you’re stranded, it doesn’t matter how much it costs. Mobiles on any overseas road trip are a must. Just make sure you have international roaming ability and know which numbers to dial, including country and regional codes. You might also want to consider purchasing a local SIM card. This will make it easier to figure out how to dial local numbers.

Find your perfect home today, call us on 1300 188 698 or visit

Issue 5 May 2017



Cassandra Elliott

IF YOU THINK RUNNING AWAY TO JOIN THE CIRCUS WILL BE ALL FUN AND GAMES, BEAR IN MIND, THERE’S A LOT OF WORK INVOLVED. Meet Bella Grosse, an 11-year-old, aerial performer in the circus. Bella’s been performing since she was four-and-a-half, and she’s been in love with it ever since. This is her second season performing professionally with Webers Circus, where she has a solo aerial act on the sling. Bella’s not an average 11-year-old though. While she does have time for school and seeing her friends, her week’s pretty much full of circus training. On Mondays and Wednesdays after school, Bella goes to gymnastics classes. On Tuesdays, she gets to see her friends, however her closest friends are in the circus. After school on Thursdays, Bella goes to the circus to train before performing in the show. On Fridays, Bella has school with a teacher, who’s part of the circus, then she trains again, before performing in the show. On Saturdays and Sundays, it’s all about circus training and then the weekend performances. Along with training, Bella looks after the sideshow games, assists with the circus animals, and monitors the popcorn booth during shows. Bella’s currently expanding her repertoire too, training on the Russian Swing, which is a part of a group performance. She has also performed in the silk, with two other performers before. That’s a lot of responsibility for an 11-year-old, but her mum, Brooke says, Bella loves every minute of it. “I want her to keep going and live her dream,” Brooke says. Bella’s been dancing since she was 18 months old. Her dance studio also ran circus classes, which is where she fell in love with it. Bella’s mum says she’s not worried about Bella getting injured, because Webers Circus is run by professionals, who teach her the right way to do everything, to minimise her risk of injury. “The Weber family do everything perfectly, and properly, they’re seventh or eighth generation circus performers, so, I know she’s in safe hands,” she says. If you’d like to see Bella perform, this year Webers Circus will be touring NSW and QLD, and you can check out their website for tour dates

Photography credits: Brooke Grosse | Brooke Grosse Photography


Local Sport

Back in the game


“I have a long-standing gratitude towards Dean for agreeing to trust us with his career when he joined us from Manly. We are extremely grateful for the service he has given our club since the day he arrived and he is a very important part of our club going forward.

Elite Energy is again hosting another Diamond Women’s Active Triathlon Festival. This collaboration sees a holistic approach to encouraging female participation in the sport and providing more opportunities for our entry level participants. It’s not just for individuals either, as you can also get a group of friends together and put in a team of two or three to take part in what will be a festival of friendship, challenge and achievement.

“It gives us great pride to know that Dean’s first preference is to be part of Panthers. He did not seek offers from other NRL clubs and I would love to see Dean finish his NRL career with the Panthers.”

Dean Whare is a big believer that patience and determination pays off. The 27-year-old rugby league player’s career was temporarily put on hold due to injury but he returned, better than ever and has now signed a five-year deal with Penrith Panthers. “Someone once told me to be patient. You never know when that one opportunity is going to come up,” says Whare. “I was struck with a broken leg and never thought I’d play again but I worked hard and was patient for two or three years and got a full-time gig with Penrith. If I wasn’t patient then I probably wouldn’t be playing right now.”

“Words cannot describe how highly I regard Dean Whare as a person and a player,” says Panthers executive general manager rugby league Phil Gould.

Sydney International Regatta Centre, May 13 | 7:30am - 1pm.

Whare, a father of two, describes Penrith as ‘a great place to bring up a family’ and has no plans of leaving anytime soon. He says family “is everything”. “The reason I started playing and the reason I’m still playing now was because of my grandparents who I grew up with when I was younger. They were very sport-orientated and took me to games and our weekends would revolve around family and sport. “Family is massive to me. My partner takes care of not just my two kids but myself too with nutrition and getting ready for games - they’re probably the number one supporters of my football career.”

ULTRA-TRAIL AUSTRALIA (UTA) Ultra-Trail Australia (UTA), the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest trail running event, is gearing up for its 10th Anniversary and its largest participation numbers to date, with over 15,000 athletes and spectators expected to converge in the Blue Mountains. The four-day running festival will push even the most experienced athletes to their absolute limits, with participants travelling from around the globe to tackle the mountains of The Great Dividing Range; Australia’s most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world.

Saturday, April 13 Panthers v Warriors Pepper Stadium 3.00pm

The New Zealand-born player says he was thrilled to re-sign with the Panthers. “Penrith feels like home to me and my family loves living here so it was an easy decision. We have a great group of players, some of the most loyal fans in the game and I’m excited about the direction we’re heading as a club.”

There are five different races that cater to varying levels of fitness and skills including; the gruelling long distance trail runs, the 100km UTA100 and 50km UTA50; the 21.6km trail run, Pace Athletic UTA22; the thigh-pumping 1.2km stair climb Scenic World UTA95; and the free, Injinji 1km-4-kids trail run.

Whare made his NRL debut in 2010 and two years later represented his home country of New Zealand. He joined the Panthers in 2013 and has played a crucial role in getting the team into the finals the following year.

Taking place in Katoomba, NSW, from May 18 - 21, 2017

Try Sailing Head out onto the lake with Sailability Penrith Lakes. Sailability Penrith Lakes has one, two and four person yachts for group hire and can even accommodate people with a disability. Boat Shed 3 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre May 8 - 9, 2017 | 9am-2pm Sydney International Regatta Centre Sydney International Regatta Centre, May 23 - 30, 2017 | 6pm to 11pm

WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S SHELTERS AT HAWKESBURY RACES. Get ready for spring carnival with a rewarding day at the races whilst raising funds for the local Women’s and Children’s shelters at Hawkesbury Races. Tickets: $220 Single Seat, $2,200 Table of 10 Hawkesbury Race Club, May 30 2017 | 11:00am.

Photography credit: NRL Photos

Issue 5 May 2017






s we get closer to Mother’s Day this year we are reminded of what a wonderful opportunity this is to spoil our magnificent mums. At York Jewellers we have some great ideas to help make indulging your mum easy. To find the gift that says it all, our Mother’s Day Catalogue has an incredible range of jewellery for all occasions. From sparkling silver to gorgeous gemstones, we have the right piece for your mum. Pandora has once again provided a beautiful giveaway to help you get the most for your mum! Celebrate your mum by spending over $150 on Pandora products and receive the bangle, valued at $99, for free. The limited edition bangle features special engraving and a unique clasp. It is only available from April 27 until May 10, or while stocks last, so get in fast and don’t miss out. As well as the bangle, Pandora has released a new range of Mother’s Day charms that she is sure to love.

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Issue 5 May 2017




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Profile for Penzance Publishing

Roaming Magazine May 2017 Issue  

Roaming Magazine May 2017 Issue

Roaming Magazine May 2017 Issue  

Roaming Magazine May 2017 Issue