Page 1

travelfile four days in Hong Kong

LADIES AT LUNCH the ‘meet’ market

flames of the forest experience mystyle

white hot



october 2011





emma lodge

Lynette Moyle

robin gordon

features 12

view – to choose life Lynette Moyle


people – a beautiful soul Emma Lodge


success – medicine man Dr Ganesh Naidoo


inspire – cooking to heal Dr Sheila Gadaloff


ladies at lunch – the ‘meet’ market How do you meet a man in the Tropical North?


cover – the power of a woman Robin Gordon


the last word Sharon Cohrs




october 2011

6 editor’s note

33 style counsel

49 business

8 pinboard

34 life

56 milestones

10 he says, she says

40 travelfile

58 rsvp

28 profile loves

42 on the table

60 win

30 vanity case

44 abode

61 on the road

WIN a flames of the forest experience p60



editor’s note


his month gave me a jolt. Life can have twists and turns you wouldn’t wish on an enemy. The interviews conducted for this month’s issue and the stories written by our journalists have made me stop to take a look at my own life. When my husband walked in the door from work one night, I gave him an extra lengthy kiss and lingered with our baby in my arms to remember how lucky we are to have our health. Like us, some of the people in our special ‘pink’ breast cancer awareness and health issue had no idea what was around the corner for them. It’s a reminder that we need to be grateful and reach out to those who need us in their darkest hours. Our cover story this month is on Robin Gordon – it’s not so much a tale of heartache but a stern reminder to look after our health. Robin has devoted her life to encouraging women to put themselves first, so much so she opened a specialist clinic just for women, with particular focus on early detection of breast cancer. Be inspired by Lynette Moyle, Dr Sheila Gadaloff and Sharon Cohrs, as they clear away the cancer clouds that once enveloped them. And see how local go-getter Emma Lodge dedicates her life to raising funds and awareness for breast cancer survivors, along with showing us how to get by with a little help from our friends. Also, read about Medicheck’s rapid expansions, and the fascinating life-milestones of the man behind Neil’s Organics. On a separate note, congratulations to Tropical North Queensland for the previous month’s jam-packed social calendar, to suit the entire breadth and width of our imaginations. We were saturated for choice – and it made us so positively proud of what this region has to offer. Enjoy another busy month ahead, and take special care of you and your circle of people.

visit us on group managing director / publisher Genine Howard

group general manager / publisher Hamish Rose

group editor-in-chief / publisher Alli Grant

publication manager Coral Florian, 0419 483 183

tnq editor Alana Rushton, 0422 288 545

sub editors Phyl Grant, Stacey Carrick

creative director Kara de Schot

mystyle contributor Pip Addison

profile writers Mia Lacy, Sarah Sheehan

photography Stuart Frost, Veronica Sagredo

email Sales: Editorial: General:

call / fax (head office)

follow us on

07 5451 0669 / 07 5475 4405

post (head office) PO Box 1065, Cotton Tree, QLD 4558



ara de Schot our talented creative director, spends her days overseeing all the design elements of the magazine and client artwork. With 10 years in the design trade, Kara has worked with small businesses through to international corporations. She has a bachelor’s degree in design, and has worked in New Zealand, London and Australia. Kara’s everyday work entails advertising design, photo shoot direction and magazine layout.

meet the


kara de schot creative director

14,000 copies printed monthly.9,300 are home delivered and 4,700 copies are street delivered to high traffic areas such as high-end cafes, boutiques, hairdressers and professional offices across the TNQ region (from Cairns to Port Douglas), monthly, and online along with an eMAG to 6000 inboxes regularly.

subscriptions, $65 + gst (12 issues)

accounts Katherine Allan – Profile magazine is a free publication (subscriptions available) published 12 times a year by Brisbane Profile Publishing Group Pty Ltd. All rights are reserved and the contents are copyright and may not be reproduced without the written consent of The Publisher, Brisbane Profile Publishing Group Pty Ltd (“The Publisher”), their related companies and officers hereby disclaim, to the full extent permitted by law, all liability, damages, costs and expenses whatsoever arising from or in connection with copy information or other material in this magazine, any negligence of The Publisher, or any persons actions in reliance thereon. Any dispute or complaint regarding placed advertisements must be made within seven days of publication. Inclusion of any copy must not be taken as any endorsement by The Publisher. Views expressed by contributors are personal views and they are not necessarily endorsed by The Publisher.

THECOVERSHOOT OCTOBER IS THE MONTH FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. HENCE, THAT CALLED FOR NOTHING LESS THAN A FABULOUS PINK DRESS. AND WHAT A DRESS IT WAS! OUR COVER SUBJECT, ROBIN GORDON, HAILS FROM A FAMILY IN THE RAG TRADE, SO IT WAS NO SURPRISE WHEN SHE WOWED US WITH HER OWN GARMENTS. Straight from New York, this was the first-ever outing for this dress. This outfit, and most of Robin’s wardrobe, are sourced from her travels all over the world – especially her shoes. Robin’s look was put together by the team at Pulse Hair and Beauty (Spence Street, phone 4051 4212). They styled both her hair and make-up to achieve a striking result. Profile magazine photographer Veronica Sagredo had both editor Alana Rushton and former U Boutique co-owner Kylie Ferrier to assist with the shoot direction and visual ideas in her studio. The modern, white Equator Homewares ‘Stela’ armchair was provided by Kate Ifould and her team at Coast Stylish Living (Stratford, phone 4055 1241). Powerful photos for a powerful edition! 6


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october 2011

4059 2766






with Jennifer Thompson A List Events International To register your event email



5 to 9 october international futsal challenge Vikings Second International Club Futsal Challenge. Redlynch Central Stadium, all welcome.

host a girls’ night in

Get involved in the Cancer Council’s Girls’ Night In to support more than 45,000 women in Australia diagnosed with cancer in the past year. Enjoy a night of chick flicks, trivia games, a clothes swap, book club, or casual dinner party. or phone 1300 65 65 85

11 october networking lunch Cairns Business Women’s Club lunch. Serious business with serious fun.

18 october action coach seminar ‘Six Steps to Massive Results Seminar’ at the Shangri-La Hotel, 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Phone Carol on 0421 706 068 or email

21 october war in profile

shorter+sweeter dance A best of the fest dance extravaganza featuring the best 10 works from recent Short+Sweet dance festivals in Melbourne and Sydney at the Civic Theatre. Tickets $25. or 1300 855 835

Free public forum at 7:30pm with George Negus at the Tanks Arts Centre.

21 october to 4 december art exhibition The Cairns Art Society’s 65th annual exhibition at Cairns Regional Gallery.

22 to 23 october gala spectacular The best of 2011 includes Cairns’s finest performances for two nights at the Civic Theatre. Tickets $30. or phone 1300 855 835





22 october brothers leagues club cox plate race day Enjoy a day of racing, trackside at Cannon Park.

23 october pink ribbon high tea

‘mini field’ breast cancer event

Shangri-La Hotel from 1:30pm to 5pm to raise money for breast cancer. or

Pink lady support silhouettes will be on display from the Breast Cancer Network Australia at Cairns Central from 9am-12pm.

25 october cairns chamber of commerce luncheon or phone 0405 516 551

Featuring guest speaker Rob Giason from Tourism Tropical North Queensland.

28 october tourism awards Tropical North Queensland Tourism Awards gala evening. The best of the best tourism operators will be honoured at the annual event at the Cairns Convention Centre.

28 october prevention is the cure event Information about breast cancer prevention will be presented at the Shangri-La Hotel from 6:30pm to 9pm. Tickets $45.


worklink luncheon

Mike Munro, a household name in Australian media as feature presenter (60 Minutes, This is Your Life) is guest speaker at the Worklink Stress Less Day luncheon at the Cairns Convention Centre. or phone 4031 0877

next month 1 november melbourne cup, cannon park Celebrate Melbourne Cup in style, trackside, at the Cairns Jockey Club, with thoroughbred racing, fashions on the field, corporate options and live entertainment.


4 november marialy pacheco trio (cuba)

romeo and juliet

Wrapping up the Jazz Up North festivities for this year is a new guest to Tanks, Cuban jazz pianist and composer Marialy Pacheco and her trio at the Tanks Arts Centre.

Shakespeare’s tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet is given a sci-fi treatment by Tropical Arts Association Inc.



october 2011





he says, she says

s u s r e ried v


e f i l e l sing

“If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it.” Is Beyonce right? Is getting hitched the way to go, or is swinging single where it’s at? This month we ask Dave and Inkie from the ZINC FM Morning Zoo for their opinions on married life versus single life …

he says


s someone who’s been with the ball and chain, the handbrake, the bread loser or any other euphemism you’d like to apply, for nigh on 15 years now, I think the question of married life versus single life comes down to two very simple factors. Firstly, who you’re married to; I’m sure John Wayne Bobbitt has moments when he looks down at where his penis used to be and wishes he’d chosen singledom over a knife-wielding wife. And secondly, how much you and your partner are prepared to put in and adapt. It’s organic and it needs to be fed in order to grow. But not like a mushroom! Definitely more like a sunflower. I love being married but I didn’t hate being single either, although my liver did. For me, being single was like the release of a new Green Day song, full of promise and possibility at the start but ultimately repetitive. Work. Pub. Work. Pub. Work. Pub. Work. Pub. As my wife, Fleur, likes to point out, ‘a life shared is twice as much fun as one travelled alone’. So here’s a tip for young players who may be thinking about marriage … if you’re not good at sharing, pack up and go to the pub. Marriage is sharing responsibilities, sharing enthusiasm, sharing the bills, sharing a bed. It’s someone to enjoy the ups and endure the downs with, to celebrate and laugh with, to lean on and be leaned upon. Here’s my final tip for said young players … if you think ‘adult cuddles’ are on tap post-marriage, definitely pack up and go to the pub, because that assumption is not even a short cab ride from the truth, it’s light years away. As a married man, I may not know when my bread is going to be buttered, but at least I know who’s holding the knife!




kie and


She says


take thee to be my wedded husband / wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse ...” Okay, okay, I think we all know how the rest of that goes! This is what most of us say when we’re standing at that altar, pledging to leave our single life behind and live a life of marital bliss. While I haven’t yet pledged these vows, hopefully one day I will, I can only ask my hitched-up friends what they think is best … married life or single life? Some love the single life; it keeps them in peak physical shape because there’s a lot of competition out there! They also have no one to answer to, but they all admit they would love someone to curl up with on the couch on a Sunday arvo. And this is what married life gives you – a companion! Let’s be honest, girls, is just a small part of the excitement about getting married actually about the ring? Let’s look at iconic actress Elizabeth Taylor who has been down more aisles than a shopping trolley – married eight times to seven different men (twice to actor Richard Burton). Was she addicted to the butterflies in her stomach or was it the bling? Your jaw is sure to drop at one of the gifts from Burton to Liz, the ‘Elizabeth Taylor diamond’, a 33.19 carat monster of a ring! Now I know there are men out there who have absolutely no idea what this means, so let me put it into dollars for you … $2.5 to $3.5 million! In the words of Beyonce, “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it”. Old Richard more than liked it – he put a few houses, a couple of boats and a Rolls Royce on it! Whether you decide to put a ring on your left hand (we put it here because it’s the only finger that has a vein directly connected to our heart … who knew?) or you’d rather stay single, we all deserve to be loved, healthy and happy.

Cairns Civic Centre

wednesday 5 october 7.30pm phone: 1300 855 835 or book online at PTB$3RVWHUB4/'LQGG

october 2011



Cairns Civic Theatre

Date & Time:

Tuesday 1 November, 7:30pm & Wednesday 2 November 1pm & 7:30pm


Adult: $39, Concession: $34, Child: $20, Group 10+ $34* (*For every group of 10 or more booked receive one additional complimentary ticket)




to choose life words sarah sheehan ll photography stuart frost

lynette moyle



uring my 20’s I believed I was invincible. I spent a lot of time travelling and I can say that having a good time always came first, my health a serious after-thought. Typical of my generation, I spent money on material things rather than on important things like a check-up. On my return home after spending some years away, an excited English friend Emily emailed me to let me know she was coming to Australia to visit me in six months’ time. Seven months later, Emily had died. Emily was repeatedly misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome until one day a doctor finally found the real cause of her pain – “a tumour such as he had never seen before”. At 28, Emily, had just a short time to plan her own funeral. Not long after, a close friend of mine, Lorna, who had also lost Emily, noticed irregularities in one of her breasts. Lorna was told by the doctor that she was too young for breast cancer. Three inconclusive appointments resulted in a mammogram which revealed the ugly truth. Within 10 days, 35-year-old Lorna had lost her breast. “I was mortified and heartbroken,” Lorna said. “Seeing my scarred chest with no breast or nipple really upset me, but I also felt relieved that the cancer was gone. At the end of the day it’s only breasts, I kept telling myself that,” she told me. This sent a harsh wake-up call that I needed to be aware of what my body was telling me. Age and good health did not mean I was protected. For my friends and me, cancer had so abruptly entered our lives, and had so cruelly taken one. I met an inspiring and passionate Innisfail woman, Lynette Moyle, who shares a very similar story. Lynette is a breast cancer survivor and a staunch advocate for being proactive with your health.



Lynette found a lump in her breast one morning in April 2006. With a sister fighting breast cancer at that very time, she took herself straight to the breast clinic, without hesitation. After some inconclusive tests, Lynette was told all was well by the visiting doctor and that she would not need to return to the breast clinic for two years. Had she waited those two years, Lynette would not be alive to tell me her story. The lump continued to irritate Lynette when she was wearing a seat belt. She took herself back to the breast clinic in October that year and demanded another look. “I remember looking up at the screen. Being an ex-ray receptionist and sitting in on some of the ultrasounds, I looked up and thought there is something wrong with that,” she said. She was right. What she was looking at was an aggressive grade three tumour, the most deadly kind. For Lynette, a type one diabetic who had already spent 23 years of her life keeping on top of a chronic disease, the diagnosis was a bitter pill to swallow. Lynette was fortunate that the cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes, and was able to avoid chemotherapy and radiation. In one week, Lynette bravely took the difficult step that would change her body forever but save her life. She was given options to consider but, as her sister was not travelling so well at the time, she just wanted the breast off. “On Thursday I had the photos, on Monday I got the diagnosis, on Tuesday I saw Dr Wu, and then on Friday, I had my breast off. “What struck me was, had I not done anything because the lump was not particularly any different, other than the irritation from wearing the seat belt, I would have just not gone in for two years.

“But I wouldn’t have made it; I would have been dead before then.” Lynette claimed adding complications of other kinds, just to have a breast, was not a consideration as a mother. Her friends and family were supportive and tried to keep her laughing to get her through. “One friend said to me ‘oh well, a half of nothing is not much to lose’,” she laughed. Within a fortnight, Lynette was back working as the electorate secretary for the loved and loathed Bob Katter MP. Lynette’s sister, Pam, still battling breast cancer herself, helped Lynette adjust to normal life after her surgery. “She showed me how to put things in my bra, how to massage my arm and ensured I was doing my exercises. Being a teacher and a farmer, she was very practical. We spent a lot of time together.” Lynette and Pam travelled to Cairns to attend a ‘Look Good, Feel Good’ cancer wellness workshop together, where hairdressers and beauticians donated their time to women who were all at different stages of cancer and levels of treatment.

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october 2011

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“My sister and I had such a good day together, and she was really unwell at that point. It was so encouraging for all the women there.” Pam struggled for nine years with breast cancer, and was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation nearly all of that time. Lynette claims that throughout the treatment, Pam continued to work on her cattle farm and teach, and spent no time in bed until the last months of her life. Eventually, the cancer took her life in 2009. Lynette recalls being in awe of her sister as a child. “She was 10 years older than me and I thought she was a princess,” Lynette sighed. “She had entered ‘Miss Sugar Queen’ in Innisfail in her teenage years, and I thought she was absolutely gorgeous. When she was having the cancer treatment, she lost all of the skin on her hands at one stage, and she wore these brown gloves from Miss Sugar Queen, 40 years later, just to be able to hold a book.” Although Lynette’s tumour was more aggressive than Pam’s, her sister had not had been diagnosed until the cancer had spread into the lining of her blood vessels. The difference between life and death for the two sisters was the stage at which their cancer was discovered. “Have faith in knowing that you know your own body, as you are aware of things happening. You need to be persistent. It’s all about being early,” Lynette said. Lynette now works as a medical receptionist, is a member of the Innisfail Breast Cancer Support Group and is on the Health Consumer Advisory Committee. “I enjoy my work in reception. The surgery I work for is very caring.” One day, she took an anxious stranger aside in the surgery who was about to have a mastectomy. “I said, come and have a look at mine.” Lynette then exposed her chest and scars to the stranger. “I didn’t really know her, but it was just a relief for her,” Lynette said, explaining that pictures in books of mastectomies can often look far more horrific than the modern results. “I’ve always been interested in empowering people to look after their own condition. Not being afraid of it; confronting it and dealing with it, so you have a good outcome.” Let’s take Lynette’s message seriously and be assertive with our health. I had my fair skin examined most recently at 18 and I am now 30. I have written ‘get skin checked’ on countless things-to-do lists over a decade and haven’t been able to strike it off. It is time for me to get real. I’m making an appointment today. Like Lynette, I choose life.

Work from anywhere

Smarter Business Solutions profilemagazine



words alli grant ll photography stuart frost

“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down,” so said Arnold H Glasgow, and he was right. And as Alli Grant discovered, there’s no truer friend than one who stands by you through the tough times, a friend like Emma Lodge, who has devoted her life to raising funds and awareness for breast cancer.


Emma Lodge

hen I was 17 years old, I met three amazing girls – girls who would quickly become my three dearest friends. Girls who would see me through a divorce, two marriages (lining up in pretty dresses on both occasions), career highs and lows, family disputes, relationship woes … and everything in between. They have laughed with me, cried with me, dieted with me, exercised with me, shopped with me, danced to bad ‘80s music with me and downed sugary cocktails with me. No matter how tough life gets, I know they will be by my side, even though we no longer live in the same town, or the same country for that matter. That’s friendship. That’s the sisterhood. I think that’s the true definition of a ‘soul mate’ – and I am lucky enough to have three of them. When you are truly at your lowest point you know you can call these beautiful souls for help and support. And they will be there. To her soul mates, Emma Lodge is one of those friends. This 32-year-old local, who is mother to a sevenyear-old and an 18-month-old, first landed in the Tropical North in 2001, as a backpacker who came for a good time and ended up staying for a long time. Well, with a short stint back to Jersey in the Channel Islands for a year with her soon-to-be Aussie husband before realising the error of her ways and returning to Cairns. When her very close friend, Sharon Cohrs (our focus in The Last Word this month), was diagnosed

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people with breast cancer in 2007, Emma sprang into action. She simply had to do something to help her dear buddy – she couldn’t just sit and watch. And it is this compassion, this yearning to do more that has not only helped Sharon and many, many breast cancer sufferers just like her, but has also sent Emma on a completely different path. Sharon and Emma met through work – the pair hit it off instantly. “She [Sharon] is a very close friend. She’s so funny – such a fantastic person. When she was diagnosed [with breast cancer] in 2007, I was absolutely shocked. Sharon was only 36 – she was so healthy and active! “I just felt compelled to do something about it, but I couldn’t really. I didn’t know what to do. The closest thing to helping I could do was to fundraise [for breast cancer].” And fundraise she did. While Emma had run Girls’ Night In events for her friends each year to fundraise for cancer, she had very little, if any, event management experience. “I knew I had to do something bigger. I set myself a mission and off I went.” Her mission was to create a monster of an event – an event that would raise both funds and awareness. Ultimately, she wanted to do something that would help women just like her good friend, Sharon, women suffering from this hideous disease who were battling through the toughest days, weeks and months of their lives. Emma created a high tea at the Shangri-La Hotel, with all the trimmings. She raised $10,500 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation in that first year – and it was only up from there. In the three-year history of the event, Emma has raised more than $30,000. The good news is that Emma isn’t a lone ranger any more. This year’s event (to be held on October 23 at the Shangri-La), Emma’s fourth, will be run by a committee of dedicated volunteers – with Emma at the helm. The YWCA Encore program, a local rehabilitation program for women who have gone through breast cancer treatment and surgery, will be the recipient of funds raised this year.

This year will also be the second year of Emma’s Beautiful Bras program – an exhibition that started out as an idea to promote the high tea and ended up a successful event in its own right, with high-profile locals and artists all rallying to do their bit to help. While the Beautiful Bras initiative is indeed a spectacle in itself, Emma never loses sight of the big picture. “After each event it really hits home – you can sit in the room and bid for auction items, eat delicious food and have a wonderful time with your friends, but there is such a serious side to all this.

I just felt compelled to do something about it, but I couldn’t really. I didn’t know what to do. The closest thing to helping I could do was to fundraise [for breast cancer].” “It was so hard to watch Sharon [go through treatment]. She was such a tower of strength, all things considered, and it was upsetting to see her go through it all – to witness what that kind of treatment does to the body. But she never lost her drive – she laughed through it all and bounced back so quickly,” Emma proudly tells me. “I admire her so much.” Isn’t it funny what life throws at you? Emma thought she was doing her part to help out a dear friend who was going through a tough time. But life had other plans for Emma. Yep – life was to put young her on a completely different path. “After the event last year, this lady emailed me – she told me she had cured cancer [through food]. She sent me all these articles and newsletters about people who had cured themselves by changing their lives. One day I went through them all and I realised there was a whole other side to this disease.

All this information was amazing – but it wasn’t freely available.” Emma found herself a new mission – to research, to learn and to empower others. She read books about chemicals and the impact they have on our children, she read books about food additives and skin care … she became angry. “We should know about these things – we have a right to be informed and to have access to this info. “When you research it all you realise that it’s no wonder we are getting these diseases [like cancer]! “We need to be accountable for ourselves – to find the knowledge and make the right decisions.” So, while juggling a young baby and her other fundraising commitments, Emma decided to add taking an active role in educating the community about the importance of prevention over cure to her ‘to do’ list. Her ‘Prevention is the Cure’ project was born. Emma now lives a completely different life – she describes 2011 as her “U turn”. “I never used to care much about food – it just used to get in the way of my busy life. I didn’t have time to eat! But now I completely believe in the healing benefits of food. I think processed foods are the cause of so many problems and diseases today. “So rather than promoting breast cancer awareness, this year, I want to promote prevention. We can make simple adjustments to our lifestyles that will help prevent disease. We need to shift our lives.” And how does Emma suggest we do this? By looking at five distinct pillars in our lives and making serious change; food, skin care, the environment, well-being and exercise. She is so committed to educating the local community about the benefits of eating well and choosing organic (and local) produce, Emma has launched a few new initiatives along the way, including a Raw Foods Workshop, an Organic Experience Tour and a number of educational workshops. Her goal is to educate, to inform and to help. Emma Lodge is indeed a good friend with a beautiful soul.

Mediterranean and Seafood Restaurant

october 2011




When you’ve spent a day in India there’s no comparison – you don’t take things for granted any more.”

dr ganesh naidoo




words stacey carrick ll photography veronica sagredo



s I walk into the doctor’s office, I feel there should be something wrong with me. Yet I do not have a sore throat or even a headache. I am there to meet Dr Ganesh Naidoo and his wife, Esme. When the couple is in Cairns, they work seven days a week at the practice they established, MediCheck. The clinical setting is a far cry from the surroundings that many of their patients hail from in mining and construction industries. After explaining the life of his clients to me, I decide I could never be a miner. It’s not just the physically demanding labour that puts me off, it’s the isolation. As a social butterfly, having virtually no mobile phone coverage would drive me crazy. It therefore comes as no surprise that while Ganesh feels at home in his surgery, he and Esme, operations manager, are more than happy to travel hundreds of kilometres to not only treat his patients’ medical conditions, but to understand psychological issues they are facing. You may think it would be difficult to live and work together all day and night. But everything seems to work out perfectly for this couple, who met through mutual friends while studying science at Monash University in Melbourne, where they shared chemistry and anatomy classes. So with such a hectic lifestyle, how do Ganesh and Esme manage to look after their household, which includes two children – Anna, 9, and Jack, 2, as well as two dogs and two cats? With more than a little help from Ganesh’s mother, who is visiting from India. “My mum’s been a huge lifesaver,” Ganesh says. Born in Malaysia to Indian parents, Ganesh and his family settled in Melbourne when he was five. I was immediately intrigued by the name Ganesh, which conjures up images of an elephant-shaped God, but he explained to me it’s actually quite a common name, and there are millions of Naidoos, particularly in eastern India, making his name equivalent to ‘John Smith’ in Australia. I have always wanted to travel to India, but speaking to Ganesh and Esme reignites my desire. “I love travelling to India,” Ganesh says passionately. “Every sensation in your body is on edge from the moment you arrive. It’s crazy and you’re in survival mode the whole time but as soon as you leave you crave it. I remember being in a hotel overlooking the Ganges River where they burn bodies. I watched the ceremony, and the humming and chanting were just magical.” Ganesh and his family have also visited Nepal, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco. Travelling to exotic destinations has given him a new-found appreciation for the important things in life. “Some people only think about food and shelter,” he says. “When you’ve spent a day in India there’s no comparison – you don’t take things for granted any more.” It is his desire to help people that led to the establishment of MediCheck in April. Ganesh’s aim was to conduct medical checks for people in mining and construction industries in a timely manner. He was employed by other practices in Cairns after relocating from Victoria four years ago, but his goal was to improve the turnaround time. Ganesh is extremely happy with the positive feedback he has received so far, and the repeat business from companies including Rio Tinto, Kagara Ltd, Downer EDI, Workpac and Hastings Deering. “It’s really exciting that we’ve

october 2011

grown as much as we have,” he smiles. “It’s early days, but the business has tremendous potential. At first we couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Esme and I both work seven days. Sometimes we feel like we eat and sleep here, and the phone and email never stop.” MediCheck has expanded so much so, that sites have now been established in Brisbane, Mackay and Townsville. A site in Perth is also on the cards in the near future, but Cairns will remain the headquarters. Ganesh also wants to expand his operations to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and, as Cairns is the closest western medical service, establish the city as a fly in-fly out base for miners in PNG.

Believe in yourself – if you find obstacles in the way there’s always a solution – you just need to find the right resources.” Companies partnered may include US $15 billion operations Exxon Mobil and Santos. “The PNG projects are taking off, which would be a good source of employment for Cairns,” Ganesh says. And the pair is prepared to travel anywhere for their patients. “We are prepared to put our boots on and travel to mining sites in Cooktown and Chillagoe,” Ganesh explains. “We pack our mobile hearing and lung tests and jump on a plane or in a Land Rover.” “It’s great fun to see the environment our patients work in,” Esme says. “It allows us to connect with them more and understand the challenge of their isolation.” Ganesh agrees, “It’s a difficult life, being away from their families and with poor mobile reception.” Ganesh has also partnered with employment organisations such as Neato Employment Services, QITE, ITEC Employment and Jobfind to assist jobseekers gain employment by identifying and treating medical problems that may be hindering their efforts to re-enter the workforce. “As the city with the highest unemployment rate in the country, there are many mental health issues that become major impediments to re-entering the workforce, so I have links with psychologists as well.” MediCheck required a $1.2 million set-up fee and now features seven treatment rooms, botox facilities, a four-bed emergency room and an operating room. Establishing the business was not without its setbacks. “We had to find a site and obtain finance – the start-up costs were enormous.” Ganesh is also the director of Central Plaza Doctors, where he and his team specialise in skin cancer, women’s health, mental health and chronic disease management. And that leads me to Ganesh’s final piece of advice for job seekers and people doing it tough in Cairns. “Believe in yourself – if you find obstacles in the way there’s always a solution – you just need to find the right resources. I love it when my ideas turn into reality. I might have a crazy or impossible dream, but it somehow seems to happen.” Perhaps this is what contributed to Ganesh’s rapid success – a belief in himself, his dreams and his communities, both far and wide.




cooking to

heal words alana rushton ll photography stuart frost





hough it was five years ago, I knew I was eating a well-tended chicken curry. A kind offering from Dr Sheila Gadaloff of Northside Vets in Smithfield, she walked into the next-door office where I worked for Steve Wettenhall MP, presented us with a curry and condiments – then left without fanfare. At the time, I had no idea of the therapy the cooking of that curry was providing for a cancer

inspire sufferer. Sheila was cooking to heal her silent battle with the insidious bowel cancer that was terrifying her. She was hovering over her stove, whiling away the hours as her chemotherapy wore-off. “I went into chemotherapy treatment wearing my bright red lipstick, bright red glasses and a matching top. When I came home from there I would sink into my chair and sleep for 20 hours. You feel really awful.” Her only escape was to cook. “When you have a lot of spare time with yourself, you can read a recipe – it’s therapeutic. There is something special about grinding and roasting spices.” Dr Gadaloff is not only my former work neighbour, but also our dog’s vet. It’s here she may discuss politics or tell you about her cooking class adventures in Italy – but never does she talk about the ‘c’ word. She is a proud and private lady, and I can understand why cancer shocked the hell out of her. “It creeps up on you slowly,” she says. “You don’t feel well. You don’t feel yourself. You think, I am getting old, I am not sleeping well, I shouldn’t have had that glass of wine last night. You are not aware of it until your doctor is saying to you, ‘I have some bad news. You have advanced bowel cancer’. “When he [the doctor] told me it was inoperable, I thought right, you may be about to meet your match. You have one good go at crying and feeling

october 2011

sorry for yourself. And it’s a cry when the tears no longer come, because you can’t salivate.” It was five, almost six years ago, on her daughter’s 21st birthday that she was first diagnosed. Today Sheila wants to get across the importance of “getting yourself checked-out thoroughly at your milestone birthdays of 40, 50 and 60”. Her choice was to have her large bowel removed, then chemotherapy. “I just wanted it gone,” she puts it frankly. “The choice I made was radical.

When he told me it was inoperable, I thought right, you may be about to meet your match.” Goodbye. Gone. It’s like renovating my body. There is cancer right though my family, yet I would never have considered it happening to me. Sheila, along with her brother and sister from Gordonvale, went to boarding school in Herberton, and later Cairns High. She taught at a Brisbane school back in the early ‘70s, where she got her lifelong love of art and craft. “Art is a big part of mine and Sophie’s lives. And when we aren’t

working in the surgery, we are usually doing university courses or workshops like glass bead making, silk flower classes or millinery.” Aged 33, and single again, Sheila then graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland. “I have been married, divorced, and had a child – all in the wrong order. I am disorganised,” she laughs. So, what led her to become a vet? She bursts into fits of laughter. “I danced with my brother’s best man at the wedding, and he was a final year vet student.” Sheila worked in the Pilbara, flying everywhere for veterinary work. She would go into the remote areas where she said you had to earn trust in the indigenous communities. “I was known as the ‘dog doc’, and in my spare time, I used to help children in the Aboriginal schools to read. The most important thing is an education. If you teach people to read, you will empower them for life.” Sheila acquired her cooking skills out of need, as her own mother wasn’t great in the kitchen. But it was while she was working in the remote areas of the Northern Territory around 1996 that she cemented her hobby. “I would cook curries while I was working in isolated areas as there wasn’t a real lot to do, other than read my library of cook books.” Luckily, Sheila cannot only read, but turn the pages of her recipe books into mouth-watering dishes. She has proved she can tackle both ‘c’ words in her life. Cancer and curries.



ladies at lunch






“Back in my last decade I was fussier. But after more life experience, you just want someone who’s decent.” ANDREA DAVEY



1. fish of the day 2. Profile’s Mia Lacy 3. C’est Bon 4. Louise Dyson 5. Laura Avolio 6. An icy cold glass of white from C’est Bon 7. Andrea Davey



ladies at lunch

the ‘meet’ market words mia lacy ll photography coral florian and mia lacy ll venue c’est bon restaurant, cairns



y all-time favourite question to ask couples is ‘How did you two meet?’ The response it evokes is often surprising and always satisfying – especially for ‘The Singleton’ who lives in hope. Did their eyes meet across a backyard barbeque, were they introduced by friends, or did they find someone online through Facebook or internet dating? With reality TV shows now delving into the subject, from Farmer Wants a Wife to Dinner Date, we decided to get up close and personal with the topic over lunch. And the box of Omo laundry detergent? Well, that story goes back to the fly-in fly-out workers back in the early days of Karratha, Western Australia (population 10,000 with 4000 WW). That’s ‘women waiting’. When the miners’ shifts changed, so the story goes, the women wanting a change would put their Omo boxes in the window to signal ‘old man out’ and that they were ‘available’ for dalliances. Other signals included putting the washing out on the line. Hmmmmmm. So how do the single ladies of Cairns signal to potential mates, and how are they faring? We invited three unattached business women to tell all. Andrea Davey, regional general manager for Westpac in Tropical North Queensland, aged 40, came to Cairns in May. Louise Dyson, recruitment officer for Skill 360 Australia, aged 34, has been here for eight years. Laura Avolio, currently a lady of leisure in between assignments, is a separated, single mum of two and has just turned 40. They are all well groomed, personable, attractive – and all looking for ‘Mr Right’. profile: Is it difficult to meet men here in Cairns? louise: Yes. I’ve been single for five years and I’ve had a few dates, a few flings, but I can’t even remember what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone. It’s been so long. I wouldn’t say I find it hard to meet single men at all – I do find it hard for them to call me again! october 2011

andrea: I’ve been single for 12 months and I’ve looked at my move to Cairns as the start of a new life, so I welcome any opportunities to meet new people. laura: I’m recently separated, and I figured they aren’t going to come looking for me at home, so I’ve made an effort to go out and be seen and see people. ‘Where do you go?’ the other two chorus together. laura: If you want to meet someone classy, it’s the Salt House. But a lot of them are out-of-towners. andrea: Yes! So many men I’ve met are here are on holidays! laura: And P.J. O’Brien’s is good for people our age – you’re guaranteed to meet someone there. louise: Oh, and Gilligan’s – but the guys there tend to be younger! laura: It could be anywhere – even going to the supermarket or doing exercise on the Esplanade – eye contact can happen randomly. You have to smile and signal back. profile: How do you show people you’re available? laura: Smile and say ‘hello’! andrea: If they see you’re out and about that works – you’ll generate interest. louise: I find guys in Cairns never come up to you. profile: What are some of the pick-up lines that work? laura: Um, it’s usually ‘are you having a good night’ or sometimes guys will buy you a drink. louise: A guy picked me up off the floor once when I’d fallen over. I wasn’t drunk – I was wearing new platform shoes and still getting used to them! I fell over about five times that night. profile: Has anyone used a pick-up line on a guy? laura: I did at P.J.’s last week. I was egged on by my girlfriends, and there was this guy at the bar with his mates, so I went over and asked him (and them) to dance with us. They did! But they were from out of town.

louise: I played ‘pash and dash’. Once. profile: What’s that? louise: It’s when you see some nice attractive guy and you go up and have a conversation, then you pash him, then you run off – to the next one or somewhere else! andrea: I went to the Crocs AFL game the other day and there were some prospects there in the crowd, I thought. louise: I joined a netball team here that was affiliated with a footy team just to meet men. But they’ve all got girlfriends or wives. profile: Okay that’s about going out to meet men, but what about staying in? Has anyone sat with a glass of wine and gone online to an internet dating site? louise: No, I haven’t. I spend all day at work on a computer and the last thing I want to do is come home and use one. andrea: I have, I only did a profile though, I’ve never followed through with it. laura: I haven’t either – I’d rather go out and meet them as they are. When you are at a bar or in a social situation with someone, you can have that interaction and see what you get! andrea: And I think people on those sites have a tick list. profile: Do you have a check list? andrea: Not specifically, I just want to meet a nice person. Back in my last decade I was fussier. But after more life experience, you just want someone who’s decent. louise: I won ‘Tradie wants a Lady’. (profile: The three of us put our wine glasses down and stare at her.) louise: No really, the tradies were from Mt Isa and it was like a reality TV show with group dates until the tradie got down to two ladies, and then he picked the winner. We had a nice weekend in Port Douglas as a prize! profile: And? profilemagazine


ladies at lunch the ladies enjoy a leisurely lunch at c’est bon


‘C’est Bon’ means ‘it’s good’ in French, and it’s indeed good at this very satisfying restaurant at The Village, 20 Lake Street. I ask owner Nicolas Devic how the restaurant is going, and he responds, “I love my clientele!” So French, I think. Nicolas and wife Debbie bought the popular eatery a few months ago. Having been chef at C’est Bon under the previous owner, Nicolas knows all too well how to cater for the ‘clientele’ who are predominantly locals and, in many cases, corporates. “I go to Rusty’s market on a Friday and check out what’s there, then plan the menu on Saturday and Sunday, buy it in on Monday, and start the new one on a Tuesday,” Nicolas explains.

louise: Well, he got too clingy. He changed his flights to stay with me for an extra few days and I just knew pretty quickly it wouldn’t work out. profile: What about social media – what are the rules of dating and Facebook? louise: My rule is don’t put anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want your mum to see. laura: If I have more than one date, then I will invite the guy to be my friend. andrea: I’d want to be friends on Facebook to check him out more – so you can learn more from his profile. If they don’t want to be friends with you, you’d have to question why. louise: One of my best friends found her very first boyfriend on Facebook after many years. She was 14, he was 17 at the time and they ended up separating. She’s had an awfully rough trip through life since. But, 18 months ago, they started chatting, and now they are together again and have a baby girl. profile: How much do you really want to meet ‘The Guy’? louise: My friends and I worked on a strategy to meet guys very seriously once. We’d planned a documentary, in fact, about a targeted strategy. I got two big dogs and a four-wheel-drive ute (yes, my thing about tradies!). My girlfriend wanted to meet someone sophisticated and intelligent so she enrolled at uni, and the other girl’s strategy was to buy a sequined bikini and sit on the beach. We didn’t end up doing the doco but she still has the bikini, my friend got her degree and I’ve still got the dogs and the ute. andrea: My girlfriend really wanted to meet



“I joined a netball team here that was affiliated with a footy team just to meet men. But they’ve all got girlfriends or wives!” LOUISE DYSON

someone so she used a love spell. She put a mirror and something pink under her bed. Then she went out, met a guy, ended up marrying him and they’ve just had their second child. She passed the love spell on to another girlfriend who did the same and she’s ended up engaged. laura: I’m so doing that! Can you email me the spell? louise: The love spell is like positive thinking, it’s the power of making it happen yourself. I can barely keep up with these ladies. They’re talking and engaging with each other on this subject so quickly, although they’ve only just met. Exchanging stories, laughing at their experiences – The Sisterhood! They finally ended up by deciding to go out together on a manhunt one night and swapping phone numbers. Look out lads! And please, everyone, just remember the line from How I Met Your Mother – “Nothing good happens after 2am!”

For $27.50, guests can choose two fabulous courses from either entrees, mains or desserts on the menu du jour. There is also a similar prix fixed (fixed price) three course menu for dinner for $42.50. For those who desire to order a la carte, a superb regular menu is available which offers all those sensational French standards – escargot (snails), lapin (rabbit), and things like mousse au chocolat (no translation required!). We finally chose. The flavoursome soupe du jour was zucchini, with perfectly paired goat cheese, the parfait (or pate) was an exquisite duck liver with a blackcurrant and pinot noir jam, and Louise said her smoked salmon tartare was “to die for”. Our accomplice, Lina, who looked after us impeccably throughout the luncheon, had recommended the fish of the day. “Nannygai – locally caught,” she said. It was fresh, light, and the perfect girls’ lunch main course. We joyfully gave ourselves over to dessert, tucking into a silk-like Opera cake, an awesome light chocolate mousse and a very smooth creme caramel. With all these passing across our tongues, we felt like we could almost converse a la Francais. Well, maybe aided by the glasses of Mesh Eden Valley riesling, (once tasted – never forgotten, trust me!) Pencarrow sauvignon blanc, Stony Peak chardonnay and Yealands Way pinot gris. So many gorgeous, luscious wines available by the glass, it seemed a shame to ignore them. C’est Bon is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday). 20 Lake Street Phone 4051 4488

business promotion

A WORD FROM THE PRESIDENT The Cairns Chamber of Commerce tag line – Building Business – captures the essence of what we do on a day to day basis. We also work with other key organisations in our region at the broader economic development level to create a framework that supports business growth. As president of the Cairns Chamber, I welcome your thoughts on the above and other matters and appreciate you contacting myself or other members of the Cairns Chamber Management Committee. Anthony Mirotsos President Cairns Chamber of Commerce

Image Credit: © Newspix / Brendan Francis

For further information please visit, phone 07 4031 1838, or email

AT THE CAIRNS CHAMBER? Still in step: (L-R) Brett Moller (CCIQ), Anthony Mirotsos (Cairns Chamber), Gerard Obersky (UDIA)

Cairns Business is Keeping Score The Cairns Chamber joined with the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) in May to form the Cairns Business Leaders Alliance. Its purpose is to work together at a leadership level to gain traction on critical issues affecting us all in terms of regional prosperity. As part of our conviction to keep the spotlight on both the State Government and the opposition in the lead-up to the state election, the Cairns Business Leaders Alliance launched its report card on five key areas of interest to members and the wider community on September 28 at the Hilton Cairns. We will be targeting infrastructure development, regional development, small business, red tape reduction and the Bruce Highway.

Meeting with the Hon Paul Lucas MP – Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State Early September Minister Lucas requested an informal meeting with the Cairns Chamber, attended by the president, Anthony Mirotsos, and members of the Cairns Chamber Management Committee. The minister tabled some key issues relating to Far North Queensland – the Bruce Highway, the infrastructure plan and mining employment (fly-in / fly-out). The minister sought substantive feedback on the Bruce Highway upgrade strategy, to identify safety concerns, traffic efficiency and flood immunity, considering the impacts these have on our region. Identifying corridors is vital. Cairns Chamber welcomes your feedback and comments on these areas.

Small Business Talk Cairns Chamber hosted the Hon Jan Jarratt MP, Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business at the Cairns Chamber’s Boost Small Business Taskforce breakfast briefing on August 30.

We invite you to visit our website at www. where you will find the report card, complete with current scoring. We all need to keep the pressure on all sides of politics to lift their score, by creating and delivering good policy outcomes for the Cairns region. So far we’ve scored infrastructure development. We will be releasing more report cards over the coming weeks and months. You too can get involved by using the comments blog section of the website. After all, it’s about everyone’s future and we all need and deserve to be heard. october 2011

Following the breakfast the Cairns Chamber hosted a meeting with the minister and 10 small business owners to unite the small business voice around the issues of the day.

L-R: Gary Aylward (Cairns Chamber management committee), Hon Jan Jarratt MP and Anthony Mirotsos (Cairns Chamber president)

We welcomed Minister Jarrett’s commitment to a consultation style of government and sincerely thank her for stepping up to work with us to bring about some real solutions for the Cairns region. Cairns Chamber is committed to stepping up and playing a role to support our membership and the community.



cover story

I can hear my grandmother’s and mother’s words in my head. Take care of yourself, because when you do, you can care for what’s important to you.”




Hair by Pulse Hair and Beauty. “Robin has a short, funky style that works for her hectic lifestyle. We wanted to keep her edgy feel but added a little bit of glam. To create Robin’s style, we used a mix of Schwarzkopf Osis styling range – our recipe included Osis Soft and Straight and Osis Rock Hard. The inspiration for Robyn’s makeup was to create a fresh but strong look. We defined her eyes and accentuated her cheeks. Zazi Mineral Rage was used on Robin to allow her skin breath and feel fresh all day”

cover story

THE POWER OF A WOMAN words alana rushton ll photography veronica sagredo

ll hair and makeup pulse hair and beauty ll shoot styling alana rushton and kylie ferrier



reast cancer. Two simple, yet terrifying words we hear far too often today. Daughters, aunties, mothers, cousins, grandmothers, friends, colleagues, nieces, cousins … no one is immune. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. And, age is no longer protection. Now, it’s common to hear of women in their 30’s and even 20’s who have been diagnosed. Me? I am one of the lucky ones. I haven’t yet been directly touched by breast cancer. Sadly though, it’s probably just a matter of time. One day, someone I love, or maybe even I, will fall victim. This year alone, 14,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Every day, eight women will lose their battle with this complex disease. That’s eight families who have to deal with the loss of their loved one. Eight families who will cry. Eight families who will mourn. Eight families whose lives will never, ever be the same. My uncle was taken far too young at 46 from bowel cancer and my pa, aged 80, with prostate cancer. It broke my gran’s heart to watch her son die, and then her husband, all within eight months. I also saw their deaths through the perspective of my mum – her precious younger brother was gone, and her treasured father was no longer in her life. One life lost impacts so many. I learnt about the finality of what the death of someone you love means, and also how earthshatteringly scary it must feel to face the prospect of no tomorrow. I won’t get another chance to see them in their usual places, doing their usual things. Uncle George, no longer with his three girls and favourite motorbike, and Pa, no longer with his sweetheart and children in his garden. Statistics show, that unfortunately, I will be touched somehow by this breast cancer beast in years to come. So, what can I do to ensure my family and I are safe? First and foremost, I can take better care of my health. And I can encourage the women I love to do the same. Women are very good at taking care of others – our children, our friends, our partners, our parents. We’re generally ‘nurturers’ by nature thanks to oestrogen. october 2011

But it’s time to factor in regular check-ups, especially when it comes to breast cancer during October – the universal month for awareness. Time to put ourselves first for a change. Robin Gordon believes it comes down to self respect, and I think she is right. As chief executive officer of Cairns Women’s Imaging and Cairns Radiology, Robin has one simple goal – to ensure we women take better care of ourselves. As the name suggests, Robin’s business (of Cairns Women’s Imaging) is purely focused on women. And while mammograms aren’t the only service the centre provides, encouraging women to have regular mammograms is at the top of Robin’s list. Robin is an incredibly strong woman – successful, intelligent and articulate. But she is also feminine, nurturing and worldly. She believes in the power of women, but she also acknowledges that all this power can be taken away in a second if we don’t look after our health and treat our bodies with the respect they deserve. I wonder where this passion comes from. Her mother and grandmother, she tells me. “I can hear my grandmother’s and mother’s words in my head,” Robin reflects. “Take care of yourself, because when you do, you can care for what’s important to you. “When you’re young the words may seem empty, but as you walk the path of life, you begin to see those words with meaning and truth.” In her quest to help women find meaning and truth in their own lives, Cairns Women’s Imaging was born (with a giant pink ribbon plastered on the external wall as a constant reminder of the early detection message), with the help of Robin’s husband, radiologist Dr Kevin Daynes. Their focus is on early detection, particularly for women without symptoms, and accurate diagnosis for those with symptoms. The pair also wanted to dramatically shorten the waiting time between being seen to actual diagnosis. “With about five to 10 per cent of breast cancers thought to be hereditary, this makes being breastaware even more important,” Robin tells me.

As you can imagine, while many women are shown to have no evidence of the dreaded cancer through Robin’s clinic, many also have their lives turned upside down. “Mostly everyone who walks through the doors for a breast examination has an underlying fear they will hear bad news. So it’s a huge relief when they learn all is fine. Some women even break down with tears of relief learning they can walk out with a clear mind. For others, the news is not so good. “What we’ve learnt throughout the years is that everyone has their own unique way of coping with bad news.” She goes on to tell me that it’s especially hard when telling someone relatively young that they have the disease. “It’s never easy giving someone a diagnosis of cancer. It’s even more difficult when they’re young with a young family of their own. As hard as you try, sometimes you can’t help thinking of your own family.” Robin stresses the importance of setting boundaries in her line of work. “Part of working in this field is learning to develop boundaries and differentiating between empathy and sympathy. If your boundaries are weak this takes away from the quality of care you can provide to your patients. I have always found solace in coming home to my family after a long tough day at work. Nothing is better than a big hug and an understanding smile from someone you love,” she tells me. Through these experiences, Robin has learnt to take life as it comes. “Be patient with others and yourself,” she says. Stay focused and learn what is truly important in one’s life.” And what is most important in Robin’s life? Her family. “Family is the essential core of what keeps me focused. Even after death, the legacy of the person lives within you and this transcends on to the next generation. If there’s anything that I have learnt in life it’s that if you have something to invest, invest it into the arms of your children as there is no better profilemagazine


cover story

It’s never easy giving someone a diagnosis of cancer. It’s even more difficult when they’re young with a young family of their own.”

As CEO of Cairns Women’s Imaging, Robin Gordon encourages women to be breastaware, focusing on early detection



reward. As silly as it may sound, it’s this ‘inner core’ that gives us our magnetic field, protects us from harm, and gives us strength of solace.” Robin and Kevin have six grown-up children and seven “grandbabies”, as she calls them. While she could be forgiven for retiring to enjoy the next phase of her life, instead she balances the two practices and the love for her family on her petite shoulders. I ask Robin how she managed to raise six kids, varying in age from 36 to 20, and she explains that three are hers, two are from her second husband Kevin’s former marriage, and one is “theirs”. She says people often catch her out on a technicality that “she didn’t have six kids”, but she is quick to say “but seriously, which ones would you give back?” How does she manage it all? “One of my biggest challenges was, and still remains, balancing my personal and professional lives. As much as we think we’re ‘superwoman’, eventually there comes a time where ‘balance’ is essential. You can still have the lot, but within reason. It’s not realistic to think we can give full capacity to taking care of the home, the kids, the husband, community, work and not to forget, ourselves.” Robin makes perfect sense – a lesson for women everywhere. “You have to come to terms that it’s not a competition, and when you look at it, a compromise isn’t a sense of failure. Just because you are compromising, doesn’t mean you aren’t giving it your all with the time that you do have.” I wonder about Robin’s life to date, her journey. How did she end up in the Tropical North running a specialist centre and fighting the good fight against breast cancer? “My whole life has been a balancing act. If it’s not plan A, then plan B comes into play. I wanted to go to university and become a doctor. But, what happened was a nice touch of reality. I got married, started uni, and soon found out we were going to have children. By the time I was 21, I had three young children. I couldn’t do a full load of uni [subjects], so I took a few courses each semester. When all the kids were back at school, I finished my Bachelor of Science in nursing.” It’s clear Robin is a nurturer, a caregiver – a nurse by trade, a mother by nature. “While working full time and taking care of the home and kids, I decided to continue at uni with my Masters in nursing. It was an opportunity that could not be passed.” It’s at this point her first marriage ended. “Relationships change but as one chapter of my life ended another began. It was a challenging time as I was raising the kids and working full time at the hospital. My solace was that my mother and grandmother were there. “The days I had off were at uni, and every other weekend I was working as a nurse. But it was my choice and I needed to do it that way. Everyone is different but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve certain goals. You can have the things that are important to you, but it’s a matter of priority and balancing your life to make things happen.” After completing her Master’s degree, Robin was drawn to France for a holiday. She wasn’t sure why, she just knew she had to go. It was here she met Kevin – what ensued was a fairytale romance. Following her chance meeting with this charming

Australian, the couple exchanged faxes and telephone calls – as well as the news they both had previous marriages and children. Robin recalls her mother being wary of someone so far away, so when she visited Kevin in Australia, she took home stationery to prove to her mum “he was who he said he was”. Soon after, they married, and Robin relocated to sunny Cairns, the perfect place to raise their Brady Bunch-like family. A few years on, Robin was encouraged by her husband to further her love of study and become a lawyer. “I topped the class in contract law.” Again, Robin impresses me. But she has done it all looking after herself along the way. “For me, taking care of myself comes in many ways: body, mind and spirit.” Body? Tick. Robin is like a vision from a New York runway – impeccably groomed. So, how does she maintain ‘that’ body? “A good diet, sufficient rest, exercise, and all the necessary yearly check-ups that most of us tend to avoid,” she tells me. Mind? Tick. She gains so much inner worth by fuelling her brain with information – hence her tertiary study in law and science (nursing). “Education is the key to empowering women. It’s the key to independence and sovereignty. It’s something that no one can take from you, yet, if used correctly, can lead you to an unimaginable plateau,” Robin explains. Spirit? Tick. Her office boasts an obvious theme of ‘hands’ in both paintings and decorative items strategically placed around the room. These hands are known as ‘Chamsa’, a symbol of power, good health, fortune and a protective hand known to draw upon positive energies. She tells me that, “Growing up it was in my households, and it gets rid of the evil eye.” And this isn’t the only creative side to her somewhat eclectic office. Her walls are adorned in colourful artwork, many of which have been created by her family – several of her children are artistically gifted, it seems. She also has an appreciation of religious artwork and artefacts. One key piece is an abstract of the ‘Ten Commandments’ by Australian artist, Victor Majzner. She also has several pieces of Aboriginal, Native American and Indian works on her walls – each with a special meaning or distinct link to the work she does. Her love for art is up there with her passion for cooking and fine food. Robin is part of an international gastronomic club that originated in France in 1248 called the ‘Chaine des Rotisseurs’. The Cairns chapter of the club started 21 years ago, with a group of friends coming together over a mutual enjoyment of good food and wine. To add to her already cluttered to do list, Robin is considering learning to play the clarinet, re-learning Spanish, and perhaps returning to university to complete her PhD. Talk about a full dance card. Ironically, Robin is proof that no matter how busy your life is, there is no excuse not to take care of your body, your mind and your spirit. Robin’s success comes from self-drive. Yet, she is still reluctant to spruik her fortunes. “I am no different to most other people out there. Everybody has the capacity to feel accomplished, regardless of what they do. Whether you finish uni degrees or TAFE, or online training – people can get to


Education is the key to empowering women. It’s the key to independence and sovereignty. It’s something that no one can take from you.”

cover louise orbons


a level of self-accomplishment in their own way. The most important thing is to look after yourself and be happy.” And happy she is. It must be rewarding to know that every day you are saving lives. Robin is proud that their venture is having a positive impact on the industry in Cairns. “Diagnostic services were in great demand, so much so that there was a very long waiting list to get an appointment,” which she says is just too risky. “We had an opportunity, not to do something new, but something that focused on the importance of being a woman.” Robin is at the coalface of this nasty disease each and every day, but she is encouraged by the fact that women are happier to discuss the issue. “There is no doubt that advances in treatment for breast cancer has improved the outcome over the years. For me, the ultimate push is educating women about the importance of being breast aware. It’s a slow process, especially educating the community as a whole, but one that is well worth the effort.” She then tells me that, “No longer is it taboo to talk about your breasts in public, and how to care for them. Being educated allows people to take october 2011

proactive steps in maintaining a balanced and healthy life.” So what advice does she have for women when it comes to being breast aware? “Examine your breasts and be on the lookout for anything out of the norm. “See your doctor should you develop a lump or thickening of the skin, swelling, warmth, redness, rash, dimpling or puckering, itching or scaling (especially on the nipple), nipple discharge or a change in breast size or shape.” She also advises to, “Make having a mammogram a regular part of your health care regime,” along with simple things like, “eating a healthy diet, keeping physically active, minimising alcohol intake and not smoking.” Good advice to live by. Simple advice, really. So why don’t we live that way? What I have learnt from Robin is that we women should look after ourselves before anyone else. Robin knows firsthand that everything you love can be taken away from you in an instant. But it doesn’t have to be this way. All it takes is a little self-respect. And the power of a woman.



profile loves warm and toasty

so purdie

Lace up skirt in toast, RRP $129.00. Country Road, Cairns Central. Phone 4031 5131

perfect for summer in the tropiccs, Mela Purdie Available at Viva Boutique, Shop 1/76 Grafton St, Cairns. Phone 4041 5188

cool cat Rope tie trilby in natural, RRP $69.95. Country Road, Cairns Central. phone 4031 5131

enamel glam Betty girly bead enamel bangles in pack, RRP $12.95. Collette, Cairns Central. phone 4041 4521

season must-have Danna Velinta ‘Audience’ stiletto pump in nude, RRP $80.00. Shoetopia 2/87 Woodward Street, Edge Hill. Phone 4032 2941

power suit Add this to your wardrobe for instant glamour. Studio suit jacket in milk white, RRP $299.00. Country Road, Cairns Central. Phone 4031 5131

all that glitters Gold plated thick omega chain, RRP $60.00. Shoetopia 2/87 Woodward Street, Edge Hill. Phone 4032 2941

with Pip Addison, fashion stylist 0425 756 083 on time Milano white sports watch (available in many colours), RRP $40.00. Hepworth’s, 115 Abbott St, Cairns. Phone 4051 2816

(Join me on Facebook for more fashion tips!)

Summer is just around the corner! Whites, caramels and golds feature in summer’s must-have colour palette, sure to put a skip in your step and a glow in your skin. Rock these classic, modern looks as the weather heats up.


bag it Condura white and tan bag, RRP $89.95. Shoetopia 2/87 Woodward Street, Edge Hill. Phone 4032 2941

summer sandals White T-bar sandal, RRP $99.95. MG Shoes,

just add water Rip Curl pelangi solid white halter neck bikini, RRP $49.99. Available from Rip Curl, 107 Abbott Street, Cairns. Phone 4041 7740



off the cuff Gold multi square cuff, RRP $7.95. Collette, Cairns Central. Phone 4041 4521

jewel envy

Otazu it liberta jewel cuff bracelet, RRP $335.00. For stockists, phone 0412 193 763

Driving innovation. The next generation Audi A6 has arrived. Test drive today at Audi Centre Cairns.

Audi Centre Cairns

309 Mulgrave Road, Cairns Tel. 07 4046 6322 A/H: Jeff 0412 688 532

october 2011

Overseas model shown. ACA8090



vanity case

locked lips Jane Iredale THE SKINCARE MAKEUP, RRP $40. Roses and Lollipops is a lip duo featuring two new and universally flattering shades. This year, Jane Iredale will dedicate $1 from each product to the national breast cancer foundation. Available at Shambhala Spa, The Marina. Phone 4031 8800

blushing Youngblood Crushed Blush in Plumberry, RRP $45. Using the same healthy minerals found in Natural Mineral Foundation, Youngblood’s Mineral Blushes offer a beautiful hint of colour that can be applied to the cheeks and temples for a healthy translucent glow. For stockists head to

lovely lashes

k n i p think

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara, RRP $24.95. This is the same as the original black mascara False Lash Effect Mascara but in a delicious, pink package. Available at Kmart and pharmacies

the gloves are on The Body Shop Exfoliating Gloves, $8.95. For a circulation boosting, exfoliating scrub, try wearing these bath and shower favourites. Available at The Body Shop, and at the body shop, cairns central, phone 4051 4366

October pecially in es , se ca y ur vanit d brands cking up o products an g n zi We love sto a onating m a so many month by d breast as there are ast cancer awareness p er, sup ort b re o b ct g O in in rt o o INK! .S supp ch purchase ig ... and THINK P ea m o fr y e b mon uy up reness ... b cancer awa

nail it OPI Nail Polish in Pink Shatter, RRP $19.95. Available in October at selected salons and David Jones. For your nearest OPI stockists, phone 1800 358 999 or visit

time saver

body treat Saya Body Custard, RRP $34.95. A luxurious body moisturiser suitable for all skin types. Enriched with Certified Organic Shea and Cocoa Butter, Certified Organic Avocado, Jojoba and Sunflower Oils and Natural Vitamin E. For stockists visit

light up McGrath Foundation Lip Gloss, RRP $24.95. The lip gloss is pretty and functional, with an applicator light and mirror ensuring perfect application wherever you are. Shop pink at the McGrath Foundation



Cedel Dry Shampoo, RRP $7.99. No time to wash your hair? Cedel Dry Shampoo is your saviour! Simply spray it on and brush it out to leave your hair oil-free and looking, feeling and smelling fresh. New Cedel Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair has been specifically formulated to tone in with all dark hair types. Available at Coles and Priceline

glam it up

double the goodness

La Glam Super Shine Lip Gloss, RRP $35. Go straight from the beach to cocktail happy hour with this range! For stockists visit

The Body Shop Body Butter Duo, RRP $29.95. This twin pot contains two types of moisture: a light cream for where skin needs less hydration and a rich cream for drier areas like elbows and knees. Providing up to 24 hours of hydration, it will leave skin feeling soft and smooth with a sweet, floral scent. Available at The Body Shop and at the body shop, cairns central, phone 4051 4366

october 2011



style counsel

ll photography veronica sagredo


profile: How did it all begin in the hairdressing industry for you? craig: At the age of 19 I was unemployed and it was all about girls for me back then. While walking past a salon in Sydney, I noticed a smoking hot girl working in a hair salon. Bold as brass I went in and asked for a haircut, forgetting to stipulate who with. The next part was a life changing event; I ended up with Arthur cutting my hair. By the end of the haircut I’d met the boss and gained a job where girls came to me! Note: the smoking hot girl turned out to be as much fun as juggling a cactus, but a very big thank you to Arthur!


profile: Where do you get inspiration for your hair designs? craig: Our team training at Pulse is heavily influenced by the trend forecasts we receive from Schwarzkopf’s European connection. profile: What is the best way to sum up your salon’s style? craig: Thanks to my wife, Louise Orbons, who thought it would be a good idea to send in the secret shoppers, our salon has been described as having a “warm, contemporary, modern style”. profile: What do you love most about your job? craig: I’m blown away by the fact that I do still love my job. I feel I don’t have a job. I have a passion for what I do, and luckily for me the rewards have matched the output. profile: What are your hottest on-trend looks we can all try? craig: I’m going to say be bold for summer. Whether it’s uneven lengths, or even cutting in a strong fringe – think definition and less blending. If the scissors scare you, go the colour option. profile: How have you expanded from hair to beauty? craig: We gained a huge amount of experience creating a total look from head to toe, while working on events such as the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival in both Sydney and Brisbane. profile: What has been your career standout moment? craig: There have been many defining moments. What does come to mind straight away is a very recent sweaty-palmed, heart stopping moment. I’m pumped to tell you I now have a business partner Teagan Twomey. The thing I didn’t foresee is I now have to work harder to keep up with her youthful energy. Cheers Teagan! profile: What has been your favourite trend in hair over the years? craig: That’s easily the bob cut. It gives limitless scope – whether long or short, to push, mould or sculpt it as far as you dare. profile: What are the essentials for hair styling in a salon and at home? craig: That changes from person to person. If your stylist doesn’t explain why they are using the products then ask. We always think nourish, repair and protect.

october 2011




mammograms for men and women with Dr Kevin Daynes October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; a time to reflect and remind everyone about the importance of being ‘breast aware’. What is a mammogram? A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray of the breasts that looks for abnormal changes in breast tissue. It is used for women with or without signs or symptoms of breast disease. Mammograms are also used for men with signs or symptoms of breast disease. Why should I have a mammogram? A mammogram on a regular basis is the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Many women, particularly those with dense breasts, also need an ultrasound. These findings should be correlated with a breast examination performed by your doctor. Many studies have shown that finding breast cancer early greatly improves your chances for successful treatment. Mammograms can also show abnormalities that you may not be able to feel when doing a breast exam.



Are there different types of mammograms? There are two types of mammograms: screening and diagnostic. A screening mammogram is for women who have no breast complaints or symptoms. It usually involves two X-rays of each breast. Screening mammograms can detect lumps or tumours that cannot be felt. They can also detect micro-calcifications or tiny deposits of calcium in the breast which may mean that breast cancer is present. A diagnostic mammogram is for women who have breast symptoms such as breast pain, thickened skin, a lump, nipple discharge, a change in breast size or shape or show breast changes on a screening mammogram. When should I have a mammogram and how often? Women over the age of 40 should have a mammogram every one to two years, although current research recommends screening mammograms every year to reduce the rate of interval cancers (breast cancers

that are diagnosed between mammograms). Women under the age of 40 may also need a mammogram if they have had breast cancer or other breast problems or have a family history of breast cancer. A special breast ultrasound may also be recommended as younger women tend to have more dense / solid breasts. The ultrasound in conjunction with a mammogram provides a better image of dense breast tissue as compared to that of a mammogram only. What if I have breast implants? Women with breast implants should also have mammograms. This is often supplemented with a breast ultrasound. Having a mammogram is one of the most important examinations for the detection of breast cancer and should remain an important part of your health care regime. Cairns Women’s Imaging 4042 6888


foot mobilisation technique with Tyson Franklin Foot Mobilisation Technique (FMT) is a proven alternative treatment solution that uses the ‘hands-on’ techniques of joint mobilisation. When combined with prescribed foot exercises by a podiatrist, it can eliminate the cause behind many foot and lower limb complaints.

FMT is a gentle, painless technique. The philosophy behind FMT is that ‘everything works best when it’s in the right position’. FMT basically helps the body repair itself by realigning bony structures through mobilisation of soft tissues around the joints.

While FMT is relatively new within podiatry, physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths have used the basic principles of mobilisation for decades. It just hasn’t been used exclusively to treat biomechanical disorders of the foot and leg, which is what makes FMT so unique.

For some patients, especially women, this can be an alternative treatment to orthotics, especially if footwear is a concern.

A foot, if allowed to roll inwards for many years (over-pronation), will develop joint dysfunction and compensation of related structures, (muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves). Joints within the foot, which are dependent on these soft tissue structures for correct movement, will become immobile, creating long-term joint stiffness and pain.

Overall, FMT can be very useful for treating many foot and lower limb problems by helping restore proper foot function and mobility.

Patients often ask, “Is there an alternative to orthotic treatment?” Yes. However FMT is not a quick fix, even though patients often feel better after just one treatment, because mobilisation reduces joint pressure and immediately gives a feeling of relief. Proper FMT treatment should be implemented over a number visits over a number of weeks, similar to ongoing chiropractic care.

october 2011

Proarch Podiatry 1300 776 272

Therefore FMT can play a major part in regaining movement and function of the joints within the foot, and exercises help to maintain this movement gained from mobilisation. However, joint mobility cannot be maintained through exercises alone, and certainly not by rest.



We are your One-Stop-Shop Where every patient matters On-Site we offer:

√ Doctors √ Physiotherapy √ Skin Clinic √ Dentist √ Psychologist √ Dietitian

√ Hearing Tests √ Pharmacy √ Pathology √ X-Ray √ Café

We Bulk Bill Pensioners, Health Care Card holders & children up to sixteen

Come visit our friendly staff today

Open 8am - 6pm Mon to Fri, 8am - 12 noon Sat

Don’t let


get you down! √ √

Back and Neck Pain Work Related Injury √

Sports Injury

Make an appointment with John or Carla today

Ph 4044 0444

√ Computerised Mole Scan,

(then press 3 for Physio) Regular skin checks can catch affected moles at an early stage, reducing the risk of problems later.

we can store images to track any changes to your moles Don’t risk it, √ DermLight make your appointment √ Skin Cancer surgery today! 36

The Doctors - 318 Mulgrave Rd - Ph 4044 0444


business promotion


AT THE DOCTORS Everyone knows to go to The Doctors on Mulgrave Road for your general medical check-ups. But what most people don’t know is … You can also see specialist practitioners in both physiotherapy and skin mapping – all under the one roof.

Skin Care


tal (includ Health Ca r ing Pr eventa e for yo tive) u and

your f amily y Prof Qualit essionals y of Ca re Qualit y in lif e


Here you will meet Dr Hamish Pearse and Dr Todd Stein, who are both firm believers that “prevention is better than a cure” when it comes to analysing your skin for potential health problems. With their specialist DermDOC skin analysis scanner, they can examine skin lesions with light magnification and filtered light, which enables a more accurate diagnosis. They can take images and the compare the progression of the spots over time.

Dr Hamish Pearse with the DermDOC skin mapping system

As Queensland is the ‘sunshine state’, Dr Pearse said early detection is crucial in terms of outcomes. He said we do the most sun damage to our skin in the first 25 years of our lives, when ‘binge sunburn’ is the most danger. With melenoma the second most common cancer in men, particularly between the ages of 15 and 24, and a 10 times greater risk when you are elderly, it’s crucial to be taking care of yourself from the outside in! Regular mole scans and skin checks can catch any affected moles at an early stage, thereby reducing the risk of problems later on. At The Doctors Mulgrave Road, you can have full body checks and if needed, the removal of any pre-malignant moles. If you wish to make an appointment for a mole scan, which can take up to 20 minutes, simply contact 4044 0444. Please note that nail polish and makeup must be removed to ensure an accurate diagnosis of the skin.

Physiotherapy There are so many reasons John Musgrove and Carla Du Buisson can make you get the most out of your body – all with some simple physiotherapy treatments. Be it back injuries, sports treatment, post-operation recovery or to build strength, their many years of experience and diverse skills can be life changing. And you don’t need a doctor’s referral to see them. John, who hails from the United Kingdom, worked with a rugby team for nine years, is a marathon runner himself and has a double black belt in martial arts – your man for all things sport. On the other hand, Carla Du Buisson, who is from South Africa, has played netball for her former country, has acupuncture experience and is also a specialist in post-hospital recovery, pilates and hydrotherapy. Not only do they offer a wide range of treatments at The Doctors on Mulgrave Road, but they also offer a hydrotherapy class on Monday and Wednesdays at the Woree Pool, by appointment. above: Physiotherapist John Musgrove right:

Small, clinical classes are also available in pilates – giving you an almost one-on-one experience on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5pm. The list of services includes: rehabilitation and pilates gym, balance and stretching classes, ACL injury prevention program; musculoskeletal screening, aquatic physiotherapy, sports coverage, massage, acupuncture, muscle re-education as well as joint mobilisation and manipulation.

Physiotherapist Carla Du Buisson

The Doctors 318 Mulgrave Road, Cairns Phone 4044 0444 october 2011




pregnancy – the natural way with Dr Bob Miller The menstrual cycle is all about growing and releasing a mature egg. Meanwhile, the lining of the uterus is prepared by the rising progesterone level to receive the embryo for implantation five days after fertilisation from sperm. If an embryo does not implant, the lining ‘menses’ (flow of blood and cellular debris) and another cycle starts. You can track your ovulation cycle – firstly by symptoms, and then if it does not appear to be happening – by some simple tests. Funnily enough, pre-menstrual tension can be a good sign. Equally good signs are a mid-cycle surge of watery, sticky cervical mucus (spinnbarkeit), and some crampy, mid-cycle pain. Measuring your temperature for that little rise, post ovulation, is a bit tedious. Certainly, only track two or three cycles that way. The best home ovulation kit is the serial mid-cycle urine spot test that looks for the luteinising hormone surge that precedes ovulation by about 24 hours.



Again, don’t do this until you start to get worried, and then only for one to three consecutive cycles. It becomes too stressful without further fertility advice. Ideally, the ovulation cycle should take 28 to 32 days. The second half of the cycle is more constant, once ovulation has occurred. So in a 28 day cycle, ovulation occurs on day 14. In a 32 day cycle, say 18. Longer and shorter cycles tend to be less efficient, and you may not be ovulating at all. It’s best to line up your partner for regular sexual intercourse around the middle of your cycle. Frequent intercourse keeps the sperm nice and fresh. Intercourse every 48 hours, between day 11 to 15 is ideal, nightly even better, but don’t let it become a chore. Keep the love in it, or he will be off to the pub, or gone fishing!

holding medium for sperm, usually for 48 to 72 hours, so there is good overlap. Human fertility is very hit or miss. In reality, at the start of trying, there is only a 20 to 25 per cent chance per cycle. This chance falls off rapidly with time. While 50 per cent of couples are pregnant after six months; by 18 months, one in six couples are doing it tough, and the chance for a natural pregnancy is down to 1 per cent per cycle. It’s a numbers game. Get the stats on your side, and the sooner you start trying the better! Queensland Fertility Group, Cairns 4041 2400

Now, don’t worry about the messy leakage after intercourse. The ‘commando’ sperm are well on their way by then. The ovulation mucous is a


exercise for good health with Christina Borzi •• Help you maintain a normal weight by increasing your metabolism

Most people take their health for granted until something goes wrong. When you are sick, you have no choice but to think about your health. Learning about and practising preventive health care, or in other words, maintaining your body and good health throughout your entire lifetime, is the best method to prevent illness and disease from happening in the first place.

•• Increase good (HDL) cholesterol So how much exercise is enough? Generally, I recommend that you talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program, but as little as 20 minutes three times a week is enough to improve fitness. As you become fitter, you may want to work up to four to six times a week for 30 to 60 minutes at a time.

As an exercise professional, I believe fitness is one of the most important components of preventive health. Regular exercise can significantly improve the likelihood of a healthy life as it has been proven to:

It’s clear that preventive health care is important, so take the time to learn more about other ‘good health’ practices and start today. I guarantee that you will thank yourself later by being healthier, having more energy and enjoying life to its fullest. Rydges Esplanade Health Club 4044 9010

In saying all that, exercise has so many benefits that any amount is better than none at all. Try to include aerobic (walking, running, swimming, cycling), strength (weight training, push-ups, dips) and flexibility (stretch) for a more balanced workout.

•• Reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity •• Improve flexibility so it’s easier to move around

Now the hardest part, sticking with it! Firstly, establish specific and realistic goals and schedules, choose an exercise you like to do, find an exercise partner, vary your routine and make it fun so you don’t get bored.

•• Improve strength •• Help relieve tension, stress and anxiety •• Increase your energy level •• Help you sleep better


•• ••

• »• »• »•


• • •

»• »•

october 2011




left my

heart in honkers ll words alli grant

Hong Kong – a fabulous city where the old is blended with the new. With so much to do and see, how can you experience the best Honkers has to offer in just four short days? This was the challenge Alli Grant and her husband recently faced on their first visit to the oh-so-cosmopolitan city.

view from the peak, hong kong.


our days in Hong Kong. Four. Short. Days. What to do? Where to go? And how the heck do two first-timers cram a city as fabulous as Honkers into just 96 teeny weeny hours? We decided not to write off the tourist must-sees. Instead, we embraced them. After a false start thanks to stormy weather and a missed connection in Sydney, we arrived in Hong Kong. And, heaven, we were greeted by a driver (in a Mercedes), provided by our hotel. We decided to go a little eclectic on the accommodation front, choosing JIA Hotel, a boutique offering on Hong Kong Island designed by French architect Philippe Starck. If grand foyers and impressive chandeliers are your thing, JIA isn’t for you. But it was for us – with an edgy, hip feel, JIA was just the right fit for our escape to Hong Kong. Philippe most certainly has a unique style – the foyer alone features about 15 different styles of chair – plush velvet sits alongside stark silver, which sits alongside traditional Chinese ornamental. The service was friendly, the breakfast served from a cosy little nook in the foyer, the location was perfect and the room was just ideal for our stay, with a kitchen corner, day bed, dining area, lovely marble bathroom and separate bedroom. And a garden gnome. Yes, a garden gnome, who, strangely enough, didn’t seem at all out of place! While the rooms are predominantly white, Philippe has added touches of colour, and an expressive mix of furniture styles. JIA is a good metaphor for Hong Kong, a city with the amazing ability to



combine state-of-the-art, shiny and new with old school traditions. My husband and I had four kid-free days to enjoy. First stop on day one was a business trip to Guangzhou in China. We took the train to Guangzhou – in less than two hours in a first-class cabin we arrived at our industrial destination for a day of meetings. Time for fun! Our number one ‘must-see’ was Happy Valley Race Course. My husband and I love a day at the races; fascinators, flashy frocks, sunshine and corporate marquees. But there wasn’t a feather or frock in sight. Admittedly, it felt a little wrong to be at a race track at night, especially a school night (and both fascinator and frock-less), but wow, what an experience. While we were warned about the popularity of mid-week races, we were still surprised to see crowds of people teeming into the track. In we went, setting up shop in the members’ area – all very civilised and surrounded by a gaggle of seriously serious punters. It was a little quiet for us, so we took a stroll to explore. We found ourselves trackside, surrounded by thousands of young ex-pats and locals, most in their ‘finance district’ suits, and all grooving to the tunes of a DJ (yes, as the horses ran right by). It felt like a Friday night at a pub – cool music, a tent city of global beer brands, happy people chatting (and drinking) the night away with their friends, and a McDonald’s. Yep, there’s a Maccas at the track. We grabbed a couple of drinks, put on a few bets and enjoyed the electric atmosphere that is Happy Valley. The people-watching was A-grade and we had a fabulous night.


tasty morsels from bo innovation’s demon chef

Day two … shopping … and loads of it. It’s an overused cliché, but you really are spoiled for choice in the shopping department in Hong Kong. If you’re looking for fabulous, designer brands, you’re never too far away from a shopping centre happy to oblige. I was reacquainted with an old friend, Zara, and made a new buddy, Staccato (who further fuelled my shoe obsession) in Times Square, but this was the tip of the iceberg. Check out WTC, Peak Galleria and City Plaza on Hong Kong Island, and China Hong Kong City and Sogo Hong Kong on Kowloon. If markets are your thing, head to the Temple Street Night Market or the Ladies Market (both on Kowloon). Market shopping is an experience we really enjoyed at night as the cafes are overflowing with chatty locals and the streets are bustling. There are markets dotted all over Hong Kong, each with its own unique feel, all flogging something you don’t need but simply have to have. Goodies in hand after our night jaunt to the Ladies Market, it was off for a drink on the top floor of the world-renowned Peninsular Hotel (oh lychee martini, how I love you so). What a view. It was time to experience the Symphony of Lights, a spectacular multi-media show of lights using the high rise buildings around Victoria Harbour as a canvas. About 40 buildings participate in the show, which lasts for 20 minutes and features laser beams and searchlights all dancing a merry little dance around the harbour – a reflection of the diversity and spirit that is Hong Kong. Day three – a little bit more ‘business’ followed by more shopping and preparation for what was to be a night my husband and I will never forget. With a two-and-a-half-year-old, we rarely eat out, let alone experience a culinary super city like Hong Kong, and while we definitely sampled some fine local cuisine, we decided to treat ourselves to a night of indulgence at critically-acclaimed restaurant Bo Innovation in Wan Chai. As guests of owner and head chef Alvin Leong Junior, also known as the Demon Chef, we were wined and dined to a level never experienced by this food-loving couple. Alvin, an engineer by trade who is a self-taught chef, describes Bo Innovation as “x-treme Chinese cuisine”. We ate things that look sweet but were savoury, things that looked like an animal that were a vegetable, and things we didn’t even know could be eaten. And did we eat, enjoying the chef’s menu of 16 courses, each matched with the most amazing wine. Every course was an experience, with narration by exceptional wait staff and Bo Innovation’s sommelier. It was a perfect evening we won’t ever forget. All too soon it was day four , so we decided to head to the city’s most popular tourist destination, The Peak, 396 metres above sea level. Now that is a tram ride, a tram ride in a 120-year-old tram. At times we felt almost vertical – the track is so steep that the buildings we passed look like they were leaning on one heck of an angle. But when you get to the top – boy what a view. Breathtaking is an understatement. We could have spent hours gazing out over Hong Kong. The Peak Sky Terrace stands at 428 metres above sea level. We decided to marvel at the view through the window of a Chinese restaurant, with a glass of bubbles in one hand and a morsel of dim sum in the other. You could spend a day exploring The Peak Tower, famous for its avant-garde design, and all it has to offer – floor after floor of shopping, dining, nature walks and culture. All too soon it was over; time to head back to reality. It may have been a short and sweet love affair, but it certainly was love. I left my heart in Honkers and I’ll be back to collect it very soon. october 2011

We ate things that look sweet but were savoury, things that looked like an animal that were a vegetable, and things that we didn’t even know could be eaten.’

racing at iconic happy valley

We found ourselves trackside, surrounded by thousands of young ex-pats and locals … all grooving to the tunes of a DJ (yes, as the horses ran right by).’

FIND OUT MORE … JIA Hotel - Happy Valley Race Course - Symphony of Lights (Hong Kong Tourism) Bo Innovation - (Alli was a guest of JIA Hotel and Bo Innovation on her trip to Hong Kong.)



on the table

Barbecued Flat Mushrooms with Miso and Wasabi-Avocado Mayonnaise

with ‘Fast’ Ed Halmagyi Better Homes & Gardens chef, and ambassador for the 50th anniversary of the mushroom growing industry in Australia

the magic of


E Barbecued flat mushrooms with miso and wasabi-avocado mayonnaise (Serves 4, or 8 as an entrée) ingredients •• 2 tablespoons white miso paste*

•• 2 tbs peanut oil

•• ¼ cup lemon juice

•• Salt and pepper

•• 1 ripe avocado, peeled and deseeded

•• 2 cups mixed Asian herbs or micro salad greens

•• 2 tablespoons wasabi paste •• ¼ cup Japanese mayonnaise

•• 1 small beetroot, julienned

•• 8 flat mushrooms, stems removed method 1. To make the dressing, whisk miso paste and lemon juice together and set aside. 2. Puree avocado, wasabi and mayonnaise in a blender. Set aside. 3. Preheat a greased barbecue grill on high heat. Toss mushrooms in peanut oil and season with salt and pepper. 4. Arrange mushrooms stem-side down on barbecue. Barbecue for three minutes. Turn mushrooms and spoon over dressing. Barbecue for three to four minutes, until the sauce is hot and mushrooms are tender. 5. Place salad greens on serving plates, top with avocado puree, mushrooms and sprinkle with beetroot then serve. *Miso paste is a fermented soybean mixture used for soups and stews. It can be found in most supermarkets and all Asian grocery stores.



ven after many years as a TV chef and food writer, I still have a simple philosophy when it comes to food; when you do less, the ingredients do more. And this is why I love the versatility of mushrooms. Not only are mushrooms incredibly flavoursome, especially when used as the key ingredient, but the health benefits are endless. Mushrooms are low in fat, kilojoules and carbs, but are big on flavour and essential to a healthy diet. They have that mysterious fifth quality ‘umami’, a rich, deep savoury flavour. This makes mushrooms popular with vegetarians as well as meat eaters. This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the mushroom growing industry in Australia – we have even released an iPhone app to find restaurants and cafes doing exceptional things with mushrooms, just like Dundee’s Restaurant in Cairns, which serves sauteed field mushrooms with roasted red peppers on grilled ciabatta with creamy buffalo feta, rocket and truffle oil as an entree. Executive chef James Wort knows mushrooms work perfectly with the six premium beef cuts and seafood range on Dundee’s menu. But if you’re hankering for a hit of home-cooked mushroom goodness, try barbecued flat mushrooms with miso and wasabi-avocado mayonnaise. It’s perfect as an entrée or as a meal in itself. To learn more about sourcing, selecting, cooking and presenting mushrooms, join the Mushroom Lovers’ Club at Enjoy!

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with Richie Stevens Inside Out Stylists

Once the hippy ‘boho’ style was full of dark, heavy textiles. Well, this season it is anything but. Free your spirit with new, vibrant colours and eclectic prints by adding a cushion to your couch, bed or even the floor.





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shopping tips with Kate Ifould The look of your home is something you put a lot of time and effort into perfecting, both inside and out. Given that I live and breathe furniture and homewares, I understand how shoppers may find it tricky to see how individual products may work when they take it home. When we are shopping, we see the overall look of the décor in a store, and make a blanket judgment as to whether it’s the right look for us in our home. This is where we can often go home disappointed because ‘no one has what I’m looking for’, when in actual fact they probably have just what you want, it’s just displayed in a different context, and you may miss seeing it. I believe the secret is to go out with a plan of what you’re looking for, and remain focused.



If it’s a particular item or look you want, rather than being distracted by the decorating theme in a store, hone in on individual items that might work and remain focused on your end goal – the final look and feel you want for your space. And this is often the problem, I see people who know they need something for a space but head out shopping with no idea of what that ‘something’ might be. Here are my tips: •• Have an overall end vision for the space •• Know your style (modern, classic, retro, boho, French provincial etc) •• Determine your colour scheme

•• Be open to seeing things that might not be obvious •• Ask for assistance – people who work in stores know a lot more about what’s available than you do, and it might not be just what you can see When entering a store shopping for a specific item, don’t judge a book by its cover, as it’s the individual words that make the story. Happy shopping! Coast Stylish Living 4055 1241

•• Know your budget •• Know what type of item you are looking for, or what function an item needs to serve to complete the space


home energy efficiency with Roslyn Smith We are all being hit by the rising cost of services to daily living in our homes. With some intelligent choices and research, we can combat at least some of those costs, and reduce the home’s impact on our environment. Using the best design for your block of land is still the most important factor. This doesn’t mean it has to be an expensive exercise, just a practical and logical one. A home that is designed for Sydney, Melbourne or even Brisbane, is not necessarily going to be the best for our climate here in North Queensland. Remember bigger doesn’t always mean better – it will increase the running costs of your home. Issues such as: orientation on the land; making the most of cool breezes in summer; where the sun is located in summer and winter; exposure to elements during extreme conditions; cross

october 2011

breezes for natural ventilation; suitable materials for energy efficiency, and many more factors will make a lot of difference to the comfortable living in your home. It’s not an easy exercise weighing up the initial costs of some inclusions against the future running costs. We tend to live an outdoor lifestyle, so having suitable external living areas should be of high importance. Air conditioning is something we are becoming more accustomed to in the tropics. If we design the home efficiently, we can reduce the amount of time we need to run them, and when we do, we should be running them at the recommended temperature of 25 degrees.

sized overhangs are all elements of design that will reduce those running costs. You will need to do some of this research yourself, so when you are talking to your builder / designer you can determine whether or not they are experienced in energy efficiency in home design or simply selling you a house. Then you can sit back, relax and enjoy your new home knowing you have taken advantage of all the options available to you. Affinity Designer Homes 4051 8866

Roof and ceiling insulation, reflective exterior colours, tinted glass, good shade, solar power, gas cooking and hot water, efficient lighting and power options; a higher pitched roof and good




saving our local swamp banksias with Marcus Achatz Over a period of about seven years, I heard stories about a stand of wild swamp banksias (Banksia robur) here on the Tablelands. This was exciting news to me because all the swamp banksias that were for sale locally originally came from southern Queensland, and thus, weren’t local natives. About this time last year I finally learned exactly where they were growing and I was fortunate enough to obtain permission from the landowner to enter the property to view the plants and collect some seeds. When I arrived there, it didn’t take me long to spot the first one. In the distance between the white paperbark trunks I saw a couple of big, brown banksia cones. So I walked in a straight line towards them, ignoring all the rustling in the long grass because I was focused on something much more important. The closer I got, the bigger these swamp banksias got. I was especially surprised at how large the flowers and leaves were. (When measured later, the leaves were up to 40cm long and the olive

green flower spikes were up to 30cm tall, which appeared to be larger than normal). I quickly received another surprise. As I wasn’t looking where I was going, I ended up with wet feet. I knew they were called ‘swamp’ banksias for a reason, but I wasn’t actually expecting them to be in the water. After all, banksias, in general, need excellent drainage, otherwise they die. Not this banksia though. It was quite happily growing in a spring-fed swamp in thick, dark grey mud.

After all, growing local banksias not only assists their long-term existence, but as they have evolved in the far north, they should be much better suited to our climate than those from down south. Yuruga Nursery 4093 3826

All up, I couldn’t find more than 40 individual plants, which is a concern because it means our local population is vulnerable to becoming extinct. The current owner of the land is protecting them, but no one can predict the future. For this reason, I have propagated and planted 100 banksia robur seedlings in two stands on my private reserve. At least now there are two back-up populations in the making. The remainder of the seeds were given to Yuruga Nursery so they could be grown and sold to the public (just in time for planting prior to the wet season).

Banksia robur

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spring clean your finances with Jenny Neal A year of normal spending and investing can leave you with a clutter of accounts, bills, fees and reward points. While it may not be everybody’s idea of a good time, getting your finances in order can help you save time and money. The following ideas may help get you started: Review your goals and adjust your savings Firstly, do you have savings or investment goals in place? If not, setting some reasonably achievable goals will help you get what you want sooner and will help keep your spending in check. If you’re unsure of how much money you need to be putting away to reach your goal, try one of the handy online calculators availables. If you’ve been working to a savings plan for some time, now is a good time to check how you’ve been doing and to make honest reassessments if things need changing.

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Now is the perfect time to prepare for Christmas. Most of us find the money for presents, travel and parties from our December budget. It would be far easier to put a little extra aside during the next two months leading up to it. That’s right – just two full months until December is here.

Swapping to a lower balance transfer rate can help you get on top of your debt and free up extra money to put towards your savings. Make sure you make the most of the transfer period and pay off as much as possible. Also, beware of cards that revert to the cash advance rate after the transfer period – make sure you always check the fine print!

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productivity at work with Kirsten Le Roux I was referred a book by David Rock called Your Brain at Work, which surmises that although employees are paid for eight hours a day, the majority of workplaces actually only get two hours of productivity in this time. Most modern workplaces are designed to be ‘open-plan’. This is meant to energise, inspire collaboration and open lines of communication, and yes it does, but during some activities we need a different space. Mr Rock believes the optimal requirements for the human brain to think creatively and problem solve is overlooked in this design. As well as an uncluttered space to think, free of distraction, the brain also needs glucose, oxygen, water and sleep otherwise it will switch over to auto pilot, responding in the same way to the same problems.

It’s not necessary to completely overhaul our office spaces with this in mind, but there are a few practical things that can be done to help. We could have a water fountain, water jugs issued to each staff member for their desks, signs reminding staff to drink more water, a jar of glucose sweets (or any lollies) and encourage staff to help themselves to a couple throughout the day. We could have break rooms which are quiet, well ventilated and tidy where staff can work on projects undisturbed, to think without disruption. Also, if a staff member is working on a complicated document or project, we could allow them to work from home or a cafe for a couple of hours each day – it’s proven that it will take them eight hours at work to do as much in those couple of hours, and it’s more likely to be novel and innovative thinking.

By recognising that open-plan office space is already distracting, discuss with your staff any other interruptions they may have during the day like phone calls, emails, text messages or meetings, and enable them to structure in some down-time or interruption free time. Make sure they do take breaks where they go outside for fresh air. The end result could mean that, in the same amount of time, they are able to respond to internal and external day-to-day requests, as well as innovate and improve business practice in their roles. CBC Staff Selection 4051 9699

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working from values with Carol Hautôt Do you love your work? Do you bounce out of bed eagerly every morning?

value. I asked how she could make her business fun.

I was loving my job. My work was fulfilling one of my core values – to learn and to educate others.

Before you start thinking I’m loopy, I know many people who do love their work and embrace every day as a new adventure. Typically, the work these people perform is closely aligned with their core values – so they gain a deep sense of satisfaction from what they do. If you’re not currently loving your work, you may need to go back to your core values and realign your career to match.

“Fun! Can business be fun?” she asked. “Why not?” I responded. This was a huge revelation and completely changed the way this woman ran her business. The very next day she woke up with more enthusiasm and motivation for her business.

Notice that in both examples it wasn’t necessary to quit or change direction. By being aware of our core values we were able to shift our current circumstances to fit.

I recently worked with a young lady who runs her own business, and was very stressed. She enjoyed dealing with clients, but found the ‘business’ side of the business difficult. I asked her what her values were. She looked down a list of words and chose ‘fun’ as her number one


I’ve always been driven by a core value of learning. Fifteen years ago I found myself supervising in a housekeeping department of an international hotel. I was not excited about checking toilets or whether the bed sheets were folded on the right angle. I found the work boring and repetitive. Instead of leaving though, I offered to train all the new staff. I became the departmental trainer and developed training manuals. All of a sudden,


What are your core values, and is your professional life aligned with them? If not, what could you change to bring it into alignment? ActionCOACH 0421 706 068



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do I look good in this? with John Mlikota A sure recipe for failure in the investment game is to hold on to your losers in the hope of recovery and selling your winners too early. Either way, a subjective decision or indecision can be costly. When we seek validation for something we have purchased, don’t ask the mirror if you truly desire an independent and objective opinion. In the world of instant communication and easy access to information, what prevents most investors from making money? The simple answer, it’s psychological. We are human, and humans have emotions. Some people are more emotional than others. Investing under emotional distress is not profitable. Euphoria can sweep away reason when markets are rallying, as they can on the downside when fear overcomes. Resist the temptation to overstay the party and you’ll avoid the hangover. Euphoria will most likely



lead to bad decisions. The loudest and most recent information clouds our judgement – even professionals can fall for it.

make real money from investing? Investments should be treated without emotion or feeling and objectively.

How do you correctly weigh up what you see and hear? Humans are wired differently (‘Men are from Mars’ etc), but we are also very subjective when it comes to our possessions. Most of us tend to follow fashions, as do the investment markets, but unfortunately they are more fickle.

“We only want the facts that justify our acts – the facts that fit in conveniently with our wishful thinking and justify our preconceived prejudices!” Thomas Edison.

Following the latest fad often proves lethal. Good investing is about good sense. It is more about objectivity and removing the loud noise from the information, and then making hard decisions or indeed making a decision full stop.

Independent Capital Advisers, Cairns 4031 4575 (John Mlikota is senior investment manager and director of Independent Capital Advisers)

So how do we avoid succumbing to the negative mental influences – take advice or take a second opinion to validate your thought process? We do this with most things in life, so we should also do this in the financial world. So how do you


what happened to customer service? Helping you to settle, work

with Paul Fitzgerald Times are hard, and many of our local businesses are struggling to survive in a fiercely competitive market. The natural reaction when confronted with such challenges is to make cutbacks. In theory, when you reduce overheads, profit margins should increase and financial pressures should ease … but is it as simple as that? Cutbacks can take many forms, but whether it is a reduction in personnel, a sale of assets, a freeze on spending or a scaling back in the services being provided, the consequences of any decision should be very carefully considered. Being inextricably linked to the tourism sector, with all of its fragilities, our local economy has been under considerable pressure over the past three years, with a degradation in service standards being an unfortunate casualty. This trend is deeply concerning, and unless it is overwhelmingly reversed, the road to recovery for our economy will be long, difficult and very expensive. Cutting prices (or lowering wage costs by reducing staff numbers) has become the tactic of choice for most businesses when they are confronted with challenging economic pressures – but this is a lazy, naive and counter-productive strategy. Nothing is more precious to a business than the satisfaction of their customers and competitive pricing alone will not sustain a business whose services standards have dropped. Arguably, for all local businesses, this is the time to increase the quality of our customer service. To compete in a global market, in an internet age where people are quick to complain and slow to compliment, customer referrals are a critical, contributing factor to ‘repeat business’ opportunities. Instead of shrinking away from the challenges we face, we should embrace them. We should be looking at ways of marginalising our competitors by lifting our service standards to an even higher level.

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Employing more staff, trained to a better quality, may increase business operating costs; but it will also allow the delivery of higher levels of service, attract more custom, create a clear and favourable distinction within our competitor set, and actually deliver greater yields, making such enlightened businesses even stronger, once our current economic challenges ease in the months and years to come. HEAD OFFICE – CAIRNS Corner of Minnie and McLeod Streets, Cairns Phone: 07 4031 1128, Fax: 07 4031 1271

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permanent work visa with Fiona Ryan The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is a visa program that enables employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor highly-skilled workers either from overseas or from people temporarily in Australia, to fill skilled vacancies in their business that they cannot fill locally. Employers must be located in a regional area, which is all areas of Australia except for Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Newcastle. The vacant position must be full-time, be available for at least two years, and be a position which requires a person with a diploma level qualification or higher. The RSMS process consists of three steps. The employer first applies for certification of the nominated position with the Regional Certifying Body (RCB). The RCB assesses whether the position is genuinely vacant, and unable to be filled by an Australian employee. The second step is to nominate the position to be filled to the Department of Immigration and



Citizenship (DIAC). The third step is to lodge the visa application to DIAC with evidence the visa applicant has the appropriate skills and employment background required for the position, and that they meet health, character and English language proficiency. To be eligible for permanent residency under this visa, the applicant nominated to fill the position must hold a qualifying visa (if applying from within Australia), and they must also have the relevant qualification for the position of at least an Australian equivalent trade, diploma or higher qualification. They must be able to meet licensing requirements if their nominated occupation has any mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership requirements. In addition, the visa applicant must be under 45 years of age, have functional English language ability and meet health and character requirements. In some cases, under exceptional circumstances, visa applicants applying under this program

may seek exemption from the diploma level qualification, language or age eligibility requirements. When granted, the RSMS visa gives the applicant, and any accompanying family members, Australian permanent residency with the condition that the visa applicant remains employed by the sponsoring employer in a regional area in their nominated position for two years. The Australian Government is currently giving the RSMS visa processing priority over all other permanent residency general skilled migration visas, making it a very attractive option for both employers and visa applicants. Visa Connection Pty Ltd 4051 9043 (Fiona Ryan, Registered Migration Agent No. 0640004)


emails at work with Elmarie Gebler Last month we talked about advancements in technology and their impact on our business lives. Since free email services were launched in 1996, growth in email usage has been amazing. Hotmail boasts about 369 million active users, and there are currently more than 3.1 billion email accounts worldwide. Social networking could grow to the same size by 2014, so the next wave is already here.

suggests corporate workers send and receive an average of 110 emails per day, and possibly, only 40 per cent of this information is relevant to your job.

You would think that by now we would all be email experts, but many of us in the corporate world struggle to handle our ever-expanding inbox (much like our waistlines). While email itself has become a critical business tool, our ability to manage this constant stream of communication has not kept pace.

•• Checking your email on a regular basis, but at a time selected by you

Our days are disrupted and our focus moves from one matter to another, often as each email arrives, greatly affecting our workplace efficiency. US research based firm The Radicati Group Inc*

This can become overwhelming, but there are some simple tools to help you cope with this information overload, including: •• Turning off the incoming email alert

•• Dealing with each email decisively, don’t procrastinate •• Emails requiring action need time allocated to them, so set a time in your calendar

Communication by email is a valuable tool, but make sure you don’t become a slave to it. Remember complicated matters can be discussed in person or via telephone, avoiding lengthy emails, which may slow progress. This is a great way to maintain relationships and build rapport. Managing your time efficiently is a key ingredient in business success, so controlling your inbox is a challenge you can rise to. * Email Statistics Report 2010 – The Radicati Group Inc.

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•• Moving emails out of your inbox to other folders once dealt with •• Considering the needs of the person(s) receiving your email. Does everyone really need the information?

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october 2011




words alana rushton

ll photography stuart frost



ine years ago, Neil Robson took a $10,000 gamble and moved from a small stall at Rusty’s Markets to become the iconic brand he is today, Neil’s Organics. With an increase in consumer awareness of the organic way of life, Neil and his wife of 28 years, Norma, have been at the forefront of the movement here in Cairns.

Being part of a men’s group has had the biggest effect on who I am as a man, more than anything else I have done.” Now 52, with two children in their early 20’s, they have enjoyed the rapid growth of their business, as we consumers place a greater importance on living-out healthy lifestyles. They have gone from a husband and wife team of two to employing four staff members, and they love passing on first-hand knowledge of the produce they learnt about as farmers themselves. Neil also credits much of his success to his membership in a men’s group in Cairns. Here he has explored the importance of fatherhood, and he has learnt that men have the ability to share and care for each other through life’s ups and downs. He has also empowered himself as a life coach, helping people understand that it’s not just about the healthy food we eat, but also about achieving a healthy state-of-mind. 56


Milestones …

We asked Neil to share the key milestones in his life that have helped define him, both personally and professionally. Milestone 1: Meeting Norma In 1981, I found a loving partner, Norma, to share adventures with. For our first five years of marriage, we ran our 45-foot prawn trawler up and down the coast, between Townsville and Thursday Island, until we decided to start a family and move to the farm. Norma has been very supportive of me through all of our ventures, plans and crazy ideas I have had over the years. As Neil’s Organics grew, Norma has played a large part in keeping things in order. As in most relationships, she is my constant teacher and button pusher, and I love her for all her great qualities. Milestone 2: Buying a farm in Mareeba Buying a farm in 1988 was a great lifestyle choice. The kids learnt a lot about life and death, and became people who can solve problems with common sense. Being on the farm growing, picking, packing and marketing fruit and vegetables was invaluable in our continued success of Neil’s Organics. It also gave me the knowledge of growing goods, as well as the challenges farmers face which I can pass on to the customers who have lost almost all connection with farmers today. Milestone 3: Organic farming In 1991, we were learning how to grow fruit and vegetables the conventional way, but we were having the same problems every year and I was not happy being so close to highly toxic chemicals. A talk was presented by a man from Western

Australia about the importance of minerals to the soil and the health of the plants. By increasing a mineral fertiliser and decreasing the chemical fertiliser each year, he said we could change to organic farming in five years. Now, more than 20 years later, we are helping lots of people have a choice in what they eat and put in their body. Milestone 4: Starting an organic shop Starting the shop in 2002 was an amazing journey. We grew from a market stall - at that time we had a limited knowledge of all the things that go with running and expanding an organic shop. It has expanded my skills and awareness on how a business works or fails. It has given us the chance to meet some wonderful people and make lots of good friends. Milestone 5: Going to a men’s group Being part of a men’s group has had the biggest effect on who I am as a man, more than anything else I have done. I learnt how important the role of a father is in the raising of both sons and daughters, but it’s much more important for sons. I have found that all men benefit from being involved in talking circles being supported by other men who understand where they are coming from. I became part of a committee to start up our own gathering here in Cairns. I am sure I would not be in the place I am today or be the man I am if I hadn’t been involved in men’s groups.


philosopher’s corner …

health and happiness

with Dr Chris White

Treasure, protect and respect your health Health – for some it means good diet, exercise, supplements and fitness to pursue the vibrancy associated with good health; for others it is associated with medications, treatments, worries, and for others it carries the greatest realisation of life – impending death. For governments around the world it means cost, budget blowouts, an increased liability with an ageing population. How can one word have so many different connotations to different people at different stages of life? As for good health, when we have it, we take it for granted. When we lose it, we look for someone to blame or to fix it. When we see others suffer ill health, we have concern, but we rationalise it in our mind, it wouldn’t happen to us because … Life and health still remain mysteries of the world. Technology and the information age have been able to make what may appear to be huge steps forward, but in the big picture are miniscule blips on the radar of the world. Life and health of course are inextricably linked. Poor health leads to loss of life and even if not that severe leads to loss of quality of life. Despite its significance to these facts we often give lip service or secondary importance to our health. We eat, drink and consume products that will ultimately take part in our demise, we put off the things we need to do for health until after we just do … whatever is in front of us at the time.


cash flow is king with Jeremy Hill

Having a cash flow is the single most important factor in determining whether a business succeeds or fails. Getting money in faster, keeping cash in the business for longer, earning better interest and lowering the cost of banking are some of the many ways small and medium businesses can control their cash flow and stay ahead of game. Westpac Smithfield offers 10 tips: 1. Make cash flow your top priority. Of all the reasons businesses fail, insufficient cash flow is one of the most common. 2. Revamp your receivables strategy – make sure you get paid on time by sending invoices out fast, making payment terms clear, offering incentives for early payment and penalties for late payment, providing a variety of payment options and quickly arranging payment schedules for customers in difficulty. 3. Understand your costs and control them. Look carefully at business costs and the likely impacts of cost cutting. 4. Consider consolidating your banking in one place, and negotiating for a good deal. For example: Westpac offers savings of up to $800 for business owners when they have an eligible business transaction account, with any two of the following – an eligible EFTPOS facility; an eligible business credit card; or an eligible savings account.

And health cannot be acquired. In our wealth based society of greed and excess health is the one thing that wealth, power or fear cannot purchase. So maybe health is the great equaliser. Good health should be treasured, protected and respected. Our health can take us in a moment, or it can let us live for a time, but it will eventually conquer us. However, there are some things we can do to assist it.

5. Get the right type of loan for the right type of purpose – for example, a credit card for paying taxis, a revolving overdraft facility to cushion cash flow and a business loan for purchasing higher assets.

Congruence in what you do is important, living the life YOU want to live, not leading a false or artificial life, not living a life of pretence or false impression, not trying to be something you don’t really want to be – these things are important. Stress is the friend and support of poor health.

7. Delight your profitable customers by treating them to exceptional customer service.

While disease can strike anyone it is well known that stress, and each of the situations above, provide internal stress, weaken the immune system and allow the enemy of ill health to take hold more easily. Support the natural things that will enhance good health through thoughts, words and deeds, including your food and exercise, and eliminating stressors as far as practicable.

9. Work smarter, not harder. Take stock of your business software, systems and processes to make sure you’re making the most of them.

To lead a long life you need good health. To want to lead a long life, good health is essential. Both are partly destiny and partly choice.

Speak with your Local Business Banker, Jeremy Hill, at Westpac Smithfield Bank on 4038 8418 to discuss how we can help you.

Migration Plus 4041 2620

Westpac Banking Corporation Smithfield Shopping Centre, Smithfield Phone 4038 8418

october 2011

6. Keep communicating your point of difference – now could well be the time to spend on marketing to reduce the risk of losing business.

8. Get as much advice as you can from experts such as your banker, lawyer, financial planner and accountant.

10. Review your business insurance. Make sure you’re protected from unexpected events that can prevent you from maintaining cash flow.










Pelican Childcare Early Learning Centres’ launch of ‘Healthy Kids Club’, photography Veronica Sagredo TROY COLEMAN AND BEAU WHYKES



Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair (CIAF) events, photography Kerry Trapnell














Writers on the Waterfront lunch, photography Bernadette Curnuck GLYN DAVIES, DAVID DELANEY AND JOHN MCDONALD



Cairns Business Women’s Club, Ladies Day at the Amateurs, photography Stuart Frost


october 2011






win a flames of the forest experience Flames of the Forest transports you into a world beyond your imagination, so relaxing and uplifting you won’t ever want to leave. A completely intimate and natural feast for your senses, Flames is a ‘must-do’ for locals and visitors alike. Profile magazine and Flames of the Forest ( are giving away a romantic dinner for two, including return transfers from Port Douglas, a six-course tropical tasting menu (served to your table) accompanied by quality Australian wine, sparkling and beer – all in the surrounds of a candlelit rainforest. Valued at $334 (for two people).

win a perfect pet portrait Pets are treasured members of the family, and what better way to cherish a much-loved pet than with a personalised portrait? Local artist Mike Walton (www.mikewaltonpetportraits. com), winner of the 2011 Artist of the North People’s Choice Award, is in strong demand for his attention to detail, and his lifelike portraits of pets have proved extremely popular. Thanks to Mike Walton and profile magazine, two readers will win a personalised portrait of their pet, valued at $175 each.

scan this with your smartphone to jump straight to our competition page

They say you have to be in it to win it ... Check out the fabulous prizes up for grabs in October’s TNQ profile magazine. Head to for entry details, terms and conditions.

win secrets bling for breast cancer Secrets has teamed with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) to release a limitededition collection called ‘Real Beauty’ to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research, with 25 per cent of proceeds donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Profile magazine and Secrets Cairns Central have a ‘Real Beauty’ ring, set in simulated white and black diamonds and valued at $250, up for grabs this month.

win a gourmet mushroom experience Profile magazine is offering one winner a dinner or lunch for two at Dundee’s Restaurant to the value of $100 – to sample some of their delicious mushroom creations. Eight runners-up will receive a copy of Mushrooms The Great All Rounder by Janelle Bloom, valued at $24.95 each.



win baby bowl for busy mums Written by 4 Ingredients’ author Kim McCosker, Baby Bowl focuses on fast preparation and easy cooking – perfect for busy mums! Baby Bowl walks you through which foods to introduce when and the importance of nutrition through providing healthy, homemade baby food, covering topics such as allergies and reflux. Profile magazine has 12 books to give away, valued at $15 each.

on the road

Holden Cruze Series II SRi


have been lucky enough to have driven more cars in the past 10 years than most people will ever drive. And it doesn’t matter how many different models I drive, every so often something takes me back to when I first started driving. I can’t help but compare what is ‘the norm’ in today’s new vehicle market with what was around when I was a learner driver. It wasn’t that many years ago when buying a well performing, sporty vehicle was costly – both to purchase and maintain its high-capacity, fuel guzzling motor. You also had to sacrifice things like ride comfort for the driver and passengers. So as I sit on the side of the road in the sporty new Holden Cruze SRi, I am having one of those moments. It is a really cool looking, sporty car with excellent ride comfort, a great motor and suspension setup, yet it’s available for under $30,000 drive away! Bang for your buck in the new car market has come a long, long way. The newly-released, Australian-built Series II Holden Cruze brings with it standard Cruze accessories such as electronic stability control, cruise control, five-star ANCAP safety rating, power windows and steering controls for the sound system. In addition, the SRi mode features 17 inch alloy wheels, a sports pack with spoiler and side skirts, chrome door handles, fog lamps, CD/MP3 player with iPod compatibility and an excellent engine and performance suspension setup. The series II Holden Cruze SRi introduces an excellent engine option to the already popular Cruze range, with an intelligent 1.4 litre turbo

october 2011

not just cruizin’ ll words hamish rose

petrol motor producing an impressive 103kw and 200Nm torque, while offering a very economical 6.4L per 100km combined fuel economy. The Holden Cruze SRi is proof that the days of fuel guzzling, high capacity motors in small to medium cars are well and truly in the rear-view mirror. The long torque band, from 1850 to 4900 rpm, provides a great on the road experience by reducing low down turbo lag and providing solid top end performance. Couple this with the Watt’s-link rear suspension and the result is a very quiet and comfortable ride, yet a sporty and fun drive from Cairns to Port Douglas. The Cruze is also a great option for city drivers with an easy to use manual gearbox, light clutch and good visibility and manoeuvrability. On the outside, the Cruze boasts subtle European design qualities that are blended with sporty and fun Holden touches. Inside, the Cruze is certainly at the larger end of the small car market, fitting five people comfortably with supportive yet comfortable seats. The cabin is also sporty yet practical, with quality finishings and obvious attention to detail in dash layout and design. After a good drive it really is hard to see what Holden could have done to make it any better – interior room and performance is comparable to a much larger car, yet it has the economy, handling and manoeuvrability of a smaller car. The Cruze SRi is a fun, practical and comfortable car that is extremely versatile. Best of all, it’s made in Australia! A must test-drive for a wide range of new car buyers.


• Sports body kit • 17 inch alloy wheels • Chrome highlighted door handles • ‘Plug and play’ CD/MP3 player with iPod compatibility • Five star ANCAP safety • Cruise control • Power windows ENGINE 1.4 litre iTi DOHC turbo petrol producing 103kw and 200Nm torque FUEL CONSUMPTION Manual gearbox – 6.4 litres/100km (combined) Automatic gearbox – 6.9 litres/100km (combined) PRICE Manual (as tested) from $28,578 drive away

To test drive this vehicle, contact: Irelands Holden 227 Mulgrave Road, Cairns Phone 4052 3666



the last word

SHARON COHRS, shot on location at frame oz images

ll photography veronica sagredo Sharon Cohrs has battled it out with her toughest opponent – breast cancer. In her quest for reaching the highest of highs after a double mastectomy, she became the first breast cancer survivor in the world to stand at the top of Mt Everest, in May this year. Sharon is ‘Climbing for a Cause’ to reach a target of $250,000 to help find a cure. She now travels the country giving motivational talks on the incredible journey she has shared with her mountaineering husband.

“I wish I could … cure cancer.

I grew up in … the Blue Mountains, New South Wales.

My greatest achievement is … summiting Mt Everest on May 20, 2011.

I start my day by … eating a big bowl of fruit salad with my homemade yoghurt.

In five years I hope to be … climbing more magnificent mountains and giving inspiration to others.

I would love to be a better … singer. My husband says I sound terrible.

Happiness is when … I’m in a remote part of the world, climbing or trekking. When I am not working I am … training, and planning my next adventure. I wish I could … cure cancer. My favourite holiday spot is … Nepal, Thailand and South West Rocks in NSW.

Sharon Cohrs is most definitely an adrenalin junkie – she’s happiest when trekking or climbing … or planning her next adventure



When I was growing up I wanted to be … a professional horse trainer. My all time favourite movie is … Seven Years in Tibet.

What makes me laugh out loud is … my dog, Jahn. He will sit and howl at me and chase me around the house until I take him for a walk. The one person I would most like to meet … Bear Grylls, he just rocks! My hidden talent … sudoku. This even surprises me! If I didn’t live in Cairns, I would live … in the Himalayas. My advice to you is … live life to the fullest, make each day count. My motto is … “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”



weekdays from 5.30am ZINC 102.7 ROCKING THE CAIRNS COMMUNITY ...

october 2011



October TNQ profile magazine  
October TNQ profile magazine  

Corporate Lifestyle Magazine for Tropical North Queensland