TAKEME E M HO AD TO RE
Timor Leste's time to shine
Fine wine and a world of sweet treats
A real Australian business magazine
Welcome aboard Welcome aboard your Airnorth flight. If you are lucky enough to be travelling around the Top End today, you’ll notice the land is awash with healthy greenery, gushing waterfalls and generous lashings of rain. Many will tell you that the ‘wet season’ should in no way be a deterrent to visiting this marvellous landscape, but an opportunity to see a spectacular show of Mother Nature’s finest work. Recently, we were delighted to announce an exciting new addition to our Airnorth network. New twice weekly seasonal flights from Darwin and Townsville to the Gold Coast will commence on Wednesday April 3, 2019. This new service marks Airnorth as the only carrier in Australia to provide non-stop flights between Queensland’s Townsville and Gold Coast. Additionally, this new route will be Airnorth’s fourth destination in Queensland. Furthermore, we’re also excited to confirm that we will increase our popular seasonal service between Perth, Kununurra and Darwin to twice weekly from May 3, 2019. Customers will also be offered greater opportunity to
travel across the Airnorth network from April, with extra services between Gove from Cairns and Darwin. Around the rest of the network, the summer of action continues, with plenty of events to enjoy. Down in Melbourne, don’t miss the 2019 NRL All-Stars Indigenous vs Maori match (February 15), followed by the renowned annual Moomba Festival (March 8–11), which returns to the banks of the Yarra River. Out west in the Kimberley region, the spectacular Ord Valley Muster (May 17–26) returns to Kununurra, in a 10-day festival packed with 30 events. In Broome, the 2019 Airnorth Cable Beach Polo (May 18–19) is set to return to the stunning shores of Cable Beach. Make sure you’re keeping up-to-date with the latest news on this prestigious event, as tickets are likely to sell out fast. For now, though, we ask that you sit back, relax and enjoy your Airnorth flight. Daniel Bowden Chief Executive Officer, Airnorth FEB/MARCH 2019
A Room with a Zoo Experience the unforgettable...
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contents 33 mother's day gifts
Our wrap-up of thoughtful gifts that mum is sure to love
AusBiz. Check out AusBiz. at the back of the magazine.
IMAGE OF MINING What’s going on within the industry to bolster its image. MENTAL HEALTH Fantastic organisations around Australia dedicated to providing support for mental health issues. WAR ON WASTE A discerning look at Australia’s infrastructure for managing waste. HUMAN RESOURCES What does HR look like in the technology age?
13 Airnorth News
20 Swan Valley Getaway
Airnorth spreads Christmas cheer and raises awareness about domestic violence.
15 Regional News
We bring you the latest news around the country.
16 Events Calendar Don’t miss what’s happening around Australia this February and March.
Our guide to Western Australia's thriving Swan Valley, brimming with sweet treats and wine offerings.
24 Timor Leste
We explore Dili, the bustling capital of Timor Leste, and get off the grid and into the sea around beautiful, remote Atauro Island. FEB/MARCH 2019
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publisher's letter It’s been five years since I visited Timor-Leste, and it was so good to be back there recently. The small Asian nation is the closest country to Australia, and yet it’s often overlooked as a great holiday destination because of its troubled past. I was born in the early 70s and grew up hearing about the atrocities that occurred when Indonesia occupied Timor-Leste. As I headed into my teens, I learned of the five journalists executed in Balibo by Indonesians in 1975, and the teenagers who were shot in a graveyard in Dili while peacefully protesting Indonesian occupation and the murder of their friend. Whenever Timor was mentioned, it was with sadness or anger. In 1999, when the majority of Timorese voters chose independence from Indonesia, the country was again plunged into darkness, with antiindependence militants attacking civilians brave enough to stand up and fight for freedom. The Indonesian military-backed militia went on a terror campaign, Dili was practically burned to the ground, and more than 1,400 civilians were killed. I began to wonder whether this poor country would ever have a chance of escaping its bleak past. Thankfully, it has. This year marks 20 years of independence and TimorLeste is a peaceful, safe country where the locals are some of the most beautiful, giving people you will ever meet. It is very much a developing country (I always joke that it feels like Asia in the 70s), but you can stay in lovely hotels, there’s Internet, fantastic fresh food and great arts and crafts, and the diving, snorkelling, whale watching and hiking are sensational. This time I spent a few days in Dili and a few days on Atauro Island, where I was lucky enough to swim with a pod of melon-headed whales (they’re actually a type of dolphin). I met many locals and expats all doing their best to shine some light on Timor-Leste, and when the time for me to leave rolled around, I was already messaging family and friends to plan another trip. Social media was buzzing with comments and questions. So, watch this space, as I think it’s time for Timor-Leste to move into a fresh new era. And for all you folks from Darwin, it’s only an hour’s flight to Dili. You have no excuse!
MICHELLE HESPE, AND TEAM AT TOGETHER WE FLY
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TAKE E ME HOMD TO REA
Timor Leste's time to shine SWAN VALLEY
Fine wine and a world of sweet treats
A real Australian business magazine
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Sponsorship spotlight Following more than two decades of tradition, the 2018 Airnorth Santa Run kicked off in December with one mission: to spread Christmas cheer. Teaming up with Darwin’s number one radio station, Mix 104.9 FM, announcers Greg and Ali boarded Airnorth flight TL250, bound for the ‘Centre Run’, with Santa and his elf helper in tow. Despite the sweltering 42 degrees Celsius heat, the festive group, who touched down in Katherine and Tennant Creek, were met by hundreds of local children, families and local stakeholders. This festive season, the team at Airnorth decided to move away from the traditional handing out of sweets and lollies, instead opting for fresh Australian-grown fruit and sporting equipment, thanks to the generous support of Coles and Intersport Casuarina. Eager locals socialised over a
community barbecue and helped themselves to more than 200 kilograms of fruit and more than 70 high-quality sports balls. Local promotional company, Stickers and Stuff, also donated handy household items such as notepads, bags and toiletries. The cheerful and positive day served not only as a reminder of the importance of community, but also the promotion of a healthy and balanced lifestyle for all Australians. A special thank you to all of our supporters: Mix 104.9 FM, Tennant Creek Airport (Northern Territory Airports), Coles Darwin, Intersport Casuarina, Stickers and Stuff and Barkly Regional Council. Airnorth remains committed to supporting the local communities that support us. If you have a cause or event you think we should know about, please contact marketing@ airnorth.com.au FEB/MARCH 2019
Australia Day NT Airnorth was delighted to recently support the Australia Day celebrations in the Northern Territory. Held in late January, Australia Day NT held two community events to celebrate the spirit of Australia. In the council’s own words, Australia Day is an opportunity to “come together as a nation to celebrate all the things we love about Australia; our land, sense of a fair go, lifestyle, democracy, all the freedoms we enjoy and particularly, our people.” The morning of Australia Day kicked off with OZ RUN, the Territory’s largest running event, attracting thousands of people who participated in a 3 or 5 kilometre walk or run. Held at the picturesque Darwin Waterfront, participants were encouraged to dress up and embrace the Aussie spirit. The public got their blood pumping with a Zumba-style warm-
up before the event, and were rewarded with a free sausage sizzle, mist tent and fun family activities post-event. The winner of the fun run was awarded with Airnorth’s grand prize of two return flights from Darwin to Townsville. The festivities continued into the night, followed by 'An Evening with Anna Meares'. Held at Darwin’s Convention Centre, the event focused on the spirit of Australia with a keynote address by prominent athlete Anna Meares. The famed athlete, Australia’s track cyclist champion, and fourtime Olympian, delivered an inspiring address, enchanting the audience. The night continued with the awarding of the NT Australian of the Year and more entertainment. Airnorth also donated the lucky door prize of the night: another two return adult airfares from Darwin to Townsville.
Biddeston State School P&C Following a highly successful partnership in 2018, Airnorth are delighted to continue our relationship with Biddeston State School P&C in 2019. The annual Ladies Only Garden Party is now in its fourth year running, with an aim to raise awareness and funds for White Ribbon Australia, as well as other important domestic violence and family causes in the Darling Downs region. Ladies were urged to dress for the ‘vintage and lace’ theme, and were treated to beautiful scenes in a splendid outdoor dusk setting. Twinkling fairy lights matched views
of rolling Southern Queensland country hills, as women were entertained throughout the night. The event consisted of beautiful food, fun entertainment and lively bidding on fantastic prize items. Airnorth was delighted to support the event by donating a lucky door prize of two return flights from Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport to Melbourne. We look forward to continuing this special relationship, and working together towards making a difference in this region. FEB/MARCH 2019
NASA Exhibition at Queensland Museum This March, Brisbane’s Queensland Museum will be the first Australian museum to host the world’s most comprehensive and extensive touring space flight exhibition. 'NASA – A Human Adventure' will showcase the most remarkable feats of space exploration, coinciding with the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Chronicling the history of space travel and rocket science, to tell the story of the early pioneers and feats of engineering that have vitally shaped our exploration of the cosmos, the exhibition will feature more than 250 artefacts – original and flown space objects, space suits, full-scale replicas and scaled models, including the front section of NASA’s Space Shuttle, Lunar Rover, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo
space crafts, and Soviet robotic lunar rover Lunokhod. Representing a new era for the Queensland Museum, which has recently undergone comprehensive redevelopments and the opening of new gallery spaces, including the newly refurbished 1000 square metre, two-level gallery space in which the exhibition will debut, 'NASA – A Human Adventure' will be the largest exhibition hosted by the museum in its 150 years. Queensland Museum is part of the Queensland Museum Network, home to 1.2 million objects and specimens, valued at more than $551 million, and approximately 14 million research collection items. 'NASA – A Human Adventure' is on at the Queensland Museum, March 15–October 9. Tickets are available at qm.qld.gov.au
WA’s Peel region opens new craft beer and wine trail Western Australia’s Peel region, a one-hour drive south of Perth, is renowned for its boutique wineries and craft breweries. Now, visitors can experience seven of the region’s best by following the Peel Craft Beer and Wine Trail, from Jarrahdale to Mandurah to Waroona, including Three Rivers Brewing Co, Peel Estate Wines, White Lakes Brewing, King Road Brewing Co, Millbrook Winery, Drakesbrook Fine Wines and the Skipworth Wine Company. Choose to join a wine and brewery tour, charter a 5-star coach or take a self-guided tour by following the trail map around the region. For information and a trail map go to visitpeel.com.au
Skeleton of extinct marsupial lion reveals similarities to the Tasmanian devil New research into the first complete skeleton of the marsupial ‘lion’ (Thylacoleo carnifex), an extinct mammal that once roamed Australia, has revealed unprecedented insights about the species, including its similarities to today’s Tasmanian devil. For millions of years Thylacoleo carnifex was Australia’s largest and most ferocious mammalian predator, using its climbing ability to ambush prey, until the continent’s megafauna disappeared around 40,000 years ago. After analysing new remains discovered in Naracoorte and the Nullarbor Plain, researchers from Flinders University have revealed that the lion’s biology and behaviour was similar to the Tasmanian devil’s – the largest marsupial carnivore still living in Australia today. “These recent fossil discoveries in South Australian caves enabled us to finally assemble a complete skeleton of the marsupial lion, including the tail and collar bone, for the first
time ever,” says author of the study Professor Rod Wells. “We concluded that the marsupial lion was a stealth or ambush predator of larger prey, a niche not dissimilar to that of the Tasmanian devil, which feeds on smaller prey in comparison.” The research confirms the lion was a skilled climber, whether it be moving through the canopy or through caves, despite weighing more than 100 kilograms. It had a heavy, muscular tail that would have helped it balance and free up the forelimbs for capturing prey and food manipulation. Lecturer of Palaeontology at Flinders University Dr Aaron Camens commented: “Examining the whole skeleton reveals what a truly unique animal Thylacoleo was. It looked like a cross between a possum and a wombat, climbed a bit like a koala, and moved with the stiff-backed gait of a Tasmanian devil.” For more information visit journals.plos.org/plosone
Amazing pearl experience in Broome Willie Creek Pearls is a Broome pearl farm that offers guests a comprehensive experience in learning about the history of pearling in Broome, touring the modern-day farm, and harvesting your very own pearl. The award-winning pearlers have recently invested $500,000 in the construction of a state-of-the-art pearl oyster hatchery, in order to further educate visitors about the life of a pearl oyster and the development of pearls. For more information visit williecreekpearls.com.au FEB/MARCH 2019
What's on & what's hot Our pick of the very best gigs, festivals, and cultural and sporting events from around the country. Compiled by: Sarah hinder
February 8–March 3 Perth WA A city-wide celebration for all ages, Perth’s major cultural festival presents a diversity of perspectives on the world through theatre, dance, film, and visual and cultural arts. perthfestival.com.au
St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Chinchilla Melon Festival
Brisbane Qld, Sydney NSW, Adelaide SA, Melbourne Vic, Fremantle WA Providing a platform for local and international talent, Laneway is a fine choice to see contemporary laidback rock. lanewayfestival.com
February 10 St Kilda Festival
Melbourne Vic Australia’s largest free summer celebration sees multiple stages plus workshops, sports, carnival rides and buskers. stkildafestival.com.au
Chinchilla Qld At the world’s biggest watermelon festival expect melon skiing, melon bungy and melon eating. This quirky event is all about fun and supporting the local community. melonfest.com.au
March 1–18 Sculpture by the Sea
February 15–17 Boyup Brook Country Music Festival
Boyup Brook WA This three-day event has brought the best country music from all around to this small country town for 32 years. countrymusicwa.com.au
Harrie Fasher, Transition
Image: Press Photo
Perth WA A beautiful popup sculpture park graces the sands of iconic Cottesloe Beach, featuring works by more than 70 Australian and international artists. sculpturebythesea.com
Events calendar World Science Festival Brisbane
Rottnest Channel Swim
Shimano Bike Buller Festival
Rottnest Island & Perth WA In one of Western Australia’s most iconic events, swimmers brave the 19.7 kilometre open water swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island. rottnestchannelswim.com.au
March 8–24 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Melbourne Vic Across Melbourne and regional Victoria, foodies and wine aficionados attend wonderfully curated brunches, lunches, degustations and events. melbournefoodandwine.com.au
March 14–17 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix
Melbourne Vic One of the biggest and most historic events on the Aussie sporting calendar, the race marks the first round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in an exciting and glamorous event. grandprix.com.au
Mount Buller Vic This weekend mountain bike festival sees riders of all abilities tackle the breathtaking Victorian Alps. rapidascent.com.au
Nannup Music Festival
Porongurup Wine Festival
Channel 7 Mandurah Crab Fest
Brunswick Music Festival
Tiwi Islands Grand Final and Art Sale
Nannup WA From rock gigs to instrumental masterpieces, this communityminded celebration aims to support local artists and foster emerging talent. nannupmusicfestival.org
Porongurup WA This family-friendly wine tasting festival showcases the best of the Porongurup region wine labels. porongurup.com
Melbourne Vic Kicking off with the Sydney Road Street Party Parade, Brunswick’s artistic spaces, streets and sidewalks set the stage for emerging artists. brunswickmusicfestival.com.au
Ipswich Qld Presenting the world’s best country superstars, this great country rock do welcomes a fantastic international line-up to the heritage city of Ipswich. cmcrocks.com
Mandurah WA This Mandurah region festival is all about fresh food, captivating performances and the native blue manna crab. crabfest.com.au
Bathurst Island NT Showcasing a collection of Tiwi Islander art, these annual markets are a chance to meet the artists, purchase local art and enjoy a day of footy. jilamara.com FEB/MARCH 2019
Compiled by: Sarah hinder
Image: Michael Jalaru Torres at Kooljaman Beach, 2018
Desert River Sea: Portraits of the Kimberley
February 9–May 27 at Art Gallery of WA, Perth WA In an exciting culmination of the Art Gallery of Western Australia’s sixyear Kimberley visual arts project, this exhibition brings together new and legacy works from six Kimberley art centres and three independent artists, offering visitors a rare experience of the land, artists and art of the Kimberley. artgallery.wa.gov.au desertriversea.com.au
Aalingoon (Rainbow Serpent) 2018 (detail) ochre pigment on engraved pearl shell thirty-four parts, 182 x 28 cm (overall).
March 2–June 2 at Art Gallery of SA, Adelaide SA This first major survey exhibition of Ben Quilty includes his experiences as an official war artist in Afghanistan, his campaign to save the lives of the Bali Nine and his reflections on rituals performed by young Australian men. The national tour moves to the Qld Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane from June 29–October 13, and the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney from November 9– February 2, 2020. artgallery.sa.gov.au
Ben Quilty, Australia, born 1973, The Pink dress, 2016, Southern Highlands, New South Wales, oil on linen, 265.0 x 202.0 cm; Private Collection, Courtesy the artist, Mim Stirling.
March 16–June 2 at Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs NT Documenting the rise of Western Desert art, this exhibition showcases the most significant collection of early Papunya paintings from the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s collection, as well as unpublished photographs and historical ephemera. The exhibition aims to provide insight into the artistic development of the Papunya Art Movement. magnt.net.au araluenartscentre.nt.gov.au
Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri, Bush tucker ceremony, 1972. Collection of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. © the estate of the artist licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency courtesy Papunya Tula Artists.
Image: Frontier Touring
Eagles World Tour
Out now, Simon & Schuster Australia, autobiography. Frauke first arrived in the dusty frontier town of Kununurra in 1981. This inspiring tale tells the story of how a young German girl overcame tragedy to pioneer Kimberley Fine Diamonds – one of the largest collections of Argyle pink diamonds in the world.
Old Days, Old Ways, Alex Nicol
March 2019, Allen & Unwin, anthology. ABC’s first rural radio presenter takes us on a journey back to his good old days in the bush: before television and the Internet came along. Full of classic Aussie characters from out in the sticks, Nicol’s yarns breathe life into the voices and stories of regional Australia.
Stranger Country, Monica Tan
March 2019, Allen & Unwin, true story. Chinese-Australian journalist Monica Tan always felt unsure of her place in this country. So she put her cityslicker life on hold and hit the road on a 30,000 kilometre solo outback odyssey. Stranger Country chronicles her six-month journey through some of Australia’s most iconic landscapes.
Image: Herring & Herring
A Diamond in the Dust, Frauke BoltenBoshammer
March 5–4 in Brisbane Qld, Melbourne Vic & Sydney NSW Eagles return to Australia this March with a line-up of Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, Vince Gill and Deacon Frey. The US rock legends will perform hits from all seven of their studio albums.
Image: Original Sydney Cast
Muriel’s Wedding the Musical
March 12–May 19 in Melbourne Vic & June 29– August 11 in Sydney NSW. One of Australia’s most loved films hits the stage in this big, fun and cheeky musical. Muriel’s got the perfect wedding planned: the dress, the church, the attention. There’s only one thing missing – a groom. Muriel packs up and follows her dreams to Sydney. But just as everything seems to be working out all right, things start to go really wrong. murielsweddingthemusical.com
Ozzy Osbourne, No More Tours 2
March 9 & 11 in Melbourne Vic & Sydney NSW Ozzy Osbourne returns to Australia for two last wicked shows at Download Festival, performing alongside heavy metal superstars Judas Priest, Slayer, Anthrax, The Amity Affliction and Alice in Chains.
Swanning About Swan Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions. But be warned that the locals also take nougat, nuts, honey, cheese and chocolate very seriously, so take an empty suitcase. WORDS: michelle hespe
It’s a rainy morning in Perth when we set off for Swan Valley, but Sylvia Mills from Luxury Outback Tours and I can’t wait to hit the country roads that wind off into the verdant hills barely half an hour after leaving the CBD. “The sweet treats will taste the same whatever the weather is doing,” Sylvie assures me with a laugh.
Down to the crunch Our first stop in Swan Valley is a double-dipping treat, as in two adjoining buildings – Mondo Nougat and Morish Nuts. Both companies had humble family-run beginnings, but today each has claimed its rightful place on the Australian gourmet snack stage. “Most people assume that ‘real’ nougat is chewy!” exclaims Italian-born owner and founder of Mondo Nougat,
Alfonso Romeo. “This is not at all true; the nougat that Italians love is actually the crunchy variety.” He holds out a platter scattered with crunchy vanilla nougat pieces, which taste as good as they crunch, and then I move on to some of their other popular varieties, such as the chewy macadamia and honey, pistachio and almond, and my favourite, salted caramel. I bite into a cranberry and pistachio, followed by a soft vanilla. Just as delicious. Sylvie snaps a photo of me in front of the cute aqua green Italian Fiat that’s loaded up with nougat, and I buy a cooler bag filled with every type on offer (justifying this with the fact that Easter is around the corner). Then we watch the show in the production room, where bakers are cutting large slabs of freshly cooked nougat into little oblong treats.
Clockwise from left: Cycling around Swan Valley wineries; beekeeper tending bee hives at House of Honey; Mondo Nougat Cheesecake.
Like a true Nonna who can’t feed her family enough, the (somehow) slender manager offers me a taste of the homemade gelati, and he won’t let me escape without sampling the famous Mondo Nougat Cheesecake. Who am I to refuse? A hop, skip and a jump takes us into Morish Nuts. Twenty years strong, this family business disrupted the snack scene a decade ago, using a family recipe prepared in their Swan Valley kitchen to reinvent the approach to bagged nuts. Branding helped this local business stand out and thrive – the bold blackand-white striped packaging featuring a grinning peanut man in a top hat and bow tie holding a walking cane is as recognisable as he is joyous. One can’t help but grin like the Morish peanut man when you discover the range of nutty offerings, such as hot and spicy caramel-coated cashews and pistachios, praline with hot and spicy caramel and chilli, lime zest and spices, abalone- and truffle-flavoured macadamias, and Peanut Crunch (a slab of popcorn and peanuts smothered in a rich caramel butter coating with a sprinkling of coconut) and Peanut Brittle. My favourite is the wasabi macadamias. “We tried out the abalone and
wasabi macadamias in Margaret River, with a couple of our guys selling them out of a van to surfers and tourists,” says owner and “Principal Nut” Archie Moroni. “They thought they had enough stock for a week but they ran out in a day!” he laughs. “They are just too good!”
Sweet and savoury If you have only ever consumed mainstream processed honey, then you haven’t really experienced true honey. Honey is a food worth dedicating your life to, as we come to understand when we meet the passionate beekeeping couple behind House of Honey – Rupert and Kim Phillips. The incredibly busy store and tasting room are proof that patience and passion for natural produce pays off. “Harvesting honey only when the bees have capped the cells allows the honey to fully ripen,” Kim explains. “West Australian honeys have intense flavours and the highest nutritional value, and we only use traditional, sustainable farming methods.” She guides me through the crowds to the tasting table, where there are more then 20 different varieties of honey on offer. The Jarrah variety is a stand-out. Amber-coloured with a malty flavour, it is renowned for its high antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. I also love the Banksia flavour, which is citrusy and so ideal for peppermint tea, and Blackbutt (dubbed the FEB/MARCH 2019
Guinness of honeys), which is heavy and thick. There are endless plants and trees that bees can extract pollen from, and the result means an enormous range of taste sensations. “So many people don’t realise how different one honey can be from another,” Rupert says. We finish off our tasting, buy some Jarrah honey (when in Rome… ) and wrap things up by tasting the company’s range of meads and honey-infused liqueurs. For those new to it, mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. The delectable drinks warm the belly and coat my lips with another kind of sweetness. Next, Sylvie and I decide it’s time to indulge my craving for something else that the Swan Valley is famous for: cheese. Set metres from Olive Farm Wines cellar door, The Cheese Barrel is all about enjoying local and international artisan cheeses with matching wines, locally roasted coffee, and more sweet treats if you so desire, in a shed with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open on to a wooden deck set up for outdoor tastings and lunches, with stunning views of Susannah Brook. The rain has stopped, and, as I settle in for a cheese tasting, a rainbow arches across the paddock and the fields are bathed in a warm golden light. People look up from their wine and platters, exclaiming over the storybook vista. I decide to come back again, pledging to spend an entire afternoon here enjoying the setting and the world-class produce.
Wine o’clock As it’s past midday (“It’s 5pm somewhere in the world,” says Sylvie with a grin), it’s high time for some wine tasting. And what better way to kick off than with a tasting at one of the original wineries in Australia, Houghton Wines. Established in 1836 when three army officers bought land in the Swan Valley just four years after Western Australia was colonised, it is one of the country’s oldest operating wineries. In 1937 its signature white burgundy, Houghton White Classic, was released, making a huge splash in the wine world. It’s still famous today and is the perfect barbecue wine. The winery’s cellar door is like a mini museum celebrating its impressive heritage. Take time to wander and read, as there are some quirky tales to enjoy, such as the one about Moondyne Joe, the WA bushranger who was caught trying to steal bottles from Houghton’s cellar when the owner happened to bring some local police around for refreshments. “If you’re going to go down for your crimes, that’s a brilliant way to do it,” says the cellar door manager: “surrounded by great wine!” The wine tasting was enough of a treat, but the bar was then raised when Iron Chef Australia winner Herb Faust, who runs the café at Houghton, brought out some of the tastiest
Left to right: Taylors Art and Coffee House; cooking at Edgecombe Brothers; Houghton Winery cellar door; wine tasting at Houghton Winery; The Cheese Barrel at Olive Farm Wines.
Fact File Luxury Outback Tours luxuryoutbacktours.com.au Mondo Nougat mondonougat.com.au Morish Nuts morish.com.au House of Honey thehouseofhoney.com.au The Cheese Barrel thecheesebarrel.com.au Sandalford Wines sandalford.com Houghton Winery houghton-wines.com.au
bite-sized dishes I’ve ever come across. Some of his most popular dishes are savoury churros with jamon, caramelised pear and Cambray blue cheese; Margaret River wagyu with green mango, crisp fish and hot and sour sauce; and fritters of queso Mahon (a Spanish cow’s cheese) with charred corn, avocado and jalapeño mojo. Truth be told I’m rather full by this stage, but I make time for a late lunch at Sandalford Wines, where the restaurant is one of the busiest in the valley, attracting large groups as well as those after an intimate experience. Founded in 1840, Sandalford is one of Western Australia’s oldest and largest privately owned wineries. The cellar door doubles as a large store offering all sorts of wine paraphernalia, and the tastings can include Estate Reserve, and Margaret River and Element Wines, as well as ultra-premium drops. The grounds are well worth a leisurely wander, and you’ll find some of the oldest vines in the country, planted in 1890, in a pretty-as-a-picture lush garden patch that is an ode to the early days of Australia’s winemaking. En route to the restrooms, check out the hallway and
grand staircase where there’s barely any wall room left, as it’s plastered with framed concert posters showcasing the famous musicians who have performed here. The signed pieces from Sandalford’s colourful past are nothing short of gobsmacking. Pretty much any band you’ve ever heard of, and any musician of merit – and even all those awesome one-hit-wonders you may have forgotten – have entertained the crowds here. I sit in the afternoon sun on the outdoor patio and tuck into the Ferguson Valley lamb rump with charred carrot purée, Wanneroo sugar snaps, shallots and a mint jus, beautifully paired with a Sandalford Cabernet Merlot. The fallen rain has the gardens, vines and green grass glistening. I skip desert, but only because I have a plan for later. I’m staying at the hot new hotel in Perth: the glamorous, uberstylish Westin, so Sylvie and I cruise back to the city and the porter loads my five bags of goodies on to the bell boy’s cart. Due to genius forward-thinking – or rather, knowing in advance that nothing excites me more than taking locally made treats from a wine region home to share with friends and family – I have an empty suitcase ready to roll. Speaking of rolling, that’s what I do: through the lobby and up to my stunning modern suite, where, after a snooze, I can’t resist opening a bottle of white burgundy and having an evening glass of wine while the sun sets across Perth. Then I open some Morish wasabi macadamias, and arrange a little slab of camembert and a couple of pieces of crunchy vanilla nougat on a plate. My day of swanning is over, but my evening of delectable delights is just beginning. AN FEB/MARCH 2019
Off the Grid
Blessed with incredible diving and whale watching, pristine jungle landscapes and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, Timor-Leste is an ideal place for an off-thegrid, cultural getaway. WORDS: michelle hespe photography: david kirkland
Off the Grid
Off the Grid
ISLAND IN THE SUN I’m flying through the water with the sun on my back, my snorkel allowing me to breathe and my flippers angled in a straight line so as not to slow me down. My diving buddy Neyl and I are holding on to a rope that is tied to a fishing speedboat, and our goal is to catch up with a fast-moving giant pod of melon-headed whales. The boat stops, I let go of the rope and after a million sparkling bubbles rise in an explosion of light around us, we hear the joyous song of the creatures swimming around, below and before us. There are hundreds of them cavorting about, leaping in and out of the water, tail-slapping and singing to one another. I can’t believe it’s real. They’re called whales, but the melon-heads – who gained their name due to their bulbous heads with flattish faces – are actually dolphins. They travel in enormous groups (sometimes up to 1000) and are renowned for being quite shy, but today they seem to be enjoying the human company. We swim amongst the shimmering spectacle, marvelling at their other-worldly beauty. An hour later the dolphins swim out to deeper seas and we board the boat, ready for some fishing and snorkelling along the coast of Atauro Island. The snorkelling around Timor-Leste is famous, for good reason. The crystal-clear waters, abundance of marine life (including lots of Nemos) and intact coral gardens resplendent in a dazzling array of colours, also make it an underwater photographer's dream. On a fine-weather day, the sea is as flat as glass and it’s an easy hour-long boat ride across to Dili. Back on land, later that day, I explore Atauro Island by tuktuk, checking out the busy markets where 10,000 or so locals
buy products from the mainland and food such as dried fish, vegetables and chickens from farmers and fishermen. I stop by for a cold beer at Barry’s Eco-Lodge – owned by the man himself who has been on the island for 15 years. I take some time to kick back and enjoy the stunning view of the property’s palm-fringed beach. It’s always abuzz with fishermen, and the thatched accommodation huts surrounded by flower gardens make it picture-book perfect. I notice there are students everywhere, playing board games, reading books in the shade before whirring fans and enjoying cool beverages and local snacks. Barry explains his retreat is often chosen by teenagers who have finished Year 12 and are after an alternative to Schoolies. Here, they put down the gadgets and go alcoholfree, getting back to nature, meeting the locals and enjoying one another’s company in a good old-fashioned way. I don’t want to spend too much time out and about as where I’m staying, Neyl’s Beloi Beach Hotel, is a piece of paradise that has the best views, food and drinks on the island. Neyl, otherwise known as "Captain Imagine", had a dream of building his own Rasta-themed resort complete with a pool and a bar, on jungle-clad land, overlooking the ocean with mountains soaring majestically behind it. The crowning centrepiece of the resort is the pool. Inlaid with Moroccan-style blue tiles, it’s perched on the edge of a cliff, so while you're enjoying the cool water you can gaze over the island villages. Here, people live as they did thousands of years ago, in thatched huts with abundant vegetable gardens, chickens and kids running about in the forest. If you didn’t see mobile phones in most people’s hands, or a glimpse of a TV here and there through an open door, you might assume you’ve stepped back in time. Beside the pool is Neyl’s latest addition to Beloi, which has more zen than a monastery. The delightfully dubbed Ponky’s Bar was named after his two little girls, who he calls his “Inky Pinky Ponkys”. You enter the bar-cum-restaurant via a winding path through tropical gardens, and step into a space that is such a surprise for an island that, until recently, didn’t even have tarmac or more than a handful of tourists at any one time. With dark walls and thatched booths, stools and seats made from recycled boat materials, funky lighting and reggae tunes, the bar could easily be a big city venue. Neyl is proud to say that he and his team of 12 staff created it all from scratch, teaching themselves as they went along. You can perch on a stool on the balcony – which has the same jaw-dropping views of jungle meeting ocean. The accommodation is clean and simple, with air conditioning and showers. Some rooms are in the main
Image: David Kirkland
Off the Grid
Here, people live as they did thousands of years ago, in thatched huts with abundant vegetable gardens, chickens and kids running about.
Off the Grid
Image: Jack Malipan
bungalow, and others in converted shipping containers positioned on the side of the cliffs next to the pool. Make time for a massage in the furthest container, which has been turned into a sweet little spa – I am lucky enough to have a heavy thunderstorm roll in while enjoying mine, adding to the feeling of being removed from the world as I know it. After a few days I reluctantly say goodbye to the gorgeous staff and grab a ride down the hill in the back of the ute, then wade through the water to our awaiting boat. Fishermen and kids wave and shout out farewells. The trip back to Dili is a smooth one, and we are lucky enough to spot more dolphins and humpback whales having a ball. Whale season in TimorLeste is something else – the magnificent creatures migrate past before hitting the top of Australia and continuing their journey down Western Australia’s coast.
THE BIG SMOKE After Atauro Island, being back in Dili is a bit of a shock. It’s a thriving Asian city alive and humming with the smells, noises and organised chaos of a somewhat clumsily developing country. But that’s also what gives this special place its charm. Think Thailand in the 70s – complete with beaten-up yellow mini-buses blasting reggae or tinny Timorese tunes, their dashboards crammed with all manner of soft toys, fluffy dice dangling beside prayer beads and random collections of glittering, bobbing ornaments that the drivers can somehow see through. The city streets are lined with groups of young and old men selling bundles of fish on the footpath, next to others pedalling fresh coconuts. It's pure mayhem if you're driving – the bigger your vehicle, the more right of way you have, and cyclists, buses, motorbikes and pedestrians all dodge chickens and stray dogs looking for a feed. If you need time-out, there are plenty of ways to escape the heat and chaos of Dili. Timor Plaza is where you can cool off and shop to your heart’s content in the frenetic layers of a thriving shopping mall selling everything you can possibly imagine. Eat local food downstairs, or head upstairs for a sophisticated experience in luxurious surrounds. Enjoy a cocktail, beer or wine in the Sky Bar or Sky Garden Terrace, or sit back, relax and indulge in a wonderful dining experience at Timor Plaza Hotel’s luxurious Panorama restaurant, which focuses on modern European cuisine, complemented by a great wine and beer list. The accommodation at Timor Plaza Hotel is some of the best in the country. There are Premier, Superior and Deluxe suites with views of the surrounding mountains, Junior and Executive suites, and apartments for longer stays.
On my second day, intent on ridding myself of any lingering preconceptions that many people have about Timor, I take a tour with Timor Adventures to get the lowdown on where the country came from, and where it’s headed. To get a grip on my location, I walk up 500 steps on the Fatucama Peninsula to visit the 27-metre high Cristo Rei of Dili monument. The statue was proposed by former governor José Abilio Osorio Soares to President Suharto, as a present for the 20th anniversary of East Timor’s integration into Indonesia. Things didn’t go too smoothly from there, and after spending some time sitting under the statue, looking out over the ocean, I take the plunge into some dark history. Be warned, it’s not easy to stomach what happened to the Timorese people during many relentless periods of conflict – the country was pretty much at war for four decades from 1960 until 1999, and the atrocities that occurred during and after the Indonesian invasion are horrifying. The Indonesians burnt Dili to the ground when they were forced to leave in 1999, with the aim of destroying everything in their path on their way home. I visit the Timorese Resistance Archive and Museum and learn about the 250 (at least) pro-independence students who the Indonesians opened fire on while they were peacefully protesting on the day of their murdered friend Sebastião Gomes’ funeral at Santa Cruz Cemetery in 1991. I remember hearing about the Santa Cruz massacre as a young teenager. Sebastião had been murdered after vocalising his opinion on Indonesian occupation during a meeting with other resistance members in Dili’s Motael Church. When the Indonesians discovered the group, he was dragged outside and shot in broad daylight in front of his friends, allies and enemies. Seeing the blood-soaked clothes and shoes beneath photos of the many young, optimistic faces is enough to make anyone cry. There's a statue in the city (called Estatua da Juventude) depicting a young man holding another who was shot during the massacre. Their names are Amali and Levi Corte Real. Both survived, left the country for around a decade, and weren't aware that the statue had been erected. It was based upon footage of the carnage taken by British filmmaker Max Stahl, who hid his reel of film in the graveyard and then retrieved it after the Indonesians left. That footage changed the history of Timor-Leste as it let people know what was really happening in a country that was cut off from the rest of the world. Wanting to know more, but with my stomach churning and tears in my eyes, I visit the Chega! exhibition in a jail where
Image: David Kirkland
LESTE WE FORGET
Off the Grid
FACT FILE Timor Plaza Hotel timorplazahotel.com Beloi Beach Hotel beloibeachhoteltimorleste.com Timor Adventures timoradventures.com.au Timor Resistance Museum amrtimor.org Agora Food Studio timorlestefoodlab.com Timor Lodge Hotel timorlodgehotel.com Diya Restaurant, Discovery Inn discoveryinntimorleste.com
Timorese people were tortured and killed by Indonesians for being brave enough to stand up for their country’s freedom. Today, locals (including Amali) work tirelessly at the institution to preserve the country’s dark history. Feeling quite burdened by Timor's sad history, I go for brunch at Agora Food Studio, which is a "social enterprise and plant-forward restaurant”, that proudly proclaims its dedication to “growing food and coffee innovators”. It is “guided by the ever-changing equatorial seasons and indigenous knowledge”. Agora is a Greek word for a gathering place to share ideas, and that’s what I find when I step inside. It’s a buzzing place for people to enjoy beautifully creative slow food meals which are artfully crafted from locally sourced produce. The chef proudly explains each dish to diners, and you can take a look at the rooftop herb garden and the outdoor pizza oven. I enjoy a homemade kombucha with a plate of delicious goodies that includes falafel-style purple sweet potatoes, grilled locally caught fish, a boiled egg and a light and tangy vegetable salad, alongside fresh avocado on sourdough. The café and hospitality school is up there with Timor Plaza, raising the bar on Dili’s dining and drinks scene. Things really are changing here, and the staff are as passionate about food as they are about service. Afterwards, for a late lunch, I visit the Timor Lodge Hotel for a poolside nasi goreng and a G&T to get some relief from the heat. I sit in the big open-air courtyard, then take a swim in the hotel’s large pool with a waterfall at one end. Skinny cats and kittens prowl the premises, no doubt praying for a dropped prawn or a rogue sliver of chicken – a gentle reminder that Timor-Leste is still a Third World
country. The food is great and there are never many people in the pool, so it’s a little oasis in a busy strip of Dili. That night, I visit the beautiful Diya restaurant in the Discovery Inn. It’s a fine dining affair in beautiful, relaxing surrounds and the staff have all been trained to take service to the next level. The portions are generous, and every detail is taken into consideration. There is also an alfresco dining option where guests can be surrounded by tropical gardens and palms, and an upstairs bar on a patio complete with fans and wicker seating. The rooms here are lovely, spacious and decorated with local art and crafts, so they have an authentic Timorese charm. Before leaving for the airport on my last day, I head back to the statue of the two men that dwarfs the smattering of locals gathered around its base, smoking cigarettes, drinking beers, chatting and listening to music blaring from 80s ghetto-blasters – another reminder that this city is yet to hit the well-trodden Asian tourist circuit. Some young Timorese girls, giggling and shy, approach me and ask for photos with them. I happily oblige, then spend the next half an hour having my photo taken with every teenager in town, faces beaming as they cuddle into me, making jokes about my skin and clothes. I’m astounded that I am still an unusual sight. Before jumping in a cab (the blue taxis are modern and metred and it's pot luck with the yellow ones), I look up at the two determined young men immortalised as a symbol of Timor-Leste’s struggle for freedom, and I can’t help but feel sad and happy at the same time. They’ve had a rough trot, the Timorese. But they’re strong, happy, friendly people, and I really do think it’s time for this young country to step into the spotlight and shine. AN
Sip, Eat, Sleep
Top Tier in the Territory Experience one of the Northern Territory’s most unique hotels. Located on The Esplanade with panoramic views over Darwin Harbour and close to the dining and entertainment district of Mitchell Street, Novotel Darwin CBD is central to all of Darwin’s major tourist attractions. Its central location and accessibility make it perfectly suited to both business and leisure travellers. The hotel boasts 140 rooms including standard hotel rooms with stunning harbour views, junior suites and two-bedroom apartments, making it an ideal choice for families. The unique atrium lobby, with its palm trees and tropical rainforest vibes provide a top spot for a cold refreshing drink after a day exploring the Territory. The hotel has two function rooms with an abundance of natural light, and four spaces for corporate and social events. accorhotels.com/gb/hotel1748-novotel-darwin-cbd/index.shtml
Ovolo Nishi With its unusual pineappleinspired structure, Ovolo Nishi (formerly known as Hotel Hotel) has been a talking point since it was completed in 2013. Its new incarnation in the Ovolo group of funky hotels has injected new life into the project that was the work of more than 50 designer-makers, architects, artists and other big thinkers, that represents stories of traditional Australian landscapes and culture. This striking hotel sits in the heart of a buzzing hub of restaurants, cafes, bars and entertainment venues, making it an ideal place from which to take in Canberra’s many art and cultural offerings. However, you could spend
days just exploring and enjoying the hotel. It has an ultra-cool library and lounging space and the Monster Saloon and Bar offers local, seasonally-based dishes with a Japanese and Middle Eastern flair. There’s also a huge collection of art on display, and within the complex there’s a cinema, art gallery, pilates studio, hair salon and bicycle shop. Living up to the Ovolo name, the rooms are nothing short of awesome, with cool artwork and designer pieces artfully placed, beautiful, tactile fabrics such as soft leather on arm chairs and silky drapes, designer mood lighting and beds that warrant a long sleep-in. ovolohotels.com.au
Mother’s Day Gifts
Mother’s Day gift guide Find the perfect gift for Mum.
1. Florae Cosmetics Bags by Ecology
Compiled by: Sarah Hinder
Inspired by the intriguing native flora of Australian bushland and curated to compliment the beauty of a picturesque native landscape, this Florae cosmetic bag collection makes for stylish travel. $44.95, ecologyhomewares.com.au
2. Rare Carafe & Radiant Glasses by Puik
Inspired by the scarcity of water, designer Lara Van Der Lugt believes we need to start cherishing the resource like diamonds. This eyecatching set – great for sangria, wine, punch or whisky – is made from mouth-blown crystal glass, which catches the light in the manner of a real diamond. Carafe $88, set of two glasses $63, top3.com.au
3. manly spirits coastal citrus gin A summer gin perfect for those balmy nights where a refreshing G&T is in order. Flavours of Lemon Aspen, Sea Parsley, Lemon Myrtle, Fresh Corriander Leaf and Meyer Lemon give this lovely, fresh gin earthy lemon notes with herbaceous undertones. It has a juniper core with a lingering finish. $80 (delivered in a gift box) manlyspirits.com.au
4. Smeg Citrus Juicer This ‘50s-style juicer is a premium appliance designed to make the juicing process clean and simple. Made from stainless steel, it has a 70 watt motor with a built-in sensor, and is available in seven colours. $219, davidjones.com.au, harveynorman.com.au
Motherâ€™s Day Gifts
5. Live Whole Coconut Yoga Mat Made from 100 per cent natural tree rubber and reinforced with coconut coir fibre, this yoga mat is durable and easy to grip, as well as biodegradable, fair trade and sustainable. For every mat sold, Live Whole buys back acres of land for conservation in partnership with the Rainforest Trust conservation society. $99, livewholeyoga.com
6. Botanica Boutique Biodome
7. Intrinsic Hello Gorgeous Scarf
8. Eco Bottle by Independent Studios
Designed with ideal conditions for growing small plants, ferns and mosses, this aesthetic vivarium has an opening at the top to enable watering and airflow â€“ great for both temperate and tropical plants. $199, top3.com.au
Designed in South Australia and made in India, this lightweight fine cotton scarf brightens up any outfit with its colourful haze of pink and turquoise, a touch of gold, and fun tassels. $49.99, intrinsiconline.com
Liquid will stay cool in these stylish, double-walled ceramic bottles that have a broad opening, making them fantastic for smoothies and easy to clean. They hold 325 millilitres and come with a wooden lid. $24.95, birdsnest.com.au
Mother’s Day Gifts
9. Cheeseporn Cheese Board by DOIY Made from acacia wood, this interesting cheese board comes with two golden-hued stainless steel knives that have integrated magnets to keep the knives attached to the board for ease of use. The knives are what make the cheese board unique, with small decorative holes that allude to Swiss cheese. $69.95, until.com.au
10. May Gibbs Blossom Gardening Gloves by Ecology These May Gibbs by Ecology gardening gloves will pull on Mum’s heart strings, remembering a childhood with May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie stories. $16.95, ecologyhomewares.com.au
11. Corkcicle Stemless Wine Tumbler
12. Giniversity Gift Pack
Mum loves her wine? This stemless, triple-insulated wine cup is made for wine on-the-go. These handy cups can go where glass can’t. They also include a lid, and keep beverages cool for nine hours and hot for three hours. $24.95, mrandmrsjones.com.au
This lovely gift pack is the perfect way for mum to try all three of the most popular Ginversity gins. The pack includes individual 100 millilitre bottles of London Dry Gin, Botanical Gin and Barrel Aged Gin. $55, distillery.com.au FEB/MARCH 2019
NATURE IN A BOTT LE
Mothers’s Day Gifts
13. Kate Spade Ballpoint Pen in Gift Box
15. Bush Gifts by Bush Heritage Australia
This refillable, metal pen in a matching paper gift box reads: “There are always flowers for those who want to see them”, inside the lid. $69.95, mrandmrsjones. com.au
For a meaningful gift with a feel-good factor, Bush Heritage Australia’s range of gift cards, featuring beautiful photography of Australian native species, are a thoughtful gift for the ecoconscious mum. Each Bush Gift card, e-card or PDF certificate support Bush Heritage’s work on the ground, from managing fire, invasive weeds and feral animals, to planting trees, restoring habitats for native birds and critters, and protecting vulnerable Australian flora and fauna. Bush Gifts range $15-$200, bushheritage.org.au/bushgifts
14. Intrinsic Beautiful Angel Bracelet In pretty hues of pink, turquoise, green and yellow, this beaded bracelet is handmade in India and designed in South Australia. The bracelet arrives nestled in a gold foil embellished jewellery box. $34.99, intrinsiconline.com
16. Tondo Mortar & Pestle Swedish designer Jessika Kalleskog presents this fresh new design for a kitchen device that has been used since ancient times. Both a sculpture and a tool, Tondo forms a calmer motion that the classic mortar and pestle. $299.95, designhousestockholm. com
Mother’s Day Gifts
17. Noritake Sixties This new range of drinking glasses, created by IVV artisans in Tuscany, is available in sets of six. Each glass features a unique geometric design inspired by a female icon of the 1960s, including Jackie Onassis, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, Raquel Welch and Yoko Ono. Clear $144, Leaf Green, Smoke & Indigo $151, noritake.com.au
18. Hummingbirds Wall Art by IXXI
IXXI presents an innovative way to display works of art in any room. The Dutch-designed system, made up of individual squares and connectors, is supplied in a compact box with assembly tools. Made in the Netherlands, IXXI cards are 0.33 millimetres thick and made from high-quality synthetic material, Synaps, which is waterproof, durable and UV-resistant. $125, until.com.au
19. Lumio Rechargeable Booklight This book-like booklight creates an ambient glow for reading at night. With the option to either lay open like a book or to form a full bright circle, Lumio’s latest creation is USB-rechargeable, with a battery that provides up to eight hours of full charge with continuous use. $318, top3.com.au
20. Blunt Umbrellas
Striving to change the ‘throwaway’ culture of umbrellas, Blunt’s design is about workmanship and sustainability, meaning its canopy will not tear at the tips or easily turn inside-out in windy weather. $99-$179, bluntumbrellas.com.au FEB/MARCH 2019
DOMETIC CFX SERIES
The ultimate cooling performance The CFX series is the next generation of powerful compressor portable fridge/freezers that keeps food and drinks cold or frozen for longer. With generous gross capacity, these portable fridge/freezers can store fresh food and drinks effortlessly, perfect when you need extra refrigeration for your summer get-togethers or holidays. The series includes a variety of sizes ranging from an ultra-compact model to a large model with two separate temperature zones for simultaneous cooling and freezing. For more information visit dometic.com or freecall 1800 21 21 21. *Suitable on Android or iOS phone or tablet. Excludes CFX 28.
Controlled via WiFi app*
NEWS+VIEWS | MINING | AGRIBUSINESS | INFRASTRUCTURE
05 P.5 renovating the image of mining P.10 mental health organisations P.16 infrastructure: war on waste P.22 hr in the modern age P.28 business: pecans and macadamias P.34 australian distilleries
Business News+Views Bringing you the latest insights and analysis.
WORDS: Sarah Hinder
AERIAL DUST SUPPRESSION A P P L I C AT I O N .
Australia-wide Environmental Solutions Erizon, Australia's leading environmental specialist, delivers safe, sustainable, long-term and environmentally friendly solutions, that guarantee results, using Australian product and innovative technology. How eco-friendly are Erizonâ€™s large-scale dust-suppression and rehabilitation projects? All of Erizonâ€™s products are 100 per cent eco-friendly. We understand the importance of preserving our native ecosystems for future generations. We are committed to being as environmentally friendly as possible. Rehabilitating damaged and depleted soil is a difficult, but vital, task in Australia. Successfully reviving landscapes through soil remediation creates spaces where wildlife and humans can thrive together. Implementing good environmental practices during major projects results
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in benefits for communities, companies and government organisations alike. How effective is Erizon's large-scale environmental rehabilitation after mining? Put simply, extremely effective. Mines have a legal responsibility to rehabilitate their mines. We partner with many clients on their large-scale projects, using the latest techniques to ensure full site revegetation is achieved with a tailored solution that uses native plant seeds while continually monitoring results post-application to ensure positive outcomes. Erizonâ€™s tailored approach to environmental site rehabilitation takes into consideration the climate, site size, soil and chemical properties in order to prepare an appropriate remediation plan aimed at erosion control, dust suppression and successful revegetation of even the most damaged and degraded soils.
What are the effects and advantages of introducing drone technology? Erizon utilises the latest in drone and imaging technology. Drones are used to provide 3D modelling, area monitoring and image mapping which, along with soil testing, allows us to map the rehabilitation area in a high degree of detail. This ensures that solutions are applied with precision and accuracy, and that all areas are covered uniformly, while also increasing site safety and granting us the ability to provide accurate quotes for revegetating large-scale areas. Post-application Erizon utilises some of the latest industrial drones. We can take advantage of multispectral and thermal imaging cameras and sensors in order to gain a deeper understanding of how our plants are performing. Visit erizon.com.au, Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 1300 182 182. Environment ISO 14001
Quality ISO 9001
Grow our own: it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee In response to predictions of a global coffee shortage, non-profit institute World Coffee Research is undertaking international coffeegrowing trials, testing 35 vareities of coffee across 23 countries, including Australia. While Australia has a limited association with coffee production, parts of the country have potentially favourable conditions for successfully growing the coffee plant. Extreme weather events and a rise in attacks by crop pests and diseases are expected to damage the world’s current major coffee-growing regions. Meanwhile, “demand for coffee is expected to double by the year 2050,” according to partnership director at the institute, Greg Meenahan. “If nothing is done, more than half the world’s suitable coffee land will be pushed into unsuitability due to climate change.” For more information visit worldcoffeeresearch.org
Global oil and gas conference in Perth to focus on renewables This March, Perth will host the 38th Australasian Oil and Gas (AOG) Conference and Exhibition, a leading global event – and the region’s biggest annual outlook event – in the oil and gas sector. The three-day conference will cover topics highlighting changing trends in the industry, including the rising confidence of the oil and gas market, new uses for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and new energy. This year’s theme is ‘an energy shift’, with a focus on investigating how major oil and gas firms can add renewables to their production portfolios and supply chains. “Renewables are reliable, plentiful, and will continue to decrease in cost as technology and infrastructure improve, so it’s easy to see why some of the biggest companies in the world are embracing
them into their business as they aim to lower emissions, reduce costs and enhance social licence,” said AOG event director Bill Hare. “In a recent survey of AOG attendees 90 per cent said they wanted to meet new energy exhibitors in 2019, and 83 per cent had plans to incorporate new energy into their business.” The exhibition provides a unique environment for industry policymakers, experts and educators to network, last year attracting more than 8000 oil and gas leaders from 45 countries, including Norway, Scotland, Belgium, Malaysia and the UK. In 2019 AOG will host more than 250 global companies. The 2019 AOG Conference and Exhibition will be held at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, March 13–15. For more information visit aogexpo.com.au FEB/MARCH 2019
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Renovating the image of mining MINING HAS AN IMAGE PROBLEM, BUT LEADING COMPANIES ARE TAKING UNPRECEDENTED STEPS TO REJUVENATE THEIR CULTURES AND REPUTATION. When most people think of mining, they think of destructive environmental practices, accidents, toxic chemical spills and the fractious community relations that result. When investors think of mining, they think of stock price underperformance relative to other sectors and question marks as to whether mining’s historic lack of workforce diversity is impacting on the sector’s productivity. Despite mining’s significant contribution to the economy – according to Deloitte Access Economics, the mining and METS industries contribute 15 per cent to Australia’s GDP – the industry’s reputation has become increasingly tarnished
in recent years. The toxic legacy of old mines had blanket media coverage all over the country, but less attention is paid to mining companies that buy old mine sites to clean them up. Similarly, vast open-cut mines are highly visible, but a properly rehabilitated former mine site can be indistinguishable from surrounding bushland or pasture. The Australian mining industry is highly regulated, but when a disaster such as the 2015 Fundão tailings dam collapse in Brazil occurs, the casual observer doesn’t make the distinction – or worse, thinks that companies which FEB/MARCH 2019
One measure many leading companies are implementing is taking a decisive stance on corporate social responsibility. operate in Australia have laxer standards overseas. Such negative perceptions can also lead to implacable community opposition and the loss of a social licence to operate. In the world of 24/7 news cycles and opinions aired in the court of social media, this type of backlash is bound to spiral. Mining companies are taking proactive steps to address – and change – their cultures and reputations, but there is still a long way to go. All these factors damage reputations and impact stock prices, but they also influence recruitment and employee engagement. Mining’s tarnished reputation makes it an unattractive industry to work in – the best and the brightest university graduates do not have mining at the top of their list – and many existing employees are attracted by the high wages and nothing more. While the challenge is considerable, some of Australia and the world’s leading mining companies are up for it. Most critically, they are starting to realise that addressing these issues needs to go beyond PR exercises. To rebuild trust with investors, employees, communities, government and the public, mining companies cannot engage in mere spin. Communication is vital – few people will know of the good you do if you don’t tell them – but must be backed up with behavioural changes. One measure many leading companies are implementing is taking a decisive stance on corporate social responsibility (CSR). While Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman may have dismissed CSR initiatives as socialism, more and more companies are seeing that the pursuit of profit above all else risks alienating everyone except shareholders. CSR is, however, a broad term, and the measures companies are taking vary considerably. Some are choosing to be more transparent about their tax disclosures. For example, in 2010 Rio Tinto began voluntarily disclosing details of the taxes and royalties it pays on an annual basis. BHP followed suit in 2015, committing to detailed taxes-paid reports. Other measures mining companies are taking to demonstrate their CSR values include increasing disclosure on climate change. For example, in 2016 Anglo American, Glencore and Rio Tinto shareholders passed resolutions
In 2015-16 the Mining and METS sector contributed $236.8 billion to GDP, around 15 per cent of the Australian economy.
The Mining and METS sector provides 1,139,768 FTE jobs across Australia.
Mining is the most maledominated industry in Australia. Women comprise just 16.1 per cent of sector employees.
calling for increased disclosure on climate change. The following year, The Guardian reported that BHP shareholders urged the company to “terminate membership of bodies that demonstrate a pattern of advocacy on policy issues at odds with the company’s positions since 2012”. The shareholders backing the resolution were concerned that BHP risked reputational damage by being a member of bodies such as the Minerals Council of Australia that “hold policy and advocacy positions out of step with community expectations” on issues such as climate change and energy policy. In a similar vein, several mining companies have started reporting against voluntary sustainability standards such as the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Global Reporting Initiative and the Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures. Others are taking more direct action. Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine in Western Australia boasts the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility of any mine in Australia (and quite possibly the world). The $40 million ARENA-funded project supplies around 20 per cent of the DeGrussa mine’s annual power requirements and cuts its emissions by 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Other examples of direct action include empowering local communities to monitor water quality using a variety of platforms, including video, apps that access online data
or the ability for community members to conduct their own tests. In all cases, this level of radical transparency helps keep companies honest. However, while some mining companies are tackling the long, hard task of shifting perceptions and driving behaviour change, there is little doubt that those companies remain in the minority. As an industry, there is still much work to be done, but the alternative is unsustainable. Coal mining, especially thermal coal, is on the verge of losing its social licence to operate, and this trend is having a broader impact. The mining industry cannot rest on its laurels, relying on reserves of goodwill built up in earlier decades. What worked in the past no longer works in today’s hyperconnected world. To sustain its licence to operate in the shadow of climate change, cultivate employee loyalty and win over key stakeholders, the mining industry must engage in a concerted, and multi-year, effort to repair its reputation and regain public trust. According to Deloitte UK’s Global Mining Tax Leader, James Ferguson, “If mining companies truly hope to repair their image, they must do more than change their messaging. They must also fundamentally change their behaviours around the way they mine, how they engage with communities, attract talent and deliver on their promises.”
Mental Health Support
Support when youâ€™re struggling STATISTICS SHOW THAT MORE THAN 3000 AUSTRALIANS DIE FROM SUICIDE EACH YEAR. WE SPOKE WITH OUTSTANDING NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANISATIONS R U OK? AND LIFELINE ABOUT THEIR WORK IN PROVIDING ESSENTIAL LIFE-SAVING SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE IN CRISIS, AS WELL AS PRACTICAL ASSISTANCE FOR THEIR LOVED ONES. Sarah Hinder Sarah is a Sydneybased journalist who enjoys writing about Australian social and environmental causes.
Res tota Mental Health Support
R E G U L A R LY C H E C K I N G I N W I T H FA M I LY A N D F R I E N D S I S O N E V I TA L W AY T H AT W E C A N K E E P OUR LOVED ONES SAFE.
For many Australians caught in a cycle of struggling with their mental health and battling tough circumstances, life’s ups and downs can become overwhelming. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3128 people committed suicide in 2017, making it the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44. Meanwhile, the suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is roughly twice that of non-Indigenous Australians. Around Australia we have incredible resources available to support ourselves and those we love when we need it most. R U OK? is a suicide prevention charity encouraging people to look out for the signs that someone they care about is struggling, and empowering them to have a conversation that could change a life. R U OK?’s goal is to inspire people to take the time to ask: “Are you ok?” and to listen to the response. “We can help people struggling with life feel connected long before they even think about suicide. It all comes down to regular, face-to-face, meaningful conversations about life. And asking, 'Are you ok?' is a great place to start.” Meanwhile, Lifeline is dedicated to providing 24-hour support for people in times of crisis. The not-for-profit has more than 10,000 volunteers working around the country to help Australians doing it tough. Every year they receive almost a million contacts from people reaching out. In 2018 the organisation partnered with Twitter to offer support via the social media network, and they are currently trialling a
text service that they hope will be a gamechanger in making their vital work accessible to all. What’s the number one thing family and friends can do for someone who is struggling with depression, anxiety or thoughts of suicide? R U OK? Use our four steps to start a conversation: ask, listen, encourage action and check in. Make sure you’ve chosen a time they can sit down and talk, and create a safe space for them. If you suspect someone is considering suicide, ask them directly in a calm, non-judgemental way. Listen to what they say and allow them to talk about what is going on for them. Take what they say seriously. Help them find pathways to professional support, such as calling Lifeline or booking an appointment with their GP. If you are worried for their immediate safety, call Triple Zero (000) or take them to the local Emergency Department. LIFELINE Be open to connecting with them. Family and friends have an important role to play in reducing the isolation that can be experienced by people struggling with thoughts of suicide. At Lifeline we believe that no person should ever have to face their darkest moments alone. That’s why our crisis support line 13 11 14 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to offer support to anyone who is struggling. DEC 2018/JAN 2019
Mental Health Support
R U O K ? ' S A N N U A L C O N V E R S AT I O N CONVOY VISITS TOWNS AROUND RURAL AND REGIONAL AUSTRALIA TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION.
When dealing with depression or anxiety, what support is on offer and how can it be accessed? R U OK? Our website provides a comprehensive list of help-seeking avenues for a variety of issues that people face. We all go through lifeâ€™s challenges: grief, relationship breakdown, job loss, etc. When our relationships are strong, we are best placed to notice the signs that someone is struggling. You can find professional support for yourself or the person you are worried about online at ruok.org.au/findhelp. LIFELINE Our service is available to anyone experiencing emotional distress at any time. You can call our telephone line on 13 11 14 (24/7), or chat to a crisis supporter through webchat at lifeline.org.au (7pm to midnight Sydney time). What support is available to people living in regional and rural areas? R U OK? We are committed to reaching everyone, no matter their location. With reduced mental health services, isolation and climate issues impacting those in regional areas, looking out for the signs that someone you know might be struggling with life is critical. R U OK? has created a 'Mateship Manual' â€“ a short, simple guide designed specifically to address issues regional Aussies face. Find it at ruok.org.au/everyday-resources. We also provide a set of resources specifically targeting fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) employees who are at risk of isolation and disconnection from friends and loved ones. Tailored guides can be found at ruok.org.au/work.
LIFELINE We have 40 centres around Australia and 20 of them are in rural and regional areas. The message we want to get to people in the country is, when you call Lifeline your contact is kept confidential. Calls are not answered by your local centre, they can be answered by a volunteer anywhere around the nation. What about young people who are struggling with mental health? LIFELINE In 2017, twice as many young Australians died of suicide than on our roads. We have to get the message to young people that they can reach out to Lifeline for help. Our trained crisis supporters are highly skilled listeners who will talk or chat online to any person who is experiencing emotional distress at any time.
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And migrants to Australia? LIFELINE Anyone in Australia can contact Lifeline. There is a free interpreting service provided by the government for people who do not speak English. To access it call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 and explain that you want to speak to Lifeline in the language required. The operator will call 13 11 14 on your behalf. Find out more at tisnational.gov.au Sometimes the most important thing we can do to support ourselves is simply to start today. What is one thing I can do today to support my own wellbeing? R U OK? Meaningfully connect with people in your life who really matter to you. When our connections are strong, we are more likely to feel supported and able to face the challenges that arise in all our lives. LIFELINE Allow yourself the time to do something you enjoy. And what is one thing I can do today to support other people in my life? R U OK? Visit them, phone them, check in with them, ask them how things are really going in their life. Have
a meaningful conversation that allows them to open up and tell you what’s going on with them. It’s often said that the things that keep us up at night aren’t as bad when you’ve shared them with a friend, and that heartfelt conversation can be a great starting point to supporting someone. LIFELINE Look out for each other. When you notice a change in behaviour, check it out. Ask your friend or family member if they are ok. If they’re not, you can call Lifeline for advice on how best to help them, or ask them to call Lifeline for themselves, or suggest taking them to a GP. If life is in danger always call 000. How can I get involved with and support your work? R U OK? Familiarise yourself with the free resources on our website to help navigate the conversation when someone says: “No, I’m not ok.” You can host community, school or workplace events that integrate the R U OK? message, participate in challenges such as fun runs and walks to increase awareness, share our message on social media and inspire others to look out for those in your world, become workplace champions or become community ambassadors. Our website is a great starting point for
BEYONDNOW Beyond Blue’s app to help create a suicide safety plan when experiencing crisis or distress.
HEADGEAR An engaging and anonymous way to assess and monitor your mental health.
THE CHECK-IN Beyond Blue’s easyto-use app for young people to check in with a friend they’re concerned about.
WELL MAN Practical information and skills for men’s mental health and resources for men considering suicide.
LIFELINE EXISTS BECAUSE OF ITS TRAINED VOLUNTEERS, WHO ANSWER CALLS FROM AUSTRALIANS I N N E E D 2 4 / 7.
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people wanting to get involved: ruok.org.au/join-r-u-ok-day. LIFELINE Lifeline exists because of our volunteers â€“ and we always need more! We want to answer every call that comes in, but sometimes in peak service periods callers hang up before we can get to them. Our challenge is to encourage people to hold on until we can answer their call. We are always looking for volunteers to help with this. Head to our website for more information about volunteering: lifeline. org.au/support-lifeline/volunteer.
SUPPORT SERVICES R U OK? Support for friends and family of people at risk of suicide, plus resources to access a variety of organisations that can help with mental health and suicide prevention. ruok.org.au/findhelp LIFELINE 24/7 phone service and online chat (7pm to midnight Sydney time) for people at risk of suicide. 13 11 14 lifeline.org.au SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE 24/7 call service for people at risk of suicide. 1300 659 467 suicidecallbackservice.org.au GRIEFLINE Counselling for people experiencing grief. 1300 845 745 griefline.org.au KIDS HELPLINE Counselling for young people aged five to 25. 1800 55 1800 kidshelpline.com.au MENSLINE AUSTRALIA 24/7 support for men with family and relationship issues. 1300 78 99 78 mensline.org.au 1800 RESPECT 24/7 counselling about domestic violence. 1800 737 732 1800respect.org.au
MHIMA Multicultural mental health resources. 02 6285 3100 mhima.org.au SUPPORT AFTER SUICIDE Support for the bereaved. 03 9421 7640 supportaftersuicide.org.au BEYOND BLUE Support and resources for anxiety, depression and suicide prevention. 1300 22 4636 beyondblue.org.au REACHOUT Online resource for young people and their parents. reachout.com APS Find a local psychologist. 1800 333 497 psychology.org.au VIRTUAL PSYCHOLOGIST 24/7 online chat, phone, text, email psychologist service for farmers and rural Australians. Call 0404 032 249 Text 0488 807 266 virtualpsychologist.com.au/ home LIFELINE SERVICE FINDER Online map directory of health and community services. lifeline.serviceseeker.com.au MYCOMPASS Proven techniques to help manage depression, anxiety and stress. mycompass.org.au
R U OK'S C O N V E R S AT I O N CONVOY IN OUTBACK AUSTRALIA.
PLASTIC STRAWS AND COFFEE CUPS GET A LOT OF AIR TIME WHEN IT COMES TO AUSTRALIA’S “WAR ON WASTE”, BUT OUR FOCUS NEEDS TO SHIFT FROM MANAGEMENT TO PREVENTION IF WE ARE EVER GOING TO THE CLOSE THE LOOP.
Lisa Smyth Business and travel writer Lisa Smyth is a non-stop nomad, living everywhere from Myanmar and Germany to PNG.
Earlier this year Coles and Woolworths enraged customers and created a viral Twitterstorm when they announced they would no longer be providing plastic bags free of charge. Following in the footsteps of similar successful initiatives in the UK and Europe, Australia’s two largest supermarket chains were endeavouring to reduce plastic waste. But is Australia’s waste problem as simple as cutting down on plastic bags, straws and bottles? “Plastic represents only 6 per cent of waste to landfill in Australia,” explains Mike Ritchie, Managing Director of waste experts MRA Consulting Group. “If you want to make a difference to waste to landfill, you start with organics and you fix that problem before you even look at anything else.” According to the most recent National Waste Report from 2016, Australians produced 64 million tonnes, or 2.7 tonnes per person of waste in 2014-15. According to Ritchie, 20 million of those tonnes goes to landfill, and the rest is recycled… which is positive, right? Ritchie passionately disagrees. “Our recycling rates have stagnated at about 56 per cent for almost 20 years. Australia is currently ranked about 17th in the world for recycling and nothing is changing. Organics – food and green waste, garden waste, cardboard and pallets, and timber – represent 10.5 million tonnes of that 20 million. To improve our recycling rate we must get organics, which mostly come from commercial sources, out of landfill.”
No roads to China
Eighteen months ago China imposed a ban on accepting any more foreign recycling, and even though Australia only sent 3.5 per cent of its recycling to China, it created a lot of talk about a recycling “crisis”. Experts are concerned that recyclers who are unable to ship their waste to China will be forced into more expensive solutions, and recycling will become a less viable waste management option. But not everyone sees the China ban as a problem. “I think it was too easy to ship our waste to China,” says Nicole Boyd, GM Infrastructure Innovation for the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). “Now we have to actually start thinking about how we can deal with our waste in a sustainable and economic manner.” What often gets lost in all the talk of the “war on waste” is that recycling is not a priority solution. According to the waste hierarchy, we should prioritise avoiding, reducing and reusing waste (prevention) long before we consider recycling, recovering energy from waste and, as a last resort, sending waste to landfill (management). “There is no such thing as waste; it’s all just resources,” enthuses Boyd. “We need to change our thinking. For example, when you build a tunnel you’ve got all this waste soil, but for somebody who needs to fill in a big space, that’s not waste. It’s about creating a circular economy – we have certainly encouraged infrastructure projects to think
The World Economic Forum estimates circular economy activities could be worth $26 billion each year in Australia by 2025. FEB/MARCH 2019
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"There is no such thing as waste; it’s all just resources."
IMAGES: IBIS STYLES HOBART HOTEL.
about waste management and how they can reuse waste or actually avoid waste altogether.” According to Circular Economy Australia, their name refers to “an alternative model that anticipates and designs for resources to be either safely returned to nature or back into systems where they can be reused or renewed”. Ultimately, Australian businesses need to be thinking about what they can do at the top of the waste hierarchy instead of focusing on managing waste once it is already produced.
A green stay
Parts of Perth are trialling clear wheelie bins to encourage homeowners to reflect on what they’re putting in them.
One company that has taken this to heart is the Fragrance Group, owner of the ibis Styles Hobart Hotel. Last year the hotel was named Australia’s first and only 5-Star Green Starcertified hotel. The certification is awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Project architect Peter Scott of Tasmanian firm Xsquared Architects explains the development aimed to address holistic sustainability across a range of measures, including construction stage waste management, and reduced volumes
of construction and demolition waste sent to landfill. “We were committed to minimising end-oflife waste. That included the potential waste from the demolition of the building in 50 years, but also minimising the waste from regular fit-outs of the hotel. We selected more durable materials, fittings and finishings so the average fit-out cycle of seven years could be increased to 10 years. In this way two cycles of renewal in the 50-year life of the hotel are eliminated from the waste stream.” The hotel also meets commitments for energy efficiency, thermal insulation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions – though guests will hardly notice the sustainability measures in place during their stay. “Our client wanted to provide a good hotel experience, not necessarily a good sustainability experience, for guests. But they also have operational commitments as part of their certification, with a waste target of no more than one kilogram per guest per night, which is about seven times less than the Australian average. It’s all about avoiding waste in the first place.” FEB/MARCH 2019
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“I’d say 95 per cent of our products are now compostable." IMAGE AND QUOTE: RICHARD FINE, F O U N D E R A N D S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y D I R E C T O R AT B I O PA K .
Completing the circle
The circular economy is as much about returning materials safely to nature as it is about avoiding and reducing waste, and this is where composting has a huge role to play. Food contaminates conventional recycling streams, and is one big reason why 10.5 million tonnes of our landfill is made up of organics. “Since we started in 2006, we have been trying to close the loop and find a viable end-oflife option, which of course is composting,” says Richard Fine, founder and Sustainability Director of food services packaging supplier BioPak. “I’d say 95 per cent of our products are now compostable, and we will be phasing out the remaining plastic items in the next two years.” BioPak doesn’t just create compostable coffee cups, lids, takeaway containers and cutlery; the company provides a compost collection service to make it easier for cafés, restaurants and hotels across metro areas to “close the loop”. Some groups, like the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, already have separate streams for food and packaging waste that, once composted, creates electricity and produces fertiliser. The organisation diverts 84 per cent of its waste from landfill, and is on track for 90 per cent by 2020. So if Australia is to meet its waste reduction targets, companies need to take a little advice from their local GP – prevention is always better than cure.
HAVE A PLASTIC free
Is technology a help or hindrance to HR? ONCE SEEN AS PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATORS AND COMPLIANCE WARDENS, THE HR PRACTITIONER HAS EVOLVED TO BECOME ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE IN ANY BUSINESS – AS LONG AS THEY CAN KEEP UP THE PACE. HR professionals have had a bad rap for a while now. For some people, a call to the HR office is akin to the long walk to the principal’s office, or a trip to the dreaded dentist. But, with the rapid speed of change in business caused by digital disruption, the HR function has expanded beyond simple support and is now a critical part of a company’s leadership team.
“HR professionals used to be the custodians of personnel guidelines, the rule book of an organisation, and administered people processes,” explains Peter Wilson, President and Chair of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI). “Now the expectation is that the HR person will be a professional expert in that organisation and be able to deliver HR practice against that. They’re experts and they have a leadership pathway available to them.” According to a July 2018 report from Deloitte Access Economics, the HR sector will grow from 218,000 people in 2016-17 to 245,000 in 2021-22 – an annual average growth of 2.3 per cent. HR professionals with postgraduate qualifications are projected to be earning $160,000+ per annum by 2021-22. “HR is now a valuable contributor to a business’s success,” says Jennifer Gale, General Manager of Human Resources and Corporate Planning at Renault Australia. “Today, HR is just as much a business partner as finance, sales or marketing, and contributes to commercial objectives.”
The need for speed
There is no doubt that technological and digital disruption across all industries has played a large part in the expanded scope of the HR role. A 2017 Deloitte report entitled 'Rewriting the rules for the digital age' revealed that 85 per cent of Australian HR professionals believe fostering a better employee experience was their most important
Lisa Smyth Business and travel writer Lisa Smyth is a non-stop nomad, living everywhere from Myanmar and Germany to PNG.
priority, closely followed by building the organisation of the future (84 per cent). However, alarmingly, only 9 per cent of companies said they understand how to build a "future-ready" organisation. “The greatest disruption to HR has been the speed at which business is changing. HR people need to be able to adapt to change a lot quicker than they ever did before, especially if they want to retain employees,” says Gale. “Social media has provided a lot more channels for employees to network and research job opportunities – turnover is much higher.” Technology is constantly changing how the HR function is performed. Digital tools and platforms can now help improve and manage the employee experience, support employee upskilling and self-directed learning, and provide data to help improve employee engagement and retention. On a global level, the 2017 report from Deloitte stated that 33 per cent of HR professionals are already using some form of artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver HR solutions, and 41 per cent are building mobile apps to deliver HR services. Wilson names the Australian Taxation Office, CSIRO and Cochlear as organisations that have embraced technology in HR: “These are the guys that understand all that
technology, and they’ve applied it in spades to how they manage their people.” Ivan Pierce, Chief People Officer at insurance company Youi, and his team recently won Best HR Technology Strategy at the Australian HR Awards 2019. “Over the past 10 years, there has been an increased need to understand data and apply a scientific methodology to people initiatives to provide evidence of their value,” explains Pierce. The Youi HR strategy includes a gamified recognition platform that reinforces positive employee behaviours that align with company values. “As our people go about their day, they earn points, badges and prizes for the myriad of different ways they contribute to our culture and success. The platform helps our people track their own achievements and celebrate important milestones,” he explains. “But it’s important to remember that even though technology provides opportunities for innovation in HR, it doesn’t replace the richness of human contact and personal recognition.”
Rise of the machines
While technology is impacting HR operations, it is also disrupting every other business area. With AI and machine
Only half of Australian and New Zealand HR leaders (51 per cent) say they are successful at retaining talent.
Technology learning paving the way for automation of processes – and even entire jobs – managing that transition for employees and businesses has fallen heavily on the shoulders of HR professionals. “Technology has impacted the conduct of work overall, and the work of the profession – it puts a double obligation on the HR professional,” laments Wilson. For instance, a 2017 report forecasts that the global mining automation market will grow in value by almost 50 per cent by 2023, and APAC is estimated to be the largest market. This will have positive impacts on worker safety and mining productivity, but automation is already causing alarm among employees about job security. While numbers vary widely, a September 2018 report from the Regional Australia Institute estimates 22 per cent
of jobs nationally are highly vulnerable to automation. However, while types of jobs may be vulnerable, that doesn’t necessarily mean people will lose their jobs. “One of the most important ways businesses can be ‘future ready’ is to invest in developing their people’s skills and capabilities. Having a strong learning and development focus, supported by the right technology, is a critical foundation for any successful business,” suggests Pierce. With Australian HR professionals closely focused on retention, automation can present an opportunity to develop upskilling programs within organisations. A recent survey by recruitment company Hays showed that 59 per cent of Australian workers want a job offering ongoing learning and development opportunities.
Back to basics
Technology will continue to force businesses, and HR practitioners, to evolve and adapt at a swift pace. However, Pierce insists that technology alone is not where the HR function begins and ends. “Get your foundations right. Embed your company values well, and even in a fast-changing world your people will make good decisions based on having the right mindset. Invest heavily in showing your people how much you care. No business should underestimate the importance and value in providing their people with a positive employee experience.”
One in six (16 per cent) HR leaders in Australia and New Zealand say they do not use technology to improve HR outcomes.
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Position Partners awarded Topcon Dealer of the Year 2017-2018 Topcon Positioning Systems’ exclusive Australian distributor, Position Partners, was awarded top prize for Construction at the recent Topcon Xperience dealer conference held in San Antonio, Texas. Topcon Positioning Systems’ annual dealer conference brings together more than 500 distributors from around the world to network and learn about new technology for the construction, geospatial and mining industries. At the recent event, held in December 2018, Position Partners was awarded ‘Dealer of the Year 2017-2018’ for construction, along with awards for ‘Top 5 Year on Year Sales Growth’ and ‘Top 5 Excavator Sales’. “We are privileged to receive Topcon’s Dealer of the Year award amongst all of Topcon’s successful distributors,” said Martin Nix, Position Partners CEO. “It’s a great reflection of the support our customers give us as they strive to increase productivity
and safety by pushing the boundaries with intelligent positioning systems in the construction industry. “These awards are accepted as a recognition of the combined efforts of our teams and employees, who continually do their utmost to deliver exceptional customer service at all times,” Nix added. Jamie Williamson, Topcon executive VP and general manager of the construction and retail groups, said, “The Position Partners team has always exhibited strength and dedication in providing the most innovative technology and service to their customers. That spirit has been notably evident in their performance, which makes Position Partners a superb choice for 'Dealer of the Year'.” For more information, please contact Position Partners on 1300 867 266 or visit positionpartners.com.au
About Position Partners With around 270 people in offices Australia-wide, in SouthEast Asia and New Zealand, Position Partners is the largest Australian-owned company focussing entirely on the distribution and support of intelligent positioning solutions for geospatial, construction and mining projects. At Position Partners, we are committed to increasing productivity for our customers and building lasting business relationships around high calibre positioning activities. Position Partners is privileged to be the exclusive Australian distributor for Topcon machine control and positioning systems, with complementary solutions from other technology innovators. Advanced hardware systems are powered by sophisticated software platforms including MAGNET cloud computing, with integration to Autodesk and Bentley for endto-end workflow solutions. FEB/MARCH 2019
Jac Taylor Jac Taylor is a travel photographer, writer and TV producer who has captured the far corners of Australia.
We go behind the scenes at Stahmann Farms to see what makes this Australian operation, that has been in business for 50 years, such an ongoing success story. In the USA, in certain circles at least, the Australian town of Moree is spoken of with great reverence. On all conference charts, and on every industry paper, it is a compulsory inclusion – if you’re an American nut farmer that is. Same for the South Africans. For many of us, it may exist as a mid-sized dot on a map in the northern plains of New South Wales, in the heart of the wheatbelt, but for the global nut industry, it is nothing less than a benchmark of nearperfection. It wasn’t always this way, explains Ross Burling, CEO and director of the Stahmann Farms nut company in Australia, and a man who is obviously, passionately nuts about nuts. “After a first planting in Gatton in Queensland, Deane Stahmann Jnr founded the very first pecan farm in Moree in 1967, and had 68,000 pecan trees planted in 1971, because he knew that Moree is actually possibly the best spot in the world to grow a pecan – except maybe one place in South Africa,” Burling concedes. “But yes, when you go to a conference in the US, you’ll see Moree up there on the screen next to Texas, et cetera, as a positive benchmark. And everyone knows Stahmann because of that.” It’s this savvy dedication to ideally matching crop to location that has stood Stahmann in a strong position to diversify, which is exactly what it has done now, as it branches out – so to speak – into macadamias.
“We bought our first macadamia farm this time a year ago, after we looked at all the areas you could possibly grow them globally, and considered Bundaberg [in Queensland] to be the best location. The climate looks ideal for macadamias, but it’s also well supported by people, by industry – everything is right there,” says Burling. “Our pecan trees are now 47 years old, and we’ve learned that the first thing you need to get right is this: you only plant a tree once in its life, so you need to plant as well as you can. You have to get the climate right and the varietal right, so we put a lot of work into that.” So why macadamias? After all, pecans have been wonderfully successful for Stahmann Farms over the years. There are 660 hectares planted at the Moree farm right now, according to Burling, and that number is set to double to more than 1400 hectares by the end of August. The Moree crops provide Australia with 80 per cent of its pecans. Once expansion is complete, this looks to increase to 96 per cent. “Interestingly enough, our factory in Toowoomba started processing macadamias in 1994. We had this great, big processing facility to process pecans six months of the year, and then we used to stop work for six months,” explains Burling. "We were looking for another product to fill those six months.”
MAIN IMAGE: K ATHY SMITH AT STAHMANN FARMS FACTORY IN TOOWOOMBA, QLD. RIGHT IMAGE: RIVERSIDE ALL AUSTR ALIAN FL AVOURED R ANGE.
Of course, it never quite works like that, as Burling knew. “Easter and Christmas are still on the same days, peak selling time for the two nuts is the same, so it isn’t quite as simple as that. “But look at almonds and walnuts – they’re the behemoths, the glamorous ones,” he explains. “Pecans and macadamias are the honest nuts. They work together synergistically, since they’re both the least known nuts on the global market.” That’s changing rapidly though. In the 20-something years that Stahmann Farms have been involved with macadamias particularly, its people have seen the stereotype of macadamias evolve well beyond the once comparatively ‘unknown’ nut. It’s a comfortable expansion for a company that only numbers perhaps 220 people on the payroll in its busiest times. “We’ve grown the business for security, not just for our stakeholders, but for our people,” says Burling. “A number of our staff reached their 35th anniversary working for us last year – that’s most of their life spent with us. FEB/MARCH 2019
TOP TO BOT TOM: SORTING PECANS AT STAHMANN FARMS FACTORY IN TOOWOOMBA,QLD; ROSS BURLING, CEO STAHMANN FARMS ENTERPRISES; PECAN TREES AT PALLAMALLAWA IN MOREE, NSW.
We all have a stakeholding in this business, it’s just that for some, it’s more personal than others.” Although Deane Stahmann Jnr passed away in 2013, there is a clear continuing thread in the company culture, that is based on his philosophies as he steered the business through earlier decades. “He was always a very strategic thinker,” Burling says. “He had a wonderful vision, and that’s why we look so good on paper. He always said you should maximise your unfair advantage, your point of difference. And that’s what we try to do.” For Stahmann Farms, that may well describe their early adoption of vertical integration, or as Burling prefers to call it, "value streams": simply put, performing all stages of the process, from farming through to processing and packaging. “We know from pecan farming that sometimes you make more money being the farmer, sometimes more as the processor or seller,” explains Burling. "Being fully vertically integrated means you can maximise production at every step of the stream, so you can build a more confident supply chain and schedule with retailers with more confidence, as a result. The marketer can talk to the farmer, meaning every step of the process is in touch with every other one – and that maximises consumer satisfaction. “Everyone is getting excited about ‘paddock to plate’,” Burling says, “but you’ve got to live it and practise it. Otherwise it’s no different from going to a farmer, getting his product and putting it in a packet. And most of the people that work here still get excited about nuts – so that’s not a bad recipe for success either.”
"you should maximise your unfair advantage, your point of difference. "
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THAT'S THE SPIRIT A BUREAUCRATIC TWIST OF FATE IN COLONIAL TIMES STALLED THE AUSTRALIAN SPIRITS INDUSTRY FOR 150 YEARS. NOW, HOMEGROWN DISTILLERIES ARE TAKING THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE AS SOME OF THE WORLDâ€™S BEST.
Lisa Smyth Business and travel writer Lisa Smyth is a non-stop nomad, living everywhere from Myanmar and Germany to PNG.
Z E S T Y L I M O N C E L L O , M A N LY S P I R I T S C O . I N S Y D N E Y, N S W.
M A N LY S P I R I T S C O . I N S Y D N E Y, N S W.
“I would prefer barley be fed to pigs than it be used to turn men into swine.” So said, reportedly, Lady Jane Franklin in 1838. Jane was the wife of the Governor of Tasmania at the time, John Franklin, and her disdain for whisky led him to outlaw small pot stills on the island. Unfortunately for Australia’s many small batch distilleries, John Franklin’s ban was written into national law when Australia was federated in 1901. From that point on only large distilleries, such as Bundaberg Rum, would be able to keep their doors open. But, 90 years later, Bill Lark, the ‘grandfather of Australian spirits’, had the law overturned in Tasmania (with other states soon doing the same), and the Australian spirits industry finally began to recover from Lady Jane’s history-defining horror. “Tasmania has a beautiful community of distilleries. Bill Lark was very open with helping everyone out each time a new distillery opened,” says Sebastian Costello, Owner and Director of Melbourne’s Bad Frankie, until recently Australia’s only bar exclusively serving Australian spirits. The bar’s name is a cheeky nod to Franklin, and it is as well-known for its gins and whiskies as its extensive jaffle menu. “In the USA you get bourbon and burgers, and in Mexico they have tequila and tacos. I wanted to do something very authentic, very Australian, and in 2014 there were just enough Australian spirits around to fill a bar, and it felt right to pair them with the quintessential Aussie toasted sandwich.” When Costello opened Bad Frankie he had 80 Australian spirits on the back bar – today he has 500. That phenomenal growth has mostly come from Australian craft spirits, which according to research released in November 2018, is growing at 110 per cent in contrast to the total spirits market. The category is now worth $17.1 million, up from $10.8 million
S U L L I VA N S C O V E D I S T I L L E R Y I N H O B A R T, TA S .
in 2017, though craft spirits are still just a drop in the large barrel that is the $1.8 billion local spirits industry.
Entering the world stage
There are an estimated 120 distilleries in Australia today, located everywhere from city industrial districts to rural farmhouses and ocean-fronted cellar doors. Back in 2013 there were fewer than 50. If you ask many in the industry the turning point came in 2014, when Tasmania’s Sullivans Cove Distillery won the World's Best Single Malt for its French Oak at the World Whiskies Awards. “We were the first non-Scottish or non-Japanese brand to win that award – it was absolutely huge for a small distillery from Hobart,” explains Adam Sable, Managing Director of Sullivans Cove. “That win helped establish Australian spirits internationally and entrench Australia in conversations about the world’s best spirits.” Using only 100 per cent Tasmanian ingredients, Sullivans Cove is the second oldest whisky distillery in Tasmania, having opened a few years after Lark Distillery. In 2018 it again won big when its American Oak was declared World's Best Single Cask Single Malt. “Our customers are after a very high-quality whisky that has been matured for long periods of time. Some Australian whiskies appeal to a broader market, but our consumers are generally pretty discerning,” notes Sable. “Global demand is far outweighing what we have available – it’s very difficult to allocate stock.” On the more affordable end of the Australian craft whisky scale is Starward, a Melbourne distillery that opened its doors in 2007. Matured in Australian wine barrels for three ‘Melbourne years’, this crowd-pleaser now turns over $2 million a year. FEB/MARCH 2019
Australian Distilleries STONE PINE DISTILLERY IN B AT H U R S T, N S W.
Tasmania’s Hartshorn Distillery uses cheese by-products to make its gin and vodka, the latter of which won World’s Best Vodka in 2018.
Kristy Booth, daughter of Bill Lark, opened Killara Distillery in 2015. It is one of very few distilleries in the world to be owned and operated by a woman.
A splash of lemon myrtle
Despite the international accolades that have rolled in for Sullivans Cove, it is gin, not whisky, that is currently dominating the Australian spirits scene. At last year’s Australian Distilled Spirits Awards there were 31 entries in the whisky division, 29 vodkas, 23 rums, 10 brandies and a whopping 130 gin entries. In Australia a spirit must spend two years in a barrel before it can be called whisky, but gin can be distilled, bottled and sold all on the same day – an ideal scenario for cash-starved craft distilleries. “In Australia we have a background in high-quality wine and craft beer, so there was no reason we wouldn’t be good at distilling spirits. It was simply the legislation holding us back,” rationalises Vanessa Wilton, Co-owner of Manly Spirits Co. Having only launched in April 2017 on Sydney’s northern beaches, the distillery’s Australian Dry Gin has already won Double Gold medals at the 2018 San Francisco Spirits Awards, one of the key annual global competitions. “Australian spirits are really punching above their weight on the global scene in terms of quality,” says Wilton. “All of our products have won silver or gold medals in the big competitions.” Rather than place all its eggs in one basket, Manly Spirits, like numerous other distilleries around the country, has a
diverse portfolio, distilling gin, vodka, whisky and liqueurs. Costello, Sable and Wilton all agree that what sets Australian spirits apart from their global competitors is the use of native Australian botanicals. “Australia has this amazing botanical library that sort of got lost for a while but has been rediscovered,” notes Wilton. “We work with Elijah Holland who was Head Forager for the NOMA pop-up in Sydney in 2016. He introduced us to ingredients like sea parsley, finger lime and anise myrtle, so our white spirits have a distinctly Australian and marine botanical profile.”
A level playing field
Sydney’s pop-up of the world’s best restaurant, NOMA, also had a hand in raising the profile of Bathurst’s Stone Pine Distillery, when its Orange Blossom Gin was selected to be the first pour on site. “The fact that we are small, regional, seasonal and produce limited editions fitted really well with what NOMA was trying to do,” says owner Ian Glen. “It really helped my distributor to open more doors for us.” Ian and his wife Bev were looking for a lifestyle change when they moved to rural Australia in 2006. With a long family history in the Scottish distilling industry, Ian saw how cocktail culture and craft spirits had taken off in the UK and
the USA, and knowing that Australia tends to come up a few years behind those two main markets, figured he should get in early. “There wasn’t such a thing as an Aussie gin when we started – it was a hard sell,” recalls Glen. “But in the last two to three years there has been a marked change driven by the small bar movement, and it has become a whole lot more viable as a business model, especially as we are finally getting a rebate on the excise.” Despite small rebates, Australian spirits are still taxed at a much higher rate than wine or beer, with the excise increased every six months in line with inflation. Yarra Valley’s wildly popular Four Pillars exports gin to 23 countries, but most distilleries claim the ‘spirits super tax’ stops them from achieving anything close to that scale. “It’s just plain common sense,” exclaims Glen. “All alcohol in Australia should be taxed the same so we have equal opportunities. It should be a level playing field.”
Despite some barriers to entry there are still plenty of people who see the vast potential in Australian spirits, such as Margaret River winemaker Greg Garnish who in 2018
GREG GARNISH, H A R M A N ' S E S TAT E I N MARGARET RIVER, WA.
launched Australia’s first pisco. “We started selling our version of pisco, a white brandy usually made in Peru from Muscat grapes, at our cellar door, and it exploded,“ says Garnish. “Wine has happened. Craft beer has happened. There is just such massive growth to be had in spirits.” Garnish is so convinced, he is leaving winemaking behind to open his own distillery in 2019. That’s not to say that Australia’s alcohol industries can’t work together. “My personal view is that we will see a bit of a revival of brandy in years to come,” remarks Sable. “It’s traditionally been seen as an older person’s drink, but given that we have such a fantastic wine industry, it’s a real point of difference for Australian brandies.” While Sullivans Cove released their own limited-edition brandy in 2018, other distilleries, such as South Australia’s award-winning St Agnes, have been handcrafting Australian brandy for decades. Costello agrees with Sable’s prediction. “There is a renaissance coming in brandy and rum, and vermouths are having a moment. But the mentality of Australian spirits is that we are competing with overseas producers and not amongst ourselves. So, no matter what you drink, just make sure it's Australian.”
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A Class Above St Joseph’s Nudgee College was established in 1891 and is one of the oldest continuing Catholic boys’ boarding schools in Australia. More than 1,590 young men from Years 5 to 12, including more than 260 boarders, call Nudgee College their school. Amongst the student cohort you will find writers, athletes, artists, performers, science enthusiasts, maths fanatics, leaders, builders, dreamers, all-rounders, and everything in between. On a daily basis students are taught, cared for, and challenged by teachers who want to bring out the best in all of their students – they want to help them find their strengths. The holistic education, personal development, and wellbeing of each student is a key focus of the College. As 2018 College Captain Angus McDonald said, the College’s real success lies in the relationships that the boys build while they are at school. “Nudgee College is a place where every student can find somewhere to belong,” he said, “and where every one of our talents and skills have the opportunity to grow and develop. “We create a bond, not only with our beloved school, but with each other, laying the foundation for a community and a brotherhood that will remain a central part of all of our lives long after we leave this College.” The support of staff for the boys’ interests and strengths is complimented by world-class facilities across the 136 hectare campus that are available to the students. From 15 playing fields, to an Olympic-standard athletics track, two heated swimming pools, state-of-the-art music and art studios, a 400-seat auditorium, and an onsite agricultural centre, students are always able to access
high-quality facilities to help them nurture and develop their talents and strengths. Nudgee College is offering Academic Scholarships for students entering the College from Years 7 to 11 in 2020, who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement based on the results of the ACER Scholarship Examination, and exhibit qualities commensurate with the College's motto: Signum Fidei – a Sign of Faith. Academic Scholarships are awarded to students who are considered to have exceptional academic ability and potential. Parents can register their child to sit the ACER Scholarship Examination at scholarships.acer.edu.au. Bush Boarding Bursaries are also available for new students entering Years 7 to 10 in 2019. For further information about scholarships and bursaries, please visit nudgee.com/scholarships-and-bursaries. FEB/MARCH 2019
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Airnorth is the major aviation operator in Northern Australia, carrying in excess of 330,000 passengers annually. The company operates over...
Published on Jan 20, 2019
Airnorth is the major aviation operator in Northern Australia, carrying in excess of 330,000 passengers annually. The company operates over...