GEELONG | BALLARAT | WERRIBEE FOR BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
ISSUE 209 JULY 2012
The business of being
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS ’WORLDLY‘? It’s a funny word, ‘Worldly’. It has the word ‘world’ in it so you might think it’s all about the planet we live on. However, it’s actually about a completely different world. It’s about the world of you. At Deakin we believe it’s about having a world view, not just a view of the world. If you asked us, we’d say the best way to gain that perspective is through a well rounded education. You see, in the right nurturing environment, the world of a person expands with every new possibility they’re presented with. Singular thought becomes plural. Black and white becomes a million shades of grey. That’s why we believe every student should experience what we call good, holistic learning. That’s the real gift of the student experience at Deakin University. The gift of worldliness. The closer, personal experience each of our students receives that makes them a citizen of the world. So the question we ask of ourselves isn’t are our graduates ready for the world, but is the world ready for our graduates? Visit DeakinWorldly.com to discover the world of you. CRICOS Provider Code: 00113B
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ISSUE 209 JULY 2012
FEATURES 20. The Business of Being Alex Perry 24. Small Business Festival
CONTENTS Cover Photo: Harold David, courtesy Foxtel. Contents Photo: Jez Smith.
4. Editor 5. Biz News 10. New Appointments 18. Comment 19. Business of the Month 31. Regulation 32. Legal - Harwood Andrews 34. Tax 35. Legal - Coulter Roache 36. Small Biz 38. Tech Guy 40. Arts 42. Community 44. VECCI 46. Wine 47. After Hours 50. What’s On
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Failure of the 43rd People dying because national leaders fail to do their job. It happens every day. What we don’t expect is for it be happening in Australia, but when the 43rd parliament failed to find a solution on asylum seeker boats on June 28, that is what happened. OF course Australian politicians don’t put people on death trap boats heading for turbulent seas. Australian political parties have not created the horrors and the abject misery that leads people to seek asylum in the first place. But what they have done is failed to do their job; they have failed, yet again, to act as a parliament and too many of them, though thankfully not all of them, have failed to put the national interest before their own party’s play for power. For definitive commentary on the vote, see Rob Burgess’s piece in the Business Spectator from June 28. The simple fact is that every option on dealing with asylum seeker boats is a flawed option in this tale of mass human tragedy. A Malaysia solution that sends people who are, in almost all cases, genuine refugees into detention camps in a nation that is not a signatory to the UN refugee convention is
disturbing. Being a signatory to the convention, however, is not the clear indicator of humanitarian commitment that some would have us believe. Amongst the convention’s signatories are Congo, Haiti and Afghanistan. As the Coalition rightly argued, exempting women and children from a Malaysia swap deal may only result in more women and children drowning as they attempt to gain entry to our shores. A reopening of offshore processing facilities in Nauru is equally concerning. The Nauru policy worked as a deterrent to the boats under the Howard Government because boats were turned around and towed back to Indonesia (also a nonsignatory to the convention). That is no longer an option, and given that almost all boat arrivals to Nauru were settled in Australia or New Zealand, the possibility of detention on Nauru is no disincentive to getting on the boats.
The Greens, who argue that humanitarianism is at the heart of their refusal to support any option other than onshore processing is just pointless; onshore processing sees more people on boats, and more people dying at sea. The other options may be galling, but surely not more so than knowing that hundreds of refugees have drowned trying to reach Australia in the past two years? This vote was never about the right solution; it was about trying to do something, even an imperfect something, rather than doing nothing. I can’t pretend to have any answers to this issue, I just know that I am sick and tired of being brought to tears by the terrible fate of people who come in search of hope, only to find even more horror. I do think we need to increase refugee quotas. I think we need to speed up the processing of refugee applications, and to keep looking at ways of disrupting the business of those taking money for these terrible boat journeys. But most of all, I do think each and every member of the 43rd parliament should be searching their soul on this issue, and thinking long and hard about why they got into politics in the first place.
ISSUE 209 JULY 2012 BUSINESS NEWS, an Adcell Print Group publication, is mailed to more than 6000 businesses across Geelong, Ballarat and Werribee. If you would like to receive Business News at your business please contact us. PUBLISHER Maureen Tayler MANAGER Caroline Tayler EDITOR Davina Montgomery email@example.com FOR ADVERTISING Vinnie Kerr M 0409 427 473 firstname.lastname@example.org Trina Currie M 0402 268 624 email@example.com Justin Abrams M 0437 981 510 firstname.lastname@example.org T (03) 5221 4408 F (03) 5221 2233 203 Malop Street, PO Box 491, Geelong Vic 3220 Shop 4/100 Simpson Street, Ballarat Vic 3350
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Are you ready to export? Austrade has launched a new online service to help small and medium-sized businesses take their first steps towards exporting. THE International Readiness Indicator is a fast, easy way for firms to assess their capacity to tackle global markets, and a key component of Austrade’s plan to enhance its online services. It is now available on the austrade.gov.au site. Austrade Executive Director of Australian Operations, Tim Beresford, said the Indicator was designed to help people better understand the demands exporting could place on their business. “Austrade’s aim is to help firms realise their export potential, and the Indicator is designed for people who are new to export,” Mr Beresford said. “The Indicator will give them a sense of how they are tracking at the moment, and what they can do to improve their approach.” After registering to use the free service, users will be prompted to complete a five-minute survey consisting of 12 yes or no questions. Based on their responses, the Indicator will generate a
report card on their readiness to export. Businesses assessed as ready will be invited to register online for Austrade services, including those provided by its extensive overseas network. Those assessed as not being ready will be offered advice and referrals to other services, which can help them make the necessary preparations. The report card includes detailed responses for each of the questions to which the user has answered “no”, including links to information elsewhere on the Austrade website and contacts for other service providers. “The Readiness Indicator is not intended to replace personal contact with our Trade Advisers, who can still be reached on the Austrade Direct hotline, 13 28 78,” Mr Beresford said. “It is just another convenient way for Austrade to provide businesses with the services they need quickly and conveniently.”
Master Class to strengthen Aboriginal business skills Kinaway – Victoria’s Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce – launched a unique Master Class initiative in June to encourage business acumen and skills development amongst Aboriginal business owners. Developed in partnership with Kinaway and the Asia Pacific Social Impact Leadership Centre (APSILC), with additional funding support from the Melbourne Business School (MBS) Executive MBA Class of 2003, the Master Class is called MURRA, meaning fish net in Woi Wurrung language, and will consist of six Business Master Classes to be run once a month between June and November 2012. Kinaway General Manager, Simon Tengende, says, “Technical business skills are vital to the growth of Aboriginal businesses and in turn, strong Aboriginal businesses create more employment opportunities for the Aboriginal community and develop a broader economically independent profile for the Aboriginal community.
cultural heritage and generate innovative platforms for sustainable leadership development within the Aboriginal community. The program was developed following Kinaway’s consultation with Aboriginal business owners, which outlined a shortfall in business knowledge and ongoing development opportunities for established business owners. “The Master Class is the first of its sort ever developed in Victoria and we hope it will be a yearly offering.” Twelve participants from around Victoria will take part in the inaugural course, which will include a focus on business strategy, finance, marketing, negotiations, human resource management and procurement.
“MURRA aims to strengthen
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Rebound Ace teams with Crackmasters Crackmasters, a Geelong born and based pavement maintenance franchise, has teamed with world-renowned sports surfacing giant, Rebound ace. Rebound Ace, and partner company Nike Grind, supply the elite sports surfacing systems throughout the sporting world. Jason Cobb, founder and director of Crackmasters says, “ I am delighted to be part of such a successful brand,” and added, “They approached me after seeing the quality work Crackmasters have completed, so I suppose it is a reflection of our overall quality.” Warren Furlong from Rebound Ace stated: “We are very excited to have Crackmasters on board, with the combination of Rebound Ace Sports reputation and superior products and Crackmasters installation and project expertise, we are a winning team.”
of hard work. Crackmasters have three franchises, one in Geelong and two in Melbourne - Central West and Central North. Specialising in pavement maintenance, Crackmasters are building a solid reputation for quality and service. The future is looking fantastic for Crackmasters, having secured the approved applicator registration. Netball, tennis and many other sporting groups throughout Geelong and Victoria will now have direct access the vast range of sports court systems.
Government inconsistency hindering construction Vecci Chief Executive, Mark Stone, has issued a scathing response to what he says is a lack of consistency by the Federal Government on construction costs. Mr Stone said Victorian business is extremely concerned and disappointed that the Federal Government appears to have withdrawn its previous support for a Productivity Commission inquiry into Australia’s construction costs. “At the same time as the Federal Treasurer is talking about improving productivity in service industries, he does not want to address the issue of productivity in the construction industry,” Mr Stone said. “We know the costs of construction in Victoria are far greater than other states and by international standards. We have also experienced extremely disruptive behaviour on major infrastructure projects such as the Westgate Bridge upgrade and the construction of the Wonthaggi Desalination plant. We will simply not get the infrastructure Victoria
Crackmasters is the world’s first pavement system to be franchised. Jason said he was very proud the company was Geelongbased, and is proud of how the franchise has developed over three years
needs if we don’t investigate how it can be delivered more harmoniously and productively. “It seems as though the Federal Government is burying its head in the sand when it comes to the construction, evidenced by the abolishment of the Office of the Australian Building Commissioner (ABCC), which had been a great driver of change. “Premier Baillieu called for a Productivity Commission inquiry into construction costs and now Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens is urging productivity reform driven by the Productivity Commission. In tough economic conditions, the Federal Government should be doing all it can to stimulate economic activity in Victoria. It is time for the Federal Government to not only talk the productivity talk, but also walk the walk.”
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Simulation shows port stimulation The Victorian Regional Channels Authority has simulated what the traffic in and out of Geelong Port is projected to look like in twenty years’ time. The simulations are showing major commodity growth that the port authority believes will trigger a need for infrastructure improvements, including increased shipping berths and storage. THE interactive development tool looks at next-generation ships visiting the busy port and calculating whether these bigger vessels will need new infrastructure to meet a projected tripling of trade at Geelong’s shipping hub. Port leaders believe the simulations they’re studying today - that show cargo imports and exports surging to nearly 35 million tonnes by 2030 - are shaping as `tomorrow’s’ reality. The Victorian Regional Channels Authority is using the simulation program extensively as it prepares its inaugural port development strategy to allow stakeholders to plan effectively for its future. The four-year rolling strategy looks at factors including market growth, ships, channels, wharves and on-shore infrastructure, roads, rail links and the residential-industrial interface. A steering committee of port stakeholders that includes the City of Greater Geelong expects to finish a first draft of
the strategy in July, with a final report expected by the year’s end. VRCA chief executive officer, Captain Peter McGovern, said the simulation program, Planimate, clearly showed the ramifications of changes such as new markets on the port and its environment. “It gives the port stakeholders a valuable opportunity to gauge what investments might be needed in the future to ensure we capitalise on the port’s economic growth,’’ Captain McGovern said. “Importantly, it gives them vital lead-time to budget for these changes or find an alternative. “And say, for example, if a new commodity was coming through Corio Quay, the model might show a need for another berth there. Without that lead-time to plan and evolve, we risk missing out on new commodities. We have to be ready.’’ The simulation model allows cargo owners to see the effect an increase in existing
commodities, or the arrival of a new market, can have over the next five to 30 years. With growth forecasts factored in from key port businesses, the model helps predict whether new wharves, storage sheds and handling equipment and improved channel, road and rail access are needed. Tides, weather and even mechanical breakdowns on ships can be factored in, as can the
wrong. A new wharf, even a small one for ocean-going ships, with associated handling and storage facilities, can cost up to $100 million. We can’t afford to make mistakes.’’
investment needed and the revenue generated. Geelong’s port and the companies who use it contribute more than $2 billion to Geelong region’s economy. Together they provide nearly 5000 jobs.
“It also helps us spot any potential problems and find solutions several years in advance,’’ he said.
“We’ve got to plan and plan correctly,’’ Captain McGovern said of the development strategy. “The money is too big to get things like infrastructure improvements
Captain McGovern said the discrete event model was a vital tool for decision makers in planning ways to meet those future infrastructure challenges.
“And it allows us to further develop the city’s growth prospects, such as mapping ways to integrate the port’s activities with the Geelong Ring Road Employment Precinct in the city’s northern fringe.’’
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New frontiers in spending money The way consumers pay and the concept of “money” is changing rapidly. That in turn is raising concerns regarding crime risks and new crime patterns. FOR years, spending in cash has been declining as consumers shifted to credit cards. Despite this move, cash is not unimportant. According to RBA figures, Australian consumers withdraw on average more than $12 billion a month from ATMs. A further $1.2 billion is withdrawn via eftpos each month. But the card is king. In the first months of 2012, Australians spent nearly $20 billion per month via credit and charge cards. Debit card usage has however increased dramatically, as savvy consumers tried to control their spending. Debit card purchases now average $12 billion per month. Barriers to access these services, crime concerns and the costs of using bank accounts have led to the development of other payment methods. Prepaid cards that can be loaded with limited value and used as debit cards have proved very popular amongst people who do not want to maintain
an underlying bank account. Travel cards such as myki have also developed broader functionality internationally. Hong Kong’s Octopus card is a touch card that can be used to pay for public transport, but can also be used at convenience stores and public telephone booths. Users just wave their cards over the Octopus Reader and payments are deducted instantly. Hong Kong has issued more than 10 million of these cards. Mobile banking has also taken flight. While Australians generally use their mobile phones to access banking information and conclude transactions, developing countries are embracing more comprehensive mobile banking models. It is very expensive to maintain bricks and mortar branches and ATMs are also quite costly in thinly-populated remote rural areas. A number of African and Asian countries therefore supported the development of a model that
Geelong’s water future It wasn’t that long ago that we were anticipating very sharp rises in the price of water. In rare news, it seems that these anticipated big rises won’t be seen, at least not over the next five years, with Barwon Water recommending a rise of just 1 per cent a year. THE proposed pricing is detailed in Barwon Water’s 2013 Water Plan, a draft of which publically available and open for comment until July 31. The draft plan puts forward an annual price increase of 1 per cent a year, excluding CPI, from 2013 to 2018. For customers using
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165 kilolitres of water a year, this equates to a price rise of 21 cents a week, or $2.69 a quarter in 2013/14. Prices will vary from customer to customer depending on usage. Barwon Water Chairman, Dr Michael King, said the Board was conscious of
enable prospective customers to open accounts via their mobile phones and to deposit and withdraw money via the eftpos systems of small convenience shops. By the end of 2011 the Kenyan M-PESA scheme had more than 17 million customers and their usage of the new services had transformed payment in that country. Barter trade is also making a comeback in surprising ways. Virtual currency, that is new currencies and objects of value created for virtual reality games, can gain value in the real world and hard currency
cost-of-living pressures on the community and had committed to minimising price rises. “Double-digit increases over the past five years were necessary to deliver water security to the Geelong region. Having met that objective, the corporation will now move away from the ‘build phase’ and shift its focus to the efficient delivery of quality services,” Dr King said. “The minimal price increases will enable Barwon Water to maintain the system to a high standard and meet population growth as required.” The five-year business plan proposes total required revenue of $944 million
when players start buying and selling them on ebay. E-gold and digital currencies such as bitcoin also point the road to the future of payments. These innovative payment systems may become standard features in future, but not before providers and regulators solve concerns relating to fraud, criminal abuse and consumer protection. Deakin University’s research has helped to shape the global regulatory framework for mobile banking and is continuing its key work on appropriate and facilitative regulation. to fund operations and capital expenditure. New projects include enlarging Colac’s water supply, mains replacement and renewals and upgrades of Pettavel water storage basin and the region’s largest sewage treatment facility, Black Rock water reclamation plant. “As was the case in the 2008 Water Plan, growth is still the main driver for capital expenditure.”
NEW APPOINTMENTS TURF MANAGEMENT Andrew Dalby joins Pitchcraft as Simonds Stadium Turf Manager. With over 10 years of experience in the turf industry working at venues such as the MCG, WACA and the Junction Oval, Andrew’s new appointment brings a wealth of knowledge to Pitchcraft and Simonds Stadium.
REAL ESTATE Eadie, Smith & Co have appointed Alan Morgan, a third generation Real Estate Agent, to facilitate sales of Residential, Commercial and Industrial properties in the Geelong area. A licensed Auctioneer, Alan has 40 years of property experience and is keen to assist vendors and purchasers achieve their goals.
ENTERTAINMENT The new owners and staff of Bowl-A-Rama welcomes back David Carmichael to manage the centre. David has 35 years experience in the bowling industry and hospitality area. His achievements are worldrenowned, winning two Asian Zone titles and one World Champion title.
REAL ESTATE Justin Micallef has joined Buxton Real Estate, vowing to obliterate the “agent” stereotype with his downto-earth and personable approach. With a strong belief in customer service, Justin is a preferred agent who is confident you will be referring others once you have had him as your agent.
ACCOUNTING LBW is proud to announce the appointment of Leigh Harry to the position of Partner. Leigh joined LBW in 2007 after 4 years of operating his own firm. Leigh specializes in business valuations and providing support to legal practitioners where an economic or financial opinion is required.
CREATIVE Adcell Group welcomes Joanne Cook to their team. Joanne is a Creative Designer who has a Bachelor in Graphic Design and Multimedia. Joanne was previously employed at the Country Fire Authority as a creative support officer.
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NEW APPOINTMENTS REAL ESTATE
Jonathon Lumsden joins Colliers International Geelong, having worked in various sectors of the profession including residential management in South Yarra and commercial management and leasing in Melbourne. In 2002 Jonathon made the change into commercial real estate property management.
Morgan James joins the Encompass Training Services division as a Trainee Administrative Assistant. Her commitment is to use her strong organisational and customer service skills in assisting Encompass students with their training needs. She is currently pursuing Certificate III in Business Administration.
AGB Human Resources has a new Operations Manager, Cameron Price. Working from the Moorabool Street office, Cameron coordinates recognition of prior learning (RPL) and training in community services, business skills and training and education.
Lachie Boyd joined WHK’s expanding Lending Team to provide broking services to clients including: Small Business Finance, Agribusiness Finance, Vehicle and Equipment Finance, Residential and Investment Finance, and Debt Consolidation and reviews. He previously worked at ANZ.
After relocating from Melbourne to Geelong, Karly Holmes has joined the talented team at AGB Group. She is excited to be starting on a new journey as a Human Resource Officer. Her experience in management combined with her recent studies will be highly beneficial to AGB Group.
Shane Hilton is a new member of the WHK team and provides advice on Strategic Financial and Investment Planning advice, Superannuation, Redundancy, Portfolio Construction and Management, Retirement Income Streams, Pensions, Estate Planning, and Aged Care.
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FEATURE challenging economic climate.”
Work together, win together The future of Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter was never going to be a story that ended with the decision from the Alcoa Corporate Centre last month, regardless of which way it went. Ninety per cent of the 600-odd workers have retained their jobs for the next two years, but is aluminium production really sustainable in Australia? The Point Henry smelter has two years in which to find out.
Alcoa has been operating in Geelong for almost fifty years and the Point Henry smelter has been a very prominent part of the city’s manufacturing and employment landscape since the 1960s – not only for direct employees at the smelter, but also for the thousands of people in the supply chain, including contractors, suppliers and service businesses. Part of the deal that the collective of management and workers put to the Corporate Centre was increased productivity and efficiency measures.
forward,” Mr Osborne said. The Committee for Geelong quickly became involved in the Point Henry negotiation process when it was announced that Alcoa’s corporate mangement was reviewing the future of the smelter. The Committee’s Executive Director, Peter Dorling, says that with only a few years for Alcoa to prove its viability, a similar story with Ford’s local production operations, and a few years wait for Avalon Airport to begin operating as an international airport, Geelong seems to be a city on a time limit. “Every one of those things seems to be on some sort
THERE was a collective sigh of relief around Geelong when the news came through that Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter had won a two-year reprieve and would continue operating until mid-2014, following five months of speculation the company’s international management would shut down the smelter. John Osborne is the General Manager of Manufacturing for Alcoa of Australia’s Victorian Operations and Portland Aluminium’s Location Manager. On Friday June 29 he was the deliverer of the good news that the Alcoa Point Henry smelter would stay operational, at least for now. “It’s been a difficult time over the past five months while there’s been the uncertainty about the operation, and the positive from last Friday’s announcement is that the Point Henry Smelter will continue until at least mid2014,” Mr Osborne said. “The future of the smelter has been under review, as you know. There have been very difficult economic conditions [affecting aluminium production in Australia] and they are likely to continue, but equally, this announcement gives us an opportunity to work through for the next two years, working together with all of our employees on continuing to drive improvement and
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opportunities, and see how we can move on from there.” While the announcement brought relief for many employees, it came with the sobering news that there would be a ten per cent reduction in the smelter’s workforce, meaning 60 jobs will still go. “We’ve still got to work through that process, and while we want to [make those job cuts] on a voluntary basis - and where it’s voluntary it’s probably good news for people who are at that stage of life where they’d like to take up that opportunity - we still need to work through how we restructure the work and continue to drive the productivity and efficiencies to meet that continuing
“We’ve already worked with our employees on pursuing some opportunities that collectively we see. Through the review we’ve seen employees come forward with nearly 300 suggestions on opportunities for efficiency and productivity improvements across the plant. We’ve come back with an alternative redesign or restructure and we’re testing that with the employees and getting some feedback on how that can operate. We’re not always going to agree on everything, but pretty much we want to work through that process on a consultative basis, and together, as we have in the past, we believe we can find some common ground that will meet both the business needs and the people needs going
of time limit and government support. Time is of the essence, and two years will go very, very quickly; we don’t need to waste that time. As a community and our civic leaders need to work really hard to ensure that we go beyond those time limits when the time’s up.” Mr Dorling said that because Alcoa, Ford and Avalon have done a lot of work in securing these next few years in which to develop a forward plan, it is now up to the wider community to work on better understanding the supply chains involved and working on a multi-stakeholder approach to keep these big businesses moving forward. “We’re not just talking about these companies. We’re
FEATURE talking about the big supply chains that are like a spider’s web spreading throughout Geelong and the region. I think we need to talk to those companies and shore up those supply chains for the future. “I think we almost need a taskforce, for want of a better term, to pull apart what’s happened in the last twelve months – it’s been a really tumultuous time for Geelong, with Ford, Avalon, Alcoa and some others – and really sit down and say, ‘What will it mean to retain our skills base and our economic strength for the ten years beyond this two-year period.” Mr Dorling said that independent, external advice would most likely be needed to get a clear picture of the future viability of some of these big economic drivers in the global marketplace. It was this sort of straightforward business approach that was seen during the negotiations on the future of the Point Henry process, and it was an extraordinary process to watch from afar. We’ve become used to seeing management announcing job cuts, the shock of employees turning up to work only to hear they no longer have a job and the inevitable backlash
from the unions. The role of governments in these scenarios is usually to be sympathetic but distant. In the case of the Point Henry smelter, the Alcoa employees and smelter management came together to form a plan that they could take to corporate head office to keep the smelter operating. “A long time ago Point Henry coined the phrase, ‘Working together means winning together’, and in the past Point Henry has faced some difficulties and we’ve worked together with our employees who know the work well and we’ve been able to work together and win together. I see this as just another opportunity to continue that pattern and achieve the same outcome,” Mr Osborne said. Manufacturing is shifting very fast around the world. Competition is growing rapidly in what is now well and truly a global marketplace. The technology and energy revolutions have made their way onto production lines and manufacturing businesses are having to change and adapt at a breakneck speed. Point Henry in particular and aluminium production in general are just part of these revolutions.
Given the concerns about the enormous energy requirements of running an aluminium smelter and the emergence of new technology materials such as carbon fibre, the question is being asked, and has to be asked, about the future viability of aluminium smelters in Australia. “We continue to see the future for aluminium as very bright. We know that demand in continuing, aluminium is a lightweight, energy-efficient material that continues to provide opportunities for fuel savings in various forms, whether it be in aircraft or motor vehicles. We see the future for aluminium is bright, we’ve just got to work through the current tough economic conditions, both in terms of the low London Metal Exchange price that is set for aluminium and the high Australian dollar,” Mr Osborne said. Aluminium prices have historically been cyclical and like all commodities, will experience highs and lows, and when that price is converted into Australian dollars with our high exchange rate, the current price represents something like a 20-year low. “During the global financial crisis it was down to about
AU$1300 per tonne, but the exchange rate went down to 63 cents. Currently it’s more around the AU$1800, but the exchange rate is around $1, which is the main focus of our problems right now. “Aluminium is a commodity market, so it’s supply and demand, and we are certainly continuing to see a number of different countries and producers continue to bring new capacity online – that’s always going to create ongoing pressure among the smelting world,” Mr Osborne said, adding that despite the difficult trading conditions, demand for the commodity continues to be strong globally. New technology fibres, including carbon fibre, will encroach on aluminium’s market for strong, lightweight materials, and the industry has been looking at ways to meet future materials demand. “In terms of technology and in terms of aerospace, we’ve continued to work on new development and new products, and we continue to find new markets and growth.”
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City offers business support The City of Greater Geelong is offering a new service to provide advice and support to the local small business sector. Small businesses are key drivers of the State’s economy, and are vital to economic growth and developed across regional Victoria. While there are many avenues of support for small business, many SME operators are unaware of the kinds of supports available, or simply too busy to investigate pursuing them. THE City has decided to take a direct action approach to helping local small businesses access support such as funding grants, access to training or mentoring programs. Councillor Rod Macdonald, who holds the Economic Development Portfolio for the City, says the business visit service has been designed not only to provide advice and better access to support, but also as a way to gain direct feedback from businesses. “As well as offering advice and sources of support, the business visit service is a valuable exchange of information – an opportunity for business to speak directly and candidly with Council about local issues and experiences. Our Economic Development team has wide ranging business experience, knowledge and networks. Book an appointment and they will come to you, at a time that suits, to talk through any challenges or issues you are experiencing”, said Cr Macdonald. “We know time is a precious commodity for small business operators, so our aim is to bring you solutions, practical advice and referrals straight to the workplace. Depending on your needs, we may be able to refer you to funding sources for growth, provide advice about future proofing your business, advise on the involvement of volunteers, or recommend free mentoring or affordable training and development to help build capacity. “We’re aiming to meet with as many small businesses as
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we can. So whether you are a new start-up or an established small business, it’s worth giving us a call. Sitting down and having a conversation can open up unexplored pathways.” To date, approximately 50 small businesses have participated in the business visits program across sectors including retail, health, construction, manufacturing and professional services. We all know that small business is vital to our economy. There are some 450,000 small businesses in Victoria who create half of all the state’s private sector jobs. Sixty two per cent of active small businesses are start-ups or independent contractors and are increasingly homebased. Small businesses owners and operators are very busy, often time-poor, and lack the dedicated business development experts that larger businesses and corporations have. Through this program, small business operators can access business development experts working in the government sector who will provide their time and resources for free! To arrange a business visit please contact the City of Greater Geelong Economic Development Unit on phone 5272 4888 or email email@example.com For the latest in local business news follow us on twitter @Geelongofb or sign up for the Open for Business e-newsletter www.geelongaustralia.com. au/ct/mygeelong.
CASE STUDY Southern Bay Brewery Southern Bay Brewery on Point Henry Road is a thriving small business that was rewarded last year with gold, silver and bronze medals at the Australian International Beer Awards. To ensure they were making the most of their strengths, General Manager, Ben Israel, booked a free business visit with the City of Greater Geelong’s Economic Development Unit. The two-hour visit and discussion covered the company’s current position, challenges and opportunities. Economic Development coordinator, Keelie Hamilton, was able to refer Southern Bay to several useful services, including Enterprise Connect, the Small Business Mentoring Service and the Future Proofing arm of the City of Greater Geelong. We really appreciate the visit. It’s opened up a whole world of information in Geelong we didn’t know existed”, said Ben. “Through Keelie we had a free consult with Future Proofing, which we are hoping will result in a transition to clean
technology as part of our planned brewery upgrade. We’re now aware of a new avenue of funding through the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program. We’ve got big plans for our brewery, and we’re passionate about continuing to source local materials and to minimise our carbon footprint for the long term. “We’re also about to start free sessions with the Small Business Mentoring Service. It’s early days, but through the business visit program we’ve made some brilliant connections that we believe will help us create a great future for Southern Bay Brewing. We are open to the public and will offer a tour and taste facility in the future.” The craft beer products of the Australian owned and operated business are preservative-free and include Southern Bay Draught, Sunrise Breakfast Beer, Southern Ocean Ale, Requiem Pilsner and Metal Head Porter. In recent years, the brewery has branched out to offer contracted brewing and bottling.
THE RIGHT PERSON CAN TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS SPEAK TO THE EXPERTS
We are Geelong’s leading experts in recruiting qualiﬁed, professional and skilled people. We operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. Over the last year our Geelong office we placed around 95 local job seekers into permanent jobs with local employers and around 150 people into contract roles and temporary assignments. Our service is based on our belief that the right job can transform a person’s life and the right person can transform a business. Our recruiting experts are available in the following areas: • Hays Accountancy & Finance • Hays Architecture • Hays Construction • Hays Engineering • Hays Information Technology • Hays Office Support • Hays Trades & Labour To ﬁnd out more about our services and how we can bring you together with the right people contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 5226 8000.
Batesford Batesford South South
Geelong’s future: Closer than you think
The Draft G21 Regional Growth The Draft G21 Regional Growth Plan identified Batesford Plan identified Batesford South as one of the few areas South as one of the few areas in the region suitable as a new in the region suitable as a new growth front for Geelong. So, growth front for Geelong. So, why this area and what does it why this area and what does it mean for Geelong? mean for Geelong?
It’s not hard to see why the It’s not hard to see why the area was nominated when area was nominated when you look at a map of Geelong. you look at a map of Geelong.
“ “It’s It’s not not hard hard to to see see why why the the area area was ” was nominated nominated”
The area being referred to as The area being referred to as Batesford South runs west Batesford South runs west from the ring road, between from the ring road, between the Barwon River and the the Barwon River and the Ballarat Road, through to the Ballarat Road, through to the Geelong/Golden Plains Geelong/Golden Plains boundary at Dog Rocks. Its boundary at Dog Rocks. Its most obvious feature is the most obvious feature is the old limestone quarry and soil old limestone quarry and soil heaps that were operated by heaps that were operated by Geelong Cement until the 1990’s. Geelong Cement until the 1990’s.
The City is taking on a more The City is taking on a more and more elongated shape and more elongated shape as growth stretches down the as growth stretches down the Surf Coast highway toward Surf Coast highway toward Torquay and back toward Torquay and back toward Melbourne in the other direction. Melbourne in the other direction. New growth fronts to the New growth fronts to the North and South are some North and South are some 10 kilometres from the CBD. 10 kilometres from the CBD. The proposed Batesford South The proposed Batesford South zone abuts Fyansford, just over zone abuts Fyansford, just over 5 kilometres from the CBD. 5 kilometres from the CBD.
When developed, the area When developed, the area will provide Geelong an entire will provide Geelong an entire suburb with around 12,000 suburb with around 12,000 home sites, along with schools, home sites, along with schools, parks and infrastructure. parks and infrastructure.
That makes a lot of sense in That makes a lot of sense in context of keeping the CBD alive context of keeping the CBD alive and vibrant and in providing a and vibrant and in providing a place for people who work in place for people who work in the city to live nearby. the city to live nearby.
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The site itself is interesting The site itself is interesting because it is dominated by the because it is dominated by the limestone quarry and soil heaps. limestone quarry and soil heaps.
The quarry is still operated The quarry is still operated by the original owners, The by the original owners, The McCann Family and Adelaide McCann Family and Adelaide Brighton Cement Ltd, but Brighton Cement Ltd, but they acknowledge that it they acknowledge that it has a limited life. The other has a limited life. The other significant feature is that the significant feature is that the Moorabool river runs through Moorabool river runs through the area. The rehabilitation the area. The rehabilitation and development plan and development plan put forward by the owners put forward by the owners is interesting because it is interesting because it includes the conversion of includes the conversion of the quarry and Moorabool the quarry and Moorabool river area to a 280ha urban river area to a 280ha urban park. In fact it would be park. In fact it would be the largest dedication of the largest dedication of urban open space in a urban open space in a hundred years. Anywhere. hundred years. Anywhere.
Local conservationists are Local conservationists are understandably excited as it understandably excited as it will provide a riparian corridor will provide a riparian corridor (a corridor along the river bank) (a corridor along the river bank) from the Barwon River at from the Barwon River at Fyansford all the way up to Fyansford all the way up to Batesford. Local Landcare Batesford. Local Landcare volunteer and co-ordinator, volunteer and co-ordinator, Bronte Payne, explains the Bronte Payne, explains the significance of the rehabilitation significance of the rehabilitation plan, “The open space will plan, “The open space will contribute in protecting and contribute in protecting and enhancing a total of 10 enhancing a total of 10 kilometres of Moorabool river kilometres of Moorabool river frontage between Batesford frontage between Batesford and Fyansford. The proposed and Fyansford. The proposed open spaces will connect and open spaces will connect and join directly into Dog Rocks join directly into Dog Rocks Sanctuary and the Moorabool Sanctuary and the Moorabool river significantly extending river significantly extending habitat and forage areas for habitat and forage areas for local wildlife populations.” He local wildlife populations.” He is enthusiastic at the prospect. is enthusiastic at the prospect. You will hear a lot more in You will hear a lot more in upcoming years about housing upcoming years about housing affordability. One of the problems affordability. One of the problems
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BATESFORD SOU MASTER PLAN
MELBOURN E (72.7km)
AREA ANALYSIS MI
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Extent of Site
GEELON (5.1km) G
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“The injection into the building industry alone would be over $3 billion dollars.”
with the tightly controlled planning approach is that it can lead to opportunistic pricing of land. It’s not all the land sellers’ fault though, as everything from the cost of services through to compliance adds costs to the
says “We’ve been talking to home builders and it is our objective to offer house and land packages at $300,000. We think we can do it.” The McCann Family were integral in the planning and development
“it is our objective to offer house and land packages at $300,000.” price of land and it just keeps increasing. (Carbon tax anyone?). Batesford South has a couple of advantages. Firstly, the land is long held by a limited number of people. That helps reduce speculative bidding and sales. Secondly, there is a lot of it, which assists with economies of scale. Finally, the Batesford South group has undertaken to offer a range of sized blocks right down to “smart” blocks. Bill McCann from Batesford South
of the Wandana Structure Plan, which saw over two and half thousand land sites developed between Barrabool and Scenic Road over the last two decades. Affordable housing is a key factor in regional growth. Barwon Water can see the potential, as they have already developed planning for a water recycling plant in the area to service Batesford South and the surrounding homes with access to “purple pipe”, or reclaimed water.
The economic story is an easy one to tell. 12,000 new homes to be built. 25,000 people in close proximity to the CBD. Right on the juncture of the ring road and 2 major highways. The injection into the building industry alone would be over $3 billion dollars. Yes, you read that right. The ongoing economic value will be over $1billion a year. Impressive numbers and hard to argue with. The location of the development has important benefits for public transport, environmental impact and infrastructure too. The social story is similar. A purpose designed, affordable, integrated suburb just minutes from the CBD with easy access to Melbourne and the Surf Coast. Schools, open space, facilities, more open space, in fact a whole lot of open
space, which should make for a very nice place to live. The reasons for including Batesford South in the Regional Growth Plan are clear: It’s an opportunity to recycle an industrial site, provide affordable housing close to the Geelong CBD and the sweetener is a huge open space being given over to public ownership. One of the benefits of making a plan like the G21 Regional Growth Plan is the once in a generation opportunity to shape the future of a whole region. But this is just the start of the story. From here it will need approval at each level, right down to detailed planning, to make it happen. It’s now up to the leaders of Geelong - in areas of Government, community and business - to make sure it does happen.
BUSINESS NEWS | 17
Scale @ A3 1:25,000
Note: This map has been prepared using data from assumes no responsibility for their accuracy, comple
A watchful eye on workplace flexibility The HR Nicholls Society’s annual conference in Melbourne this year provided a timely analysis of the workplace issues arising from the introduction of the Fair Work Act. THE conference, held by Australia’s leading think tank on industrial relations, drew together barristers, industrial relations lawyers, economists, unionists and past members of Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC).
global market by competing with workers in other countries on price, that is, lower wages. Conversely, a high-cost workforce must be both productive and flexible to carve out a competitive advantage in the global market.
Though the issues varied from speaker to speaker, the prevailing sentiment was that several problems needed urgent attention, and at the top of the list was workplace flexibility.
It goes without saying which road is better. If Australians would like to maintain their high standard of living, they need to continually increase their productivity and improve flexibility. Inflexible work practices hinder the workforce’s ability to be globally competitive.
One quote from industrial relations consultant and ex-unionist, Grace Collier, captured the gravity of the issue: a workforce can either be high-cost and highflexibility, or low cost and inflexible. In a nutshell, this is the choice Australia is faced with in configuring its industrial relations framework. A low cost, low productivity, and low flexibility workforce can remain competitive in the
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A widened scope for reaching agreements means decisions usually reserved for management (such as whom to hire and whom to fire) are now subject to union negotiation, and hence, strike action. These matters have little impact on the salaries of workers, but they do hinder business’s ability to respond
to market pressures and frustrate attempts to remain competitive. The feeling of many speakers, and indeed of the audience, was that the impact is being felt in businesses across the board, and will continue to, unless the Fair Work Act is reformed. Alexander Philipatos is a Policy Analyst at The Centre for Independent Studies. A Penny for Their Thoughts… Deutsche Bank [last month] issued a valuation for Fairfax that included a nil valuation for its metropolitan print business. It is easy to point the finger at the Fairfax management and board for this outcome, but that is far too parochial an explanation. Newspapers around the world are facing similar issues. It remains to be seen whether print media can be transformed into new and profitable business models based on paid subscriber content. However, any such transformation faces a significant constraint that was disguised by the old model: few people are prepared to pay very much for what journalists write. It is a reality journalists are understandably reluctant to accept.
Journalists cloak themselves in themselves in the mantle of democracy, but while a free media is essential to democracy, the traditional role of journalists as intermediaries and interpreters of information has been greatly diminished by the same forces that have undermined the old media business models. Now that barriers to entry have collapsed, journalists are facing the same competitive pressures as their traditional proprietors. They will increasingly have to sell their product directly into a much more competitive marketplace for ideas and information. In the long run, this should make journalists better friends of free speech and more effective in scrutinising politicians, business and other institutions. Dr Stephen Kirchner is a Research Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies and a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Technology Sydney Business School.
BUSINESS OF THE MONTH
breakwater kitchens sets the standard in excellence...
ACCOLADES FOR BREAKWATER KITCHENS This enthusiasm epitomizes the culture at Breakwater Kitchens and is appreciated by all clients.
When it comes to your home, the industry leader Breakwater Kitchens will bring your dreams to life.
The new business structure at Breakwater Kitchens provides an encouraging and supporting environment to help each staff member reach their optimum potential. Breakwater Kitchens had built a reputation over 27 years being the recipient of Australian Achiever Award for Excellence in Customer Service. At the forefront is its award winning showroom highlighting the ‘cutting edge’ of kitchen, bathroom and living design. Mentored by Breakwater Kitchens Director Alvaro Del Gallo, apprentice Chris Hester has been awarded Best Apprentice in Furniture Making as part of the 2012 Industry Training Awards. In the pursuit of industry excellence Alvaro invests significant time in developing all his team. “When I was an apprentice I was passionate and aspired to perfection and I got a real sense of achievement winning awards.” Alvaro’s passion helped him achieve apprentice of the year for 4 consecutive years. Chris said “I really enjoyed working on the special project with a focus on quality and fine detail in workmanship.” When asked about his success Chris said “My best is yet to come, I can’t wait to get on to the next special project.”
Breakwater Kitchens differentiates itself by offering a full design service from consultation stage and 3D drawings through to designing, manufacturing and installation. Progress viewing ensures the client remains in contact with their project during manufacture. Alvaro has instilled in all staff from the friendly reception to the final fit-out that all customer requirements are fully met - over achievement is often the case. With this philosophy much of Breakwater Kitchens work is by referral or repeat business being further evidence of complete customer satisfaction. Additionally as a full service package Breakwater Kitchens will project manage renovations with relevant trades for a seamless transition from old to new.
Breakwater Kitchens, Maria and Alvaro Del Gallo with the Best Apprentice in Furniture Making Award recipient, Chris Hester.
Prospective clients are inspired by the Breakwater Kitchens website that showcases innovation in kitchen design.
Contemporary, Traditional, Custom made with expert installation... • Kitchens • Granite bench tops • Solid timber, laminate or vinyl
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Open Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm Saturday Morning - By Appointment 30 Leather Street, Breakwater 3219 F: 5221 6993 E: email@example.com W: www.breakwaterkitchens.com.au
BUSINESS NEWS | 19
COVER STORY THE cut and thrust of business is running at fever pitch at the moment, and in the business world, the bigger you are – as we have seen – the harder you fall. But even in the world of fashion retail, where uncertainty seems to taint the very air and the eerie silence of wallets and purses staying firmly closed pervades, there are those businesses that seem to dance into the wind and come out smelling of success. Over the past two decades, Alex Perry has learnt a thing or two about dancing into the wind. In less than a minute of talking to perhaps the biggest name in the Australian fashion industry, Alex Perry, you are left with no doubt that to this man, complacency has never, nor will ever, be an issue. He has a zestful enthusiasm for his work that is infectious, and he talks about his chosen
lead Perry to the industry. He graduated from the prestigious School of Fashion at East Sydney Technical College in 1984, and talked his way into a job as a model agent, representing Australian models for international agencies. It was a glamorous and lucrative career, that Perry promptly threw in when he decided to turn his hand to design, opening his first atelier in 1992, where he first began creating what would become his signature style of gowns and corsets. His creations quickly became a favourite of fashion magazine editors, notably Vogue Australia, and in 1994 he relocated his salon to an exclusive location in Double Bay. It was to here that celebrities and top models, as well as the elite of Australian society, turned for head-turning event wear. “To some extent I fluked it
The business of being
Alex Perry field with candour and humour. “People see the exterior, the end result, but it’s what you do to get there that is really important. In this industry, you see a lot of designers, and especially young designers, who look at the end product, but they’re not that aware of what it actually takes to get into that space.” For Perry, there was no fashion or celebrity dynasty to smooth his entry into the fashion world. Raised in a Greek migrant family in suburban Sydney, where his parents ran a takeaway shop, Perry attended a rugby school, but preferred drawing to tackling. It was this talent for and interest in drawing that would ultimately
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a little bit, because I wasn’t quite sure what a fashion designer did,” Perry admits. “I was good at drawing and I wanted to do something that utilised the fact that I was a good illustrator, and so I entered all these different courses and sent in portfolios for everything from industrial design through to fashion, and fashion is the one that I got into. I literally, and quite naively, thought that it would be about sketching things up and giving them to somebody and then it would somehow materialize. “When I got to college the first couple of days basically were that, it was all colour and working on drawings and sketches. Then we had to go to The School
of Fashion, which was at the East Sydney Tech, and that was when they started pulling out these sewing machines and pattern paper, and I had absolutely no idea. I just looked and thought, ‘I can’t do that. I’m not going to do that!’ “After I finished high school, because I’d missed all the entrance exams for the different colleges, I was at Uni studying Arts/ Education. When I left Uni, Dad just couldn’t believe it, he couldn’t believe that I’d actually dropped out of university. So on that day, after I’d gotten into Fashion College and then I wanted to leave because I was thinking this was not my thing, I was too scared to go home and tell my Dad that I was dropping out of another course. So I kind of thought I’d better sort this out, and I did.”
“What I realised early on in College was that you could have all these ideas, but if you couldn’t materialize it and be able to show somebody, then it just wasn’t going to work. So I just had to become good at it. I was never the best sewer in the world, but I was always really good at proportion and fit, and making sure that things looked the way I wanted them to look. And I’m pretty tenacious, if you put a challenge in front of me, I’m the last person who will shy away from it and I’ll give it my best shot. I think I’ve got a strong-enough ego that I never want to put something forward that’s not great. It’s just a work ethic that I have that I think I learnt from my parents, that if I’m going to do something then I’m going to it the best that I can do it.”
Alex Perry will speak at From ‘Passion to Profit’ - A One Day Power Business Conference, hosted by the Geelong Chamber of Commerce as part of the Small Business Festival this August.
It just goes to show that a bit of solid parental expectation can go a long way. I asked Alex if that story was brought out often at his parents’ home. “Dad passed away earlier this year, but both my Mum and Dad just wanted us to be happy. They wanted us (Alex and his two brothers) to be successful at what we were doing and to be happy. So once Dad saw that I was building a career from fashion, he was just so proud and really happy with what I was doing. I don’t know that he really remembered that, I think it was more my fear of having to go home and say, ‘I can’t do this’.” Obviously, Alex did learn how to sew, amongst the other skills that make up a designer’s stock in trade.
It’s an interesting thing that even in an industry that has a strong perception of impracticality, of airy creativity and driven by seemingly fickle trends, what I was hearing was a very practical approach to building a successful career, and ultimately a successful business. “It’s pretty basic. The thing that makes anyone successful, without trivializing it, really is just that: you want to be the best that you can be and you try as hard as you can. And it’s not about just saying it; the words are easy, ‘I gave it my best shot’, but you really need to know that you did give it 150 per cent, that’s the fundamentals of any great business. The word ‘passion’ gets thrown around a lot, but if you do really
COVER STORY love something and you do want to be great at it, you just try incredibly hard, and eventually, I think in most cases, you will become successful at it.” Passion, tenacity, dedication; these are all just nice ways of describing what it, essentially, bloody singleminded stubbornness. “Absolutely, it is. You know, in 2002 I almost went bankrupt. Having a business wasn’t really my thing and I was thinking, ‘No, there’s no way I’m going to let this happen’, being incredibly stubborn, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of it going under. It meant reinventing almost the whole thing, and nobody knew at the time, but it came that close. But I just kept thinking that I would just not let this happen,
that I would do whatever it takes and that I would make it work.” No one who builds a successful business over a long period of time is a stranger to adversity. Running a business always has its tough times, and for Perry, who launched his business at the height of the ‘recession we had to have’ in 1994, operating in a tough economic environment is nothing new. “Everyone told me that I was absolutely crazy, and in hindsight it was pretty stupid, but when you’re young you’re really brave and you don’t take too many worries on board. It was the time for me to do it, and the fact that it was a recession meant that the timing had its drawbacks, but it also had its bonuses. I got the best rent ever in Double Bay, because half the place was empty. That gave
BUSINESS NEWS | 21
COVER STORY me a foothold into the eastern suburbs, where the people who had money still had money. Economically it wasn’t great for the majority of people, but it certainly had its bonuses for me.” I asked Alex what he had learned about business through those experiences of starting up in the 1990s, then coming so close to losing it all during the relative prosperity of the early 2000s. “Nothing frightens me. At that time [in 1992] I left my job, and
“In the tough times, you batten down the hatches, and you keep it lean. You make sure your team is great, that you don’t spend unnecessarily, and if anything, you concentrate more on your product – on the product’s relevance to the market and on giving really great service. I think that customer service is one of the biggest problems that we have in our country, and I think things like the GFC weeds out the products that are not good, and the people that have been
focus, so I was able to design things for different people that let people come into the brand, but not be spending thousands of dollars. “So with Specsavers, for example, it has become the most successful partnership that they’ve had to date, and it’s really taken all of us by surprise. I got to have a hand in designing really great glasses, but also allowing them to enter into my brand. I think that’s really important, and I’ve been able to do that with a few
These alliances are carefully thought out, and for Perry, being able to offer designer eyewear without the usual designer price tag has a particular resonance. He is known as ‘the guy who always wears glasses on his head’, and as he said, he has worn glasses since he was five. These days, Perry is famously controlling of his own image – including regular botox, treatments and a regimented fitness and diet schedule – but is also very open about the fact that he used to be a short, fat Greek kid who wore coke-
Photo: Ben Symons, courtesy Foxtel
Photo: Jodie Hutchinson, courtesy Foxtel
“I think I’ve got a strong-enough ego that I never want to put something forward that’s not great. It’s just a work ethic that I have that I think I learnt from my parents, that if I’m going to do something then I’m going to it the best that I can do it.”
gowns in a brand alliance with Waterford Crystal; and now you may be proudly touting Alex Perry eyewear.
I’d had a really great salary, and all of a sudden I wasn’t getting that pay packet. I was just newly married, I had to support myself, and I mean, thank God Mary was working. [Mary Perry is a former model.] There were weeks where I brought in absolutely zero. It was the worst time to start, but what that’s done for me is that now, when there is something like the GFC, it feels like a familiar situation and it doesn’t freak me out. When that happens, you just have to be leaner and tighter and work even harder to get through. You make sure you look at what you are doing, so is your product relevant, are you providing good product, are you giving good service?
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cruising along offering substandard product.” Perry has rapidly expanded his business across the past 18 years, from those first small ateliers to the top of the Australian fashion world and one that has expanded its product base in a number of lucrative directions. “You know, I do like high end women’s evening wear, but there is only so much that I will ever sell in Australia with a population of 23 or 24 million people. There is a ceiling you will reach of how many women you can sell a dress to. So for me, celebrity dressing was always a big part of it; and it was also about at brand alliances that had a design
brands that we have a synergy with and it’s been incredibly successful. And it’s allowed me not to get bored. If I kept just making wedding dresses, for example, or kept doing only cocktail dresses, after 20 years you get a bit bored. You’ve got to keep it interesting and you’ve got to keep reinventing things, and allowing yourself to be inspired and fresh.” Brand alliances have become very big business in the fashion world, and, from the King of the Corset, you can have an Alex Perry rug in your lounge room; if you managed to beat the rush you may have picked up some Perry-designed accessories at Diva; Perry designed some extraordinary
bottle glasses. I asked him if, when he Specsavers alliance became such a hit, that short, fat kid in the glasses was whooping somewhere inside. “Oh, massively. When I was a kid, there was such a really bad selection of glasses. I used to wear ones that weren’t cool, and there wasn’t really anything else. So every time I had to go and get new glasses I hated it, and I had a big head too – I mean literally, not figuratively – now I have one figuratively, but for me the selection was so limited it wasn’t funny. I sort of did it for me as a child, in a sense to say, ‘You can do this’.” Candour, humour and a very frank approach to fashion
COVER STORY to? And after I started, it wasn’t that daunting any more, it became a really fun exercise. We start building this year, and once it starts to materialize, I will love it that, to see it come into reality.”
The latest move for the fashion entrepreneur is a series of
“Having a strong team is the most important thing in business. I’m the front man, if you like, but you have to have a good team – and there’s been
When it comes to running a diverse business, no man (or woman) is an island. Success doesn’t come from just one person’s hard work, but from the hard work of a dedicated team, and Perry is one front man who has been very open about his reliance on those he puts in place around him.
Despite the multiple projects, Perry says his business is not as big as many would think, with a team of nine people running the Perry empire. “We’ve had our biggest spurt of growth in this last financial year with 35 per cent growth,
conversation. I’m very aware of where all this has come from, who’s supported me and what the reality of it is right now - it’s a good business and I’m proud of it.” If he could share just one little nugget of wisdom that he has collected along the way, Perry says it would be a very basic message: “You just have to work hard.” “I don’t know what a 9 to 5 day is, I don’t know what a fiveday working week is. It’s never been like that since I started my business, and I didn’t work like that even when I worked for other people. It’s always been that when the job is done, then I can relax. It’s just hard work, all the time, every day,
Photo: Gina Milicia, courtesy Foxtel
Alex Perry-branded residential developments. The first of these multi-storey high-density
like them, you’ve got to love them, and they’ve got to be part of the whole team. Even though I might be the head of the team, I still work within that team. I can still get over the cutting table and cut or fuse, and I can still clean the toilet, because I’m part of that team. I will never expect anyone to do anything that I’m not willing to do myself. If you have that work culture, then I think you can be unstoppable.
Photo: Jez Smith, courtesy Waterford Crystal
commentary saw Perry take on television roles, including judging roles in Australia’s Next Top Model (Perry is the only judge to have appeared in all seven series of the show) and Project Runway alongside friend Megan Gale. A regular fashion commentator on the Today Show, A Current Affair, Sunrise, Today Tonight and Mornings with Kerri-Anne, saw Perry become one of the country’s first celebrity designers, with a series of new roles as a brand ambassador, public speaker and MC.
and high fashion apartment buildings will be located in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. There are plans for nine Alex Perry residential buildings to be rolled out across Australia through to 2021. “When you do something that is design-focused, the principles are similar – whether I’m designing a dress or I’m designing glasses or jewellery, or a rug or the interiors of somewhere, it’s the same principles that you use in the design process, just in a different way. “It was good to have a team of people to be able to ask questions of, like what we can we, how do we do that, what’s the budget we have to stick
“Having a strong team is the most important thing in business. I’m the front man, if you like, but you have to have a good team – and there’s been times when I haven’t, where there’s been links in the team that have not been great, and that can be devastating.” times when I haven’t, where there’s been links in the team that have not been great, and that can be devastating. It’s just the most important thing; and the more you expand, the more you need to be able to rely on them. “I’ve always created a really strong work culture, where it’s like a big family business. Even though those people aren’t technically family, I’m with them ten hours a day – I see them more than I see my brothers – so you’ve got to
which in time of financial downturn is pretty great. We do a decent turnover and the turnover from commercial endorsements is pretty impressive. It’s good to look back on what you’ve achieved, and you know I got a good work ethic from my parents and I’ve got a wife that supported me when I wasn’t making any money. For a good six years, if it wasn’t for Mary working and supporting us when I wasn’t making any money, we wouldn’t be having this
even when you’re sick. I hear people say, “Oh, I just don’t feel like it today”, well, there’s a lot of things that I don’t feel like doing, but you just have to get in, get it done, and when it’s finished then you can relax. “I know it’s really basic and it sounds quite trite, but when I think about it, there is one thing that always pops into my head when I think about what I’ve done in the past and what I’m about to do, it’s just hard work.
Davina Montgomery BUSINESS NEWS | 23
Small Business Festival August 2012
The City of Greater Geelong is pleased to deliver the second Geelong Small Business Festival (GSBF) to our regionâ€™s business community. The festival forms part of Victoriaâ€™s Small Business Festival. The GSBF runs throughout the entire month of August providing an opportunity for individuals to learn new skills and brush up on their technical expertise to support their business.
10904 Geelong SB Festival - Bus News DPS_FINAL.indd 1
Over fifty information sessions, events and networking opportunities will be held throughout August, many are free and most are minimal cost. Event topics include social media and marketing, recruiting and retaining staff, leadership, buying and selling a business and how to develop and grow your business. The festival also offers plenty of opportunities for you to network with others.
19/06/12 4:53 PM
Information sessions, events and networking opportunities on offer:
Less than $50
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
NETWORKING & LEADERSHIP
Choosing the Right Media for your Business
The Art of Networking
Social Media Marketing for Professional Services Businesses
Bellarine Traders Networking Function
Visual Merchandising - Product Display
Are you Still in Love? Or has the Romance Really Gone Sour? Discover 3 Ways to Re-Ignite your Business Passion & Grow your Profits
Developing a Marketing Plan Websites vs Yellow Pages Secrets to Soaring your Sales Give your Business a Marketing Health Check
Stand Out Marketing for Small Business A Power Networking Breakfast for Retailers
Make your Website Mobile Ready
Feel the Fear... and Do it Anyway® - Reach your Goals, Become an Employer of Choice & Develop High Performing Employees!
Social Media for Retail & Floristry
First Time Leaders & Supervisors
Instore & Online Marketing Strategies to Drive Retail Sales
Crisis, Issues & Everyday Business: What Every Manager needs to know about Social Media
Bringing it all Together - Making Sure all Customer Contact Points are Working in Harmony to Maximise Impact
Speed Networking Event
Look the Part - Simple & Effective Styling Tips
Marketing our Town
Social Media for Small Businesses
From ‘Passion to Profit’ - A one day Power Business Conference
Social Media for Tourism & Retail Businesses
Gain Clients & Boost Profits with Effective Business Networking
Why your Business must have a Mobile Friendly Website
Queenscliff Lonsdale Business Women's Networking Function
Grow your Business’ Success through Engaging Branding
STARTING A BUSINESS & BUSINESS BASICS
Business Building Boot Camp - How to Grow your Business, Make More Money, Find More Time & Finally Enjoy Owning a Business
Starting your Business
Lean Systems - Building Operational Excellence Managing Business Debt Incorporated with Personal Debt
The 5 Stages of a Business Owners Financial Knowledge Maximise the Public Face of your Business SMART Start your Business Buying & Selling a Business
Financial Literacy for Women Is your Apprentice Working for you? Carbon Tax Impact on your Business Consumer Guarantees & Scams - What do they mean for your Business Identifying Inefficiencies with Business Processes
STAFF SOLUTIONS Getting the Right Staff Employment Essentials Keeping the Right Staff Fair Work & the National Employment Standards
GRANTS & ASSISTANCE Commonwealth & State Funding for Training & Skills Development Government Grant Seminars
The City of Greater Geelong acknowledges the media support it has received in delivering the festival.
Australian Government Small Business Support Delivered by AusIndustry
BOOK NOW ONLINE www.geelongaustralia.com.au/gsbf 10904 Geelong SB Festival - Bus News DPS_FINAL.indd 2
QR CODE Scan the code using your smart phone & QR Reader App to view our website
Practical advice to save you time and money
19/06/12 4:53 PM
small business festival
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA Topic
Choosing the Right Media for your Business
Geelong Broadcasters, K-Rock & Bay FM
Social Media Marketing for Professional Services Businesses
Social Media Tribe
Visual Merchandising - Product Display
Developing a Marketing Plan
Tourism Geelong, Central Geelong Marketing, Bellarine Tourism & The Borough of Queenscliffe
Websites vs Yellow Pages
Secrets to Soaring your Sales
Borough of Queenscliffe & Queenscliff Lonsdale Business & Tourism Association
Give your Business a Marketing Health Check
Make your Website Mobile Ready
Page One Web Studio
Social Media for Retail & Floristry
GOOP & The Gordon
Instore & Online Marketing Strategies to Drive Retail Sales
Your Marketing Team & Augustus Media
Bringing it all Together -M aking Sure all Customer Contact Points are Working in Harmony to Maximise Impact
Look the Part - Simple & Effective Styling Tips
Social Media for Small Businesses
Page One Web Studio
Social Media for Tourism & Retail Businesses
Surf Coast Shire & GOOP
Why your Business must have a Mobile Friendly Website
Grow your Businessâ€™ Success through Engaging Branding
STARTING A BUSINESS & BUSINESS BASICS Topic
Starting your Business & Small Business Victoria
City of Greater Geelong
The 5 Stages of a Business Owners Financial Roaly Pty Ltd Knowledge Maximise the Public Face of your Business
Tourism Geelong, Central Geelong Marketing, Bellarine Tourism & The Borough of Queenscliffe
SMART Start your Business
Goldmine Bookkeeping Solutions
Buying & Selling a Business
GRANTS & ASSISTANCE Topic
Commonwealth & State Funding for Training & Skills Development
Higher Education & Skills Group, DEECD, ACFE & DEEWR
Government Grant Seminars
Redstick Strategic Communications & WHK Accounting
Australian Government Small Business Support Delivered by AusIndustry
Aus Industry & Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research & Tertiary Education
26 | BUSINESS NEWS
SMALL BUSINESS FESTIVAL
STAFF SOLUTIONS Topic
Getting the Right Staff
Golden Plains Shire & G21 Agribusiness Forum
HR4Business, Harvest Recruitment, People@ Work, MEGT, Coverist Pty Ltd & Alchemy Road
Keeping the Right Staff
Golden Plains Shire & G21 Agribusiness Forum
Fair Work & the National Employment Standards
$20 VECCI member, $35 NM
HR4Business, Harvest Recruitment, People@ Work, MEGT, Coverist Pty Ltd & Alchemy Road
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA Topic
The Art of Networking
City of Greater Geelong
5.30pm - 8.00pm
Bellarine Traders Networking Function
Borough of Queenscliffe & Queenscliff Lonsdale Business & Tourism Association
Are you Still in Love? Or has the Romance Really Gone Sour? Discover 3 Ways to Re-Ignite your Business Passion & Grow your Profits
Destiny Pursuit Coaching & Training
Stand Out Marketing for Small Business
Small Business Victoria
A Power Networking Breakfast for Retailers Feel the Fear... and Do it Anyway® - Reach your Goals, Become an Employer of Choice & Develop High Performing Employees! First Time Leaders & Supervisors
Geelong Retail Network & Geelong Chamber of Commerce
Crisis, Issues & Everyday Business: What Business & Professional Every Manager needs to know about Social Media Women Geelong
6.00pm - 9.00pm
$40 BPW member, $50 non-member
Speed Networking Event
Marketing our Town
Springdale Neighbourhood Centre
From ‘Passion to Profit’ - A one day Power Business Conference
Geelong Chamber of Commerce
Gain Clients & Boost Profits with Effective Business Networking
BNI Geelong Bay City
Queenscliff Lonsdale Business Women's Networking Function
Borough of Queenscliffe & Queenscliff Lonsdale Business & Tourism Association
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Topic
Business Building Boot Camp - How to Grow your Business, Make More Money, Find More Time & Finally Enjoy Owning a Business
Astute Business Coaching
Lean Systems - Building Operational Excellence
Geelong Manufacturing Council
Managing Business Debt Incorporated with Personal Debt
Australian Mortgage Brokers
Financial Literacy for Women
Is your Apprentice Working for you?
Surf Coast Shire, The Gordon & VECCI
Carbon Tax Impact on your Business
$20 VECCI member, $35 NM
Consumer Guarantees & Scams - What do they mean for your Business
ACCC & Consumer Affairs
Identifying Inefficiencies with Business Processes
BUSINESS NEWS | 27
small business festival
Government investment in skills and training increased Both Commonwealth and State governments are investing billions of dollars in subsidising education, training and skills development for individuals, industry and the community generally. Obtaining a qualification is an important step for an individual to improve employment prospects and expand career opportunities. For businesses, skills development is essential to achieve increased productivity and profitability. At the same time, Australia is facing a skills crisis, which threatens its international competitiveness - with up to 8 million Australian workers reported as not having the required reading, writing or numeracy skills to
meet the needs of trade and professional jobs. The challenges are compounded when we also take into account the rapid rate of technological change, which is not only affecting the way jobs are performed, but almost every aspect of our daily lives. As a consequence, governments and the wider community are placing much greater priority on the need for training and up-skilling, and both Commonwealth and State Governments have
allocated billions of dollars to various programs to address these needs. On August 8th as part of the Geelong Small Business Festival, representatives from the Higher Education and Skills Group and Adult and Community Further Education sections of the Victorian Government’s Department of Education, together with the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Education, Employment and Workforce Relations, will present a free seminar on the various funding programs available to support training and skills development. The seminar will be particularly relevant for businesses to understand how the VET training system now functions, options available in training delivery and the subsidies available, which greatly reduce training costs for employers. It will also present resources to assist employers to prepare workforce development and training plans specific to their business needs. Given that enhancing the
productivity of the Australian workforce through Learning & Development is a key focus of government, a range of complementary Commonwealth and Statebased schemes now serve to fund or subsidise the training and upskilling of employees across all industries. Training may include entry level and/ or foundation skills courses that address basic skills such as workplace literacy and numeracy, IT literacy or employability skills; to higher skills training through nationally recognised accredited qualifications. Upskilled qualifications allow participants to increase productivity and job satisfaction while advancing their career prospects and salary expectations. The shifting nature of government policy means that the funding and incentives landscape is subject to rapid changes. This seminar is a must for all businesses looking to improve their productivity through workforce development.
FREE SEMINAR Government Funding for Education, Training & Skills Learn about Commonwealth and State funding programs to support training and skills development for business, community organisations and individuals. Topic: ‘Commonwealth & State Funding for Training & Skills Development’ The seminar will help businesses to understand the VET training system and how it can benefit their training and up-skilling needs. Presenters: Barry White – Higher Education and Skills Group (DEECD) Joanna Harrison – Dept of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations David Harris – Learn Local (ACFE)
28 | BUSINESS NEWS
Date: Aug 8, 2012 Time: 9.30 – 11.30am Place: City of Greater Geelong (Council Chambers) City Hall, 30 Gheringhap Street Registrations: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
ph. 0419 281 057 ph. 0408 410 846 ph. 0409 094 105
SMALL BUSINESS FESTIVAL
Small Business Festival highlights The Geelong Small Business Festival in August aims to provide practical advice to save you time and money through more than 50 info sessions, events and networking opportunities. Economic Development Portfolio holder, Cr Rod Macdonald, said the Geelong Small Business Festival is building on the success of its inaugural year in 2011. “With a program of more than 50 events that are either free or low cost, the Geelong Small Business Festival is well worth investigating. Take the opportunity to learn new skills and brush up on the latest in business practice.” Highlights: Art of Networking Anyone interested in promoting their ideas or business opportunities to others should not miss this event. Learn how to make networking fun and enjoyable in this free after-work event led by business coach Jen Harwood and hosted by the City of Greater Geelong. Wednesday 1 August. Social media Do you know what social media can do for your business? You’re not alone if you don’t know where to start. Maybe your current social media presence is not bringing the results you had hoped for? At last count Twitter has 500
million users. Facebook has 850 million users and of these 31 per cent check in more than once a day. Book yourself into one of the seven social media workshops. Sessions are tailored to different types of businesses and all cost less than $50. Check the program for details – you can’t afford not to! Sessions are run by local experts including Social Media Tribe, GOOP and Page One Web Studio. Employment essentials Do you want the best from your employees? This four hour seminar is a must for those wanting to skill up on recruiting and management techniques. Morning or evening seminar: $35 Get the basics about interviews, new employees, employment contracts, induction and probation. Bring your issues to the Q and A session and get answers from local HR specialists: HR4Business, Harvest Recruitment, People@Work, MEGT, Coverist Ptd Ltd & Alchemy Road. For information on all events: geelongaustralia.com.au/gsbf
Would your business benefit from a government grant? Attend this FREE government grants seminar and learn: • The best way to identify grants for your business • The tips for writing winning grant applications • Effective strategies for dealing with government
EvEnte Part of the Geelong Small Business Festival
To find out more on this seminar, or for advice on government grants, contact RedStick on 5224 2844. Friday 10 August 2012 | 7.30am–9.00am WHK Level 1 / 200 Malop Street, Geelong
Geelong Small Business Festival – Events hosted by To book directly, visit www.goop.com.au/smallbusinessfestival
Websites vs Yellow Page
and Social Media for Retail and Floristry
GOOP and Surf Coast Shire Social Media for Tourism & Retail
• Evolution of Yellow Pages to websites and why websites are causing the decline of Yellow Pages
• Learn why and how social media can work specifically for the retail industry ie floristry
• Learn why and how social media is relevant to you and your retail business ie Tourism
• Why Yellow Pages is not the only advertising option for small buinesses
• How a simple structure and strategy can make all the difference
• Using the right tools and developing a strategy to actively engage your audience
• This event could potentially save your small business $1000’s and increase your revenue
• Discuss scenarios where social media is appropriate and break it down for various retail categories
• Setting up social media and using it efficiently and effectively to drive more business
August 14, 5.30pm, Winters Cafe, 330 Pakington Street, Geelong - $25
August 21, 5.30pm, G329 The Gordon, 2 Fenwick St, Geelong - $20
August 28, 4.30pm, Surf Coast Shire offices, 1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay - $10
BUSINESS NEWS | 29
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Businesses compete, cartels just cheat Cartels symbolise the worst type of anti-competitive behaviour in business. They can put honest, well-run companies out of business, and lead to less choice, higher prices and inferior products and services. As a business, you should be aware of cartel conduct, and how to detect and deter it. What is cartel conduct? Cartel activities are an insidious form of theft that has the potential to siphon millions of dollars per year from taxpayers and consumers. Cartel conduct occurs when competitors conspire to fix or control prices, rig bids, restrict supply or allocate markets. There is a range of conduct that may be considered cartel conduct – it may be systematic and formalised or it may be ad hoc and opportunistic. Cartel conduct is illegal and the penalties can be severe. Criminal sanctions for engaging in cartel conduct include possible jail terms for up to 10 years; and financial penalties of up to 10 per cent of a business’ annual turnover or three times the benefit obtained from the conduct or $10 million, whichever is highest. Also at stake are people’s reputations, assets and future business plans. The role of the ACCC The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has an important role in investigating collusive conduct and breaking cartels, and has legislated powers to: -c ompel individuals or companies to provide information about suspected breaches of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010; - execute search warrants
on company offices and premises of company officers; and -b egin court actions and apply for sanctions. The ACCC is implementing an awareness campaign to educate business on how to detect and deter cartels. It is also currently working with government procurement officers to raise awareness and look for signs that tenderers have colluded when putting bids together. What you can do It is a matter of informed self-interest for a company to protect itself from the operation of cartels among its suppliers. If cartels successfully target your purchasing budgets, they will raise the prices of your inputs and may even compromise your competitive position in the marketplace. The ACCC strongly encourages businesses to adopt a compliance program to ensure they are fully engaged in monitoring their legal obligations. Compliance programs that are embedded within a firm’s corporate culture can greatly reduce the risk of a breach of the Act and increase the possibility of detecting cartel conduct. Company managers should view a robust compliance program as a prudent risk management tool. There are some specific market conditions that
make the formation and continuation of cartels an easier and more tempting option for suppliers. Understanding the market allows you to assess the risks and your level of exposure. You should seek to mitigate this risk as much as possible, because breaches of the Act can cause harm to consumers – your customers – and unlawful conduct can have serious, direct consequences for your company and individual officers. Business should also be aware of the ACCC’s immunity policy for corporations and individuals who have been involved in a cartel, but who then report their involvement to the ACCC. If you believe that: - y ou have been invited into an arrangement you think may be a cartel, you may wish to seek legal advice and notify the ACCC; - y ou are involved in a cartel, you should seek legal advice urgently and provide information to the ACCC under its immunity policy. Only the first party through the door may receive full immunity; or - you have been the target of collusive behaviour, you should also contact the ACCC. Those affected by cartel conduct may seek redress for any losses or damages incurred. Case studies: ACCC enforcement action Case study 1 In April 2010 the Federal Court handed down its final orders in a long running Western Australian air conditioning cartel case, which had involved bidrigging and price fixing on projects valued at over $100 million. Penalties of approximately $9.27 million were imposed against numerous companies and individuals for their involvement in price fixing and bid-rigging, affecting contracts for the supply and installation of commercial
and industrial air conditioning and mechanical services in schools, hospitals and shopping centres in Western Australia. The court found the companies had engaged in cartel conduct with competing commercial and industrial air-conditioning and mechanical services contractors with respect to tender prices for these projects. The court made orders restraining the companies and individuals involved from engaging in similar conduct in the future and requiring them to implement appropriate compliance measures. Case study 2 In October 2011, three Queensland building companies were penalised in the Federal Court for cover pricing, a form of illegal price controlling, which is at the lower end of the range of cartel behaviour. Price controlling is not an obvious cartel practice, but is a form of collusive tendering and an unlawful civil conspiracy. The companies were found to have engaged in cover pricing in connection with the tenders for four taxpayerfunded building projects. Their penalties totalled $1.3 million. Senior managers from two of the companies were also found to have been involved in the contraventions by their respective companies and were separately penalised. The court also found they engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by certifying they had not discussed prices or collaborated with other tenderers, when they had. For further information on cartels and the ACCC’s immunity policy, visit www.accc.gov.au/cartels. If you suspect cartel activity, call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502.
BUSINESS NEWS | 31
LEGAL family members with business operations. - In many cases, the need to satisfy shareholder demands for liquidity without relinquishing family control.
Family Business: The Role of the Professional Advisor The primary driver of private business in Australia is family business, where one or more members of a family own, operate and manage the business. Whilst every business faces challenges, a family owned business has the added unique pressures of having to balance multigenerational objectives, emotions and potential for family conflict with strategic business thinking. This makes for complex and emotional territory and, just as any other business, they require professional assistance from time to time. Choosing the right advice for a family business can be vital to the success and sustainability of the business. SO, what should a family businesses consider when deciding on who to choose for professional advice? In the leading publication on choosing financial advisors, How to Choose & Use Advisors: Getting the Best Professional Family Business Advice, Dr. John Ward and Dr. Craig Aronoff list the following special needs for family businesses that should be understood by their
professional advisors: - The need of business owners to make succession, strategic, personal financial and family plans that reflect overlapping business, personal and family goals. - The need to make business goals harmonize with family objectives, philosophies and values. - The need to integrate successive generations of
- In many cases, the need to finance ownership and management succession without relinquishing family control. - The profound impact of family values, history and attitudes on the workings of the business. The legal and accounting professions are learning to appreciate that special skills and sensitivities are required to understand and meet these needs. Family Business Australia (FBA) is the peak body for family and private business in Australia and offers a family business
advisor accreditation program. The program has been designed in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Family Business, a division of Bond University, to raise general awareness of the issues and challenges facing family businesses. The program also highlights best practices as exemplified by successful family businesses. Advisors also need to attend at least two annual FBA National Conferences and be committed to ongoing professional development and learning. Dan Simmonds, Managing Principal of Harwood Andrews Lawyers and accredited FBA advisor, works with successful family businesses on a daily basis and understands that there’s
Harwood Andrews Lawyers offers family businesses a fixed fee ‘Health Check’ where they conduct an independent, confidential and objective review of the current position of the business including business and personal structures, compliance and transition/ succession arrangements, including wills and powers of attorney. Following the review a report is prepared which highlights any critical areas and offers practical recommendations and solutions. To arrange a ‘Health Check’ for your family business please contact Dan Simmonds on 5226 8513 or email@example.com
Specialist Family Business Advisors We know that there’s far more at stake than just providing legal advice • Business and personal succession and transition strategies • Family constitutions
• Taxation effective structuring • Mediation and resolution of family disputes
32 | BUSINESS NEWS
• Tax and superannuation • Mergers, acquisitions and sales
• Governance and directors duties
(03) 5225 5225
• Asset protection
• Intellectual property • Contracts and commercial advice • Employment agreements and policies
70 Gheringhap Street, Geelong
COMPETITION far more at stake than just providing legal advice. “We seek to establish relationships with businesses, and the family members involved, whereby we are consulted and provide advice in all aspects of the operations, strategy and family business and succession issues. An important aspect is helping the wider family appreciate the differing roles, rights and obligations of owners from those actually working in the business.” Examples of the type of work professional family business advisors may assist a family business with include: - Meetings with family members, including (where applicable) those not involved in the business to discuss all issues affecting the family business, its perpetuation and succession. This involves an analysis of the benefit of family meetings, the preparation of family constitutions and the establishment of an advisory board or committee. - Preparation of family constitutions, which includes advising on its terms, overseeing its introduction and implementation and monitoring progress and reviewing it as required. The family constitution, where appropriate, distinguishes the roles of a family council, a board of directors or an advisory board, and provides the structure for the roles of each. Specifically, this focuses on the difference between family ownership and the actual management of the business. The advisory board consisting of professional advisors and family members may then be consulted on or be involved in matters such as strategy and business planning and review; business positioning; risk; performance review of the business, both in a financial sense and as against its strategy and business plans, and when compared with the personal goals of the family members; business transition and structuring, primarily as part of an integrated family business structuring and succession plan. Other areas that might come under the remit of an advisory board are personal
succession for family prime movers - including an analysis and discussion, not only for such things as wills and powers of attorney, but also the setting of personal goals and strategies, including time for and planning of exiting of prime movers from the business into retirement. This may include the development of a personal family strategy transition plan separate to that of the business. An advisory board can also provide mediation and resolution of family disputes, and advice on key decisions within the business such as acquisition, sales, contracts and agreements. It is important when choosing advisors to consider professionals with high levels of technical expertise in these areas and who have a willingness to collaborate with all family members, key employees and other professional advisors. This will ensure that advice is fully integrated and the goals of the family business and individual family members are clearly understood. Those businesses who adopt best practice will be in the best position to prosper going forward.
Fizzy fun in a bottle Do you remember with fondness the fizzy fun of SodaStream as a kid? Well, it’s back, with a funky retro design some serious enviro-cred as well. This month, Business News readers can take a trip down memory lane with a SodaStream starter pack, including a limited edition ‘Karim Rashid’ Drinks Maker, a CO2 cylinder, one re-useable PET 1 litre bottle, and one lemonade syrup, one cola syrup and one cream soda syrup, valued at $120. HOW does it work? With SodaStream, start with tap water, add fizz (that’s where the CO2 cylinder comes in) and your favourite flavoured syrup and you’ll want to pinch yourself every time you drink a glass of fresh, delicious soft drink.
SodaStream also provides reusable BPA-free bottles that last for more than 1000 uses, so you have 1000 less empty bottles to throw away. With SodaStream, the more you use the more you save the environment and save money.
Making your favourite sparkling drinks at home isn’t only fun, it’s also good for our environment. Having a SodaStream helps the planet by reducing the pollution created by transportation and disposal of millions of plastic bottles each year. One CO2 cylinder fizzes 40 litres, and there are over 40 flavours of refreshing soft drink to choose from.
SodaStream is available at selected Kmart, BigW, Bing Lee, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Betta Electrical, Mitre 10 and Target stores. Plus, register at sodastream.com.au/ competition and enter Competition Code 3270707 for your chance to WIN A YEAR’S SUPPLY of SodaStream Syrups.
BUSINESS NEWS | 33
Good Business Management As you prepare for the new financial year, it is important to take a step back from your business and reflect on what has occurred - good and bad - and plan for the next year. As is often said, stop working in the business and start working on the business. Business Performance NOW is the time to review your business performance. The result of your review should be an objective and relevant business plan broken down into quarters and months. You should also be creating a budget to support your business plan. So, to get a jump on 2012/13, you should be starting the new financial year with the following: a business plan; a monthly, quarterly and annual budget; business improvement objectives; financial objectives and KPIs; non-financial objectives and KPIs e.g. product or services sold, markets, customers, business processes, etc. Your business plan will have improvement objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets against which to measure whether you have achieved your business goals. As you consider each part of the business, think broadly (take a balanced view of the business) and test each issue by asking yourself what are the implications for budgets, improvement objectives, and KPIs. Business objectives: Your business objectives should be action statements and specify an outcome; consequently they should start with a verb. Measuring objectives: Each objective should have a measure, a target, a time by when it is to be achieved and the name of the responsible person. The results should be collected on a regular basis (at least monthly) and the trend reviewed.
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Segment objectives: The objectives may need to be broken down into initiatives and tasks. These should be treated as small projects and have a clear measures of success (quality, time, cost). They should have a responsible person and a start and completion date. Creating Your Budget When creating your budget, remember that it is the financial representation of your business plan, so both should be done in conjunction.
necessary to achieve break even, now that you know your fixed and variable costs. This is your minimum sales volume, at this volume you have only covered your costs - you have made no profit. Then calculate the volume you need to achieve your profitability target. Your sales target should be this figure or something higher. Capacity: Do you have the capacity to achieve the necessary monthly, quarterly and annual targets? If not, can you increase price, increase productivity, improve efficiency, or reduce costs? You will need to go back and review the business plan and the budget assumptions. Profit Days/ Month: If you achieve the sales targets you have set, how many days in the month are associated with covering costs (ie: how many days does it take for you to cover the total running costs) and how many days of profit generation are there?
terms with your suppliers and then pay when the payment becomes due. If you pay in advance, the supplier will be very appreciative, however you will deprive yourself of the use of that cash. Each day you hold it, it is generating interest.Â Operating cash: How much cash does the business need to hold to ensure that it can maintain its liquidity and meet its payments as and when they fall due? There should also be a buffer to cover unforeseen circumstances. What is your cash management policy? Taking the time to plan and prepare effectively for the coming financial year will help you to continue growing and improving your business, therefore it is essential for all business owners to be considering the planning fundamentals explored above.
â€œTo get a jump on 2012/13, you should be starting the new financial year with the following: a business plan; a monthly, quarterly and annual budget; business and financial objectives and KPIs.â€? Key points to remember when creating the budget are:
Keep Tabs on your Working Capital
Defining Costs: Separate your costs between those which are a cost of production and/or service, and those which are an overhead or support cost. This is essential if you are going to accurately know your true cost of service and/or production.
Also ensure you are closely monitoring your working capital. This is how sales are converted to cash; this is the economic engine of your business. Set tight targets for your working capital and monitor and enforce them. If not, you may find that you will have a cash flow problem. Set targets, policies and strategies to account for:
Variable vs. Fixed Costs: Know which of your costs are variable. A variable cost will increase or decrease in relation to an increase or decrease in sales volume, such as the number of parts required. A fixed cost would be rent for example. Other Costs to Consider: Make sure you have included the costs of your improvement projects and any other oneoff expenditure. Break Even Analysis: Do a break even analysis to determine the volume of sales
Debtors (Accounts Receivable): What are your collection terms, when do you remind the client, how do you collect and enforce collection? Inventory: Do not hold surplus stock, adjust rock holdings to sales volume, conduct regular stocktakes, how do you value inventory FIFO, LIFO, how do you writeoff waste and loss? Creditors: Negotiate realistic
Mark Whelan Principal, Accounting & Business Advisory, WHK Geelong Office This is information only and readers should not rely or act on the information provided without first obtaining professional advice on this issue. This information was accurate at 23 May 2012.
LEGAL 2. Ensure you have adequate security, if exchanging money on-line.
Practical considerations in e-commerce
3. Give your customers an opportunity to check their order before proceeding with the purchase.
The increasing surge in online transactions in the last five to ten years has changed the face of how we all buy and sell products and services. IF you are considering setting up an on-line business, you need to work together with your legal representatives, your suppliers and graphic web designers to ensure your obligations under the law are satisfied. Unfortunately, many businesses contemplating going online do not conduct appropriate research or due
diligence before commencing trading. The following are some tips and considerations you should consider before establishing a business online: 1. C reate specific terms and conditions for purchasing and selling on line.
4. Use Click Wrap Agreements as a way of creating legally binding transactions.
Remember that the very best online stores make it easy for customers to purchase products and services. A successful online store will offer a reliable, fast and safe delivery service. Be sure to have your internal procedures organised before you commence trade.
5. Obtain any necessary consent to use a third parties trade mark. 6. Be wary of how you describe your products and services and ensure you are not misleading your customers about the nature of the products and services on offer. 7. Do not copy and paste graphics, images, photographs, videos or sound recordings from other websites - you may in fact be breaching copyright law. 8. Make sure you include a privacy statement or notice, which details how you will be using your customerâ€™s information when they transact on line. And, 9. Be sure to state that the law of the Commonwealth of Australia applies to the transaction, as this may eliminate possible jurisdictional issues if you need to enforce your rights.
Tom White Commercial Partner, Coulter Roache Lawyers
Disclaimer: This article contains general comments only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in relation to any matters associated with the topic discussed.
Book Now for the 2012 Kevin Paisley Fashion Eyewear Race Day for Give Where You Live A relaxing day out at the races with style and dining. Join the festivities with your friends and colleagues. The event includes a gourmet two course meal with drinks package and tea & coffee. Fantastic prizes to be won including a $200 Westfield gift card for the winner of the Westfield Geelong Fashions on the Field and the chance to hear some excellent horse racing tips from MC Rob Gaylard. There is also plenty of networking opportunities throughout the day. Friday 27th July, 2012 12.00pm â€“ 5.00pm Geelong Racing Club, Breakwater Tickets are $130, With 10% discount for Tables of 10 A Fundraising Event For
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BUSINESS NEWS | 35
The best of times, the worst of times There are just so many adages – alongside this article heading are such gems as ‘adversity brings strength’, ‘one door closes and another opens’ and they go on and on. But these sayings are oft-repeated for a reason. Behind the corniness, and behind the whiff of sanctimoniousness, lie some simple truths. And it is a truth universally acknowledged, that economic volatility gives rise to great opportunity. IT is the depths of winter, not far past the solstice and things are happening in the land of small business, but some of the positive swings are counter intuitive. Some businesses, for example restaurants, find winter tough. It is not uncommon for patronage to drop to 20 – 30% of peak season, and if a business hasn’t made good clear plans then panic can set in and silly decisions can be made. I know of some places where the owners get used to the summer cash flow and somehow tell themselves that the business has finally turned the corner and when the inevitable downturn hits and they are shocked. Why is it that some people can forecast the market and take action well within the time frame and others just party?
Obviously, this smarter troupe is using a management framework based on lead indicators rather than lagging measures. They predict what is going to happen and rarely get caught unawares. Did you know that now is one of the best times to start a small business? The television is filled to bursting with gloom and doom in our faces; downsizing here and a closure there. Unemployment on the rise and the banks, well the banks are still a chaotic force of nature. The markets are in turmoil and the economy is quivering; Yep! It is a fantastic time. The worst time to start a small business is in a stable market, as there are few available opportunities. Every obvious thing has been covered and there are no niches left
unexplored. Now is anything but stable. This season is so cold and wet, people don’t want to venture outside and the restaurants are punished. But up in Falls Creek and the other winter resorts they are rubbing their hands with glee. When there is a decline in this part of the market, there is often a corresponding kick in another part – we just need to find it. A big business closes because there is a 30% downturn? Start smiling, because that means that 70% of the local market is not being served. Sure, we are sorry about the big business and their staff, but can you see the opportunity for a smaller, more flexible business that can rapidly deploy to fill the gap?
suburban roofs and pass a few hybrid vehicles, I can see our visible attempts to address the climate issue. An important measure of how effective our measures are is the rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. It apparently declined last year, which was the first time in a few decades that it decelerated (according to a Canadian study). Excellent; perhaps I should join the throng of solar aficionados or perhaps replace my car with a Prius. But wait, the study said the rate of increase in CO2 was not due to these good things, but because of the world economic meltdown. As people earned less on average they spent less on
“The worst time to start a small business is in a stable market, as there are few available opportunities ... Now is anything by stable.” Can you imagine two people watching the nightly news and one collecting the bad stories and getting depressed by the horrific state of our economy and the other respectfully jumping for joy? However, the conundrum doesn’t stop there. When I drive down a street and see the wonderful solar cells on
average and the reduced consumption meant lower rates of CO2. A special mention was made of the banks - I suspect they will do more in the endeavour of achieving emission targets than a carbon tax, as they make it more expensive to run businesses. By increasing the borrowing costs there
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SMALL BIZ will be a reduction in total production; this is the economy’s most effective tool to reduce emissions. Finally, as the regional economies struggle, the opportunity is for great businesses to flourish. You know when times get
tough, the tough get great customer service and start zooming. Here is just a simple snapshot of a few businesses that deserve heartfelt congratulations for excellent service. As they say on the TV, these are in no particular order:
Jacqueline McConnell from Metaland Breakwater deserves a reward for product knowledge and customer service above and beyond the call of duty. Brad McDougal of JH Stephen and Sons, great designs and his customer
service continued even when he was on vacation. Rob Hamilton of the bearing fame, deserves a mention because he is so happy to share his knowledge; he holds to the school of thought that says: “if it’s right for the customer it is the right thing to do” – and will talk a customer into a better solution, even though his sale is reduced by 70%. Each of these persons was identified by word of mouth reputation, by posing the following question to the public: “Who is the best person to talk to when it comes to…?” Tough times are when there are more opportunities presented for those that can manage the situation, those smart managers who use lead indicators and stretch to stand out in their markets. We need to be courageous and be prepared to think beyond the obvious. A churning economy spits up opportunities. The conundrum is that in these worst of times, we can have the best of times.
Australian Business Development Centre www.abdc.com.au
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BUSINESS NEWS | 37
The Tech Guy Every month, our Tech Guy, Jon Mamonski, brings us the wildest, most mind-blowing gadgets he can find... The force beneath the surface
Building the first mouse trap has its virtues, but waiting to build a better mouse trap could win the day and that’s exactly what Microsoft has done in the burgeoning tablet market. Apple’s iPad rules for now, by a factor of two to one over all competitors combined, but that will now change with behemoth, Microsoft announcing its new and critically acclaimed tablet series called Surface.
just under a kilogram. This thin beast will have the latest grunty Intel i5 Core chip and you’ll be able to use all your familiar Microsoft Office programs, and any other Windows based software you can’t do without, on the Surface Pro.
Having taken heed of how people use iPads and other tablets, Microsoft’s tech experts developed a wider tablet to play movies in their native format, as well as building in a stand and a cover that doubles as a keyboard, all significant improvements on its competitors.
Analyst firm IDC last week lifted its forecast for global demand for tablets to expand from the current 100 million to 222.1 million units by 2016, so you can see why Microsoft has to enter the fray; and while they won’t put a big dent in Apple’s iPad share for now, they will gobble up a lot of the doubling of growth in tablet use in the next four years.
Curiously named after an existing and expensive table-top computer, Surface is a hybrid ultrabook-tablet with a built-in stand and ultra-thin cover that doubles as a keyboard and comes in two model types: the Surface RT for regular users, and the Surface Pro for business types. The RT is 9.4mm-thick and weighs 590 grams and priced comparably to other tablets. The 14mm-thick Pro, weighs in at
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The new Windows 8 Pro is contained therein and while pricing is not yet announced, expect to pay a similar price to a premium Ultrabook say, $1,499 - that’s my guesstimate.
When can I get my hands on one I hear you ask? Apparently, in the IT world, it’s all in the reveal and Microsoft won’t be issuing any firm dates yet, but expect to see the Surface RT turn up in September and the Surface Pro just before Christmas - the perfect present for every self-respecting business person!
TECH GUY Sharp eyes
Display panels just keep getting better, especially for phones and tablets, with Sharp starting to crank out LCD panels based on new indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) technology, including a pair of LCDs - one a 12.4cm 720x1280 display and the other, a razor sharp 15.5cm with a resolution of 2560x1600. As an example of what will be possible further down the line, it also has a pair of OLED panels, one a 34cm 3840x2160 QFHD panel based on White OLEDs with RGB colour filters and a flexible 8.6cm 540x960 screen (pictured - notice Flinders St Station). According to Sharp the new tech means screens with higher resolutions, lower power consumption, narrower bezels and higher performance touch screens will enable even smaller thinfilm transistors than the ones currently in use.
Yes, it is the year of thin Ultrabooks and Dell took its time bringing the highly portable XPS13 to market. The motor under the hood is a 1.6GHz Core i5 with a lightning fast 128GB SSD hard drive, 4GB of RAM, and a 13.3-inch screen with 1366:768-pixel resolution. As you’d expect in this gently tapered chassis, it features a USB 3.0 port, a chargeable USB 2.0 port, and like most uber new devices, a mini-DisplayPort connector. The gorgeous keyboard is backlit with a soft-touch palmrest and quite grunty speakers for its diminutive size. Typing is made easier with a helpful slight depression built into the top of each key. At $1399, the Dell XPS13 gives the Mac Air a real run for its money and offers all the accessibility that Windows offers.
In the dock with class
Sick of plastic holding your precious iPhone or iPod and sending out plastic sound? Salvation has arrived. If you have a thing for wood grain and high-end audio, you’re in luck, because Samsung has announced its new DA-E750 Audio with Dock that oozes class. This rather luscious bedside table piece uses glass fibre speakers, a dedicated subwoofer and glowing valves to output 100 watts of “natural and harmonious” sound. Available in mahogany or piano black the audio dock can accommodate your Galaxy or iOS handheld of choice via a dock, or, for those that abhor cables, stream audio via Bluetooth 3.0, AllShare or AirPlay. Not cheap at around $800, tube driven audiophiles will barely contain themselves for this little beauty.
Cloud Collar What’s better than a gorilla?
Corning’s Gorilla Glass is found on iPhones, iPads and most respectable hi-tech glass surfaces and has ruled the roost, until now that is. German Company, SCHOTT, claims that it does it better that Gorilla with its own tough glass called Xensation, a break and scratch-resistant alumino-silicate. Having undergone stringent testing from potential customers, it’s now on the market and should start shipping in Autumn this year. SCHOTT claims that Xensation has a 20 per cent higher bending strength than ‘competitor glass types’. And that means future phones and tablets might be less shatter-prone than current ones. Halleluiah.
JON MAMONSKI BUSINESS NEWS | 39
ARTS WRITTEN by Patrick White Playwright Award winner Jackie Smith, this fast-paced, darkly funny drama is part of GPAC’s Alcoa Theatre Season in partnership with Deakin University.
The Flood The Flood, a gripping new Australian mystery-thriller set in a dilapidated outback homestead, is on its way to Geelong.
The story begins with a homecoming when Catherine (Caroline Lee), arrives after a 20-year absence. Catherine is shocked and horrified by her mother Janet’s (Shirley Cattunar) hostile and
confused reaction to her arrival. She is intrigued and repulsed by her mother, who spends her days fortressed in a chaotic lounge room. Catherine’s inclination is to flee to a hotel room as her sister Dorothy (Maude Davey) arrives home, but with through rising flood waters entrapping them, the three women are forced to face their history, truth, survival, strength and love. Creative Producer, Moira Finucane, describes The Flood as a story about a family dealing with tragedy. “It’s impolite, wicked, very funny, very sad and unexpectedly moving,” Finucane said. “The family dynamic and family tensions are universally recognisable, and the laughter and the tragedy sit together on a knife edge. It’s uniquely Australian and it’s unforgettable.” Caroline Lee, who toured Australia in the stage production of Cosi last year, said The Flood left audiences breathless. “As well as people laughing through it, they’re quite moved and excited. It’s very earthy, it’s very real, but it’s also a gripping story. It stimulates the imagination in the style of the Gothic, it gives you that thrill of wondering what’s hiding in the cupboard.” Award-winning actress Maude Davey, who recently appeared in the ABC series The Slap, said she was drawn to The Flood for its powerful narration and “delicious discomfit”. “I think it is a privilege to have such an intimate, deeply profound, emotional work played out in a theatre,” Davey said. “People laugh, people cry, people feel very strongly for the characters, it’s funny, it’s light, but it has such dark undercurrents. The audience suspects so many things and none of them are true.” The Flood comes to Geelong for six performances only, July 10-14. Tickets are now on sale. Contact GPAC Box Office on 5225 1200 or visit www.gpac.org.au
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Where imagination lives There is something evocative, an untarnished pleasure, in children’s book illustrations. There is fascination, joy, fun and a certain amount of innocence about these images that stays with us throughout our lives.
THE illustrations that captured our imaginations as children, and that are now capturing the imaginations of our children is the subject of an exhibition celebrating the National Year of Reading. The Art of Australian Children’s Books exhibition at Metropolis Gallery in Geelong brings together original book illustrations, character sketches, etchings and prints by some of Australia’s top book illustrators: Terry Denton, Leigh Hobbs, Elizabeth Honey, Robert Ingpen, Anne James, David Miller, Anne Spudvilas, Shaun Tan, and Anna Walker. These artists have each written and illustrated award-winning books for children and are recognized both in Australia and internationally. Their works can be collectively described as imaginative, playful, humorous, curious, colourful, dramatic and wild, and all succeed in attracting readers young and old to the pleasures of children’s literature. The strong tradition of Australian children’s books reflects the enthusiasm and talents of writers and illustrators drawn to this
Robert Ingpen: The Islander and The Poppykettle, watercolour from the book The Poppykettle Papers.
Leigh Hobbs: Angela and Old Tom, hand-coloured etching. wonderful blend of art and words, who create a rich and important resource for children through their growing years and for adults to enjoy along the way. This exhibition will coincide with events at Geelong City Library, celebrating The National Year of Reading, including In Conversation with exhibiting artists Leigh Hobbs, David Miller and Ann James. Metropolis Gallery is open: Mon to Fri 9 am - 5.30 pm, Sat 10 am – 4 pm. For more information visit metropolisgallery.com.au
Shaun Tan: Darkness from the book Red Tree Stage.
BUSINESS NEWS | 41
The joys of giving One of the meaningful ways businesses can help their community is through employee volunteering. Encouraging staff to assist at events and projects not only helps meet a range of community need, but also provides participants with a wonderful experience that nourishes their being and develops their personal and professional skills. THERE have been two recent examples of the breadth of employee volunteering opportunities facilitated by BacLinks, a division of Karingal: the 2012 Winter Workplace Big Day Out, a major event held twice a year, and the Alcoa - SecondBite project. The Workplace Big Day Out brings together employee volunteers from a range of local businesses, sporting and social clubs, schools and program members from local disability services to enjoy an inclusive day of fun and challenges. The event showcases the many ways diverse members of our community can come together to support each other and provides an opportunity to engage with people who otherwise may never have the opportunity to meet. “The BacLinks Workplace
Big Day Out is educational and enlightening, but most of all, it’s a lot of fun for everyone involved,” Karingal Chief Executive Officer, Daryl Starkey said. “It also aims to combine people with disabilities and employee volunteers from the business sector in a fully supported environment where everyone can learn, have a great time and form friendships.” This recent event was generously presented by Powercor and sponsored by MatchWorks, Harwood Andrews Lawyers and St John of God Pathology/ Pathcare. Over 60 employee volunteers and around 100 program members from Karingal, Encompass and St Laurence engaged in activities provided by Sport and Recreation students from the Gordon, and representatives from Badminton Geelong and You
Can Too Weight Loss and Fitness. The BBQ lunch was donated by WJM Lawyers and prepared and served by the Rotary Club of Highton. The Geelong Jukebox Rockers got people up and dancing to finish off the day on a high note. Event feedback highlights the significant benefits of participation in this event with employee volunteers reporting it as “an incredible experience”, and one that broke down barriers and provided a glimpse of the realities people with disabilities face daily in their lives. “The Workplace Big Day Out showed me that I don’t need to treat people with a disability really any differently to people without one,” said one employee volunteer, while another reported that whilst the event was challenging, “the personal rewards were very satisfying.” Although Alcoa’s contribution of employee volunteers to assist SecondBite regulars sort surplus fresh food and produce ready for distribution was a much smaller project, the benefits and rewards for everyone involved are equally as strong. The Geelong branch of SecondBite collects food from a variety of sources and distributes it to local community programs that pass the food on to people in need. It is an important program that has high demands on its resources
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and volunteer support can help ease that burden. As part of their strong commitment to support their community, Alcoa Point Henry has an established calendar of community involvement facilitated by BacLinks that gives their employees opportunity to volunteer in the community during work hours. According to Alcoa Point Henry Smelter Human Resource Business Partner, David Monahan, Alcoa’s employees were keen to contribute to Second Bite’s impact in Geelong once again after volunteering in June 2011. “Our employees value the time spent with SecondBite because it allows them to give back to the community and increase Geelong’s sustainability at the same time” he said. These two examples highlight the mutual benefits that can be realised from businesscommunity partnerships facilitated by BacLinks. If your business is interested in contributing to your community in a meaningful way, BacLinks can coordinate employee volunteering and other in-kind support options that will suit your business capacity and ideals.
Teeing off for charity In the June issue of Business News, we incorrectly printed information on a Geelong Chamber of Commerce event that highlighted the release of Barwon Water’s fiveyear business plan alongside photos from a fundraising golf day. The following is a bit more information on the fundraising event, the Malishev Homes – Rotary Club of Geelong’s 18th Annual Charity Golf Day:
THE Malishev Homes - Rotary Club of Geelong’s 18th Annual Charity Golf Day at 13th Beach Golf Links has raised a record $100,000, with proceeds being distributed to the Geelong Hospital Appeal to aid the redevelopment of the Children’s Ward, Geelong Food Relief Centre, Bethany and Read the Play. The Geelong Rotary Club of Geelong’s annual event has now raised over $550,000 for local charities since 1995. Beneficiaries over the years have included United Way, St John of God, Bethany, Barwon Health and Nelson Park School The 2012 event was proudly sponsored by Malishev World Class Homes. Director Paul Malishev said, “As the major sponsor we believed we could contribute so much more by actively engaging in the facilitation of the event. Our aim was to help the Rotary Club raise in excess of $100,000, while taking the event to a whole new level of corporate entertainment. We achieved our aim with the incredible support of businesses in our region that
saw a field of 190 players competing on both golf courses at 13th Beach. A Holden Cruz offered by Morris Finance was up for grabs, but unfortunately no one could knock it in with one swing.” The team from Constructor were overall winners of the Barry Bell Ambrose Classic with a score of 52 over ILVE with 53.62, and Boral Bricks took out the putting green competition. Over 200 players and guests dined over a seafood and steak lunch while bidding with enthusiasm on the auction conducted by the MC Rob Gaylard. The auction raised $36,000. This year the event was totally sold out well in advance. Next year the event is scheduled for Thursday 9th of May and enquires can be made at the Barwon Health Foundation on 5260 3355. For further information about the Malishev Homes Rotary Charity Golf Day contact the Barwon Health Foundation on 5260 3355 or email email@example.com,au.
Disadvantaged men get the chance to ‘Work It’ AROUND 20 unemployed men aged 16 - 25 from Geelong were involved in an intensive six-day program in June to assist in building their self esteem and improve their chances of gaining employment. The program, titled ‘Work It’, is unique because it specifically addresses self-esteem, health and appearance amongst men: topics often reserved for programs that are specific to women. Organised by local employment services provider MatchWorks, in partnership with BacLinks, the program has been developed to suit the learning styles of the young male participants, and addresses several topics that are of importance to many young men. Activities will be hands-on and include adventure-based learning outdoors. “At MatchWorks we assist many people that are experiencing significant challenges in their lives, and sometimes it’s not as simple as whether they have a job or not,” MatchWorks Acting General Manager Mark McCoy said. “For this reason, we’ve decided to run a program that will address some of their broader barriers to employment, such as learning to make a healthy lunch, presentation skills in a workplace and the importance of keeping fit.” The program, which was conducted over two weeks, enabled participants to hear from the Victoria Police, Ford - who presented on working in a factory environment, Headspace youth mental health services, and the Gordon about plastering and cabinet-making careers. Participants also participated in a number of sessions hosted by You Can Too Fitness and learned about the value of exercise and about the importance of healthy food - including travelling
to the supermarket and shopping for a healthy lunch. They also had haircuts and ‘makeovers’ from students at the Gordon, and were kitted out with new workappropriate clothes that had been donated by the Geelong community. Mr McCoy said it is hoped that the program will make a real difference to confidence levels of the young men, and assist them in their pursuit of employment. “Many of these men come from quite challenging backgrounds, and many left school quite early. I think we often forget that it’s not just young women who need to focus on how they present themselves and the significance of a healthy diet and looking after ourselves.”
Winter Warm Appeal HELP keep families warm during winter, by donating blankets and warm bedding to the Encompass pre-loved furniture store in Geelong. Every donation you make will help Encompass back to the Geelong community. HomeStart will happily accept your donations that can be used again by others. The store focuses on quality at an affordable price. HomeStart is currently in special need of blankets and warm bedding, however, the store also welcomes dining settings, lounge suites, cupboards, bedroom furniture, etc. “We are grateful for everything you can give that may give joy to others,” says HomeStart Supervisor, Fabrice Bich. Encompass HomeStart is located on the corner of Gheringhap and Corio Streets, Geelong. Call HomeStart on 03 5221 0667 to arrange a free pick up. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 10am - 4pm. To find out more about HomeStart or Encompass Community Services visit www.encompass-cs.org.au.
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VECCI Conference rolls into town Regional Victoria has performed strongly over the past decade, buoyed by strong population growth and investment. The efforts of communities and businesses have skilfully blended energy, leadership, experience and resources to create a more modern, dynamic and confident regional Victoria.
policy and program decisions of governments at local, state and federal levels. At the 2010 Convention, held in Ballarat, delegates identified 10 steps for sustainable growth in regional Victoria, and have been integrated into various policy submissions VECCI has made in recent times, including our State Budget submission. Our 2010 discussion paper arising out of the Convention identified a ten year vision for regional Victoria, which included becoming: - An integrated network of major city centres - An internationally competitive producer of agri-foods - A leader in preventative health - A destination of choice for tertiary education services and secondary education students, with a 90 per cent year 12 retention rate - A host of significant new business events, attracting international audiences
THE questions now facing regional Victoria are what can we do to sustain and build growth in the future, what pressures and priorities are emerging, and how can we create new opportunities? These issues will be addressed in detail at the 2012 VECCI Regional Business Convention, which will be held at the Mercure Hotel in Geelong on Friday 19 October. VECCI hosts the Regional
Business Convention biennially, to give regional businesses the opportunity to discuss what can be done to sustain and build new employment and investment opportunities, and the Convention has established itself as a highly respected and valued event for key decision makers. Many recommendations put forward by delegates at the 2008 and 2010 Conventions continue to influence the
VECCI Regional Victoria Workshops • • • • • • •
Ballarat - Wednesday, 11 July Bendigo - Wednesday, 25 July Mildura - Wednesday, 1 August Wodonga - Wednesday, 15 August Traralgon - Wednesday, 22 August Warrnambool - Wednesday, 29 August Geelong - Wednesday, 12 September
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- A world leader in renewable and alternative energy supplies and technologies Progress is being made towards some of the goals identified in the ten-year vision, and we hope this year’s event will generate new momentum towards those goals, as well as identify and propose solutions to new challenges. The 2012 Convention will be the culmination of a threemonth process that takes place right across regional Victoria, through a series of workshops. The workshops bring together important business leaders from across local regions, as well as community stakeholders, to determine what issues are the most pressing. From each workshop, delegates are elected to represent the region at the Convention, to present on their chosen issues and topics, the challenges facing them and propose some possible solutions. With a strong focus on
local participation and thought leadership, the 2012 Convention will examine how regional Victoria can maximise its potential as an increasingly important contributor to state economic, investment and employment growth. The Convention provides a great opportunity to help build the future of regional Victoria and meet other Victorian business and community leaders, members of government and VECCI representatives. Among the guests in Geelong in October will be Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu. If you wish to participate in the Convention process, you might like to think about: - What’s holding back your business from reaching its full potential and productive capacity? - What’s holding back our region as a whole? - What are the key issues that will need addressing in the region over the next two, five, and 20 years? - What ideas do I have to put forward to make a positive change? I hope to see and discuss ideas with many of you at our Geelong workshop in September, and at the Convention in October. To register to attend a workshop, or to express interest in attending the Regional Business Convention, visit www.vecci.org.au or call 03 8662 5333. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for the Convention – call 03 5227 7990 or 03 8662 5333 for more information.
JAMES GULLI VECCI Regional Manager, Geelong & South West Region VECCI offers a range of workplace relations services, from a telephone helpline to one-on-one consulting. For more information, visit vecci.org.au.
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WINE underneath (oak leaves are best). Then go for something floral - lilies for penetration, roses for sweetness.”
Not so humble truffles Humble in appearance, truffles have been prized for millennia for their rich, piquant aroma. While certainly an acquired taste, these culinary gold nuggets continue to fascinate, and are at the core of a new kind of highly dedicated, niche farming. Truffles are a fungus and grow under the ground as a result of a symbiotic relationship with the roots of particular trees (for example oaks and hazelnuts) infected with the appropriate mycorrhiza (literally, fungus root). While they were originally were confined to the wild, the past century has seen considerable research, particularly in France, into developing the capability of cultivating them as a domestic crop. The truffles form in late summer and slowly mature during autumn and are ready to harvest in winter. They can be found breaking the surface of the ground or down to 200 millimetres deep and are best located by a trained dog, from the aroma
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they emit when ripening. The truffle then has to be assessed by a trained human nose to determine whether it is truly ‘ripe’ or should be left in the ground for another few days or a week before being harvested. The aroma of the truffle has defied explanation, but then it is very hard to describe the aroma of garlic and other exotic spices. As Gareth Renowden says in The Truffle Book, the scent can be pervasive. This may prompt the question “what do they smell like?” and elicit an answer “Old socks and sex.” He goes on to say: “Open the spice cupboard and take a deep sniff. Crush an unpeeled clove of garlic. Find some damp leaves and dig your fingers into the earth
What does it taste like? Like many exotic flavours, it is an acquired taste. Again, Renowden: “The aroma of T. melanosporum is musty and sweet, a very intense mushroom smell overlaid with other notes, especially what wine tasters call ‘forest floor’. It cooperates with the flavours in food enhancing and intensifying them. A steak with truffle sauce becomes more meaty, eggs are transformed into a gourmet item, and every aspect of the meal becomes more satisfying.” For chefs, the challenge of including fresh truffle in their menu can be daunting - with the price of the truffle, the limited shelf life and the uncertainty over the likely response from their customers to this new and exciting addition to Australian cuisine. Truffles continue to be somewhat of a mystery, even after more than 3000 years of consumption. The ancient Greeks loved them and they were prized by the Romans. Theophrasus, a disciple of Plato and Aristotle wrote about them, as did Pliny, the scribe who documented the destruction of Pompeii.
Alexander Dumas in his Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine wrote: “The most learned of men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber and, after two thousand years of argument and discussion, their answer is the same as it was on the first day: we do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated and have answered simply: eat us and praise the Lord.” Truffles appear to grow in a wide variety of soils and climates within Australia, with production currently coming from the south of Western Australia, many areas in NSW, the ACT, many parts of Victoria and, of course, in Tasmania where the first truffle plantations were developed in the early 1990s. There are also plantations in South Australia and Queensland, however these plantations are not old enough to commence production yet. Finally, as with any similarly truculent crop, truffle growing is not a “get rich quick” project and should be viewed as a long term investment, that may or may not yield any returns, much the same as other agricultural pursuits...
ADRIAN MARCHIARO Adrian presents wine tasting evenings at Lamby’s Restaurant + Bar.
Businesses get carbon ready For business owners and managers across all industry sectors, carbon is the new buzz word, so it was little wonder that plenty of them turned out for the launch of The Gordon’s new Carbon Accounting and Management course late last month. With increased energy prices looming, the course has been designed to help small to medium enterprises become frontrunners in the move to a low-carbon economy, by developing a Carbon Footprint Report and Low Carbon Action Plan. Darren Gray, Skills Centre Manager for The Gordon’s Centre for Sustainable Innovation says with Australia’s carbon pricing scheme coming into effect on 1 July, now is the time for businesses to prepare. “We know carbon management is here to stay, and this new workshopbased course is specifically designed to help businesses
understand what carbon accounting means, how it can increase their profitability and efficiency, as well as contribute to a low carbon economy,” he says. The course was developed for The Gordon by Tony Overman, Strategy and Sustainability Coordinator for Barwon Water with more than 30 years’ experience in natural resource management. It is also linked to units of competency from the Diploma of Sustainable Operations - providing participants with additional accreditation, and therefore making it the only course of its kind currently offered in Australia.
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AFTER HOURS Photos: Terry Broun Jnr
Geelong’s next generation of leaders take up the challenge The Leaders for Geelong Program will be announcing the next intake of participants to the Program this Thursday at the Gordon Gallery. LEADERS for Geelong Program Director, Jean Paul, said that 28 outstanding individuals representing businesses small and large, community and government organisations will embark on the 2 year leadership program. Since its launch in 2006, the Leaders for Geelong program has seen 150 individuals take part. The Leaders for Geelong program is designed to build individual leadership capacity and educate emerging leaders about the challenges and opportunities impacting on the region. “The challenges and opportunities facing Geelong are long term so it is important that as a community we are continually developing the next generation of leaders. “This program is about nurturing people with the skills and aspirations to lead, and equips
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them for leadership in both their own organisations and in the wider community,” Jean said. Lachlan Bruce, CEO of Regional Development Victoria (RDV), will be on hand to address the new participants. Lachlan has responsibility for rural and regional infrastructure, community development and recovery activities associated with the recent Victorian floods and the 2009 bushfires. Jean said that RDV have recently provided the Leaders for Geelong Program with substantial funding to ensure the Program’s continued contribution to the development of emerging leaders for our region. “Given the challenges facing regional areas, and the valuable support of RDV to run this program, we are thrilled that Lachlan is available to address the participants,” Jean said.
AFTER HOURS Photos: Elisha Lindsay elphotography.com.au. Courtesy: Geelong Football Club
Living history as life members celebrated History and tradition are integral to the heart of AFL clubs, as we saw recently when one of the oldest clubs, the Geelong Football Club celebrated its past at the annual Geelong Cats Life Members Dinner. AS a club spokesperson so eloquently put it: “The Geelong Cats have a long and proud history and its life members are an integral part of the club’s living history.” The 2012 Dinner saw 28 new inductees including past players, current players and deceased players. The Life Members Dinner is an important event for the club where life members can come together to reminisce and
celebrate the current success of the club. Current players inducted include Shannon Byrnes, Tom Hawkins, Andrew Mackie, Joel Selwood, Mathew Stokes, Harry Taylor and Travis Varcoe. Past players inducted include Mark Bairstow, George Goninon, Denis Marshall, Brad Ottens, Colin Rice, Max Rooke, Norm Sharp, John Sharrock, Bert Worner and John Yeates.
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WHAT’S ON Throughout July
2012 National Scarf Festival The Journey will display all the scarves created for the Festival, featuring a range of awards for the best scarves. The exhibition will be accompanied by an inspiring program of craft demonstrations. National Wool Museum. www.nwm.vic.gov.au
Central Geelong Farmer’s Market Little Malop Street Central. geelongaustralia.vic.gov.au
A Golden Line: 150 Years of the Geelong Ballarat Railway An exhibition of photographs, early railway documents, objects and railway models presenting the origins and early history of the Geelong to Ballarat Railway, first opened in April 1862. Sovereign Hill. www.sovereignhill.com.au
To 29 July House and Home – Malcom Bywaters A Geelong region artists program exploring the relationship between memory, childhood and home, and including an almost life-size wooden-frame biplane. Geelong Gallery. www.geelonggallery.org.au
07 July – 05 August Marion East and Lars Stenberg Two painters respond to the Victorian landscape. Art Gallery of Ballarat. www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au
10 July Stardust Martine Pavey returns to Her Majesty’s Theatre with a sassy and jazzy tribute to father & daughter showbiz legends Natalie and Nat King Cole. Her Majesty’s, Ballarat. www.hermaj.com Connecting Community NFPs and Business The Office for the Community Sector has been working with Davidson Consulting to develop a new guide for NFP community organisations on partnering with business locally. Geelong City Hall. www.dpcd.vic.gov.au
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Cliff Joins the Beatles A tribute to the greatest band the world has ever known and the most timeless artist of the rock n’ roll era as they come together to create a music fantasy that is more fact than fiction. Her Majesty’s, Ballarat. www.hermaj.com
10 – 13 July Jack and the Beanstalk Young Jack is on School Holidays, and looking for some adventures to occupy his time. His Mother is struggling to pay all the bills and keep food in the cupboards as business at their B & B has been slow. Some unusual noises coming from the skies over the B & B have stopped all the tourists from booking in this summer. Jack wonders what the noise is, so he and trusty friend Daisy the singing Cow, head off for some adventure… Potato Shed, Drysdale. www.geelongcity.vic.gov.au
12 July Grigoryan Brothers The Seasons Slava and Leonard Grigoryan have astounded audiences worldwide with their guitar virtuosity and five duo albums. Art Gallery of Ballarat. www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au
13 – 15 July BoxWorld Back by popular demand, just in time for the winter school holidays, is the family exhibition, BoxWorld… BoxWorld is a model city the size of a tennis court made entirely out of recycled materials, with over 900 buildings created from boxes, cans, bottles and an array of
recycled materials. From Tuesday 3 July to Friday 13 July, visit BoxWorld and join in the fun of craft classes (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10.00am) and Twilight Tours of BoxWorld (every week day at 11.30am). In addition, you can participate in a range of fun, self-guided activities for adults and children, based on the theme of travel, available all day, every day during the holidays. National Wool Museum. www.nwm.vic.gov.au
Damon Dark, UFO Hunter A one act, one-man play, written in the style of the X-Files and Doctor Who and performed by Adrian Sherlock. Woodbin Theatre, Geelong. www.gpac.org.au
14 – 21 July Singin’ in the Rain Celebrating its 60th Anniversary, the multi-award winning production team behind CentreStage will be celebrating the successes of the MGM classic. Geelong Performing Arts Centre. www.gpac.org.au
15 July Discovery Walk - Eat Your Way Around The World Foods and flavours from
WHAT’S ON forest to farm all growing at the GBG. Geelong Botanic Gardens. www.friendsgbg.org.au
17 July His Mother’s Son His Mother’s Son is the story of Ellen Kelly, mother of our most famous Bushranger, Edward “Ned” Kelly. The performance follows the 90year long life of Ellen Kelly, from her early days in Ireland through to her marriage to John “Red” Kelly, the hanging of her son Ned and her final years. Potato Shed, Drysdale. geelongaustralia.vic.gov.au
18 July Don Quixote The Australian Ballet Dancers Company presents the lively classic ballet, Don Quixote, based on the famed novel by Cervantes. Her Majesty’s, Ballarat. www.hermaj.com
21 July On Air - Melbourne Ballet Internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company Melbourne Ballet return after a moving performance here at the venue last year. On Air is a breathtaking example of classical dance reinterpreted to be relevant and inspiring for both new and loyal ballet audiences. Wyndham Cultural Centre. www.wyncc.com.au
23 July – 19 October Step Right Up, Step Right Up! Lose your head in this fun filled romp through a collection of carnival tricks, games and illusions. See yourself as never before in
the hall of mirrors, watch your bodiless head floating in a fruit bowl, witness the Ghost of Pepper magically appear … and disappear! National Wool Museum. www.nwm.vic.gov.au
racing and networking with style and dining. Join the festivities with your friends and colleagues and help raise funds for Give Where You Live. Geelong Racing Club. www.givewhereyoulive.com.au
Portraits Series Concerts Adam Simmons’ Portraits concerts to present new and original music in an intimate, close-up setting, featuring Nick Tsiavos and Deborah Kayser. Art Gallery of Ballarat. www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au
27 – 28 July
26 – 28 July
Geelong Performing Arts Centre / Wyndham Cultural Centre. www.gpac.org.au www.wyncc.com.au
Boy Girl Wall Following sell-out seasons across Australia, this hilarious smash-hit production by The Escapists is a stunning celebration of theatricality, imagination and the joy of play. Her Majesty’s, Ballarat. www.hermaj.com
26 July - 01 August Biddies Five ordinarily marvellous women find themselves back in their infants school classroom plying their needles in a good oldfashioned session of “stitch and bitch”. Their confessions are frank, their rivalries intense and their jokes outrageous. 26 – 28 July, Geelong Performing Arts Centre / 01 August, Wendouree Centre for the Performing Arts. www.gpac.org.au / www.hermaj.com
27 July Kevin Paisley Fashion Eyewear Race Day A relaxing day out of horse
Jimeoin – Lovely Direct from a sold out season at the Edinburgh Fringe comes world-class stand-up from one of live comedy’s masters. No gimmicks, pure and simple great craic which will leave you feeling ...Lovely!
28 – 29 July Friends Plant Sale Come to the Friends Nursery where plants will be sold at bargain prices including raer and unusual species sourced from the Geelong Botanic Gardens. Geelong Botanic Gardens. www.friendsgbg.org.au
29 July Last Sunday in July Concert Tony Conolan on violin, Diana Logan on viola, Michael Conolan on cello and Gwen Kennelly on piano are joined by associate artist, soprano Brione Conolan for this concert presented by the gallery Women’s Association. Art Gallery of Ballarat. www.artgalleryofballarat.com.au
31 July The Ages of Love Bethany Arthouse Film Festival screening of a sexy new romantic comedy starring Robert De Niro (his first Italian speaking role since ‘1900’) and told in three interconnected chapters that illustrate ‘the three ages of man’. Geelong Performing Arts Centre. www.gpac.org.au
04 August 2012 Geelong Mayoral Ball Celebrate Geelong with a night of wonderful entertainment, great music, prizes, three course dinner, fine local wines and a few surprises. All proceeds raised on the night will support the Geelong Hospital Children’s Ward redevelopment, St John of God Special Care Nursery, and Scope. The Pier, Geelong. www.geelongcity.vic.gov.au Chet Baker – Like Someone in Love Like Someone in Love is a peice of New Zealand made “Jazz-Theatre” based around jazz trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker’s extraordinary life and sudden demise, performed by David Goldthorpe. Wyndham Cultural Centre. www.wyncc.com.au
08 August Beating the Binge A free event in Ballarat for Drug Action Week, featuring special guests and Australia’s Got Talent winners, Justice Crew. www.facebook.com/ DrugActionWeekBallarat Gran’s Bag In this magical family fun event, Chrissie Shaw brings the tale to life as the larger than life Gran and pulls the entire show out of her giant red handbag - which seems to have a life of its own. Wyndham Cultural Centre. www.wyncc.com.au
10 August Geelong Book Fair Annual book fair with proceeds to Rotary approved projects, with thousands of second-hand books for sale and local authors in attendance over the weekend. Geelong West Town Hall. geelongwestrotary.org.au
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Specialist Family Business Advisors We know that there’s far more at stake than just providing legal advice.
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