ISSUE 203 DECEMBER 2011 $4.50 (inc. GST)
The Retail Revolution
View online at www.adcellgroup.com.au/readgbn
Group Buying Comes to Geelong 14 What it means for local businesses
The Retail Revolution 16 The Challenges and the Opportunities
Retirement Special 30 Why Retirement Planning is becoming big business
05 Biz News 10 Appointments 26 Philanthropy 38 Tech Guy 41 Arts 46 After Hours 51 What’s On
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‘Tis the season ... for grinchness! As we prepare to farewell 2011, it is customary to take pause and reflect on the events on the past year, and contemplate what the coming year may bring … but who has the time? We have jobs to do – there are end of year reviews to complete, new year planning to do, not to mention that list of things you were, absolutely, going to have done before the Christmas shut down period, only now you are running out of days and you have to fit the end of year work events in. You know exactly what presents you want to get everyone, you just don’t know when you are going to find time to hit the shops and find yourself frantically trawling the internet for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery gifts, preferably that come with a wrapping service. ‘Tis the season to be jolly? Huh, worn out, tired and desperately in need of a break, more like! You don’t know what I’m talking about? Christmas is your favourite time of year and you really wouldn’t rather be lying on a beach in Fiji with someone delivering cool towels and a cocktail? You just can’t understand why people moan about the festive season as if it’s just another obligation rather than the pure joy you know it to be? Oh, go hang some more baubles and leave the rest of us to complain in peace! This Christmas season (or Hanukkah or non-religious festival related holiday period) please try to give yourself a few moments to grumble and complain a bit, it really makes it much easier to enjoy it all afterwards. After all, you can’t be happy all the time! It really has been quite a year. Flying in the face of global economic gloom, the Australian economy as a whole remains buoyant. These are not booming times for all business sectors – with retail, tourism and manufacturing in particular doing it tough – but there are opportunities for growth, for those businesses bold
enough to grasp them. This month, being the busiest shopping month of the year, we take a closer look at the retail sector; and the changes, the challenges and the chances within it. As for the year ahead, the signs are there will be even more changes than we have seen even this year. Including the looming election for a directly elected mayor (and the 12 ward councillors) in Geelong. Ever since John So won the hearts and not only Melbournians, but people right across the state with his infection enthusiasm for his role and the city he represented, many of us have been a little bit in love with the idea of directly elected mayors. Of course not everyone believes we should be directly electing a mayor from outside the pool of councillor candidates – with our own mayor having expressed his lack of support for the concept. Hardly surprising … The shift to a directly elected head of Council in a regional city is a significant move in Victorian local government. If the change proves successful in Geelong, then it is safe to assume that Ballarat and Bendigo won’t be far behind. That is assuming that the councillors don’t mutiny against the new mayor and disrupt effective council process; or if the directly elected mayor follows the Berlusconi school of civil leadership, disrupting effective council process, amongst other things. But really, what are the odds of any of that happening? And, amongst other moves afoot across the city, there will be some changes at GBN in 2012, but more on that later … Merry religious-based festival of your choice or nonreligious end of year holiday period and a safe New Year to you all, Dear Readers.
ISSUE 203 DECEMBER 2011/ JANUARY 2012 GEElONG BuSINESS NEWS, an Adcell Print Group publication, is mailed to more than 5000 businesses in the G21 region. If you would like to receive Geelong Business News at your business please contact us. PUBlIShER Maureen Tayler MANAgER Caroline Tayler EDITOR Davina Montgomery email@example.com
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World's most Bio-secure lab opens for Business The world’s most advanced bio-secure laboratory was officially opened last month at CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health laboratory (AAHl) in Geelong by the Minister for Innovation, Senator Kim Carr. In a statement, Senator Carr said the AAHl Collaborative Biosecurity Research Facility (ACBRF) allows researchers from across Australia and overseas to work together on projects of national importance, using the highest levels of biological containment. “Facilities like the ACBRF increase our ability to deal quickly and effectively with emerging diseases which could harm people, animals and crops both in Australia and overseas. These threats have economic, environmental and social consequences on agricultural productivity, food security, animal and human health and biodiversity,” he said. The Centre was built with the aid of $8.5 million in Federal funding, through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. NCRIS has provided over $500 million to equip Australia's researchers with the world's best infrastructure to do their important research. Member for Corio Richard Marles said it was a significant day for Geelong. "This facility cements our city's position on the frontline of the global battle against bio-security threats,” Mr Marles said. “unlocking the mysteries of new and emerging diseases is critical to our survival as an international community – that is the work being undertaken by scientists here at AAHl.”
According to AAHl Director, Professor Martyn Jeggo, in addition to identifying and characterising viruses, the new facility will be used to investigate the origin and treatment of animal and ‘zoonotic’ diseases – that is, diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animals. “There is an urgent need to move forward with a collaborative effort, commonly referred to as a ‘One Health’ approach, which links human, animal and environmental health professionals together,” Professor Jeggo said. “The One Health approach is becoming crucial with about 70 per cent of emerging diseases affecting humans originating in animals – including Hendra, bird flu and SARS.” The ACBRF is located within AAHl’s ll’s high containment facility and incorporates a linked Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility. This facility enables fundamental research with infectious disease agents that require the highest levels of biocontainment. AAHl has developed a significant international reputation as one of the world’s finest animal bioscience research laboratories and is the most sophisticated laboratory in the world for the safe handling and containment of infectious micro-organisms. The additional high containment laboratory facility at AAHl will provide the necessary biosecure and bio-safe infrastructure required to undertake vital research to effectively tackle increasing biosecurity threats – in Australia and around the world.
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Creating the car of the future Deakin University’s research engineer Dr Mandy de Souza is on a mission to find a way of manufacturing lighter and higher performing cars that are environmentally and economically friendly. She has been working with international car manufacturers for the past eight years to find new, sustainable composite fibre materials to use in this next generation of energy efficient cars. The main stumbling block to date has been finding durable painted surface finishes that are comparable to finishes for heavier metal panels. Her research has won her a prestigious 2011 Victoria Fellowship, which will enable her to travel to the USA, United Kingdom and Europe to talk with major manufacturers who are interested in her work, and particularly in the development of new composites and surfacing technology.
Baillieu support for Avalon Rail Link
According to Dr de Souza, none of the leading international manufacturers of carbon fibre fabrics and resins are based in Australia. Her research has become even more important given the recent Parliamentary vote for a carbon tax that forces the need for consumers to purchase more fuel efficient cars. Recently the United States announced its commitment to doubling the fuel economy of cars over the next 15 years, which will result in around 40 per cent less fuel usage and has the potential to save drivers over US$8,000 in fuel costs for the life of the car. She will use her Victoria Fellowship to receive training in analysing composite surfaces, as well as to learn more about a lightweight woven fabric that typically weighs 20% lighter than other carbon fibre fabrics, as well as resin and other materials.
The Baillieu Government has strengthened its committed to delivering the Avalon Airport Rail Link and is seeking Infrastructure Australia support to carry out the next stage of project development work. In a statement, Mr Baillieu said the Avalon Airport Rail Link would be an important part of developing Avalon as Victoria’s second major international and domestic airport. “The Avalon Rail Link will benefit Geelong and south western Victoria by increasing jobs and investment opportunities, improving goods and services supply chains, improving accessibility to national and international markets and supporting inbound tourism,” Mr Baillieu said. “Victoria has learnt from the lessons of the past and we know it is important to plan and build the rail link early in the development of this area to get the best value for money outcome. “The Avalon Airport Rail Link has the potential to interface with the Rail Revival study, capitalising on the significant population catchments of most of Victoria’s largest regional cities and the Goldfields tourism region,” Mr Baillieu said.
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BIZNEWS VECCI confirms its State Gov priorities VECCI has welcomed the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s draft report into its inquiry into a State based reform agenda. VECCI Chief Executive, Mark Stone, says the draft report confirms the policy areas identified by VECCI as needing attention if Victoria is to maintain and improve its competitiveness. “While Victoria has benefited from strong population and economic growth over recent decades, the State’s productivity is declining,” says Mr Stone. “Unlike other States, Victoria does not have a booming mining industry to count on and we have to be strategic about how we build productivity. The three areas identified as priorities for reform by VCEC – education and training, taxation and infrastructure and planning - echo VECCI’s policy priorities,” says Mr Stone. VECCI welcomes VCEC’s recommendations, which were that the State Government improve education standards and increase competition and flexibility in the TAFE and training systems – the State Government should ensure clarity around education and training funding, performance and accountability, to lift overall quality standards. Secondly, to enhance Victoria’s innovation capacity – the State Government should set an innovation agenda, address barriers to collaboration and encourage new R&D investment by both public and private sectors. To identify alternative ways to fund major infrastructure projects – the State Government should ensure infrastructure projects be ordered into short, medium and longer term priorities that support economic, social and environmental objectives. To review the mix and impact of State taxes – the State Government’s review should look at ways to reduce the tax burden on business to encourage investment and employment, in addition to simplifying taxes and charges. To improve links between the regions and Melbourne and the regions themselves through investment in ‘hard and soft’ infrastructure – the State Government should ensure the regions are promoted and have the capacity to continue to share in Victoria’s population growth.
New iPad app helps shield businesses from emergencies The Australian Government has launched its first iPad app for business, MyBizShield. The Minister for Small Business, Senator Nick Sherry, says the MyBizShield iPad app gives business owners access to emergency planning information anytime, anywhere. “MyBizShield makes it easier for small business owners to protect their livelihood from any emergency, whether it’s a bushfire or burglary,” Senator Sherry said. “Most small businesses are too busy with the demanding day-today task of running a small business to think about planning for unpredictable events. This interactive tool uses prompts and handy tips to help small business owners create an emergency plan tailored to their business.” Senator Sherry says the application helps small businesses prepare for the worst, rather than hope for the best. “MyBizShield will help small businesses before, during and after an emergency,” Senator Sherry said. “It includes practical steps such as backing up data and maintaining accurate insurance claim records.” The iPad app follows the success of business.gov.au’s iPhone app, which was launched in late 2010 and has been downloaded more than 5,000 times. Senator Sherry says that these tools are also important in keeping the Australian Government connected with small business. “From web conferencing to running meetings ‘on the go’, small businesses are embracing new technologies to improve the way they operate,” Senator Sherry said. “The team at business.gov.au is leading the way in developing new technologies to better deliver services from the Government to small business.” To download the MyBizShield iPad app, visit: www.business.gov.au/ mybizshield Small business owners who don’t own an iPad can create an emergency plan by downloading the template and guide at business.gov.au/emergency
End of Year Specials Geelong’s largest purpose built event space. Situated 250m out over Corio Bay the views are simply spectacular. We have spaces to cater from intimate groups to over 1,000 guests. At The Pier Event space we pride ourselves on having the “Wow factor” from the venue itself, to the highest quality food, to our warm and professional service. Call our friendly sales team to find out how we can tailor your next event to impress your guests. Cunningham Pier, 10 Western Beach Foreshore Road. Geelong VIC 03 5222 6444 | thepiergeelong.com.au | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Deakin's Grand Challenge Deakin University researchers are a step closer to developing a food supplement to improve the survival rate of premature babies thanks to funding through Grand Challenges Explorations. Grand Challenges Explorations is an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges. Kevin Nicholas, Professor of Bioscience with Deakin's Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, will pursue an innovative global health research project that aims to unlock the unique properties of wallaby milk to address the high rate of death in premature and low birth weight babies in developing countries.
cure HIV infection or improve sanitation." Professor Nicholas and his team will use the wallaby as an experimental model to identify a cocktail of human proteins that will accelerate the development of the gut so that babies are able to absorb the nutrients from breast milk or formula, ultimately increasing their chance of survival. "In babies born premature or with a low birth weight their underdeveloped gut, along with their lungs, is a major barrier to their survival their bodies essentially have difficulty handling breast milk or formula," Professor Nicholas explained. "As adults, these babies also have a higher rate of developing diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mould in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Professor Nicholas's project is one of 110 Grand Challenges Explorations grants of $100,000. "We believe in the power of innovation - that a single bold idea can pioneer solutions to our greatest health and development challenges," said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to identify and fund these new ideas wherever they come from, allowing scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs to pursue the kinds of creative ideas and novel approaches that could help to accelerate the end of polio,
"The key to the survival of the wallaby baby is the rate of production and the composition of the mother's milk. The proteins (and milk protein genes) change progressively during the lactation cycle to provide nutrition and direct the development of the rapidly growing young in the pouch, prior to weaning. Much of the growth taking place with the wallaby baby in the mother's pouch would take place in utero with human babies. "If we can identify the important signalling factors in wallaby milk, we believe we will have the key to creating a supplement to help the growth and development of human babies born premature or underweight." About Grand Challenges Explorations Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"We are looking to unlock the unique properties of wallaby milk to guide us in the development of a human supplement that is easy to administer to premature babies, particularly in developing countries.
Launched in 2008, Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded to nearly 500 researchers from over 40 countries. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organisation. The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short, two-page online applications and no preliminary data required. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year.
"The unique nature of wallaby gestation and lactation provides an ideal model for us to investigate. The wallaby has a short gestation
Successful projects have an opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.
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and gives birth to an immature young that is like a foetus in human terms.
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Barwon Cleaning Supplies also welcomes Belinda Hultgren, who has joined our Administration Team. Belinda has had over 20 years experience both nationally and internationally in various sized companies and brings with her a vast knowledge of administrative and organizational techniques. Belinda is highly motivated and very customer focused
Maxwell Collins would like to announce the appointment of Lois Wilson to their sales team. Lois is a fully licensed real estate agent who also holds a diploma in marketing. She is passionate about real estate and has over 20 years of experience in residential sales. Lois has built her reputation on trust and providing her clients with exemplary service and brings with her a wealth of local knowledge.
Leah Bowie has been employed with Barwon Cleaning Supplies for the past 4 years in administration. Leah has been promoted to a new position of Office Administrator responsible for the running of Administration Dept. Leah has a wealth of knowledge, ability and strong customer focus. Her appointment will assist in the current growth of the company.
Charlotte Kuebler came to Release Property Management after commencing her career in Melbourne, quickly accelerating into a first class Leasing Agent. Charlotte is very particular with her tenancy selection - treating each property as if it were her own. Not surprisingly, Charlotte was recently crowned the 2011 REIV Victorian Corporate Support Person of the Year.
Barwon Cleaning Supplies welcomes Ian Walker to our sales team. Ian has been involved in sales and marketing for over 20 years, working in both Melbourne and London. Ian’s primary objectives are to enhance existing client relationships as well as acquire new business for Barwon Cleaning Supplies.
Adcell Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Brenton Hobson to the role of Web / Multimedia designer. Brenton has training in multiple areas, including Graphic Design, Web Design and various areas of the Multimedia fields. His role within the business is to help bring new and exciting websites to the public, and to create a competitive edge for clients looking to branch into the world wide web.
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Leigh Wallace OAM has joined the Geelong Community Foundation as its Development Manager. Previously the Philanthropy Director of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation in Melbourne, he holds the first Master of Social Science Degree (Philanthropy and Social Investment) from Swinburne University (2007) and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Michelle Challis has taken over the role of Managing Director of Challis Commercial Collections. Michelle has a debt collection and small business background spanning 15 years, with 10 years managing another local company. Michelle looks forward to expanding the 32 year-old Geelong family owned and operated company, and delivering continuously high results to clients in these challenging economic times.
Dr Alicia Kennedy has been appointed as the Chairman of the Jane Goodall Institute of Australia. Alicia is a local veterinarian. In 2003, while living in China, Alicia became involved with the Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots program that inspires and empowers individuals to make a difference. Since returning to Geelong in 2005, Alicia has been involved in establishing JGIAustralia.
Whitford are proud to introduce property manager Lauren Hunt to their team. Lauren’s extensive experience in real estate, together with her strong focus on personalised client service, ensure a fresh approach to property management for Geelong. Lauren brings to her clients strong negotiation skills, proven results, experience and a can do attitude.
Natalie Houghton has been appointed the CEO of the Jane Goodall Institute of Australia. With a background in education and animal welfare, Natalie has worked in not-for-profit management for several years with the RSPCA, Landcare and the Forest Stewardship Council of Australia. Natalie is passionate about humane education empowering individuals to find solutions for local and global problems,
Zane Henry has been appointed as the Retail Marketing Coordinator at Corio Shopping Centre. Growing up in the Geelong region Zane has a background in both retail and marketing, his role sees him providing retail support and communications, centre marketing through tactical promotions and special projects and community initiatives. Corio Shopping Centre is managed by Colonial First State Global Asset Management.
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It’s all about branding … Bling Economy
A good brand can go a long way – just ask Prada, Gucci and many of the other luxury brands that are experiencing a surge in profits at a time when global growth forecasts are painting a dim picture of the future.
About four years ago, CoreData and the good people at Google were working on the idea that the behaviour, comments and ideas circulating the internet were a pretty interesting proxy of what was happening in the world and how people were feeling. The theory was pretty clear – if we could produce a way to grind up and analyse all the internet chatter, on things like Facebook, My Space, Bebo and Twitter, then we would have a great proxy for what people are thinking. Google liked this idea and we played with it for a bit, we built skimmers and scanners and started to suck in data about what people were saying. But it turns out, what people are saying isn’t that interesting, what matters is what they are doing. Let me give you an example; during the time that Qantas was shut, the Twitter comments went ballistic. According to the feed – Qantas was a vile company that you would never fly with again and the brand was irreparably damaged.
According to the Australian Financial Review, luxury goods company Compagnie Financiere Richemont reported a 35% year on year increase in organic sales growth for the five months to the end of August. PPR, owner of Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga, saw 23% organic sales growth in the second quarter of 2011, following a 20% gain in the prior three months. The ‘bling economy’, as it’s known, is profiting from newly wealthy consumers in emerging nations such as China, India, Russia and Brazil – but it’s not just new target segments that have boosted profits for these companies. The strength of their brand has helped these companies to fly in the face of adversity. Not only have they established a strong brand presence – an essential component of awareness – they have, through consistent delivery of high quality products and service, built considerable brand equity which has allowed them to leverage their offer in new markets. However in the food industry, where margins are considerably lower and consumers are much more interested in price and value over brand, Heinz – one of the world’s biggest food manufacturers – has learnt the hard way. The company has blamed Coles and Woolworths for flooding the market with private label or “home brand” goods, which has driven it to shut one factory, downsize two others and scramble to reinvent itself in Australia. Qantas, Australia’s dominant airline, may have suffered brand damage (this is yet to materialise) after a dispute with the unions caused one of the biggest aviation disruptions on record, impacting 70,000 customers, however the loyalty and satisfaction of customers that choose to fly Qantas – over other, lower cost airlines – even in the days immediately following the strike is testament to the strength of the Qantas brand. Here at CoreData, we’re interested in what you think about the importance of brands in the insurance sector. To participate in our ‘What’s in a Name’* survey, visit the website at www.coredata.com.au/ surveys.
The purist version of what a company is worth and what it’s being affected by is its share price, which at the time of the PR crisis climbed steadily. The people who were making decisions about what the grounding meant to the business were unfazed. This was the strength of Google’s argument – what people talk about on Twitter and Facebook isn’t real – it’s just noise – and that trying to divide intent, direction and information from noise is effectively not time well spent. They claim – and we happen to think they are right – that what people say on Twitter isn’t that important, it’s what they do which is more interesting. [This has been another article from the insightful minds at burning-pants.com. Burning Pants is a product of CoreData.]
All ages fun at The Pier Festival Following on from the success of The Pier Festival last year, EMC Group Geelong are again organising the family friendly festival, set for New Year’s Eve, on the stunning Geelong Waterfront. The festival is aimed at families or those wanting to come and enjoy the atmosphere of a great festival, which will include a dusk firework display, children’s rides, free face painting, free animal petting farm, musicians and roving performers. The Enterprize tall ship will also make a visit. Guests will be able to meander through the twilight art & craft markets located on Steampacket Gardens, and purchase food from the food court. The organisers are hoping for great weather and that word of mouth publicity will make this year's event an even bigger success.
Steampacket Gardens. They are ready to bring fun, laughter and dance through music to the audience. As a trio of brothers, they have enormous fun performing their quirky songs for children and adults. They write and perform their own songs that focus on engaging children through colour, actions and movement. Their show can be enjoyed by all ages, and can be seen at The Pier Festival at 6pm. There will be a spectacular display of fireworks set off over Corio Bay at 9:15pm, with the best viewing spots this year being from Steampacket Gardens and Steampacket Quay.
The festival appeals to a wide demographic, not just parents with kids, but also older couples, or just people who want to enjoy the festivities. This year the festival, including the market stalls will remain open, and conclude with the Midnight fireworks. "It was a very successful event last year, and the sponsors have jumped on board again this year.” And for you chance to win tickets to Geelong’s premier New Year’s Eve event – the City Quarter New Year’s Eve party – simply log on to our website at adcellgroup.com.au, click on the competition page and fill in your entry.
"It's the only family New Year's Eve festival in the region. There is a lot of children’s entertainment, so it's a great opportunity for parents and children to come out and celebrate New Year’s Eve in a family-friendly environment.” said Pier Festival Geelong event manager, Susie Ward. This year’s festival entertainment line up includes the ever-so popular Tubby the Robot, who will be entertaining guests along the Waterfront with her baby in the pram! The giant stilt walker will be seen by many, and provides fantastic photo opportunities for families! Many roving performers will line the event precinct leading up to the twilight fireworks. Geelong’s very own children’s entertainment band, the Mik Maks will be playing at
CITY QUARTER 1920’S SOIRÉE NYE
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Group buying comes to Geelong November and early December were busy times for group buying sites in our fair city, with Scoopon, LivingSocial Families and OurDeal all launching in Geelong. As a relatively new industry in Australia, online group buying sites have attracted a lot of attention, both positive and negative. While they can provide businesses with a phenomenal marketing tool and consumers with incredible bargains, they can also cause a headache for companies who are unprepared for extra clientele and customers who don’t read the fine print. Regardless, they are here to stay, with a survey earlier this year by market research firm Telsyte finding the industry is growing by 72% every quarter and would be valued at around $400 million by the end of this year. The survey also
found that about 4000 deals were published and a million vouchers sold every month by 70 Australian group buying sites who offer large discounts on services and products on a daily or weekly basis.
“Group buying sites add a lot to the retail marketplace in that they allow traditional retailers and merchants to harness the power of online without the significant investment often required upfront to create these assets,” says Julian Holman, founder and CEO of OurDeal. “Contrary to popular belief, group buying can actually be used to enhance or complement the ‘traditional’ retail model, as opposed to competing with it. We’re increasingly seeing partnerships between traditional bricks and mortar retailers and group buying companies to drive foot traffic in-store during quieter periods or, on the contrary, support demand during major retail spikes like Christmas and the January sales periods.”
Businesses who offer their products or services on group buying sites can access a marketing tool with the ability to promote them to a huge number of new customers.
Group buying sites use the purchasing power of the ‘group’, which requires a certain number of customers to sign up for a deal before it is activated. When the minimum number of deals is purchased, the deal is then activated, or ‘live’. The group buying company works directly with the merchant to complete the payment and customers book their experience directly with the merchant when they are ready to use the deal.
“Merchants list on group buying sites to gain massive exposure for their business and attract new clients at no upfront risk or cost, instead of wasting advertising dollars,” says Colin Fabig, CEO of LivingSocial Australia and New Zealand. “The group buying site promotes the merchant, usually to hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions, of customers on websites, by email, Facebook and affiliated online channels. Most LivingSocial merchants get in excess of $20,000 worth of free promotion on a deal.”
“It’s like negotiating a group discount - if the group buying site can guarantee a minimum number of customers then they get a group discount and customers pay a low price,” explains Jodie Auster, general manager of Scoopon.
According to Colin, in a survey of 211 merchants who listed deals with Jump On It and LivingSocial, 80% said advertising with daily deal sites brought the most new customers of any channel when compared with other marketing channels such as Google search
advertising, local newspaper advertising, Yellow Pages advertising, direct mail, radio, TV and PR. Other benefits of using daily deals sites reported by respondents included generating word-of-mouth referrals (68%), increased brand awareness and exposure (89%), increasing business during quiet times (62%) and repeat bookings (53%). “Collective buying is a resource efficient and cost effective platform for businesses to compete effectively in the online market,” says OurDeal’s Julian Holman. “Beyond offering a channel to reach a large group of engaged subscribers, the group buying model can also support a business’ existing online assets. The deal promotions can lead to increased traffic to a business’ website and also help generate
content for social media platforms, such as Facebook pages or Twitter feeds. “The collective buying model operates to help businesses secure new customer leads. Once a business engages with first time buyers through the deal offerings they have the opportunity to build relationships to encourage repeat purchases. It’s all about forward planning.” On the down side, by September this year, Consumer Affairs Victoria had received more than 160 complaints from consumers about group buying sites, compared to only 22 similar complaints in 2010. “The most common complaints include nonsupply or delay in supply of goods or services, difficulties obtaining refunds and difficulty in booking services and redeeming vouchers," a spokesperson for Consumer Affairs Victoria told The Age newspaper. "Many of the problems reported to Consumer
FEATURE Affairs Victoria are a result of businesses experiencing difficulty in being able to meet the demand created through group buying." In November, the industry responded to these issues with a voluntary code of conduct to encourage clearer advertising of group buying deals and reduce the number of complaints. Launched by the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) in conjunction with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association and major group buying sellers, including LivingSocial, Scoopon and OurDeal, the code requires that group buying companies must ensure customers fully understand what they’re buying; that appropriate policies and procedures are in place; and that electronic messages comply with relevant legislation. Complaints under the code will be dealt with by the ADMA who will work with the group buying company to resolve the issues. As a last resort, a company could be asked to remove itself from the code and any association with ADMA. “It’s important to us to not let a few bad eggs ruin the reputation of group buying in the eyes of consumers, and the code of conduct is a great way to do this,” says LivingSocial’s Colin Fabig. “It promotes fair, honest, ethical best practice in the industry and is an easy way for consumers to see who is serious about customer service with the code of conduct logo on all signatory sites.” So with group buying deals now in Geelong what does it mean for local businesses? “Group buying sites bring shoppers back to local retailers,” says Scoopon’s Jodie Auster. “They provide local retailers with the opportunity to attract new customers and to market their business to a broader audience.” “Being able to compete online is an increasingly important consideration for smaller local businesses,” says Julian Holman, pointing to research from the Australian Communication and Media Authority that shows 62% of Australian adult internet users purchased goods online in the six months ending April 2011. “A large portion of these sales [went] to overseas retailers or outlets outside the buyer’s local region. OurDeal’s launch in Geelong gives local businesses an online platform on which to compete quickly and easily. Group buying enhances the local commerce industry and encourages customers to deal with local businesses – the model is easy to use and simple to engage with. Ultimately it means the sales stay within the local Geelong region and satisfies consumers’ appetite for shopping online.” That appetite also extends to social media. Businesses running group buying deals should also consider their other online activities. “[For example,] to leverage a Scoopon deal for the maximum effect, businesses should set up
a Facebook and Twitter page before their Scoopon deal goes live,” says Jodie Auster. “Then they can continue to engage with their new customers long after the live deal has passed.”
the deals purchased within 10 -14 days of the offer going live. This means there is no upfront cost to business owners and it ensures they maintain cash flow as the vouchers are redeemed.”
One of the main messages from the industry is for businesses to understand group buying sites are more of an advertising venture than a revenue stream.
“Running a deal with LivingSocial is not a revenue raising exercise, it’s a new customer acquisition channel,” says Colin Fabig. “Merchants usually break even on every customer who walks through their door. Their job is to treat the customer like a queen (or king) and thereby convert them to lifetime repeat customers. Their profits, based on their great service, come when a proportion of these trial customers become repeat customers. Many merchants also cross-sell and upsell where practical.” The other major piece of advice from the industry is to make sure your company has the resources to cope with the extra business being part of a group buying deal can bring. Can you service hundreds of new customers without affecting the quality of service your existing customers have come to expect? “Group buying is a fantastic marketing tool for businesses to get a spike in sales and reach new customers,” says Jodie Auster. “However, to make it work for your business, you must ensure that you are prepared, resource wise. Before considering offering deals on a group buying website, businesses should first ensure that they have adequate levels of product and/ or the level of staff required to support the influx of hundreds of new customers that group buying sites provide.” Julian Holman says it’s important business owners are diligent in their research and explore the various sites available to ensure the greatest return on investment. Some companies offer a greater level of local knowledge and work with businesses to develop deals that work best for them. Another thing to look out for is commission taken by collective buying suppliers. “Each provider charges a variable commission rate for the deals offered. Businesses need to explore the options available and compare charges from each provider to make sure they are getting best value for money,” he says. “Payment methods for the deals purchased also vary between suppliers. On top of the commission, some collective buying sites also take a percentage of the money generated through total deals purchased. A handful of collective buying sites, such as OurDeal, don’t adopt this method and determine their commission rates on a case by case basis to ensure individual business needs are met. “Reputable providers will pay merchants for
Top 10 tips for businesses using daily deals sites 1. Understand it’s a promotional tool. It’s best not to treat daily deals websites as a revenue stream. Promotions are designed to bring in new customers and generate brand awareness. 2. Know the date the deal will go live. Daily deals sites can reserve the right to post your deal at any time, but staying in close contact with them can save you from any inconvenient surprises. 3. Know the full details of the deal and brief your staff. Don’t rush customers through – what you are seeking is return business. 4. Read the fine print. Understand your commission on each deal, and how and when it is paid to you. 5. In the first week, and especially on the first day, ensure your staff are briefed to take calls and make bookings. 6. Ensure you have the resources. Think about hiring additional staff to take bookings in the first three days, and prepare a script for them. This internal process is just as important as any external marketing. 7. Don’t let down your existing customers. Ensure you are prepared for the extra business. You need to provide the same high quality service to your existing customers. They will notice if you don’t. 8. Develop an ongoing strategy. Before the deal goes live, have a sales and marketing strategy in place to create loyalty and maximise repeat bookings. Don’t use daily deals in isolation. 9. Take ownership of the process: Make it work for you on your terms. Only take on what you can handle. 10. Track the success of your deal. Collect information on purchases new customers make beyond the deal. This will help you determine the success of the deal and whether you should do it again. (Source: Colin Fabig, LivingSocial)
The Retail Revolution It will surprise no one to hear that retailers are experiencing challenging times. It’s tough out there; with consumers still wary of spending and focused on saving as the aftershocks of the global financial crisis continue to be felt. Retailers across the board have seen their profits falling, but it’s not all bad news out there for the retail sector. Challenging times always bring opportunities for those bold enough to grasp them. Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said that while retailers weren’t counting on a big boost to flagging sales figures this Christmas, there was some good news, with a moderate year on year 2.2 per cent increase in spending being projected from mid-November to 24 December 2011. These projections have not taken into account the November and December interest rate cuts, which may bolster consumer confidence in the lead up to Christmas. “At least we are looking at an increase of around 2.2 per cent on last year across the board,” Russell said. “So that’s the first of the good news, because we’ve seen some pretty difficult figures over the previous four months, with some of those, year on year, have been negative, but overall we’re seeing an increase. “We are actually seeing some interesting increases in particular areas. If we look at things like household products, they are going to up 1.5 per cent over Australia and food is up about 3.4 per cent … ARA predictions indicate apparel and footwear sales could slump down 1.9 per cent lower than last year's festive trading period, department stores are also expected to drop by 1.5 per cent and hospitality by -0.8 per cent – but other retailing is up 4.2 per cent, and that’s the important figure because the other retailing does include the internet.” Russell said the ARA’s figures show that online retailing generates in the order of $36 billion in sales in Australia and makes up approximately 6 per cent of Australia’s total retail industry. “But what you have to look at in that internet retailing figure is that it’s really only about 2 per cent of that figure that’s heading off overseas; so 4 per cent of all retail sales are being made by retailers operating online in Australia. “When I go and talk to retailers like Bras N Things – and yes, it’s a bit interesting that a man is going in to talk to them at Bras N Things – but if I go and talk to retailers like that, they are telling me that their online store is doing as
COVER STORY good or better than their best bricks and mortar store. That tells me something, that shoppers aren’t necessarily looking for the cheapest price, but what they are looking for is ease and convenience and they love shopping with a retailer that is local or who has a presence in Australia. That doesn’t even mean they have to have a bricks and mortar retail outlet in Australia. People like Kogan are doing very well. Ruslan Kogan reports some fantastic figures moving up and he again is an online retailer.
many online shoppers looking to domestic online retailers.
“What all this tells us is that people like to sit in their own quiet space and time, often they will be watching TV – and the stats are that 60 per cent of us sit and watch television with a laptop or some kind of mobile computing device – and they will be Googling and if they see something they like they will buy it at that time because of the convenience of it. In the online retailing space, this is obviously what many consumers want. They are not necessarily driven by the cheapest price, they are driven by value for money, and there’s a big difference between value for money and the cheapest price.”
The high Aussie dollar is also having an impact. Retailers have seen their margins reduced as prices of many goods have fallen. Consumers
How we shop reflects how we live, and for those of us with busy working and/or family lives, being able to relax on the couch, find what we want or need, buy it and have it delivered to our door, is an undeniable convenience. And for those of you who also live with small people, you know all too well that shopping with kids is a small form of torture – best to be avoided if at all possible!
But while these are reasonably good times for online retailing, for many bricks and mortar retailers, trading conditions are less than favourable. “We do know that there is a consumer that is stretched out there,” Russell said. “We do know that they’re feeling the stress of mortgages, combined with increasing taxes and a soaring cost of living.”
It is interesting that so much of the discussion around retail performance centres on just a few factors. Interest rates and the dollar are obvious factors; the continuing aftershocks from the global financial crisis have also chipped away at consumer confidence. Then there are less easily definable factors. There is a strengthening undercurrent amongst consumers to move away from the mass consumerism of the past decade. People are not buying less simply because they can’t afford it, many are buying less because they want to reduce their environmental footprint. But these things are difficult to quantify in a sales performance report.
... People like to sit in their own quiet space and time, often they will be watching TV – and the stats are that 60 per cent of us sit and watch television with a laptop or some kind of mobile computing device – and they will be Googling and if they see something they like they will buy it at that time because of the convenience of it.
“A lot of people, when they’re buying online, want the security of knowing that they’re dealing with a recognised brand in Australia because they are covered by the ACL (Australian Consumer Law) law, so they know there will be a returns policy of some description and there’s a warranty protection. The sorts of things that happen with a bricks and mortar retailer are all going to be the same in that online space. They probably also feel a little more secure with giving their credit card details to an online Australian-based retailer than you do sending them to somewhere overseas – in the same way that all we know that, when we travel overseas, we have to be a lot more careful with our credit cards; the same thing applies online,” Russell said.
are the obvious winners in the price wars raging across stores, as not only have the price of products such as electrical goods fallen, but as Mr Zimmerman explained, the price of items such as clothing and footwear have remained stable.
You only need to receive a few dodgy online purchases from overseas – that are much smaller, much bigger, the wrong colour or just plain wrong – to start to question the wisdom of going being sucked in by the too good to be true prices. There are genuine bargains to be had online, particular with the dollar hovering above parity with the greenback, but factors such as shipping costs and delivery times and the difficulties of returning goods overseas (that’s if there is a returns policy) are seeing
“Products that are used in the production of clothing and footwear, particularly cotton, have escalated in price, but the escalation of the cotton price has been masked by the increases in the dollar, so consumers haven’t seen a great increase in the clothing prices. But we do know that the cost of labour is going up in China, as workers in China want a higher standard of level. Those costs we will probably see come through in future seasons,” Russell said.
While there are businesses that will fail, and many who will just survive, there will always be those that thrive in challenging times. Russell said good businesses are doing well. He added that retailers should be focused on looking after themselves, rather than waiting or hoping for governments to make the lives of retailers easier. “Great service is really important in this current market, and the other thing retailers should be looking to is to have a multi-channel presence, which these days can be as simple as running a Facebook page that lets your customers know about new products coming in. Being able to sell online is, I think, becoming more and more important and I think you need to look very carefully at your product list. Gone
are the days where you can just open a shop and expect the customers to come in and buy. Make sure you have the products the consumers in your market want and need.” What is happening in retail across the nation is also happening here in Geelong, with retailers that were not so long ago fighting back the crowds at this time of year, now waiting for the crowds to turn up. The Geelong Chamber of Commerce has launched two new initiatives aimed at supporting local retailers – the Geelong Retail Network and a retail businessmentoring program. The Geelong Retail Network is a new initiative that carries on from an initiative started by The Gordon to create a specific networking group for Geelong retailers. The new network has been formed under the auspices of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with The Gordon and key industry partners including VECCI and Central Geelong Marketing.
cheaper online. I think that is going to be a major shift in retailing. Not for every item, but certainly for items like shoes and clothing and books – look at what happened to the major bookstores. Now a lot of retailers are moving online as well. They might have a shop front, but they also might have an online presence as well. It’s a changing market. “There is a little bit of apathy out there, but I think that generally Geelong retailers and the people who retail out of Geelong are really quite good. Geelong is very competitive and it’s often said that if you can make it in Geelong, you can make it anywhere. If you open up a juice shop, sure as eggs there will be four or five juice shops opening up. If you open up a
Heading up the Network is John Sisley – a Director of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and Proprietor of New Vision Eyewear. “[The Network] is progressing well so far. We have around 120 retailers already involved, and we’ve had our first official meeting, but we can’t really do much now until after Christmas, but we will be getting our teeth into it in February for our next meeting. We will be inviting all Chamber retailers to come along and form our committee from there,” he said. John said the Network would advocate for local retail members, as it is backed by the strength of the 600 members of the Chamber of Commerce. The Network will also provide a forum for members to discuss any issues, share ideas, gain new insights into what is happening in the retail sectors across other areas of the country and overseas, and provide advice and feedback. One of the strengths of running a business in Geelong is that there is less of a closed book sense of secrecy amongst businesses – even competing businesses – than there is in larger business centres such as Melbourne. As the strength of Geelong Chamber of Commerce shows, and our city’s Chamber is one of the strongest in the country, business people in Geelong like to talk to each other and to know what’s going on around town outside of their own business. “I think there is the fear of the Carbon Tax out there at the moment and a fear of what is going to happen in the economy. Certainly utilities and the like are going up and people are tending to hang on to their money,” John said. “There seems to have been a shift in people’s buying habits. A lot of people are buying online. They might see a particular item in a shop, find out the price, then go and see if they can buy it
candle waxing shop there will be other people coming in opening up the same sort of shop. Once someone has an idea for something new, other people seem to catch on to that very quickly in Geelong, which makes it a very competitive market. “I think when people shop in Geelong, they are getting, generally speaking, good value. For example, take our lines here. We have spectacle frames here that are a lot cheaper than what they sell them in Melbourne, so there is a lot of value in Geelong,” John said. The Geelong Retail Network will also be focused on promoting retailing in Geelong outside of our city “It’s imperative that we promote Geelong outside of the region. The sidewalk sales already do that a little bit, and we always get people coming in not only Melbourne, but also from Colac, Horsham and regional Victoria. Geelong’s got a lot to offer,” John said. “I think [the Network] will give us a greater opportunity to look at issues that may be affecting retail and, hopefully, be able to advocate for change on those issues on behalf of the retailers,” he said. “Once we form the committee in February, then we really need to get our teeth into retailing – what affects retailing, what we can do to help retailing in
Geelong – and start to get our agendas up and running. “There are some retailers that are doing it bad and there are some retailers that are doing it good. I don’t think there’s anyone who’s doing it very, very good, and I think everyone’s just pulling in their horns a little bit. From my personal experience, a lot of people are finding it difficult. This should be Geelong’s busiest time in retail, we should be kicking goals, but the amount of empty car spaces and just the amount of people in the shops indicates to me that people just aren’t out and about at the moment. Three or four weeks before Christmas, we should be absolutely flying and it’s just not happening at the moment. Whether or not we’re going to have that last rush, I don’t know,” John said. “People are still spending, of course, but not the big spends that we’ve been used to in the past. Up to a few years ago, at this time of the year you couldn’t get a car park in Geelong. That’s not the case now, and I don’t think it’s just Central Geelong either, I’ve been told that the big retailers out in Waurn Ponds and Corio aren’t doing as well as they expected either.” The Chamber is also piloting a unique business-mentoring program, supporting 20 local retailers in the lead-up to Christmas. Chamber Director, Paul Smart said, “Many small businesses are often too busy working in their business to take a little time out of their day to work on their business. Research has shown, however, that the most successful businesses are those that spend some time working on their business strategy and formulating a business plan.” Mentoring participant, Courtney Drever, Proprietor of Princess Polly in Malop Street added, “It’s exciting to be selected to be part of this program. I am really looking forward to learning some new business tips and implementing them into my business.” Under the pilot program, which is being supported by the Chamber together with the City of Greater Geelong, Central Geelong Marketing, Bendigo Bank, The Gordon, Geelong Community Telco and the Small Business Mentoring Service, participants are benefiting from a series of sessions with experienced business mentors, each with expertise in operating successful businesses. “That’s just another reason why I think if you are retailer, or any business in Geelong really, you’d have to be a member of the Chamber,” John said. “One person can look after one person’s battle, but if you have an issue and you’ve got the support of 600 or 700 businesspeople behind you, that’s powerful. So the stronger the Chamber becomes, the more we can represent the businesses of Geelong.” Davina Montgomery
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Festive season to remain a time of cheer With the end of another year fast approaching, the minds of small business owners are now turning to preparations for the Christmas and New Year period. Just as public holiday arrangements during this time last year caused confusion for employers, business will once again face the contentious issue of interpreting very complex legislation governing the public holiday entitlements of employees – and employers’ related obligations. Public Holidays are an entitlement that derives from two sources - the National Employment Standards prescribed by the Fair Work Act 2009; and from relevant state or territory-based legislation, as states and territories preserve the power to proclaim public holidays, despite the federal industrial relations powers. In Victoria, public holidays are prescribed by the Public Holidays Act 1993 and allows both additional and substitute days to be declared where certain public holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday – including Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. With Christmas Day falling on a Saturday this year, a substitute public holiday has been declared on Tuesday, 27 December as well an additional public holiday being declared on Monday, 2 January as New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday. The National Employment Standards define the substitute Christmas Day public holiday – Tuesday, December 27 2011 – as the only Christmas Day public holiday. However, some modern awards dictate that penalty rates or loadings must be paid for this year’s Christmas Day as well. Clearly, one of the issues for employers is confusion; modern awards are once again proving to be burdensome and unclear. However, employers may also face increased costs as a result of these inconsistencies.
Those employers, whose employees are not covered by an award that includes Christmas Day as a public holiday, will nonetheless have to pay much higher wages to secure employees on this day. The labour market will ensure this and employers understand this is the case, however the problem is that these same employers are then hit with penalty rates on the substitute public holiday, Tuesday, December 27. Employers in this situation face a ‘double whammy’ of increased costs. It is inconsistencies in legislation like this that harms the competitiveness of Victorian business and VECCI would like to see the Victorian Government make national harmonisation of public holidays a priority. In addition to public holiday obligations, this time of year also means employers have to be mindful of their responsibilities surrounding workplace end of year functions. The work end of year party is generally considered an extension of the workplace and therefore employers’ and employees’ obligations remain, ranging from OHS to Equal Opportunity and compliance. End of year functions or parties are a great way for organisations to celebrate staff achievements and share the joys of the season, but the mix of the festive spirit, party atmosphere and consumption of alcohol can lead to questionable behaviour and impaired judgement. Over the years there have been cases of WorkSafe ruling that employers are liable for incidents that happen at or following work functions. Employers also need to be wary about issues that may arise under Equal Opportunity legislation, such as sexual harassment or offensive behaviour in the form of inappropriate jokes, an ill thought out Christmas gift or other forms of inappropriate behaviour.
VECCI suggests the following actions for employers: -R eiterate your workplace policies with staff. -E nsure you are in a position to stop service if necessary and supply low or non-alcoholic beverages. -M ake sure you provide a way for people to get home safely. -M ake sure you serve plenty of food and make sure it’s served according to applicable food safety standards. -M ake sure someone monitors safety hazards at the venue. -R emind all staff about the standards of behaviour expected and the disciplinary consequences of failing to meet those standards. End of year parties and functions are a fantastic way to celebrate the year’s achievements, but it’s important for everyone to remember that they are extension of the workplace and the normal rules remain.
James Gulli VECCI Regional Manager South West region
Suspect behaviour doesn't justify dismissal A recent Fair Work Australia decision (Bergin & Bennett v Workforce Solutions (Qld) Pty Ltd) has awarded 2 employees over $50,000 compensation for being unfairly dismissed. Mr Bennett and Mr Bergin were both terminated after their employer discovered they had set up a company and a website, which their employer believed was in direct competition with the employer’s business. Bennett and Bergin maintained the company had been set up as a means of security, as both had concerns about their employer’s financial viability resulting from the Queensland floods. Bennett and Bergin were both terminated at a weekly sales meeting in front of fellow employees after Bennett denied the company existed. Bergin did not contradict Bennett’s response and his employment was also terminated. Although the employer did question Bennett and Bergin about the company at the meeting, it appears the employer had already decided to terminate Bennett and Bergin prior to the meeting. In ordinary circumstances, one would suppose creating a company to potentially compete with an employer’s business could be considered a valid reason for dismissal. (In this case, FWA did not accept that Bennett and Bergin were carrying on a business, and decided that they had merely registered a company). However, terminating Bennett and Bergin nevertheless was deemed to be unfair, largely due to the way in which they were terminated. The two major factors which made the termination unfair resulted from the meeting
which took place. The first is that Bennett and Bergin weren’t advised that the meeting would involve a discussion regarding their company or that it would result in their termination. Both were under the impression that the meeting was just an ordinary weekly sales meeting. As a result, neither Bennett nor Bergin were ready to respond to the employer’s questions, nor did either of them arrange for a support person to attend with them.
Mr Bennett and Mr Bergin were both terminated after their employer discovered they had set up a company and a website, which their employer believed was in direct competition with the employer’s business.
The second factor is that during the meeting Bennett and Bergin were terminated in front of all staff present at the meeting. This included administrative staff as well as operational staff. In addition to the above factors, the employer’s conduct at the FWA hearing may have contributed to the success of Bergin and Bennett’s claim. The following factors would have done little to persuade FWA to make an order in the employer’s favour: The individual who questioned Bennett and Bergin at the meeting, and who made the
decision to terminate Bennett and Bergin, did not give evidence at the hearing; and an investigation report that was prepared apparently showing that Bennett and Bergin had downloaded information from the company database regarding the employer’s customers, was not available at hearing, nor was it provided to FWA or the applicants. This case highlights the importance for employers to ensure they have proper procedures in place when terminating (or deciding to terminate) employees. It also indicates the need for employers to fully commit to FWA proceedings if an unfair dismissal claim is made and the employer chooses to defend it. Employers should ensure they seek legal advice prior to terminating employees, and ensure their existing termination, staff disciplinary and performance management procedures are reviewed by a lawyer with expertise in workplace relations.
Jim Rutherford, Principal and Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations and Criminal Law Monique Austerberry, Lawyer
Ten cash flow tips this Christmas Want Santa to fill your business stockings to the brim? Here are 10 tips to protect them from potential holes. Tip 1: Review your invoicing procedures.
Tip 8: Sign up for debtor finance so you
Are your invoices issued as goods are delivered?
can receive up to 80 percent of invoice values within 24 hours of issue. This gives your business immediate working capital in the bank. It also eliminates the need to offer debtor discounts for early settlement which can eat into your profit margins.
Tip 2: Update your cash flow projections to anticipate any Christmas shortfalls. Sales activity usually leaps 30 percent.
Tip 9: In January, most people will either be away or making a sluggish recovery from the festivities. Follow up outstanding invoices before Christmas, before your customers and their accounts departments are on holiday mode.
Tip 3: Review
your stock and supply chain. Bulk-buying may sound like a good way to shave a few cents off each unit, but have you calculated the costs of storage, insurance, shelf life and amount spent on the stock? Also, look into ways to tighten ship or check for old inventory you can move quickly.
Tip 4: Consider getting credit checks on new customers placing significant orders to ensure that they can pay.
Tip 10: Put
your feet up, relax and welcome the silly season!
terms offered by your suppliers and paying on the last day, or ask for discounts for earlier payment.
Tip 5: Monitor your increasing wage and supply costs. Make sure you have a plan to stay cash flow positive into the new year.
Tip 6: Maintain
your cash reserves by taking full advantage of the payment
Tip 7: Speed up payments by shortening your payment terms or offering incentives for your debtors to settle their accounts by the new year. Take note of which customers are usually slow to pay and chase them up promptly.
Readers should not act on the basis of this information as the contents are of a general nature and do not reflect individual circumstances. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation other than for the acts or omissions of financial services licensees. WHK Pty Ltd ABN 84 006 466 351
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Could China’s HR pain be your career gain? China’s rapidly expanding banking and financial services sectors are experiencing a severe talent squeeze as recruiters clamour to find appropriately skilled individuals, according to recruiting experts Hays. But language skills and cultural adaptability are just two of the criteria for any Australian professional thinking of relocating to take advantage of China’s high demand and short supply of finance professionals. In the latest Hays Journal, the recruiter notes that most employers in China report greater difficulty in securing talented banking candidates than a year ago. According to the eFinancialCareers China Talent Survey, 95 per cent of finance industry professionals report a skills shortage in the current market, with nearly three in ten (28 per cent) describing the situation as ‘chronic’.
skilled workers, with more people retiring than entering the workforce. Adding to the shrinking talent pool is the movement of people and business between the coastal megacities and the expanding cities of China’s vast interior, and multinational businesses are scaling up their workforces,” Ms Charnock said. “Also adding to the need for talent is Shanghai’s ambition to become an international financial hub to rival New York and London. Most in demand are candidates experienced in asset management and those with financial institution and limited liability company relationship management experience. Candidates with skills in financial analysis, financial modelling, asset management and loan servicing are also sought after.
“The shortage of talent is so acute because a number of major international players are looking to further expand their market presence in China,” said Emma Charnock, Regional Director of Hays in China and Hong Kong. “But there is a shortage of candidates with the necessary skills and experience to meet demand.
“Banks have been big recruiters in the second tier cities, as they steadily increase their presence after the Chinese government relaxed foreign banking regulations. Banks are expanding their retail banking operations, corporate banking, trade finance and corporate loan products, while several heavy-weight banking institutions have moved their back offices from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore to China.
“Of course profound demographic changes in China are also fuelling the huge demand for
“Given the talent shortage, foreign professionals are well received by multinational companies
for senior management and executive level positions to ensure the organisation is run the same way as in the head office. However most companies tend to hire and train local talent for middle management roles.” If you are a banking professional interested in relocating to China, Hays has this advice: - Gain language skills: Ten or twenty years ago, an expat with strong experience or technical skill-sets could easily secure a senior position in a multinational company in China. But in today’s market more foreign candidates speak Mandarin and so, generally speaking, candidates are required to be fluent in both English and Mandarin. For some senior management roles, fluent English plus conversational mandarin is fine. For some senior finance technology positions, where talent is very difficult to find, Mandarin is not a requirement and the skill-set is instead the priority. - English CV: A CV in Mandarin is not a necessity when applying for a role with a foreign bank in China. - Understand the culture: Among foreign candidates with similar educational and professional backgrounds, companies prefer those who have some study or work experience in China, as they can adapt to the working environment easier and have a good understanding of culture difference, people behaviour and business tradition. In addition, be mindful of the differences in values, cultural beliefs, skills, education and background that vary between cities and provinces. - Transfer: Your simplest route into the Chinese market is often through an internal transfer with your existing company, so join a multinational with a presence in China if you have aspirations to work in China in the future. - Location: Speak to your recruiter about where the opportunities exist. Faster career paths are often available in second tier cities. - Interviews: The recruitment timeframe is often longer in China and the interview is normally conducted in both English and Mandarin, although it depends on the line manager’s preference. - Overcome stability concerns: Expect to be asked questions about your stability and long term plans to stay in China.
Hays, the world's leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.
I have a fear of retail … I have a pathological fear of retail. I can tolerate it for 30 minutes, or at most 45 minutes, but beyond that I begin to think about booking in a meeting with a tax accountant or a dentist for a friendly check-up just in case. I wouldn’t have a problem with my fear except my wife is a sport shopper. In fact, she has been nominated to the Master Card hall of fame and uses aluminium credit cards because they are more resistive to melt down than the plastic variety. But we have been married for so long that we have this system that she has invented. It goes like this: when I tow her along to a boat show, or a hardware emporium or two, she then invokes the big goosy gander thing, so I have to submit to at least 10 shops. I know it is crazy, but it is all in the name of marital harmony. You know that it is not spending time with her, nor is it the going from one end of town to the other that is the issue. In fact, I don’t even mind when she gets with her friends and the planning begins to look like an Everest expedition, complete with stertorous breathing in two part harmony as they layout the assault in the retail battle field; no, it is the boredom. It is almost as if I am suffering anomie, the total loss of identity. I get the picture that most retail is aimed at girls and not boys, but it is the personality vacuum that gets me. Most retail amorphises and depersonalise their victims. Let’s all wear green this year, green is soooooo Now! Sorry, green may have been last year, I am not that sure any more. Hey! Can you remember the 1984 Apple commercial or the more recent Old Spice commercials? Where has the courage to break out and stand for something gone? I fear retail because most of it is so shockingly boring - one shop after another of the same old #$%* (please add your own expletive in there). Did I tell how my wife was nominated for a shopping Logie and has a black belt in consumerism? Well we have shopped in Vancouver, Miami, Rome and many places in between. All boring! There are the those little trendy shops that are unique, just like every other unique trendy shop, and then there are the big stores that have rack upon rack of clothes that vary in some token pattern or the colour is one nanometre different in wavelength. Yes! I am a little shopping robot and I will buy your goods… Like, No! When everything is some current camouflage that blends in with the rest of this year’s fashion the designs become a commodity, and always in a commodity market, there is a strong sensitivity to price. In a price sensitive market, the lowest cost manufacturer always wins.
Did I tell how my wife was nominated for a shopping Logie and has a black belt in consumerism? Well we have shopped in Vancouver, Miami, Rome and many places in between. All boring! There are the those little trendy shops that are unique, just like every other unique trendy shop, and then there are the big stores that have rack upon rack of clothes that vary in some token pattern or the colour is one nanometre different in wavelength. Yes! I am a little shopping robot and I will buy your goods… Like, No!
Enter China stage left: China is smiling and saying “Thank you”. Of course we are giving our retail away to China. They deserve it, as they are just a lot smarter at reading the trends than us.
aisle for twenty minutes for no reason whatsoever, so why would I want help? By all means help me, but don’t push these boring garments that are “Same, Same, only different”.
You may call me boring and annoying and you will get no argument for me, but ask yourself: “Self, when was the last time that I was excited by shopping?” Think deeply, because at times it is not the shopping that is attractive, but the social connectedness that is motivating us. The joy of meeting friends and having a coffee and then trying on 8 different outfits at 8 different stores and then purchasing from an online retail outlet in the end.
Okay! I get it that by now you are sick of me standing on my soapbox, and you aren’t reading this article to hear a rant; you want something different. I have found two shopping experiences this year that I found fantastic; the first was the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Turkey is not often thought of as a retail capital, but I had a wonderful experience in the Grand Bazaar. Can you imagine 3,500 shops tossed into one huge building? The shops were arranged in streets of jewellers, and pashminas and musical instruments and thousands of other goods. When there are so many shops in close proximity, there is a need to standout. Trying to copy the next shop is a losing strategy.
I even think that service is a parody; come up to me and smile nicely, or in the young person’s version – pause the SMS-ing and give 7.9 seconds of eye contact – “May I help you?” Of course not, I have been standing in this damn
The retailers were all proud of their products, which were priced so competitively that you didn’t need to haggle, but of course you would haggle. It surprised me that in this supercompetitive environment they just stopped at prayer time and people just left their shops; doors open and went and joined their fellows in ceremony. What a fantastic place just to be; so honest and trusting and such a variety of exotic things. The other impressive experience - I wrote about earlier in the year, so I won’t go into details, but I fell in love with it - was the Apple store in Fort Lauderdale. It was so busy and vibrant and for a small store and they had hundreds of patrons. This was not one of those super launch days, just an ordinary Apple day. In the front of the store were 20 or 30 patrons getting a free lesson on some Apple software buy the computer and get the instruction for free, now that is a novel idea. Think about it, if the customers know how to get the best out of your product, they are going to recommend it and probably up-date frequently. In another corner were a few technicians installing software – again as a free service. The quicker the customer is up and running with their computer, then the happier they will be. Hey! Did you have a breakdown (that is the computer kind, not the normal response to retail kind), let’s not send it away to get investigated – surprise, let’s fix it on the spot! This was retail as a strategic advantage. I could have spent hours in there. Actually, I did spend hours in there. And I want to go back. Actually, when I think about it, I love retail. I just hate being bored! Clint Jennings Australian Business Development Centre www.abdc.com.au
Adams Court, Eastern Park Gardens, East Geelong P: (03) 5226 2121 E: email@example.com www.gcc.net.au
Philanthropy is alive and well in Geelong
Pictured from L-R: Andrew Lawson, Val Lawrence, Michael Martinez and Ed Coppe, Sarah Oliff and Bert Fagg, Michelle Synot and Barry Fagg.
The Geelong Community Foundation (GCF) was launched on December 24, 2000 and is just coming to the end of its eleventh year of operation. As there has been some significant news from the Foundation over recent months, we spoke recently to an upbeat Andrew Lawson, the Community Foundation Executive Officer, about the Foundation, the latest developments, and what the Foundation has planned for 2012.
The 2011 News 1. A very significant milestone was achieved in June this year with the Foundation announcing for the first time, grants totalling $500,000 for the year. 2. In September, Leigh Wallace joined the Foundation in the role of Development Manager. Leigh and Andrew are both part-timers and between them make up one full-time employee at the Foundation. Details about Leigh are published in the “Appointments Section” of this edition of GBN and suffice to say, Andrew is very pleased to have Leigh working with him to develop the Foundation further. 3. In November, the Foundation recorded the 51st Named Fund when Darryn Lyons made the GCF his charity of choice to receive a £50,000 donation (approximately $80,000) as part of his fee from his very successful
participation in the UK’s Channel 5 “Celebrity Big Brother” television show. Darryn made it through 22 days locked up in the Big Brother House and finished sixth overall in the show. 4. In the last two weeks of November, the Foundation was the recipient of $80,000 raised through the very successful Adroit Insurance Group Golf Day held at 13th Beach Golf Links at Barwon Heads. 5. In addition there has been in excess of $50,000 donated to existing named funds.
The Foundation’s Core Purpose The Foundation exists to make a lasting difference to people in our Geelong Region. The Foundation encourages individuals, families, corporations and other organisations to make donations to assist in meeting unmet community needs, both now and into the future. These donations are retained as capital by the Foundation to build a perpetual and substantial fund for philanthropic purposes, with the income earned each year on the capital being used to make local community grants. The GCF is able to be the “Philanthropic Partner” to those donors who wish to engage in philanthropy in our region. Also the GCF engages with other Trusts, as
well as State and Federal Governments, to supplement local funds for projects and programmes in our region. The Foundation: - Invests the funds prudently to achieve fund growth and income returns. -M akes grants for the long-term benefit of our community and evaluates the effectiveness of grants. -P rovides a simple, cost effective way to make a substantial donation to our community. -M aintains high professional standards, service and transparency to the community. The Foundation is endorsed by the Australian Tax Office as a Charity and donations to the Gift Fund are tax deductible. The Foundation is exempt from tax. The Foundation is set up to serve the Surfcoast Shire, Borough of Queenscliffe, southern half of the Golden Plains Shire and the City of Greater Geelong.
The Statistics The Foundation received a very good start in life with a gift of $2,000,000 from the late Ken Stott. Since this initial gift, there have been many further donations to the general fund as well as the significant growth of funds through the 51 Named Funds now in place.
Over the eleven years of operation, the Foundation has made grants totalling approximately $2.5 million to charitable organisations serving people across our region. In June 2011, the Foundation reached the milestone of $500,000 in grants being made in one year, gifted to 30 organisations working in the region. The capital value of the Foundation today is approximately $12.5 million.
A Donor’s Perspective A donor who operates a very successful business in Geelong and prefers a degree of anonymity with his philanthropic work has a fund in the Foundation. He explains that he and his family have supported many causes over the years and their interests cover not only the areas involved with health and human services but also surf lifesaving and education. Their options were to continue making small charitable donations and not necessarily see the outcomes of their gifts, or to start a Private Ancillary Fund (PAF) which would have needed a capital sum of around $400,000 to get started. However as a PAF, the requirements of finding suitable grant applications, making appropriate allocations, complying with government regulations and then following up on the outcomes can be time-consuming. Now, through their Fund in the Foundation, this donor can build their
donations to the Foundation as part of a large pool. They can “Donor Advise” regarding their areas of interest in grant making if they choose, and the grant size can be larger and more effective than their individual fund may be able to provide. They are able to join with many people in our community who are keen to put back into the community. They receive feedback on grants made and the results of their support through the Foundation. They are also able to recognise a footprint from the gifts they have made, while their perpetual fund will continue working for the community good long after they have passed on.
The History Formed as an initiative of United Way Geelong (now Give Where You Live), the Foundation was founded on the principle of adding value to the Greater Geelong community. It is carefully managed to ensure it does not erode the support given to local health and human service agencies through Give Where You Live (GWYL). While GWYL raises funds annually for distribution to charities, the Geelong Community Foundation holds gifts made to the Foundation with the income earned each year on the capital being distributed as grants. The Foundation provides grants to organisations in the health and human services sectors as well as those working in the areas of the
arts, environment and medical research.
How You Can Become Involved Donors are encouraged to make their gifts in a number of ways. They can make a general donation or start a Named Fund in the Foundation, with the income being available to meet a wide range of charitable purpose grants to meet community needs. Donors who start a Named Fund can indicate a Donor Preference for the particular charity or class of charitable work that they favour, such as health, aged care, the disadvantaged, disabled, education, research or the arts. Donations made to the Foundation are tax deductible to the donor and can be in the form of cash, shares and/or property. An alternative is for supporters to make a gift as a bequest in their will. Gifts can be recognised by name if the donor wishes or they can be made anonymously. If you would like to donate or obtain more information, please contact: Leigh Wallace on 5244 7811 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrew Lawson on 5222 3775 Email: email@example.com By mail to: PO Box 1, Geelong, Victoria 3220
Aussie-first cardiac surgery in Geelong The Geelong Hospital became the first health service to implant a new bio-absorbable patch used to correct heart defects in patients last month.
“This new device is potentially suitable for most types of heart defects – or holes in the heart – and represents a useful addition to the tools available to us in this field.
Developed in Europe the Transcatheter Patch is the only device for heart defect correction that is made without wires. The patch is inserted through a minimally invasive procedure – where a tube is inserted into the heart, and the patch put in place by inflating a small balloon. One of the real advantages of this procedure is that the patch disappears over time and is replaced by natural tissue.
“UP to one in 100 people are born with a heart defect, and many of these may not be discovered until they reach adulthood,” A/Prof Black said.
The introduction of the patch presents an alternative to open heart surgery, which can be riskier for patients and involves a longer stay in hospital.
According to an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, written by the Transcatheter Patch inventor, Dr Sideris, the patch has proven to be an effective treatment for high-risk patients – particular those patients with atrial fibrillation (rapid and uneven heartbeat that often results in poor blood flow to the body) at risk of having a stroke.
The developer of the patch, Greek-based Dr Eleftherios Sideris, flew to Australia to oversee the implantation procedure at the hospital. A specialist from Sydney was also in the theatre to observe the procedure. The patch is deployed by balloon inflation after being positioned using x-rays and ultrasound. Barwon Health’s Director of Cardiology, Associate Professor Sandy Black, said the new patch presents exciting opportunities for patients. “Previously available devices are not suitable for all patients needing this type of procedure, and some patients would have had to undergo open heart surgery to correct the defect,” A/ Prof Black said.
Top: A/Prof Sandy Black of Barwon Health inspects the patch before surgery. Above: A/Prof Sandy Black with Dr Sideris, the developer of the device.
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Transition to state-based franchising laws? The South Australian Government has been provided with additional governing powers over franchises operating in the State following the passing of the Small Business Commissioner Act 2011 in October.
the SBC and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The ACCC currently govern any contraventions to the Code nationally. The SBC has the power to impose a maximum fine of $20,000.
The Act will be relevant to any franchise operating in South Australia and allows the State to establish and operate the Office of Small Business Commissioner (SBC). The SBC will have the powers to request from franchisors any information it may require for future investigations.
The Act adopts the Code as its governing rules. The South Australian Government is required to undertake a sixty day mandatory consultation period with relevant stakeholders in instances where it wishes to adopt differing industry codes implemented by the ACCC.
Such investigations will be made where there are reasonable grounds to believe a possible contravention of the Franchising Code of Conduct. For franchisors, this will mean any contraventions in compliance of the Code could lead to investigations and penalties from both
Tom White Commercial Partner, Coulter Roache Lawyers
In the event this consultation period does not occur, a disallowance motion would be put forward rebutting the amendment. Interestingly, the Western Australian parliament scrapped the Franchising Bill 2010 (WA) before its third reading. Victoria has also enacted legislation similar to the Act, however it only provides for the investigation of possible breaches of the Code, rather than imposing penalties. It appears that there is a shift in the regulation of franchising from being a nation based Code policed by the ACCC to being governed by the States and Territories. This shift is being opposed by Australian franchising bodies on the basis that a national regulatory system is easier to implement and maintain and has fewer compliance costs for both franchisees and franchisors. With the introduction of the Act, franchisors should be aware of the implications it may have on their franchising operations.
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Retirement Matters reflective of just how much the world is changing for today’s youth – the retirees of the future. As the retirement age increases, and benefits once promised only to the working youth are extended to working seniors, it’s entirely possible that some of us will never stop working.
How do you want to live after you retire? We live fast-paced high input, high output lifestyles these days, so much so that too often we don’t take the time to look to our post-working lives, if indeed you ever plan to retire, and there are plenty of people who don’t. Regardless of whether you dream of overseas travel, caravanning adventures, lots of time with the grandkids or a busy semi-retirement, the issue of having enough money to live comfortably on for our ever-increasing old age is a big one in Australia. What does this mean? It means we all need to give a lot of thought to planning retirement assets, and it means there is going to be a lot of work for our country’s financial services businesses. That is why the clever minds at Burningpants.com put together a retirement special, and we enjoyed it so much, along with Adam Creichton’s spirited response to the November announcement of raising to Superannuation Guarantee to 12 per cent, that we decided to share it all with you. After all, once the presents have been opened and the last the Christmas cake and leftover ham digested, there should be a few lazy days for mulling over the more serious sides of life …
Advice Opportunity The Australian Government’s decision to abolish the age limit for the Superannuation
Guarantee (SG) is a win for working women and older Australians, but also a stark reality check that the ‘retirement dream’ is a vastly different concept from what it was 50 years ago.
Right now, Baby Boomers make up just over one quarter of the labour force (27.73%), however by 2026, they will make up just 5.37%. By 2031, some 18.6% of the working population will be Baby Boomer Retirees. This is more than any other generation ever observed that will be retired, and if you incorporate the Generation X’s, who will hit retirement age in 2031 but could start retiring before then, that’s more than 20% of the workforce.
The average superannuation balance for females is just $128,598 – almost half the average balance for males ($233,961), according to research by CoreData.
Advisers have been focusing on the older demographic for some time, with Boomers making up more than two-fifths of advisers’ client bases, and pre-Boomers accounting for around one-fifth. The SG increase will only increase the attractiveness of retirement coffers, however the growing opportunity in the Gen X and Y markets should not be ignored either.
Some 53.0% of women who are mothers say they feel disadvantaged in terms of the super they have been able to save as a result of having to cut down or stop working to raise their children.
Gen X is forecast to reduce from 29.2% of the working population today to just 21.4% in 2031, while Generation Y will increase from 25.9% of the labour force today to almost onethird (31.09%) in 20 years’ time.
Earlier this year, some 49.0% said they would like more flexibility to ‘catch up’ on their super contributions, a wish that has now been granted. In November, Bill Shorten, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, announced that the SG Age Limit would be abolished from 1 July, 2013. Currently, the SG only applies to people under 70 years of age. He also announced a rise in SG from 9% of employees’ salary to 12%. The relaxation of the rules around SG will allow women greater opportunity to save for their retirement, regardless of whether their careers are punctuated. However, the changes are also
One of the sharp intellects at the Australian think tank, the Centre for Independent Studies, Adam Creichton, is not quite so enthusiastic about the raising of the SG, as he wrote in this piece:
Super changes are unnecessary paternalism The Gillard Government last week introduced legislation to lift the superannuation guarantee to 12% by 1 July 2019. ‘Around 8.4 million Australians will have their superannuation
RETIREMENT SPECIAL savings boosted,’ it claims, presenting, as usual, the benefits as manna from heaven. It neglects to say who is going to pay for the increased savings. 'In fact, businesses will be lumbered with extra costs until they can defray them by reining in their employees’ wage growth. Ultimately, superannuation funds will commandeer more of workers’ wages. ' 'In today’s dollars, if the 12% increase eventuates, workers on median incomes of $47,000 a year will be eventually forced to contribute an extra $1,410 a year to their superannuation accounts. Their total annual contribution will jump by 33% to $5,640 a year. "That means less take-home pay. After tax, it’s a reduction of almost $19 a week. That might mean renting instead of buying a home and certainly lower utility during workers’ more active years. "As the Henry Review into Australia’s tax system pointed out, workers on lower incomes, especially those living in the pricey State capitals, cannot easily offset the compulsory increase in saving by reducing any voluntary saving. "So it’s hard to see how increasing superannuation is a win for ‘adequacy and fairness," as the Government claims. "In fact, increasing the superannuation guarantee deliberately curtails the range of choices Australian workers can make. A higher compulsory rate might lift retirement incomes in the future, but nothing is stopping workers from making an additional 3% superannuation contribution now if they wish. "Some people might not save ‘enough,’ others will save ‘too much.’ In a free society, that is natural. The old age pension still provides a safety net to all those who make the ‘wrong’ choices while working. Increasing the compulsory rate might be warranted if it meant smaller government, lower taxes, and a more responsible citizenry. But the cost of the tax concessions provided to
superannuation contributions far outweighs the reduction in age pension outlays, even in the long run. That means other taxes will have to be raised to balance the Budget. Increasing the superannuation is wholly paternalistic. That it nevertheless garners so much support is testament to the wide range of vested interest groups who benefit from it and the tendentious way it is presented to voters. Adam Creighton is a Research Fellow in the Economics Program at The Centre for Independent Studies.
Retirement Adequacy With all the volatility in the markets lately, it’s little wonder that people are worried about their retirement. While two in five people (40.6%) say they are likely to meet their retirement income needs, a further two in five (39.1%) say they are unlikely to do so. But what’s more interesting is that despite their concern, more than half of Australians admit they’re not doing enough to save adequately for their retirement. So why not?
The overwhelming majority would like their super fund to provide them with advice and guidance (84.9%), suggesting that communication around retirement is becoming ever more critical for superannuation funds. Similarly, information and advice is a strong retention and consolidation driver. When asked what their super fund could do to encourage them to continue making contributions and/or retain their funds with them, one-third of respondents with dormant super accounts wanted their dormant fund to provide information that was simple and easy to understand (31.0%). Further, high quality advice and guidance from funds may help provide direction to the substantial proportion of people who admit they are not doing enough to save adequately for their retirement.
Working Late I’m going to start this article with some numbers, but stick with me on this – I think you’ll it find potentially riveting – especially if you are working in the field of retirement.
The Government has released a raft of super reform targeted at enhancing Australia’s superannuation system since the inception of the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) more than 20 years ago. The reforms include MySuper, SuperStream and other changes surrounding self-managed super and governance. CoreData’s Dormant Members research reveals that nearly three in five people (58.0%) admit they are not doing enough to save adequately for their retirement – a concern given that more than half did not feel they had the required level of wealth to finance their retirement (53.7%). I am not doing enough to save adequately for my retirement …
According to the United Nations, on October 31 at 11am to be precise, the world reached a population of 7 billion souls. What’s interesting about this isn’t that the world population grows at about 2 people every second, or that that we will likely pass through a target of 8 billion in 2025, but that in Western nations the fertility rate is actually falling. Take a minute to think about that. In the nations which, at least for us, characterise the way of the world - countries like America, England, Australia and Western Europe – the number of babies being born isn’t matching the number of people who are dying. That means, according to the good people at The Economist Intelligence Unit and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, that by 2015, the population pyramid in Australia will invert as the effects of the baby boom and low birth rate move through the system.
It seems that the fastest growing segment of Westerners isn’t the young, but the 80 year olds, and the second fastest is the 65 year olds. This is really bad news for a few areas of the world, like the youth travel market, the sale of soft drinks and the people who are in the business of selling nappies – but it’s really good news for people who sell things that older people need, like health care, like retirement services and banking.
with the net number of people retiring in Australia, your book needs to grow in number at or about 9% a year and the second is that there will be a whole new set of products, legislation and changes to retirement that need to be dealt with.
Let’s be clear – this really is an issue for Australia. If, as predicted, the resources boom lasts another 50 years, we will have to be a net importer of workers; unless agriculture undergoes some sort of technical revolution, we will need to be a net importer of workers; and unless we suddenly find a new source of smart finance people, you guessed it – we will have to find a new source of workers.
Right now the average Australian retires at 57, however in the main this isn’t something that they will choose to do; they retire because of ill health or because they lose their job. There is little doubt that retiring from ill health will slow as medical technology improves – but the drive for getting rid of people because they are old, will change. The solution to this, according to the politicians, is a more flexible retirement. With the idea of being able to earn a wage and draw a part pension, we will have unleashed an army of people aged between 60 and 70 working two or three days a week. But the research flies in the face of this. Most of the people that we talk to at CoreData who are putting off retirement aren’t doing it because they are in love with work; they are doing it because they can’t fund the retirement that they want – so for employees, the concept of a portfolio career is a moot one. What is also tough about this is that retiring people because they are old isn’t really why people are shuffled off, according to the EIU research which interviewed several hundred CEO’s, they are shuffled off because they are expensive, unproductive and out of fresh ideas. So it seems that businesses, if they are to make this true, will need a whole new deal in employing this army of older workers. What does this mean to financial planning? Two critical things; the first is that just to keep up
Based on the well-known and accepted lifecycle theory, Siegel established a possible scenario between asset returns and age, called the Asset Meltdown Hypothesis (AMH). It sounds a bit dramatic, but the question is a very simple one: The words “Sell? Sell to whom?” might haunt the Baby Boomers in the next century. Who are the buyers of the trillions of dollars of boomer assets? It would be easy to dismiss any link between age or demographic changes to asset returns. However, we often read column pieces on the property market in terms of demand and supply affecting returns in that segment of the investment market. Doomsday prophets such as Harry Dent often argue that Australia’s property bubble is set to burst due to demographic changes. But just how grounded in reality are links between asset returns and demographics? What can the empirical evidence attest to?
What this means for financial services isn’t perfectly clear and we will discuss that more later – but what is perfectly clear is that there will not be a shortage of demand for financial services providers. Why this is slightly confusing is that the early signs are that the nature of retirement will change – not so much because people will want to change it, but the demands of lifestyle and industry will change it for people.
shifted to the impact on health and retirement pensions, and the sustainability of such – given current policy. Tucked away somewhere in the superannuation debate is the potential causal link between financial asset returns and age.
Photo by John Pryke
The issue with this is that very few retirement service providers are actively embracing the change in demographics and many of the product sets, sales channels and distribution networks aren’t set up to cope with the change. For example – businesses will have to move from customer acquisition mode to customer management mode, as the net number of newly created customers for the market shrinks. Market share growth will come from churn or poaching customers – not from new product offers – and being good at this will predicate the success of your business. The skills you need will change; you will need to be great at capital preservation and de-accumulation (known in the real world as spending) and you will have to get used to working with old people.
Asset Meltdown? Demographic pressures on retirement savings has been a hot topic in Australia since the 1990s, where the impact of retiring Baby Boomers on various aspects of the economy have often led to dire predictions. Initially, the fear was on the productive capacity of an ageing population. The debate has now
Theoretical models produce, via simulation and calibration, results that suggest a modest impact on asset values and returns. A comprehensive study by James Porteba of MIT in 2004 found that the correlation between asset returns on stocks, bonds, or bills, and the age structure of the US population over the last 70 years, is statistically weak at its best. His result was based on 70 years of data, and therefore could be assumed to be fairly robust. Italian scholars, Brunetti and Torricelli, explored the issue in the context of Italy. Italy is somewhat a unique sample, as it already in the midst of a booming ageing population. If evidence of a link between age and demography is to be found, it would be there. In contrast to Porteba, Brunetti and Torricelli find evidence largely in line with the AMH. The greater the proportion of elderly people, the lower the equity returns, whilst fixed income security returns pick up. The results are robust even in the presence of various other financial and economic ratios. So why are the US and Italy different? Comparing differences in economies is always problematic, but strictly speaking in demographic terms, the two countries have substantially different dependency ratios. More importantly, what do the results potentially mean for Australia? The dependency ratio is used to measure the pressure on the productive population of a country. As the ratio increases there is an increased burden on the productive part of the
RETIREMENT SPECIAL population to maintain pensions of the economically dependent. As is evident in the graph below, Italy’s ratio is far above that for the US. Australia’s ratio is largely in line with the US. Given the high dependency ratios in Italy, it is not surprising that demographic pressures have a strong impact on asset returns. The data presented below is from the United Nation and projects the dependency ratios out to 2030. By 2030, both Australia and the US will have ratios commensurate with what Italy has had in the past decade. Assuming the AMH and the life cycle theory hold, by 2030 we shouldn’t be surprised if we start witnessing flatter equity returns and increased fixed income returns, as in Italy. With the superannuation guarantee increase in Australia from 9% to 12% set to become legislation, the underlying impact of age should also be taken into consideration – and the possible impact on the future wealth of younger Australians.
Just when you thought there was a lot to think about retirement planning in Australia, comes this thoughtful piece on the ability of Britain’s youth to plan for their retirement … that mining boom is looking pretty good right now!
Britain’s Youthful Challenge Retirement is the last thing on your mind when you’re young, especially if you’re young and
unemployed. However, the literal definition of retirement requires a preceding period – prolonged usually – of gainful employment. Re·tire·ment 1. T he action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work. 2. T he period of one’s life after leaving one’s job and ceasing to work. Yet for the one million young Britons struggling to wedge their feet in the door of any workplace, the notion of retirement is indeed very removed from their present reality. The quandary of youth unemployment across the United Kingdom has been top of the political agenda over there for the past 12 months. 2011 has seen youth unemployment across the UK hit its highest level in 17 years. The jobless rate stands at 8.1%, with experts predicting that youth unemployment will continue to rise. In December 2011, CoreData Research UK sets out a study into the youth debt burden. The UK arm of the group will examine the drivers preventing a growing number of youngsters from advancing and being able to save for their futures.
However, with many young people likely to face a longer period of indebtedness during their formative working years, not to mention higher costs of living, their ability to save – for things such as a mortgage deposit – are likely to be stifled. Taking on debt later in life (in the form of a mortgage, for example) will push the period out when large numbers of individuals would have historically begun moving at full speed towards their saving goals. This suggests many may have to work longer, while the moves by many governments to increase the retirement age are likely become non-arguments anyway, as large swathes of people accept working longer voluntarily. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate that governments’ abilities (and for some their disinclination) to subsidise the cost of living for their respective citizens in later life will be significantly reduced by a variety of factors mainly, too few people of working age (regardless of whether that’s 65, 66 or 67!) and too many people who have stopped paying taxes.
As part of the study the analysis will scrutinise high levels of unemployment regionally, the growing competition for graduate jobs and the rising costs of university fees as potential factors to this.
The current sad point however in the UK, is not that there are too few people of working age, but that anaemic growth means too few people of working age are in fact doing just that. Saving is only possible if there is something to save.
Beyond this, the National Employer Savings Trust and auto-enrolment are being introduced in a bid to aid lower paid (therein read younger) workers to begin the process of saving and moving towards self-sufficiency in later years.
With the exception of Adam Creichton’s piece from the Centre for Independent Studies, these articles are the products of the insightful minds at Burningpants.com. Burningpants is a product of CoreData.
Wishing you all a very M and a Safe
Kiro Kids Family ChiropraCtiC Dr Neil Davies founded the Kiro Kids group of family chiropractic clinics. Dr Davies is internationally recognised for his work in chiropractic Pediatrics. The technique used by Kiro Kids practitioners is called the Neurolmpulse Protocol, a highly specific and very gentle procedure developed by Dr Neil Davies and taught by him in countries all over the world. It is a very low force adjusting method which is leading the
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way in the chiropractic world. Kiro Kids provides services to people of all age groups from newborn to the elderly. All Kiro Kids chiropractors are dedicated practitioners who provide gentle, safe, accurate and effective care to the whole family. You can trust Kiro Kids staff to treat you with dignity and respect in an atmosphere of friendliness and clinical excellence.
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AGB wishes Geelong and Beyond a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We look forward to enrolling you in the New Year. Christmas Closure Times Closed 5pm, 21st December - Reopen 9am, 9 th January 2012 AGB Human Resources: 241 Moorabool Street, Geelong Transport and Logistics Training Centre: 23-25 Albert Street, Moolap
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Merry Christmas afe & Happy New Year Coulter roaChe laWyers
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The Partners and staff at Coulter Roache Lawyers would like to wish all of our clients and businesses of Geelong a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. The firm will be closed from 1pm Thursday 22nd December and will reopen Wednesday 28th December 2011. Please note we will also be closed on Monday 2nd January for the New Year’s Day Public Holiday.
WestField GeelonG A Westfield Gift Card is the ideal corporate gift for Christmas. Staff, customers and clients will enjoy selecting their own reward from one of our many stores, and you’ll benefit by ‘getting it right’ every time. Plus this Christmas your business has the chance to win a $500 Westfield Gift Card! For every $100 you spend on Westfield Gift Cards you’ll receive one entry into the draw.
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A Westfield Gift Card is valid for 12 months and loved by over 6,000 stores in Westfield centres across Australia and available at any value between $10 and $995. Phone Sandra Campbell on 5215 4011 to purchase your corporate Westfield Gift Cards. *Competition is open to new and existing corporate clients
only. Entries close Wednesday 21 December 2011. For full competition details visit westfield.com.au/geelong
Change the world, one light at a time Replacing traditional lighting with LED lamps stands to reduce Australia’s annual carbon emissions by millions of tonnes per year, so why haven’t all commercial buildings already made the switch? Most people will have some insight into LightEmitting Diode (LED) lighting generally through recreational usage such as bicycle lights, garden lights and torches. However, in the commercial arena, fluorescent lighting is the most common source of lighting around the world. Adam Dragic, CEO of Clean Energy Systems Australia believes that LED lighting needs to be widely used in commercial settings by 2013. “Medium to Large companies are not only looking at the long term cost savings of investing in renewable products, but also how they can show their support and leadership in the environmental space. This is a holistic approach and demonstrates a company’s commitment to the environment. It is the issue of waste that is another major factor in the race to covert to LED lighting as a whole. With increasing concern about the effects of global warming and the replacement of billions of incandescent and florescent bulbs, LED’s will play an important part in reducing overall power consumption.”
Why is LED lighting not installed everywhere? There are several perceived barriers to the widespread installation of LED lighting in commercial settings. Tony Zareie, Sales Director at Clean Energy Systems Australia says, “Commonly, when I visit customers to inform them of the benefits of retrofitting their current lamps with LED, I initially get 3 common questions. 1. Do you actually have LED lights that can replace what I have in my building? 2. I hear the upfront costs can be high and 3. How long do they last? My response is simple – we have the biggest range, the best products and all my customers lamps pay themselves off generally within the first 12-18 months.”
Range Clean Energy Systems have the biggest range of LED lights in Australia and rarely come across a lamp that we can’t replace.
Upfront Costs Why wait? Start saving today by installing LED lamps in your office. Most of our customers have their investment returned within 12-18 months of installation. Your Accountant will be smiling from ear to ear.
Longevity 50,000 hours. That’s right - 50,000 hours. With an expected life span like this, you can say goodbye to continually calling out your electrician to climb ladders to replace the never ending stream of lamps that die.
How is the technology improving? Technology in LED has come a long way in recent years. It’s a common misconception that LED lamps change colour or die after a few months. In most cases, the problem lies when in-experienced people try to replace lights themselves. Adam Vivelis, Product Manager at Clean Energy Systems had this to say: “A lot of behind the scenes work goes into making the customer experience a great experience. We painstakingly review existing lamps, review wattages then arrange for an experienced electrician to check the fittings and current components prior to install. A common problem we find is that people will buy from the internet the wrong or incomplete product. Driver, ballasts, transformers etc.. if you don’t understand these, then chances are you may install the wrong component leading to a short LED lifespan. This is where we add the most value for our customers.”
Seasonâ€™s salutations Another year gone and the celebratory season is just around the corner, or perhaps for you it has started already. The season brings Christmas parties galore and in general our intake of food and alcohol is set to rise sharply. Obviously, this is no time for dieting and AFDâ€™s (or alcohol free days, as theyâ€™re known) may not be an option. The season consists of catching up with family and friends over roasted meats and barbecues. So, importantly, what are we going to drink?
The summer months - and for some the winter months also - can involve a high consumption of beer. Generic beers are fine, but the trend for highly crafted micro brewed beers has grown of late and grabbing a mixed six-pack might be a better option than a slab of something made by the mega brewers. These beers are naturally brewed and may spare the head (and liver) ache the next day. Weâ€™ve covered beer, so what to drink now? On Christmas morning in my house, we would drink a Moscato. Slightly sweet and with low alcohol, usually around 5 per cent, itâ€™s a great way to start without going too hard too soon. Slightly fizzy Moscato is lush and has a slight raisin flavour that is quite refreshing. When itâ€™s time for some serious drinking, I love sparkling reds. This is our nationâ€™s true Aussie wine - made here first and now taking off around the world. Made from Grenache, Shiraz and even Durif, they often are sweetened with a little port. Served chilled on a hot day, it can be drunk anytime though the meal. Great with roast turkey or lamb, but equally fine with a slice of plum pudding or fruit mince pie. Seafood dishes feature heavily at my Christmas gatherings. We often do a whole snapper or salmon. We always start however with the traditional pile of prawns marinated in olive oil and garlic then cooked on the barbecue (my mouth is watering just thinking about them). A fresh Riesling is my wine of choice, although many would prefer a Sauvignon Blanc.
A mate of mine whoâ€™s a chef was telling me about a dish he made called â€œTuduckenâ€?. Itâ€™s turkey, duck and chicken all in one dish. It sounds like some mythical creature, but brings me to the subject of what to drink with poultry dishes. I adore turkey and cranberry and you would think white wine would be an obvious choice. A big buttery Chardonnay would handle the bold flavours, but I prefer a Pinot Noir. A very versatile variety that will match perfectly with a few slices of leg ham also. Remember, Geelong Pinotâ€™s are the best! Lastly, we donâ€™t have a better opportunity to drink some of the great fortified wines than at Christmas. Tawnyâ€™s, Topaques (formerly Tokay) and Muscat style wines are perfect with Christmas cakes and puddings. They come in small bottles and are the perfect way to finish off a meal. You can even chill them and pour it over ice cream if you dare. Have a happy and safe Christmas and New Year and I look forward to sharing more wine adventures next year. Adrian Marchiaro When not immersed in his work as Winemaker's Assistant and jack-of-all-trades at the award-winning Witchmount Winery, Adrian presents wine tasting evenings at Lamby's Restaurant + Bar [check on renaming of Lambys to Black Sheep CafĂŠ?]
*Editorâ€™s note: please help ensure this is a merry time of year for everyone by drinking responsibly this festive season and taking extra care on our roads.
eVeRY FRIDaY FROM 5pm
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Head In The Cloud Geelong’s big business, and many small to medium ones as well, have in-house computer servers to handle their pc applications, email and data storage. There was a time when this was the only way to manage data, but that’s not the preferred option nowadays.
Heard of the cloud? According to Wikipedia ‘Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby resources, software, and information are provided to computers - like the electricity grid over the Internet.’ Australian tech expert, Jason McClintock, is at the forefront of getting organisations into The Cloud. IT managers that have been chiefly concerned with privacy and data sovereignty are turning to McLintock’s company, Jasco, to understand how Cloud services could help their companies. The Cloud is ideally suited to withstanding data corruption and/or loss, improving Web uptime and maintaining privacy, particularly from hackers. Think about it; a Cloud fortress with state-of-the-art virus protection and multiple backup sites worldwide are a good deal safer than your lone server in the office. The best part though is that you no longer have to shell out hard earned cash for expensive IT hardware and software - and that’s a significant benefit. So if you have any lingering doubts about how safe your data is, just know that all the banks and most of Australia’s top 100 companies are resting easy with their data in The Cloud… Mine is too.
Apple inventor The United States Patent and Trademark Office in Virginia have put together a new exhibit honouring Steve Jobs the inventor. The row of iPhone-like monoliths display the more than 300 of Steve Jobs’ patents that David Kappos of the Trademark Office says provides, “a striking example of the importance intellectual property plays in the global marketplace”. Needless to say, Steve Jobs had the uncanny knack of understanding what people wanted from technology and delivered it with style.
Polaroid are back Polaroid instant photos dead and buried? Hardly. The new digital Z340 gives you 14 megapixel stills and puts out 25 prints at 7.6 x 10.1 cm and 75 digital images on a single charge and uses the company’s ZINK Printing Technology. You can crop, pick fancy borders and decide whether to save your favorites to an onboard SD card or just print them instantly. The Z340 is now available from Polaroid, Amazon and other select retailers for around $350.
Just plug it in After years of acquiring heaps of gadgets, wouldn’t you like a unified way to use them all? That mythical central hub doesn’t exist yet, but hopefully that will soon change. Norway’s brightest are working on a device codenamed Cotton Candy; a USB/HDMI hub that can connect to nearly anything that’s got a display. Inside is a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 and quad-core ARM Mali-400MP GPU that can handle 1080p video, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth v2.1 and microSD card storage, expandable up to 64GB. Plug it into a laptop or desktop and you can use it as a thin-layer client to access your personal cloud, or via HDMI into a HD TV to be controlled using Bluetooth peripherals, smart phones and tablets as well as being able to conduct presentations, access media content and surf the web without ties. FXI is working to get the devices into stores in the second half of next year, the expected cost being around $200.
When one Sim isn’t enough This handset case isn’t the first to bring dual-SIM capability to the iPhone 4, but it’s certainly the best looking. Not yet released, the Voom 2 consists of an extra battery pack and an unlocked SIM slot. All you need to do is download Vooma’s customised app to your jailbroken iPhone 4 or 4S, strap on the Peel PG92 and insert your spare SIM card into the case. Once that’s taken care of, you’ll be able to place calls via the app and external SIM, using a dialer interface that’s only slightly different from what Apple offers. No pricing yet but you can sign up on Voom’s website.
Free upgrade NAVIGON has launched the second generation of its awardwinning iPhone navigation app, NAVIGON 2.0 for iPhone. The new version includes an in-app purchase option for quarterly map updates and a very simple and intuitive user interface. The new user interface allows easy switching between different pages with animated menus and new multi-touch user gestures. It is now possible to access the start screen during navigation to enter a new address without having to first stop the current route.
Browser Wars Like Paul McCartney’s famous song, it’s been a long and winding road for Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s web browser. For over a decade Explorer has been the browser of choice for most of us. According to Net Marketshare’s latest numbers however, Explorer has just under half of the world’s total web traffic (mobile and desktop combined) – seven years ago they had 95 per cent of the browsing market. The decline is at least partially due to a rise in mobile web browsing and a spreading Google Chrome user base. Microsoft still has a 52.63 per cent desktop market share, which gives it a sizable lead over the competition from Firefox (23 per cent), Chrome (18 per cent), and Safari (five per cent).
Nest egg Speaking of Apple, two former leading engineers, Tony Fadell, from Apple’s iPod division, and lead engineer Matt Rogers, have been designing a home control thermostat dubbed the Nest. Apart from being the most stylish looking thermostat to ever be seen on your living room wall, it promises the kind of intelligence you’d expect from former Apple designers. You should be able to get your hands on one early next year, but if you can’t wait till then head on over to www.nest.com.
A colonial master reveals region’s beauty Biography – Nicholas Chevalier Nicholas Chevalier (1828–1902) was one of Australia’s foremost colonial artists. Born in Russia, he studied in Switzerland, Germany, England and Italy before arriving in Melbourne on Christmas Day, 1854. Chevalier quickly established a reputation as one of the colony’s leading artists. He travelled extensively throughout Victoria, capturing in oils many subjects not previously seen by European artists. Chevalier helped establish the Victorian Society for Fine Arts in 1857, which, among other achievements, campaigned successfully for the founding of the National Gallery.
Nicholas Chevalier -Looking toward Mount Kosciuszko from Doolins Plain at Tom Groggin 1866 oil on canvas - Private collection Courtesy Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne Geelong Gallery is delighted to present Nicholas Chevalier – Australian odyssey, the first comprehensive survey of Australian work by the Russian-born Swiss artist Nicholas Chevalier – arguably Victoria’s most successful and popular artist of the 1860s. The exhibition features fifty oil paintings (many never before publicly exhibited), a range of expedition drawings and sketches, as well as a complete collection of Chevalier’s lithographic works. Chevalier's paintings, that record the changing spectacle of the Victorian landscape from the Grampians to Gippsland, were often created in his studio from sketches made while accompanying scientists and explorers on expeditions, making the paintings as important for their historical as much as for their artistic value. On occasion, Chevalier undertook these expeditions with fellow artist Eugène von Guérard - a figure well represented in the Geelong Gallery permanent collection with works such as the iconic View of Geelong (1856). Geelong Gallery Director, Geoffrey Edwards, said that the Gallery prides itself on featuring works of art that relate the story of the wider Geelong region and of pioneering enterprise – both within the permanent collection and in touring exhibitions such as Australian odyssey. “Chevalier’s tour of the Western District resulted in many of his most celebrated works that record the magnificent views and pristine scenery of some of our region’s most popular tourist spots including Apollo Bay and Cape
Otway,” Mr Edwards said. “Waterfall on the Parker’s River (1862), depicting an area six kilometres east of Cape Otway, is one of Chevalier’s most spectacular works, not only on account of its ambitious scale, but also because it marked Chevalier’s rise to public prominence.” Reviews in 1862 praised the painting’s ‘beautiful luxuriant vegetation (as) characteristic of the splendid scenery of our western shores’, and noted it as ‘a work that stamps its author as one fit to compete in the foremost ranks of contemporary landscape art’.
Chevalier was best known as a landscape painter but his accomplishments were wide and varied. He pioneered the use of lithography in Australia, in particular ‘chromo’ or coloured lithography. In 1865 he published an album of twelve chromo-lithographs of Victorian scenery, which enabled fine art to be widely accessible. Chevalier remained in Australia until March 1869, when he joined Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, on his Royal Tour through the Pacific region. Chevalier eventually became a court painter to Queen Victoria on his return to London. Nicholas Chevalier - Australian odyssey is a Gippsland Art Gallery travelling exhibition on show at Geelong Gallery until 12 February 2012. Entry to the Gallery is free and the Geelong Gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm, closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
This was a turning point in the career of an artist who had previously struggled to find a market for his Australian subjects amongst homesick European colonists, newly resident in Victoria. Chevalier was a pioneer and adventurer as much as he was an artist. As well as producing some of the earliest and most ambitious oil paintings of Australian scenery, he also successfully made a living attracting commissions for paintings of pastoral homesteads. He also introduced Australians to chromo-lithography – a reproductive process that made affordable copies of his oil paintings available to a wide clientele. The exhibition was officially opened by Mr Markus Meli, Consul General of Switzerland, Sydney. The Geelong Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Australia and the Swiss Consulate General in Sydney.
Nicholas Chevalier -Self portrait 1857 oil on cardboard Art Gallery of New South Wales Bequest of Mrs Nicholas Chevalier 1919
A lively GPAC season for 2012 GPAC has unveiled a fantastic lineup of theatre performances for 2012, featuring big name stars of stage and screen.
university as a whole has come on board, providing generous support for the entire theatre season,” Ms Smith said.
Multi-talented performer and musician Eddie Perfect hosted the launch of GPAC’s 2012 Alcoa Theatre Season in partnership with Deakin University before an eager audience of theatre lovers in the Playhouse Theatre in early December.
Deakin’s important contribution has resulted in a joint naming rights arrangement, with the season to be known as GPAC’s 2012 Alcoa Theatre Season in partnership with Deakin University.
The star-studded event featured performers including Miriam Margolyes, known to fans of the Harry Potter movies as Professor Sprout, as well as Australian actress Helen Morse, wellknown for film and television roles including the iconic Picnic at Hanging Rock, as well as Broadway’s Tony Award-nominated director, Stephen Lloyd Helper. GPAC’s general manager, Jill Smith, said she was extremely proud of the 2012 program, which includes nine productions from Australia’s best companies. “The calibre of productions and performers we have assembled is just fantastic,” Ms Smith said. The season will be off to an exceptional start, celebrating 200 years of Charles Dickens. The magnificent Miriam Margolyes will portray 23 of his finest characters in Dickens’ Women. The remarkable Helen Morse will explore the mystery of memory in a heart-wrenching new dance/drama production Sundowner, while one of Australia’s most loved actors, Colin Friels, will lead the cast in Belvoir’s Death of a Salesman, a Victorian exclusive. The season finale will feature Rachael Beck and Jessica Rowe celebrating one of the world’s greatest music theatre artists in Side By Side By Sondheim. Completing the nine-show season will be the feel-good dance production Syncopation; an office comedy Stop. Rewind; an intriguing Australian drama in The Flood; hilarious comedy with Biddies; and an award-winning play about wartime photojournalists, Bare Witness. Ms Smith said GPAC was able to offer such a high standard of theatre productions due largely to the generous support of corporate sponsors. “I am pleased to announced that GPAC has secured new support in 2012, with Deakin University, GHD and City of Greater Geelong joining the theatre season,” she announced. “Deakin already has a close relationship with GPAC through its Faculty of Arts and Education, which has been a greatly valued show sponsor in recent years. However, this year, the
Deakin University Vice Chancellor Professor, Jane den Hollander, said that the university was delighted to be sponsoring the performing arts in Geelong and regional Victoria. “Our performing arts courses have been developed in close consultation with the industry and we see this sponsorship as an investment in the future of our performing arts students,” she said.
Another new supporter, GHD, has come on board as a show sponsor. The company was project manager for the $3 million refurbishment of the Playhouse Theatre in 2010, for which it won a 2010 Victorian Project Management Achievement Award. Ms Smith said it was pleasing to see the relationship with GHD continuing through the theatre season sponsorship. “In these turbulent economic times it is heartening to have increased support from the corporate world. We are proud to add Deakin and GHD to our list of supporters. These businesses make it possible for Geelong audiences to see truly world class performers and shows without having to travel to Melbourne.”
Our thanks to big-hearted businesses BacLinks, a division of Karingal, would like to thank all the many businesses that have generously contributed to their community through events and projects we have coordinated – you have helped us to make a real difference.
CEO GMHBA; Peter Dorling, Executive Director, Committee for Geelong; and Daryl Starkey, CEO Karingal - did a wonderful job in assisting us to build on the BacLinks Business Network.
In this tough financial time, many community organisations are struggling to adequately provide their important services to community members in need. Each business contribution to a project or event facilitated by BacLinks ensures that a community organisation attains a goal that otherwise may not have been achievable. Sheree Holdsworth, BacLinks Manager says, “Businesses are also doing it tough, but are still digging deep to support their community through various contributions such as employee volunteering, donations of goods and services, or by sharing their knowledge and resources with the community. All these things can and do make a difference”.
Ford employees leant a much-needed hand in the kitchen at Salvation Army’s Northside Centre have a fun but challenging day out in the company of employee volunteers from local businesses. These events were made possible through the generous support of Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation; Geelong Manufacturing Council; Gforce Employment Solutions; GMHBA Health Insurance; GP Association of Geelong; Harwood Andrews Lawyers; Karingal Training; MatchWorks; Mercure Geelong; Myer; Powercor Australia; Shell; PRD Nationwide; St John of God Pathology/Pathcare; Target; The Gordon; Telstra Country Wide and Transcend.
Second Bite provides an integral service in our community and Alcoa employees helped out with the sorting and distribution of food to those in need. BacLinks would like to thank our Premier Partners: Alcoa, City of Greater Geelong, GMHBA Health Insurance and the Rotary Club of Highton; Premier Supporters Barefoot Media, K Rock/Bay FM and GPAC; and all of our many business members and other businesses who have contributed to our community and supported us with the work we do. Highlights have included events such as the Girls’ Big Day Out, where young girls were given an opportunity to try a trade for a day; the ‘Y’Chef Cooking Challenge for VET in Schools Hospitality students; the Journey to Work project that assisted a number of young girls to better prepare for employment; the ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry’ Mental Health Forum; GMHBA ‘Project Pamper’ Geelong and Warrnambool that treated people affected by cancer to a wonderful night of retail therapy; and two Workplace Big Day Out events, which provided an opportunity for people with disabilities to
Community organisations seeking specific support have had the opportunity to access our extensive business network with many of them successfully realising their support requests. Altogether 33 projects and events were completed, including building projects, garden makeovers; food preparation; revegetation works; social support for isolated members of our community, as well as specialised services, goods, facilities, equipment and material aid. Throughout the year, BacLinks has kept business members informed of the realities faced daily by some of our community members at the 730 Breakfasts, with guests Rob McHenry and Anna Brown from Leisure Networks and Jon Mamonski, Bravehearts Victoria, speaking about the important work they do in the community and the type of support they need to meet client needs and remain sustainable. As part of educating business on how to best contribute to community, leaders in business Michael Wasley, MatchWorks General Manager and Christine Mawson, Company Director, Community Veracity - shared their expertise and understanding of the mutual benefits of supporting community at the breakfasts. And ‘Leader 2 Leader’ Ambassadors - Mark Valena,
The following BacLinks business members have all supported the program to continue its work in the community and made significant contributions to the many projects and events undertaken this year: Adcell Group; Adroit Insurance Group; Adventure Park; Alcoa Australia; Allabout Tours & Travel; Barefoot Media; Barwon Water; Bendigo Bank; Buxton Real Estate; City of Greater Geelong; Commonwealth Bank; Community Veracity; Corio Shopping Centre; Coulter Roache Lawyers; CSIRO - AAHL; Dzign Diezel Group; Evologic Technologies; Ford; Francis Fabrics; Gartland Real Estate; Geelong Manufacturing Council; Gforce Employment Solutions; GMHBA; GPAC; Harrison Place; Harwood Andrews Lawyers; Karingal Training; Kingman Consulting; K Rock/Bay FM; L.Bisinella Development P/L; LBW Accountants; MatchWorks; Mercure; Morton Dunn Architects; Patrick Rowan & Associates; Powercor; Principle Focus; PRD Nationwide; Rotary Club Highton; Shell; St John of God Pathology; TAC; Telstra Country Wide; Tuckers Funeral Services; VicWest Community Telco; Village Cinemas; Westpac Bank; Whyte Just & Moore Lawyers; Wightons Lawyers.
GMHBA’s ‘Project Pamper’ treated people affected by cancer to a night out of retail therapy
On behalf of BacLinks, Karingal and our community we sincerely thank each and every one of you for your support and wish you and your families a very happy, safe Christmas and New Year. To find out how you can get involved contact BacLinks on 5249 8989 or visit our website www.baclinks.org.au.
COMMUNITY NEWS Schools targeting cyberbullying Ceres Primary School and Bellaire Primary School are among the first in the state to sign up to the Victorian Coalition Government funded $10.5 million eSmart cyberbullying program. eSmart is a cybersafety program created by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and will be available to every government school across the state and 300 Catholic and independent schools over the next four years. So far, 290 Victorian government schools and 108 Catholic and independent schools have registered to be part of the program.
Patrick Rowan & Associates recently held a ladies Christmas Celebration at Sailors’ Rest for their clients and friends. Guest presenter, Karen Curnow, told the story of how she miraculously escaped the 2009 Black Saturday bush fires. Karen lost everything in the fires, yet chose not to be a victim, but to accept the change in her life and move forward to live her ‘unlived’ life. Karen has shared her story in her book, The Flipside of Misfortune, A Journey Through Change in Challenging Times. All proceeds of the event have been donated to charity including the Geelong Advertiser Adopt a Family appeal, Christchurch meals program and Animal Aid.
Beware of asbestos this reno season Asbestos Awareness Week was a timely reminder of the dangers of exposure to asbestos in the lead up the tradition DIY period of the summer holidays. This year, the City of Greater Geelong urged homeowners, handymen and renovators to learn about the dangers of working with asbestos. Many people may unknowingly be putting their health and the health of their children, and neighbours at risk because they don’t really understand the dangers of working with asbestos or know where it might be found in and around their home.
“I’d like to congratulate the two schools in the South Barwon area, which have joined 400 schools across Victoria in becoming the first to register for eSmart,” Member for South Barwon, Andrew Katos said. “This shows just how serious these schools are about stamping out bullying and creating safe places where students can learn and support each other.” The Victorian Government will provide schools in the South Barwon area with $2000 each to help them implement eSmart. Education Minister, Martin Dixon said he was confident eSmart would provide students with practical tips about behaving safely and appropriately online. “Students today spend a lot of time the cyber world, so it’s important they are provided with the tools they need to stay safe in that space,” Mr Katos said. eSmart teaches students about protecting themselves from risks including cyberbullying and sexting, and also about the importance of protecting their own privacy. The Alannah and Madeline Foundation worked with the RMIT School of Education and other education experts over three years to develop the school resource.
A ladies Christmas celebration
Exposure to asbestos is extremely dangerous due to its friability. Inhalation or ingestion of these friable particles can lead to several life threatening illnesses, including Asbestosis and Mesothelioma. Infrastructure portfolio holder, Cr Andy Richards, urged residents to take all precautions. “If you are renovating a house built before the late 1980s you need to be aware of asbestos. Asbestos may be present in materials such as vinyl floor tiles, cement roof sheeting and wall lining. In general, asbestos in building material isn't risky unless the material is damaged or deteriorated which can easily happen during building works. “Loosely-bound asbestos should only be removed by a licensed professional, as the health risks associated with handling this type of material are far greater than for firmly-bound asbestos. “Please don’t take any risks when it comes to asbestos. If you’re not sure whether your home or workplace contains asbestos, treat it as if it does and contact a licensed asbestos removalist.” Drysdale Landfill accepts small domestic quantities (no larger than six by four trailer) of asbestos. Plastic or steam pipes should be placed under the load to so that it can slide off the trailer. Material needs to be double wrapped in black builders plastic and double taped with grey duct tape.
Above: Cr Barb Abley, Gayle Tierney MP with Bernadette Uzelac from the Geelong Chamber of Commerce
The depositor must be able to remove wrapped material without breaking. Contact the Drysdale Landfill on 5251 2935 to make the appointment one hour before arrival and be aware that material cannot be accepted after 3.00pm.
Intel and Acer insights on the Waterfront Executives from some of Geelongâ€™s major businesses and organisations attended Barwon Computer Solutionsâ€™ INTELACER Perspectives event at the 4 Points Sheraton on the Waterfront last month. Colin Purkis of INTEL and Harry Boyadjian of Acer provided technology updates on future technologies and initiatives, and local Geelong-based companies represented over 50,000 IT users globally. Photos by Terry Broun Jr
Above: Donna-Maree Demasi (Pathways); David Parker & Diana Murase (Kardinia College) show off the goodies they won
Above: Markus Schwaiger Barwon Computer Solutions
Above: David Parker; Markus Schwaiger; Diana Murase
Above: Harry Boyadjian from Acer demonstrated the latest technology
Above: Colin Purkis (Intel)
A parless day of charitable golfing The 11th Adroit Charity Golf day was played at 13th Beach Golf Links on Tuesday November 12. 156 players in 39 teams competed for the “Meatball Cup” which was won by Paul Malishev’s Malishev Prestige Homes Team. The Cup is named in honour of the late Graham Page, a past Director of Adroit Insurance Group. Overall, the day raised $80,000, which was presented to the Chairman of the Geelong Community Foundation, Val Lawrence. In accepting this wonderful gift, Val thanked Adroit for their great support from the Golf Day. TV personality, Rob Gaylard hosted the event in his usual entertaining style and conducted the fundraising auction with very spirited bidding for the excellent donated items on offer. Andrew Locke, Adroit IG Group managing Director noted that the golf day has now raised in excess of $500,000 over the past 10 years.
Above: Adroit staff Suzanne Cameron; John Skidmore Sarah Marsden; Robyn Nesbit & Andrew Lawson (Geelong Community Foundation)
Above: Mariesa Annand & Jess Carter from Telstra
Above: Allianz Team 2 Rohan Hutchinson; John Fendyk; Jacky Lee; Jason Forrest
Above: Quiksilver's Dean Goodear; Michael Fuller; David Nock; Andrew Bruenjes; Milton Sceney
Above: Le Parisien Restaurant & Wharf Shed Cafe owner's Jean Paul & Lorraine Temple
The day Ita came to town ..... She has inspired countless thousands of people in not only how to lead, but how to lead well, and last month, Ita Buttrose shared her wisdom, wit and media war stories with a 500-strong crowd at the annual Leaders for Geelong leadership breakfast. Leaders for Geelong Program Director, Jean Paul, said she was thrilled to have Ita involved in the program and the breakfast was a great opportunity for Geelong’s emerging business and community leaders. “Ita Buttrose is one of Australia’s most inspiring and successful women, and there is much our region’s future leaders can learn from her,” she said. Jean said that while Ita Buttrose certainly has impressive businesses credentials, she is also a committed contributor to the community. In recognition of this, Ita received an Officer of the Order of Australia for her services to the community, most particularly in the field of public health education when she spearheaded Australia's HIV/AIDS Education Program. “Her involvement as National President of Alzheimer’s Australia and as Patron of the Macular Degeneration Foundation are recent shining examples of a her commitment to giving back to the community,” Jean said. “In a region like Geelong, where community is so important to everything we do, Ita stands as a great role model for our future community and business leaders.”
Below: Genevieve Crowl and mum Judy; Ros and Michael Betts
Jean Paul (Leaders for Geelong program director) with special guest speaker Ita Buttrose
Barwon Community Leaders Group
Liz Winning wins a copy of Ita's book
Mo's at Work Movember It was a gathering of some of the finest moustachioed gentlemen from around our fair city, as the Mo’s At Work Movember fundraising campaign concluded with an evening of celebration at the Wool Exchange Hotel. The inaugural Mo’s At Work campaign brought together 201 members through 18 teams from across the city – including soccer and basketball teams, guys from 13th Beach, local schools and the Gentlemen of Geelong. Collectively the teams raised approximately $40,000 for Movember, so there was plenty to celebrate as team members, supporters, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas gathered to farewell Moustache Season. The highlight of the evening, fittingly, was the Mo Parade, with the gentlemen showing off their carefully groomed masterpiece under the scrutiny of Best Mo judges, Tom Betts from Movember and Nat from the Wool Exchange. Taking out the coveted title of finest moustache went to Greg Haynes, with hearty congratulations to all who participated. Above: Pat Hoey (GYP) Guest speakers Jennifer Adams & Kendall McDowell; Mel O'Shanassy (GYP); Jay Burke (GYP) Di Dahm (Chamber of Commerce)
Photos by Terry Broun Jr
Above: Mo-Bros congregate for a worthy cause Above: Best Mo of the night went to Greg Haynes
Above: Julie Churchill & Emmaleine Savio getting in on the Mo act
Above: Mo-Bros in the Movember parade
AFTER HOURS Until 26th February 2012 It's a jungle in here!!! Do you know your Hoary Sunray from your Delma Impar? Find out what lies beneath the pavers in your back garden and experience life from an ant’s perspective with this summer’s blockbuster exhibition from the National Wool Museum. Amazing Backyard Adventures comes fresh as a daisy from Melbourne’s Scienceworks, where it has been wowing kids of all ages for the last five months. This hands-on exhibition, which is part of the National Wool Museum’s Summer of Discovery season, features 18 interactive exhibits and touch screen games which explore the unseen science in our backyards. Highlights include a magnificent ride-on nectar-collecting bee, dress-ups, a garden shed, a food web pond and an electronic giant pumpkin vegetable garden. From garden biodiversity, to the mechanics of play equipment and the physics of the tool shed, Amazing Backyard Adventures allows visitors to get onboard with science in the most thrilling and accessible way.
Photo courtesy: © Scitech Perth
Amazing Backyard Adventures will be at the National Wool Museum Geelong until 26th February (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
Carols at Osborne Park - Twilight family carols on the lawns of Osborne House... Where: Osborne Park, Swinburne Street, North Geelong. Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au
Portarlington Mussel Festival – A full day of family activities, and food and wine from the Bellarine Peninsula.
31 December The Pier Festival – festival, dusk fireworks and midnight fireworks to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Where: Waterfront Geelong. Details: www.thepiergeelong.com.au
1 – 11 January Commonwealth Bank Australian Country Cricket Championships Geelong 2012 - The Championships are to be held in Geelong. Featuring the best State and Territory, country-based, representative cricket teams and an invitational South East Asian team, as well as a feature match between an Australian Country XI and Australian Cricketers Association All Stars teams.
02 January 2012 Amy’s Ride – Ride with cycling elite to remember Amy Gillett and raise funds for road safety. Where: Eastern Park and Bellarine Peninsula. Details: www.amygillett.org.au
6 – 8 January Geelong Summer Rock Festival – 3-day Rock and Roll Festival with guest artists Darryl Cotton and Wendy Stapleton, classic car display and more. Where: White Eagle House, Felmongers Road, Breakwater. Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au
7 January Ocean Grove Tranquility Fair – Where: Ocean Grove Park, Presidents Avenue, Ocean Grove. Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au
9 - 23 January Twilight Cinemas – Cinema under the stars in Portarlington, every Mondy from 9 to 23 January. Where: Portarlington Recreation Reserve. Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au
10 - 11 January Blues Boot Camp Workshop – the Sleepy Hollows Blues Club with the assistance of the CoGG presents Blues Boot Camp. Where: Potato Shed, Peninsula Drive, Drysdale. Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au
26 January Suicide Awareness Walk – Where: Johnstone Park, Geelong. Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au
26 January Australia Day Children’s Free Fun Day – Celebrate Australia Day with family fun organised by the Geelong Australia Day Committee. Where: Rippleside Park. Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au
26 – 29 January Festival of Sails - The Waterfront Festival will again feature over 60 acts across three stages, over 80 stall holders and great food and wine, all along the Geelong Waterfront and Royal Geelong Yacht Club, as well as over 400 yachts racing in both Melbourne and Geelong. Where: Geelong Waterfront. Details: www.festivalofsails.com.au
28 - 29 January WH Pincott 131st Barwon Regatta - A rowing regatta for all classes of boats with entries from Clubs and Schools from all over Victoria. Where: Barwon River, Geelong, race finish at Moorabool Street Bridge. Details: www.rowingvictoria.asn.au Corio Model Railway Club Annual Exhibition. Where: Geelong West Town Hall. Details: www.geelongaustralia.com.au
5 February Music in the Gardens - Ricketty Bridge is appearing for the first time at the popular Music in the Gardens event. Enjoy a picnic with family and friends or purchase refreshements from our Teahouse to make a memorable evening. Ricketty Bridge has performed all over Australia. Where: Geelong Botanic Gardens. Details: www.friendsgbg.com.au
10 – 11 February Shakespeare in the Vines – Much Ado About Nothing. Shows commence at 7pm both evenings, with gates open from 5pm. Tickets are $40 Show Only or $65 Show & Hamper, and are only available through GPAC. Where: Leura Park Estate, Drysdale. Details: www.leuraparkestate.com.au
To publicise your event in GBN’s What’s On in February email: email@example.com
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