Monthly Archives: August 2016

Warrandyte junior footy teams chase flags

LOCALS are urged to put a few hours aside this Sunday to lend their support to two Warrandyte Junior Football Club teams who have made it through to the grand final in the Yarra Junior Football League.

The two teams are the Under 14s (above, celebrating a recent victory) and the Under 15s (below), who both will play at Victoria Park Lower at 12.30pm and 2.45pm respectively, which means the Red & White army of supporters can set up camp at the one venue and watch the two Grand Finals in a row.

Both teams have not only made the big dance, but are red-hot favourites and had the luxury of a weekend off after smashing victories last Sunday week.

The U15s finished their year second on the ladder with an impressive nine wins from 14 matches. They came into their semi final full of confidence after winning their last three matches of the season.

In the first week of the finals the Bloods travelled to Bundoora, who finished on top of the ladder, only losing four matches all year. Our boys dished out an impressive performance and gave the home team a lesson as they smashed Bundoora 14.14.98 d 5.4.34. The win meant the U15s could progress straight to the Grand Final and have a week off.

bloods 15s

Eugene Hanson, coach of the U15s, spoke passionately about how the boys were ready to go and had the potential (playing at their best) to win the Grand Final but had to learn to control their emotions.

“I told them don’t think about the game itself, it’s very important to make the build-up as normal as possible,” he said.

“We have been training to manage and help the players understand the emotions coming into the game. The boys lost a grand final in the U10s competition five years ago and some of them have a fear of losing, so we want to make sure their emotions don’t get the better of them.”

The U15 boys will go into the Grand Final clear favourites as they do battle with Macleod at Victoria Park Lower in Kew at 2.45pm this Sunday (August 28). The good news is our Bloods have beaten Macleod twice throughout the season by comfortable margins. A flag is looking good.

On the same day the U15s rocketed into the grand final, shortly after the U14s followed suit, giving Doncaster no chance of even a sniff of victory as they ran over them 13.5.83 to 5.12.42.

The U14 team’s road to the finals was solid as they finished the regular season on top of the ladder, winning 11 of their possible 15 games, including only one loss in the last 11 (to Preston who was bundled out last week). What made the U14s semi final win even more impressive was that Doncaster finished second, also on 11 wins, with only percentage separating the two teams.

Warrandyte will battle it out with Banyule in the Grand Final after the Bears beat Doncaster in the preliminary final by one goal on Sunday.

U14s coach Andrew Wallace says he is very confident and reckons if the boys “stay strong and work as a team” and “keep their heads up until the final siren” they can pull off a win.

Warrandyte’s U14s will play Banyule at Victoria Park Lower, Kew, at 12.30pm this Sunday (the match before the U15s).

Both coaches and the rest of the WJFC urge Warrandytians to head down to the grand finals this Sunday and support our young Bloods as they hunt for flag glory.










Warrandyte in the 1950s

Growing up in Warrandyte in the 1950s was pretty special. We had the river and the bush and a strong feeling of belonging. Call it plenty of community spirit if you like.

We McAuleys were a mongrel breed, part Irish, part German and with a bit of English and Scottish thrown in. Back then Warrandyte was still a country town but quickly developing into a suburb. My family had lived here for generations, my grandmother Eva Belzer came from German stock and attended the local stone-built state primary school that was built by my great-great grandfather William Masterton back in the 1800s. She married Sam McAuley, whose father James was born in County Tyrone, Ireland.

My grandparents set up their orchard and stable on a tract of land next to the school, raised their own livestock, baked bread and grew vegetables for their dinner table.

There was no electricity for cooking, heating or light. It was a time when people made their own music at special events such as births, weddings and wakes. My grand- father played the concertina and people danced and sang in the old homestead in the light of flickering hurricane lamps and candles. They had six children Evelyn, Gertrude, Jack, Bill, Lillian and my father Ralph, the youngest.

The family suffered many setbacks over the years, losing their home in the devastating Black Friday firestorm of 1939. Three years later, during WWII, my uncle Bill was shot dead as he led his troops across a beach in what was then New Guinea. I was proudly named William in memory of my Uncle Bill when I was born six years after the end of the war.

My father came home from WWII after serving in the Middle East and New Guinea. He met and married my mother Patricia and built our family home from fieldstone gathered in nearby hills and transported back to his building site on a horse-drawn dray.

In due course, my sister Sue and I were born and we grew up running gloriously free in the small town, through which the Yarra River meandered.

The river was the focal point of our lives. We kids met by the river, swam together in the river and with a trembling heart, when I was still as innocent as an angel, I had my first kiss by the river.

Our village consisted of a series of shops and included the Mechanics Institute Hall, the Post Office and a pub.

Across from the pub was Jack Moore’s general store. The atmospheric old shop was full of sacks of grain, hardware items and tools, glass jars filled with nuts and lollies and rows of biscuit tins. Buying a brown paper bag full of broken biscuits was a heavenly treat for us kids. Scotch fingers, Iced Vovos and Milk Arrowroots were my favourites.

The store was crammed with little treasures hiding in the shadows on the dusty wooden floor, a great place for a child to explore. Unfortunately, the old shop, a remnant from another age, burned to the ground when I was still a child; it was never rebuilt and the site has been used as a car park for the Grand Hotel ever since.

Jack Moore’s sister Aggy ran the milk bar next to the Mechanics Institute Hall, right where the community centre is today. In the late 1950s, matinees were shown at the hall every Saturday and the town’s young film-goers would gather in her shop at interval to drink the ‘spiders’ she made and to buy more Jaffas to roll down the aisles during the Hopalong Cassidy or Tom Mix feature.

Lime ‘Spiders’ were Aggy’s specialty and consisted of a scoop of ice cream stirred into a big sundae glass of lime cordial and lemonade. The delicious creamy concoction fizzed and oozed over the rim of the glass, the bubbles tickling your nose as you tried to drink it before there was too much spillage.

In June, winter rain turned the river into a muddy torrent that coursed through the valley. Rising above the yellow-brown river, the rain-misted hills were mostly capped with grey leaden skies. Winter months were cold, wet and depressing, the dullness broken only by local football matches, which were the absolute highlight.

In summer, the ever-dwindling river ran through tinder dry gum trees that shimmered in the oppressive heat. Wattle trees were laden with bright yellow blossom and the sharp scent of eucalyptus hung in the hot January air. The crack of ball on bat could be heard as the local cricket team crafted their way through another innings.

Sometimes during stinking heatwaves my father would wake me at first light and we’d drive down to the river in his 1951 Bedford truck for a swim before school. Steam rose from the cold muddy river as we waded in together to cool off. I’d cling to my father’s broad shoulders as we swam clear across the current to the tall rocky cliffs on the other side. I felt safe in the water with him.

The other local lads and I climbed cliffs and trees and dived into shallow water from heights of up to 20 metres. We were fearless and I suspect slightly mad, as we risked life and limb every day with our daredevil stunts. We congregated at a swimming hole called ‘The Log’, where a rope hung from a tall gum tree on the other side of the river. Time after time we’d swing out over the water and let go of the rope, flying like acrobats through the air as we somersaulted down into the owing brown water.

Our bread was baked in a wood fired oven in the village and delivered daily to each house, sometimes still warm. And milk was delivered each day by a local character, “Tiger” Flowers. He always wore a sleeveless Richmond Football Club guernsey.

He was our unofficial town crier: all our breaking news came from Tiger as he called out during his milk deliveries, “Mrs Chapman has had a baby boy”, or “The bush fire is coming from the north”. Though I knew Tiger all of his life, I never knew his Christian, or given, name; I always called him Tiger.

The iceman came once a week, a huge block of ice carried on a shoulder protected by a potato sack. Once in our kitchen he’d hoist up the heavy block and unceremoniously plonk it in our icebox. It was the time before electric refrigerators were common in 1950s homes.

The “dunny man” came once a week, too, to collect the pan from our outdoor toilet, with a grunt he’d lift the frighteningly full pan up and on to his head and carry it down to the dunny truck. It was an endless joke with us kids: what would happen if the bottom of the pan gave way as he balanced it on his head? Shit and disaster! That’s what!

Our old-fashioned telephone was attached to the wall. To make a call you held the earpiece at the end of a cord to your ear while winding a handle to ring the local exchange. Mrs Fitch, the operator, worked her magic from the post office, now the Historical Society Museum. Speaking into the mouthpiece on the wall, you’d tell Mrs Fitch the number you required and she’d connect you via telephone lines tangled like spaghetti on her switchboard.

Our mail was delivered by horse- back each day by old Bill McCulloch. Wearing a pith helmet, he’d ride his horse Silver right past our letterbox, up the drive and deliver the mail by hand saying, “Good morning, Mrs McAuley.” When we heard the clip clop of Silver’s hooves we’d scurry outside to pat the friendly old horse.

NEXT MONTH: The coming of television and the Melbourne Olympics.

Junior Bloods’ flag tilt

Any fly on the wall at the Warrandyte Junior Football Club would be in for a real treat over the next few weeks.

With as many as five of the Bloods teams set to play in the Yarra Junior Football League finals, there’s going to be the full gamut of excitement, nerves and the pure adrenalin that comes from performing on the big stage. And, with a bit of luck, the euphoria that only a premiership victory can bring.

“It’s pretty exciting,” says Warrandyte Junior Football Club president Sarah Drew.

“As a club this is the best thing that can happen and we’re really happy for the boys.”

“The Colts [Under 16s] have been relegated into their comp with four losses and they had to make it up to get into finals. They’ve all been training hard and listening to their coaches, so it’s very exciting.”

Warrandyte has a junior side for each age division between Under 8s and Colts. As of recent competition rule changes, the Under 8s, Under 9s and Under 10s do not have official results or ladders.

Round 15 was played on Sunday to close out the home and away season before finals begin this Sunday.

With 11 wins from 15 matches, the Under 14s finished on top of the ladder to be the most successful Bloods team in the home and away season while the Under 11s ended up in second position with 10 wins and a draw from 15 games.

The Under 13s and Under 15s have also booked finals tickets. The Under 13s finished third on the ladder with nine wins for the season, while the Under 15s had a thumping 104-point victory in the last round to finish second and claim the double chance. The Under 12s had a solid year but finished eighth. The Colts scraped into the four and play finals Sunday.

The senior club will support the juniors this weekend. WFC president Peter Hookey says the senior players are excited at the prospect of inspiring the young Bloods through their finals campaign.

“We’ve sent a couple for seniors down to the Colts and Under 15 training to give a bit of leadership and education,” says Hookey. “We’re hoping they’ll see the professionalism that’s expected at a senior level and the desire to improve their football skills.”

Green with envy

Warrandyte will be turned into a swamp this month as everyone’s favourite ogre hits the stage for one of the first times in Australia. Students from Warrandyte High will be bringing the much-loved movie to life in Shrek the Musical Jr.

The school is renowned for its quality productions that our community continues to enjoy year after year. With all the hilarity you’d expect and a toe-tapping, contemporary rock score to boot, it promises to be a great show for the whole family.

You’ll be green with envy if you miss out! Show opens Thursday August 27 with a show on Friday August 28 and then two shows on Saturday August 29 to follow. Tickets start at just $12 and can be purchased at or phone the school in office hours on 9844 2749.

Pictured above at rehearsal are Shrek (Jake), Princess Fiona (Kristen), Donkey (Nick) and Lord Farquaad (Damon).

Bridge over troubled water

Change of direction at VicRoads forum

About 350 residents attended an information session run by Vic Roads at the Warrandyte Community Church last month, an event facilitated and encouraged by (not run by) the Warrandyte Community Association.

Residents were somewhat unclear as to the form this event would take. Some had expected a sit-down meeting with presentations, some had expected workshop sessions and others had expected a less formal static presentation where residents could “drop-in” at some point in the evening. It was also unclear beforehand as to whether VicRoads were using this as a method of disseminating information as to what they were proposing or alternatively seeking community views before the design being finalised.

Attendees were asked to register their details and were provided with a brochure Information Update.

On entering the main hall attendees found a number of tables displaying the proposed plans, each staffed by one or more VicRoads staff who were kept busy all evening discussing details with residents. It was difficult to know whether each table was displaying some different scenario so attendees were expected to attend each table, or whether the information was the same at each table. Police were present and happy to discuss evacuation scenarios.

Two “focus group” sessions had been scheduled in another room.


Much of the information provided in the Information Update has already been covered in earlier editions of the Diary. It became obvious, however, there had recently been a serious re-think of the strategy. The original proposal announced by the minister in March was for a bridge widening project based solely on the need to evacuate the area in the case of a serious bush fire. Now VicRoads were presenting us with alternative solutions which also take into account the ever increasing daily traffic congestion in Warrandyte.

The major changes under review:

CONSIDERATION is being given to a providing a roundabout on the north side of the bridge instead of the proposed traffic lights.

IT is intended to increase the length of turning lanes on Research Rd for traffic approaching Kangaroo Ground Rd.

A NEW turning lane eastbound on Yarra St is proposed to be introduced at the roundabout, so there will be a separate lane for left turning traffic going across the bridge (able to hold about four vehicles), and a right-hand lane for vehicles proceeding straight on towards Ringwood.

THERE is mention of a new pedestrian crossing at the roundabout on the west side, but details of this are scant.

NONE of this work will commence this year; it will be done after the upcoming bush fire season in time for the 2017-2018 season. It was previously planned the traffic lights would be installed by November this year: this will not happen.

The proposed revised timeline is… July-November 2016: Design, services and pre-construction. December 2016: Advertise works. Early to mid 2017: Contract awarded. Construction begins. Late 2017: Construction ends.


Most of the attendees the Diary spoke to during the evening did not want these changes at all, and although frustrated by the current traffic jams and bottlenecks felt these changes would not only detract from the village atmosphere of Warrandyte but would attract even more vehicles to the area. There was almost universal acceptance a roundabout north of the river would be far preferable to traffic lights operating 24 hours per day which would be a complete eyesore. However, some Kangaroo Ground Rd residents expressed concern a roundabout would complicate the morning traffic flow and southbound traffic on KG Rd would be locked out by south-turning traffic from Research Rd.

A diagram was provided on the reverse of the Information Update brochure, which purported to show the morning and evening congestion overlaid with other plots showing a vast improvement after the works would be completed. This was met with disbelief by many and VicRoads staff, when asked, were unable to provide any data to back this up or substantiate these projections which most people did not think were attainable. The general consensus was all this work was just fiddling around the edges and the real solution was to take the long-distance traffic away from the area by completing the north-east link of the ring road.

It was disappointing at this stage there were no artists impressions of what the updated bridge would look like, and more particularly what the cantilevered pedestrian walkway would look like. We did, however, gather the latter is to be on the west side of the bridge.


Reports from those who attended the workshop sessions indicated most people were of the opinion they did not want the bridge upgrade and associated works, and had not ever been consulted on same. We are told the mood became quite agitated, and senior VicRoads staff were summoned to come back into the room to be told this. Again this showed the disconnect between the expectation of the attendees versus that of VicRoads. VicRoads has funding for these works and their brief is to go ahead and implement them. What VicRoads presumably wanted to get out of the evening was information as to how to implement the changes. Many attendees, however, were trying to make a point that they did not want the works at all, which was not VicRoads decision to make! To VicRoads it is a done deal.


A feedback form was provided to attendees and they were encouraged to complete it and send it to VicRoads. Their online engagement page on the web stayed open until July 31, and residents were encouraged to log in and leave comments. VicRoads would not commit to a specific timeframe or process for further community discussion or for their making a decision, particularly with regard to whether to go ahead with a roundabout or traffic lights on the north side. Rather, they would produce a report which would go to senior VicRoads management and a decision would be made in due course following community input. Obviously rm decisions would have to be made before December as that is when it is proposed to advertise the work for tender.

WCA spokesman Warwick Leeson told the Diary WCA continued to be very concerned at the lack of ongoing process for community views to be taken into account. WCA would be organising more opportunities for community engagement in early October and would invite the Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley and senior VicRoads staff to be involved.

Mr Leeson indicated that although originally launched as an initiative for bush re and emergency evacuation, they now understood the bulk of funding was in fact coming out of the general allocation for traffic improvement. WCA was particularly concerned as a huge amount of local effort over the past few years had gone into making people aware of the bush re dangers and the need to leave home well in advance on Code Red days or on other danger days if householders are not capable of staying and defending. Yet some say this latest government action lies in the face of that advice and implies the bridge will be safe and last minute evacuation will be acceptable.

What’s your view? Email the editor at

Get out of your business

One of the most valuable actions a business owner can take is to get out of their business for a day to network, gain knowledge and plan for the future and the Greater Warrandyte Business Expo on Wednesday August 17 is an invaluable opportunity to spend a day working “on” your business and network with local professional, trade, retail, hospitality and home based businesses.

“We get caught up in the day to day tasks of working in the business – and rarely take time to breathe, to analyse how we are going,” said Bambi Gordon of The Woo, organisers of the 2016 Expo.

“If we are going to make the most of our business we need to take the time to keep up to date with technology, find better ways to drive profits, identify what we don’t know – and then go and find the knowledge and help we need.”

The Expo, being held at the Warrandyte Community Church from 9am to 6pm on Wednesday August 17, comprises almost 30 local businesses who provide business and lifestyle products and services to the Manningham and Nillumbik regions.

A feature of the event is the 20 business development seminars on topics such as working online, marketing, financial management, communication, human resources and motivation.

The event is free for all thanks to the support of businesses such as Thinking Printing, Curlew Creative, the Warrandyte Diary, our local councils – Manningham and Nillumbik – and major sponsor, Warrandyte Community Bank.

“We recognise the vital importance of our local businesses in ensuring a stable economy; an economy that supports our retailers, hospitality providers, personnel, professional and trade services; from Goldfields and Yarra St, into the home based businesses across the region,” said Warrandyte Community bank manager Sam Pearce.

“As the major sponsor of the Greater Warrandyte Business Expo it is our aim to underpin this initiative so that all local businesses can access the quality networking opportunities, so that all businesses can have a visual profile, and so delegates can specifically seek information in areas where they may need help.”

Though free to attend, delegates need to register online prior to the day by visiting or you can call organisers on 9844 4100.


What: Protecting Yourself and Your Business.
Time 9.30am
Who: Marina Michael, Financial Planning Leader and Tony Zaras, Bendigo Financial Planning at Bendigo & Adelaide Bank

Life is full of surprises: some good, some bad. Protection against life’s uncertainties is sensible financial management. Investing in personal insurance will ensure you and your family can continue to enjoy the quality of life that you want, or at the very least, avoid the emotional distress of having to think about how you’re going to meet your financial commitments should life take a turn for the worst. Insurance is especially important to small business owners because of the often close relationship between business and personal assets. Even if you run a successful business, disaster could strike at any moment and force you to shut your doors. Business insurance can be purchased to cover virtually every aspect of the business, leaving what you have worked so hard for intact.

There is no better time than the present to sit down and consider your personal and business insurance requirements. Make it your priority to join us for an informative session that will show you just how important adequate protection is and how it can bring peace of mind and security to you and your family.

What: Creating The Customer Experience
Time: 9.30am

Who: Ruth Langley, Ruth Langley Hospitality Training

In a competitive hospitality and retail industry, what does it take to keep customers coming back time and time again? Ask any leading hospitality group or retailer and they’ll tell you the customer experience is the answer. And not just any experience, you must create a stand out, memorable and anything-but-average experience. But what does it really take to turn a customer’s experience in your venue or store from average to extraordinary and leave them wanting more?

Ruth Langley is a leading hospitality professional with over 15 years experience working in and with small and medium hospitality venues across Melbourne and London. Join her to discover real and practical ways to improve the customer experience in your venue and how to turn your service into your point of difference.

What: Think Again!
Time: 9.30am
Who: Lisa Smith, Mindworker at Minds At Work

Everyone’s talking innovation but where do the ideas come from? Most businesses are great at delivering the plan, but without creative thinking the plan is probably not going to give you the edge you need. Even though we are hard-wired to think creatively, the closer you are to your business the harder it is to have ideas. This session is designed to give you the tools you need to unlock your creativity and transform the way you think about your business.

What: Back it up!
Time: 10.30am
Who: Bora Seker, Technology Integrator at BN Solutions
Hope is not a strategy. And though we hope that you don’t get hit by a virus, huge power surge, a theft, or the big ones – malware, fire and flood – it is important for the sustain- ability of your business to plan for it.
In this session Bora will share information about how to protect yourself from data loss, the types of backups available to you, what to backup and where to backup.

What: How to approach traditional and digital media
Who: Jules Brooke, Handle Your Own PR

Getting “free” publicity can be an outstanding boost for your business. Imagine being featured in a magazine, interviewed on TV or radio. But how do you reach out to the journalists, producers and presenters?

The standard action is to send out a media release and hope that someone picks it up. And that can work – when you craft your release the right way. But a media release is not the only way to approach the media. Sometimes it is worth picking up the phone; perhaps sending sample products; meeting in person….

In this session Jules will go through the ways you can reach out to traditional and digital media with confidence, and drive that valuable publicity for your business.

What: Manage your relationship with your Business Banker
Time: 11.30am
Who: Shaun Brown, Business Banking Area Manager at West Victoria, Bendigo Bank

A good relationship with your bank ensures it understands your business and is in the best possible position to provide support when needed. A key component of this is keeping your bank well informed of your business activities and performance to ensure they are ready to respond to any request you may have.

What: LinkedIn for Business Owners and Professionals in Practice
Time: 11.30am
Who: Sue Ellson , LinkedIn Expert

LinkedIn is more than an online resume service and recruitment database. LinkedIn enables you to showcase your skills and enterprise, build your network, maintain your business relationships and attract the right opportunities.

Find out how to: understand the basics; increase your digital footprint; select what to like, comment, share or publish; manage your LinkedIn profile in 10 minutes per week. See live examples that you can use as a template for your own enterprise. Ask questions, even stupid ones! Everyone is welcome.

What: Do the Digital DeClutter
Time: 12.30pm
Who: Chantal Imbach, Owner of Simply In Order

In this day and age most of us have not only a computer but also several devices, not to forget the cloud! These great inventions have made parts of our lives easier. On the other hand, things can get out of control and overwhelming really quickly, resulting in an accumulation of digital clutter. Often, we are less aware of this kind of clutter because it is not as visible as physical chaos. However, it can be just as stressful and hinder our productivity.

If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, this presentation is for you! Chantal will share simple decluttering, organising and maintenance strategies and tips which you will be able to implement and benefit from immediately.

What: Boost Your Revenue Using Instagram
Time: 12.30pm

Who: Craig Annand, Social Club Media

In this presentation, Craig will show how business and brands can increase their reve- nue, and sometimes earn an income solely using Insta- gram. He’ll present you examples of the main methods of using Instagram to boost sales, and even how to monetize the account itself.

What: Business Pitching
Time: 12.30pm
Who: Eric Chan, Pitch Specialist

When you speak with people you’re always pitching. Sure, not always in the traditional sales pitch sense, but in many different ways that create a perception of your brand in your audience’s mind. Pitching is a learned skill which you must have as an entrepreneur. So knowing how to pitch with authority and confidence will open many doors, attract prequalified clients and create an outstanding brand image. In this interactive presentation, you’ll discover: the five keys to capturing immediate attention; the secret to a commanding stage presence; and how to understand the power of your verbal brand.

What: Top 10 commandments of websites and digital media
Time: 1.30pm
Who: Craig Reardon Owner, The E Team

As you read this, at least one prospective customer will be searching the web for products and services your local business provides. If that business can’t be found via the leading search engines, they won’t attract the customer. Even if they do, can they be certain their website gives prospects the information they need in the way they want it? And are search engines the best way for that business to promote themselves online anyway? What about email marketing or social media techniques?

In this session Craig will provide you with a step by step guide to meeting the online expectations of your customers. Using a special checklist, participants can determine how their online presence is performing and the steps they need to take to improve it. And using a live internet connection ( fingers crossed! This is Warrandyte) Craig will surf the web in real time to illustrate the benefits of an effective online presence. Best of all, it’s in plain English.

What: ATO initiatives
Time: 1.30pm
Who: Grant Little, Project Officer, Small Business Engagement and Support (Moonee Ponds) Australian Taxation Office.

Does the Australian Taxation Office come to mind when you are looking for help to run your business? It should! Over the years the ATO has built up a wealth of knowledge that they freely share with business.
Hear about ATO initiatives such as: the ATO App; online ATO Small Business Newsroom; Small Business Super Clearing House; employee/contractor decision tool – find out whether your worker is an employee or contractor for tax and super purposes; Face to face educational workshops and conversations; Working with the ATO to test new products and the Business Performance check tool which provides a quick assessment of the financial position of your small business.

What: In Search of Profit
Time: 1.30pm
Rohan Wright, Business Consultant at Thexton Armstrong Broadfoot

Love what you do… but aren’t getting reward for effort? Is your business set up to succeed, are you in the 5%?
Years of experience running SME businesses, and recently consulting to others, have taught me that there are some basics things that every business needs to get right in order to both grow and, more importantly – make money.
In 30 minutes an interactive and entertaining workshop will give you some real insights into how to structure for success; diagnose your critical gaps; and take away three things you can do now to improve your business.
Learn: The 9 elements of successful business structure; 7 key items that set you up for success; the A + S x SB = Results framework for understanding how to make it happen. Takeaway: the answers to what you’re not getting right (yet) and three actions that will make a difference (now).

What: The What, Why and How of Content Marketing
Time: 2.30pm
Who: Bambi Gordon, The Woo

Using a wide range of media (social, video, digital, and traditional) to share your knowledge with potential customers can be a powerful marketing tool. The aim is to grab their attention whilst positioning yourself as an expert in your field, to build an ongoing relationship that eventually makes a sale. When you see a video pop up on Facebook? That’s content marketing. When you get an enewsletter in your inbox? Content marketing. Blogs, social media posts, articles, white papers – it is all content marketing.

In this session we will look at what content marketing is, why it may be of value to your business and, importantly, how to become a content marketer whilst challenged with a lack of resources and little time.

What: The Art of Research for Small Business
Time: 2.30pm
Who: Sarah Wrigley, Gundabluey Research

Do you know who your target market is and what they want? Do you know who your customers are and what they want and expect from your business? Who thought asking questions could be so difficult? If you need to find out the answers to these and other questions, this session will help. It’s all about free tools and how to design your own survey without falling into the common pitfalls associated with market research, and without spending a cent!

Key objectives of the session: how to use the really good information available through the Australian Bureau of Statistics; tools you can use to get information about your customers; free online survey tools for your business; tips on questionnaire design, including a simple template you can use straight away in your business.

What: Small business HR horror stories revealed…
Time: 2.30pm
Who: Emily Jaksch, HR Gurus

Think your business is too small to need a robust HR function? Well you could be a HR horror story in the making… It is a cliché be- cause it is true: People are at the heart of your business. You need the right people individually making up the right team, that in turn drives your culture. That means hiring the right people for the right roles. Or moving on those who aren’t going to make the grade. Emily Jaksch from HR Gurus has seen it all over her 18-year career in the human resource management field and in this session she will share her most amazing HR horror stories and reveal her top five secrets for turning these situations around.

What: Blogging for Business
Time: 3.30pm
Who: Nerissa Bentley, Owner of Write to the Point Communications

Most experts in social media recommend blogging as a way to build your business. Some of the most valuable outcomes of blogs include: driving traffic to your website; helping convert traffic into leads, which then turn into sales; increasing your subscription lists (also known as leads). There is no doubt blogging can be an excel-lent tool for a lot of businesses. But is it the right tool for yours?
In this session Nerissa will address the four key things to consider before getting started (or if you are considering stopping the blogging). 1. Will a blog help or be a distraction from other core business activities? 2. How big do you want your business to grow? 3. What is YOUR purpose for having a blog. Just because everyone else is doing it, isn’t a good enough reason. 4. Will you do your blog justice?

What: Communicating with people who aren’t like us
Time: 3.30pm
Kay Morton, Business coach at Tolhurst Morton

Our lives are based around communicating with others; in our work lives, our personal lives, pretty much everything we do. Sometimes we can feel like we just aren’t getting through to people – that they are not getting our message. And sometimes we feel like we have no idea what the other person is on about. Understanding people’s behavioural styles and preferences can really help with our relationships with others. Using the Extended DISC profiling tool as the foundation, Kay will talk about the different behavioural types, how each type prefers to communicate and how you can more effectively communicate with each of the types.

Having an understanding of behavioural styles and energy types can help you improve sales, create better relationships with your customers and staff, build better teams and enhance your relationship with your partner, your children and your friends. And, of course, it can help you understand yourself!

What: What is SEO (and what it isn’t)
Time: 4.30pm
Sean McCoy, Owner of Captivate Digital

Research shows that the majority of small businesses set up a website … and then never touch it again. Your website is not supposed to be a brochure. Your website is supposed to be a tool that captures the attention of people who are looking for you, your product and service; people who you are likely never going to be able to find through outward marketing tactics.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the function of making your online content visible to search engines for ranking so that those strangers out there who are looking for your product or service can find you. SEO is not black magic, it’s not smoke and mirrors, but it is incredibly important in today’s business environment. Come and learn why SEO is so important to you and your business, be introduced to tools that you can use and strategies to give yourself the best opportunity to be found online.

What: What to do now to protect your business when you’re gone
Time: 4.30pm
Melissa Sloan, Solicitor of Madison Sloan Lawyers

One question business clients ask is “How do I make provision for my business/business assets in the event that something happens to me?” In this presentation I will address the various business structures – such as sole proprietors or a partnership – and how that structure impacts the future of your business. We will also address the merits of putting in place Business Succession Agreements and Partnership Agreements so that at the time of business sale, closure or inheritance, the business is protected.

What: Why Facebook isn’t working for you
Time: 5.30pm
Who: Bambi Gordon, Chief Cook & Bottle Washer at The Woo

Hey – it’s free. Everyone is there. There are cute cats, witting memes and inspirational quotes. But really – is it working for you? Are you attracting customers? Doing business? My guess is that Facebook is only working for a minority of businesses.

In this session we will address the top 10 mistakes people are making on Facebook that damage their chance of ever reaching their objectives.

If you are one of the 5500 plus people in the Warrandyte Business & Community Network group on Facebook, and despite enjoying being there you are not getting any traction for your business, you will want to be in the audience for this presentation.

More info at

Cookin’ up a storm

Quinton’s IGA hires a top gun chef to take the supermarket to new heights.

The supermarket industry has changed significantly over the past 20 years and sadly many family owned grocers have been snuffed out by the big chains and multinationals who dominate the Australian market.

So it is becoming quite rare for a supermarket such as Warrandyte’s very own family owned and run, Quinton’s IGA, to not only survive but thrive, powering on with innovation and, at times, with community faith-based risk and often leading the way in what is a very ruthless, cutthroat industry.

The ongoing success of Warrandyte’s family grocer is due to the quality and standards set by Quinton’s.

The philosophy is, “If it’s not good enough for our family’s dinner table, then it’s not good enough for our customer’s table.”

The drive to continually evolve and to keep up with trends is also a major factor in Quinton’s success. However, Quinton’s IGA is about to take our much loved family grocery store to a whole new level over the coming few months.

With the introduction of new head chef, Dave Cafarella, who is partnering with the Quinton’s team, bringing ‘big city’ convenience to Warrandyte, while still keeping our community uniqueness and country town friendliness.

Julie Quinton’s excitement over the development is infectious, as she reels off Chef Dave’s credentials.

“Dave has been head chef at Domaine Chandon, head chef at The Public Brewery, sous chef at Olivigna and head chef at the Lilydale General,” she told the Diary. “Along with his beautiful wife Bec and his two gorgeous little girls Mika 7 and Jaidah 4, Dave is now going to get some great family/work/life balance back into his life without his ‘cheffy’ nights working in restaurants. Dave is as excited as we are so it’s a win all around we think!”

It’s time for loyal locals to get excited. Quinton’s IGA has plans underway for a bigger new deli and a full chef’s kitchen, where Dave will have full reign over his new domain.

“We are going to make meal planning so incredibly simple for our customers,” Julie explains. “We will also be opening up on lots more fresh Australian seafood and ‘ready to cook – chef prepared’ meal ideas with the focus on health, Australian grown, ethical, vegan and un- processed foods.

“We are so excited and confident in our new direction – we know we’re going to hit the mark and we know our customers are going to love the changes.”

While big changes are afoot, it’s the little things that matter, too. The supermarket’s new deli will also carry a larger range and deliver slice on demand for all hams, salamis and prosciutto.

“The gourmet cheese range will also improve with the assistance of our Cheesemonger in training, my daughter Hayley,” Julie says with a smile.

“Another sensational addition to our Quinton’s staff has been our new liquor manager, Mark Hansford. Mark comes to us with great wine knowledge and will be only too pleased to help our customers select and advise on our wines. Be sure to look for Mark’s recommendations and special deals in the liquor department.”

Julie’s nous for not only survival but also progress is leading edge. She’s an award-winner, an inspirational leader in the IGA chain and many will agree the lifeblood for our community heartbeat on so many levels.

Community cook-ups, sports club support and Fireball sponsorship just a few to name off the cuff. There’s plenty more we could reference.

She’s a leader, one who threads a community tapestry with her ability to make things happen and inspire others.

“We realise, for our continued survival and longevity in Warrandyte, we need to continually realign ourselves to be relevant in our customers’ busy lives as well as providing exceptional customer service and that’s what we are prepared to do,” Julie says.

Stay tuned for a revamped Quinton’s IGA with something big cooking in the kitchen.