Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | March 24, 2017 | Weekly Update

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If you’re looking for a new job in the Hunter region, all you need to do is CLICK HERE – easy!


A NEWCASTLE-BASED syndicate has purchased the Maryland Shopping Centre and has promised it has “big things” in the pipeline for the retail hub.

That will include a spend of at least $3 million towards improvements in the short to medium term.

“The centre itself was attractive because of how under-serviced we believe that particular residential area is from a retail perspective,” said Gavan Reynolds, a spokesperson for the new owners.

“We have close friends and family members that live in that area that are having to travel significant distances to places like Glendale and Wallsend just to do their supermarket shopping.

“For too long now the asset has been neglected and the local community and existing retailers deserve better.”

The syndicate has paid $7.5 million for the centre at 144 Maryland Drive, after the former owner Billcotta Pty Ltd went into receivership.

Australian Property Monitors records show Billcotta purchased the site for $900,000 in 1994.

PPB Advisory acted as receivers of the 1.39 hectare site and admitted it had had a “chequered past” following the departure of Bi-Lo as the anchor tenant.

They had to remove a number of tenants that were not paying rent, at the same time as Coles and Aldi both moved into new facilities within the surrounding three kilometres.

“[We] managed to combine three vacant shops and locate a medical centre operator in order to create foot traffic,” said Ken Whittingham, a partner at PPB Advisory.

Agents from Colliers International and Stonebridge Property Group negotiated the sale and said the centre attracted a record number of bids.  They put the interest down to its location – along the booming western residential growth corridor – and the opportunity to value-add to the site.

“This was a strong result to kick off 2017 and confirms the amount of interest in the burgeoning Newcastle and Hunter Valley area,” Colliers International director Adam Leacy said.

Mr Reynolds said the goal was not compete with Charlestown Square or Westfield Kotara but to create a shopping village that the people of Maryland could be proud of.

That would be achieved with cosmetic improvements and attracting the right mix of tenants, he said.

“The Maryland Tavern is an institution out there and it has a very parochial local following,” he said. “We believe whatever happens in that supermarket space will be similarly embraced by the local community.

“There is so much potential for the centre and we’re very excited about what the future holds.”

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4531970/3m-pledged-for-retail-hub/


Being the newbie at work is always rough, despite it being something we all go through again and again throughout our careers. On top of learning the day-to-day requirements of your new position and trying to impress your boss, you also have to navigate the intricacies of office politics and making new work friends.

It’s a lot. And it probably feels a little bit like a whirlwind.

So before you dive back into that tornado of newness, here are nine things to read that’ll help you navigate this challenging (but temporary!) stage in your career.

1. Your Guide to Your First Week on the Job

The perfect way to set yourself up for success if you’re about to start that nerve-wracking first week.

2. 3 Things You’re Overthinking at Your New Job (and 3 Things You’re Not Thinking About Enough)

To help make sense of all of those nerves, here are a few things you’re probably overthinking (and how to stop!).

3. Ask a Career Coach: How Do I Make My Mark When I’m New at Work?

We all want to make a great impression (and prove that we were the right choice!) in the first few weeks after starting. Our resident career coach shares how to do just that.

4. 3 Basic Mistakes You Can’t Blame on the Fact That You’re the New Person

Making mistakes because you’re just starting is expected. But you can’t really blame these three on being the new kid in town.

5. Excuse Me, Silly Question Here—But What Exactly Is a 401K?

Yes, you should be thinking of your savings starting from day one of that new job! And yes, you’re not the only adult out there who needs this refresher.

6. How to Ask for Time Off at Your New Job (the Right Way)

If you’re too scared to put in a vacation request for that family wedding coming up (because you just got to this job! What will your boss think?), this’ll help curb those worries.

7. The 6 Unwritten Company Rules You Won’t Find in the Employee Handbook

No matter how comprehensive your orientation is, there are just some things you won’t learn about the job and culture in a handbook.

8. 5 Impressive Things All Smart People Do When They Start a New Job

Find out how to use the 70/30 rule, as well as four other tricks, to establish yourself as the team all-star.

9. 4 Insane Thoughts Everyone Has When Starting a New Job (and How to Keep Your Crazy in Check)

Finally, no matter how excited you are for a position, the first few days are rough. Here’s what might be going through your head as you try to adjust.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-9-best-things-you-can-read-before-you-start-your-new-job?ref=carousel-slide-5

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | March 17, 2017 | Weekly Update

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Sometimes we all need a little bit of luck coming our way, especially when we’re job hunting!   We’re sharing all the latest Hunter job vacancies with you right here and wish you the luck of the Irish in securing your new role!


Newcastle Jockey Club plans to build a $20 million, 508-horse two-storey stable complex to capitalise on its new state-of-the-art course proper at Broadmeadow.

The development was a talking point at an exclusive function on Thursday night at the NJC to officially open the Racing NSW-funded StrathAyr main track, which will host its first full program at the March 17 group 3 Newcastle Newmarket meeting.

The Newcastle Herald can reveal the NJC will try to gain funding and approval for new stables on the Chatham Road side of Newcastle Racecourse to replace the outdated facilities along Beaumont Street. The seven blocks of stables will increase the horse boxes available from 234 to 508 and horses in training at Broadmeadow from 408 to 995 by 2021-22. It is estimated the development will bring an $87.2 million to the Hunter economy over the next five years and create 148 full-time local jobs.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys, the special guest on Thursday night, said his organisation would “100 per cent support” the NJC plans “if they can show a business case”.

Mr V’Landys was in the same role in November 2012 when the NJC gained $11.2 million to replace its problematic main track in return for club members voting to accept three independent, Racing NSW-appointed board directors.

Asked on Thursday night if there was scope for more Racing NSW development funds at Newcastle, Mr V’landys said: “Absolutely. You have some quality trainers up here and you have a really big horse population.

“It’s a very quick drive to the metropolitan area, to Randwick, Rosehill etc. and, absolutely, we want to re-invest up here.

“Look, the club has been proactive, they have already designed stables and they are doing a business case to ensure they get a return on those stables.

“It’s got a beautiful pro-ride synthetic track, it’s got the Beaumont track, which has been a revelation in itself, then we have this new track which we hope will be the benchmark for tracks around Australia.

“We want Newcastle to succeed and we want a centre of excellence, and when you have a club that’s proactive and really tries hard, we try hard to support them.”

Mr Barnett said the 508-horse stables were the “basic plan” and “we think we could use that many.”

“We’d be retiring a lot of old stables down on Beaumont Street, and that’s a figure we could manage,” Mr Barnett said.

“Chatham Road end is where our crossing is, so it makes sense to have it down there and they used to be there, but this would be much more modern, environmentally friendly and neighbour friendly.”

The Herald was told nearby residents have been advised of the plans, which are yet to go to Newcastle City Council.

“I honestly believe that, all things being equal, we could have stables going up and using them by the end of next year,” Mr Barnett said.

With Gosford’s training centre facing an uncertain future and Newcastle enjoying its upgraded course proper and pro-ride tracks, Mr Barnett said the time was right to build new stables.

“When you’ve got the facilities that we have here now, why not?” he said. “It lends itself to a lot more horses coming here. I know there are a lot of Sydney trainers who would like to get out of there. Some have stables on land that’s worth a lot of money. They can come here and it’s not far from a whole host of tracks.

“I think that’s absolutely the natural next phase for us, to get more horses and trainers in the area, but to do that, we need the facilities.”

He said while planning had started, funding remained a question mark.

“I think it will be a mix,” he said. “A good contribution from our club, maybe a loan on top of that, and we’re hoping for assistance from the government, because it means a lot more employment in the area.

“I think Racing NSW will be open to a discussion on maybe dollar for dollar. There’s a few ways to approach it, but I think if we got the plan right, we would get funding.

“We have local trainers here who are busting to get quality stables and there’s also the side of it of ‘if you build it, they will come’. We know that from what the trainers are looking for in Sydney. If the stabling was there, they’ll be here.”

Mr V’landys praised the work of Mr Barnett and NJC CEO Matt Benson in overseeing the course proper’s construction.

“They have a very good chairman in Geoff Barnett and Matt Benson has been fantastic,” he said. “I just wish there were 10 administrators like him around NSW because he has been a major asset to this club.”

He said: “The grant was $11.2 million for the tracks, including the pro-ride track. Any other applications will be new, but like I said, we want to encourage, not discourage, and if they can show a business case, we will support it 100 per cent.”

Mr V’landys faced vocal opposition to changes to the NJC board and constitution in 2012 before members approved the move with a 96 per cent vote.

He said the unveiling of the new track “was very pleasing for me because it was only a few years ago that I came up here and they all said I wouldn’t deliver”.

“They all said I just wanted to change the club, but everything we did was a win-win for Newcastle,” he said.

“We wanted a beautiful track here, one that was conducive to competitive racing, one that was even to attract punters, make it safe for the jockey and the horse and we’ve achieved all that.

“We’ve delivered everything we said we were going to deliver and the beauty I like is that we not only created the track, we created a corporate structure for the club which is very beneficial.

“You have three independent directors who bring new skills to the club. Sometimes when you have a popular election, you don’t get all the skills that you need, so this complements the already elected members.

“You got a former public company director in Paul Leaming, a track engineer in Richard Sonnichsen and one of the most experienced racing administrators in Brian Judd, all from the area who add to the elected board. Those skills will be an asset to the club.”

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4521399/stable-growth-for-njc/



Omitting your graduation date isn’t “sketchy,” in fact, it’s a very effective technique for older job seekers. There are plenty of tips and tricks out there, but here are three techniques that’ll propel you past the age-specific concerns that are getting in your way.

1. Get Ahead of Objections

Before you head into an interview (regardless of your age) you should ask yourself what in your background might be of concern to the hiring manager. Sometimes frequent relocation or short stints of employment raise eyebrows. For the older job seeker, they might be how your professional experience lines up with the role you’re after and what kind of salary you require.

For example, if you’re interviewing for a more mid-level role that won’t have you managing anyone, a younger hiring manager may wonder why you aren’t after a lead or management position. They may also presume that they can’t afford you based on your years of experience.

You can get ahead of their worries in how you answer the “tell me about yourself” question. Providing examples that proactively address a hiring manager’s age-based concerns is the way to eliminate them. Talking about your desire to remain hands-on can explain your lack of interest in a management position.

2. Align With the Culture

This is possibly the most important thing that you can do. Having a thorough understanding of a company’s core values, and being able to demonstrate your alignment with them is crucial to overcoming the unspoken concern that the rest of the team might be younger than you.

Pay special attention to the office culture, and if possible, try to land an informational interview with someone from the company. Nothing quite compares to having an internal champion singing your praises before you even apply to the job.

3. Do Not (Directly) Comment on Your Age

If you’re interviewing with a person several years younger than you, keeping the focus on your relevant skills is key. Avoid statements that shift the focus to your age. Saying things like “Oh, I’m probably aging myself” in reference to an industry tool or obsolete brand or “I’ve worked with this system—but not since 2004” isn’t helpful. Instead, refer to your experience by employer, not by year.

Try, “I had a chance to use this system with JP Morgan,” or “I’ve been playing with the most recent release”—both better options than unnecessarily dating yourself.

At the end of the day, a company that won’t even look your way because of your age is not a place you want to be. When experience is viewed as a liability instead of a benefit, it’s not a job you will love or a place you will succeed. Finding companies and roles that value employees for their skill sets is key to finding professional happiness.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/ask-a-career-coach-how-do-i-get-around-ageism-in-the-job-search?ref=recently-published-2

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | March 10, 2017 | Weekly Update


Looking for a job?  Close to home?

For all the latest jobs in your local community, search JobsInTheHunter.com.au, the gateway to opportunity in the Hunter Region!


A VISITING British planning expert and the state’s chief planner have both described Newcastle as a place on the verge of great things at a planning workshop at Fort Scratchley on Tuesday.

London-based Professor Greg Clark and NSW chief planner Gary White spoke at length about the opportunities and challenges facing Newcastle and the broader Hunter Region at the workshop, hosted by Department of Planning and Environment deputy secretary Brendan Nelson and attended by about 80 people.

On his first visit to Newcastle, Professor Clark said he was surprised by what he’d seen, compared with what he’d heard beforehand.

“I thought I was coming to see a city in decline, full of challenges, but when you look at all of the things that are happening right now, it’s already full of opportunities,” Professor Clark said.

Mr White, who took the top planning job in NSW after a long career in local government in Queensland, said Newcastle was in effect the opposite of Canberra. Whereas Canberra had been “planned to death, Newcastle had no metropolitan plan”.

Both men talked about a need to develop long-term plans that could be broken down into phases, and which took notice of change as it happened.

Mr White said planners had done quite well until about 10 years ago in managing cycles of change, but the big “structural disruptions” caused by digital technology were creating “change on a scale we have never seen before”.

Both men said the old method of planning, where industry, residential, health, education and retail were each concentrated in their own zones was no longer working. There were limits to what planning could achieve but a Greater Newcastle Metropolitan plan – together with a single regional voice to back it –  was a necessary first step in promoting the region to governments and employers, as well as potential residents and visitors. The workshop heard Professor Clark would return to Newcastle later in the year as work on the metropolitan plan continued. Asked about better rail links to Sydney, he said there was a risk they might initially suck jobs out of Newcastle but the benefits would eventually work in both directions. Light rail and the CBD university campus meant Newcastle was already on the path to renewal.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4498149/newcastles-bright-future/


One of the biggest mistakes people inadvertently make when communicating with others is passing off their feelings, perspectives, or observations as fact. This happens especially when sharing difficult messages, like critical feedback for a colleague or boss. Unsurprisingly, this often leads to conflict or frustration, instead of the resolution or change you were going for.

In such situations, the key is to avoid passing off your feelings as objective statements, and in particular to avoid doing it in a way that could come off as judging. Take these two examples of giving a seemingly checked-out colleague feedback:

“You weren’t interested with what I had to say at last week’s meeting.”

“When I shared my ideas at last week’s meeting, I noticed you didn’t make eye contact or share your thoughts, and I felt like you weren’t interested in what I had to say.”

The former states your feelings as fact, and it shuts down the conversation by giving your colleague the opportunity to deny or disagree—he might answer, “Well no, I was actually very interested.”

In the second example, however, your colleague can’t argue with your feelings. You also make it harder to deny by giving specifics as to what made you perceive the situation the way you did. Even if he didn’t mean to, you felt like he wasn’t interested. The conversation can now focus on the effect, rather than the intention.

The trick is to use this simple formula: “When you did/said X, I felt Y.”

You can even add “Next time, it would be great if you could do Z” if there’s an actionable change you think would help. With a little practice, this strategy can become second nature and make you a pro at handling challenging conversations.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-simple-formula-for-communicating-hard-messages-at-work?ref=recently-published-1

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | March 3, 2017 | Weekly Update

Calling all Waitstaff, IT Developers, Procurement Officers, Managers, Care Workers, Mechanics, Administrators… okay, you get the idea!  No matter your skills or profession, Jobs In The Hunter has got the job you’re looking for -


ON MARCH 14, the 122,000-tonne cruise ship Celebrity Solstice is scheduled to glide into Newcastle Harbour and disembark several thousand cashed-up visitors.

In the course of a nine-hour stay, some will make a 60-kilometre dash inland to sample the Hunter Valley vineyards, though most will be content to explore Newcastle’s beaches, restaurants and historic streetscape, enjoying a city that is among Australia’s most surprisingly attractive.

The 317-metre Celebrity Solstice, bigger even than the 91,000-tonne Queen Elizabeth liner that dropped in last year, is one of six cruise ships due to visit Newcastle in 2017, tying up at a bare-bones wharf known as the Channel Berth.

With ship numbers scheduled to rise to 10 next year, Newcastle’s new $12.7 million cruise terminal can’t come soon enough.

The 3000-square-metre terminal is due to be completed in late 2018 as part of a port infrastructure upgrade that will allow even larger ships to berth.

The cruise ships represent a glamorous but financially minor side of a working port that is among the oldest and busiest in Australia.

The daily bread-and-butter of Newcastle — indeed its very reason for existence — is the coal trade, which began in 1799 with a shipment to India aboard a barque named The Hunter.

Newcastle exports more coal than any other port in the world — a record 161.4 million tonnes last year worth $15.3 billion, including a monthly record of 15.9m tonnes in December.

Of a total 2258 ship visits to Newcastle in 2016, almost 1800 of them came to load coal.

While the debate may rage in Australia about the environmental impact and viability of coal fired power plants, customers in Japan, South Korea, China, India, Taiwan and Southeast Asia keep buying the thermal coal and steelmaking coking coal that is railed to Newcastle Port from mines in the Hunter Valley, Ulan, Gloucester and the Gunnedah Basin.

Every day, an average of 440,000 tonnes of coal is loaded onto bulk carriers — usually five carriers a day — and shipped out, primarily to Japan, which takes about 45 per cent of the supply. South Korea follows with 20 per cent, while China accounts for about 13 per cent.

On average in 2016, 15 coal ships were in the queue off Newcastle every day, waiting their turn to come in and load. Port of Newcastle chief executive officer Geoff Crowe believes the coal trade will remain strong, off the back of a high-quality product, a reliable supply chain and potential new customers in Southeast Asia.

“Our coal terminals have good capacity of 211m tonnes a year, which is more than sufficient for the next few years,” he says. “Some time in the future, T4 [a proposed $5bn fourth coal terminal capable of 70 million tonnes per annum] will become important.”

Coal represents almost 99 per cent of Newcastle’s exports by tonnage and 91 per cent by value, with mineral concentrates (copper, zinc and lead ore), wheat, aluminium and machinery among the other significant export items.

The biggest import item is fuel — 1.7 million tonnes last year, worth about $900m, followed by alumina and fertiliser.

Fuel logistics company Stolthaven Terminals, which operates on part of the old BHP steelworks site, is building a dedicated fuel berth next to the port’s bulk liquids precinct at Mayfield to serve the area’s growing need for diesel, petrol and jet fuel.

Source: http://specialreports.theaustralian.com.au/710712/newcastle-developsa-cargo-cruise-hub/


Organisations which recruit and retain the best people develop an honest and thoughtful employee recognition culture…

A culture that motivates and rewards people in a way that extends far beyond simply material incentives.

A culture which makes them belong and so feel safe!

According to Gallup, 65 percent of surveyed employees reported that they received no recognition over the last 12 months for their work. In the same report, 89 percent of employers feel that most employees leave their companies to earn more money. But, most workers who leave their jobs cite lack of employee recognition as a major concern.

Best Practice For Employee Recognition Culture:

Some of the best practices for recognising employees include:

* Establishing solid criteria for work performance

* Recognising people from all areas of operations and all levels

* Fostering a recognition culture where informal feedback is frequently offered

* Aligning performance benchmarks with the company’s goals, mission, vison and values.

* Providing opportunities for advanced training and career development as part of staff recognition

The following specific recognition culture initiatives are effective ways to recognise and reward your employees:

1. Make it personal, instant, include peers and your boss!

It’s critical to be specific, personal and accurate. Use positive words, and demonstrate to the person that you actually understand their accomplishments.

2. Provide opportunities

Some people don’t get the chance to excel because of the nature of their jobs or reduced expectations for certain types of work. Anybody who does their job well should be afforded opportunities for interesting, expanded responsibilities and training for job advancement.

3. Magnify recognition

While verbal communication is clearly the most effective way to recognise employees, the best strategy is to back it up by publicising accomplishments across multiple forums such as company newsletters, dashboards and in team meetings.

4. Offer beyond-the-call-of-duty perks

People who consistently perform at the highest levels should earn discretionary privileges.

5. Motivate with financial incentives

Although financial incentives aren’t always the best motivators, they certainly demonstrate appreciation for work well-performed. The best financial incentives are spontaneous because they motivate people to work their best at all times.

6. Give holiday rewards and bonuses

Award holiday bonuses include offering a cash or gift package to reward people for outstanding performance

7. Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition

Include recognition from peers.

8. Recognise people’s passions

People love to be recognised for their outside activities, hobbies and passions because it helps people belong not simply for their work, but also for their life out of work. belong Recognising peoples passions can also work as rewards in their own right.

9. Use technology and social media to publicise accomplishments

In today’s environment of instant communications, it is important to publicise important accomplishments and even human interest items in the company’s social media forums.

Recognition and positive motivation are powerful tools for encouraging people to give you their best

The tips outlined above are simply starting points, but depending on your business and industry, we can work with you to create an HR strategy that attracts, retains, and develops talented people that enhance your organisation.

Source: http://www.versatileresourcing.com/nine-ways-recognise-performance/

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | February 24, 2017 | Weekly Update

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With 739 vacancies on Jobs In The Hunter right now, you’ve got 739 opportunities to succeed in your job search!

Click here now to connect to opportunity!


Much like groundbreaking design, the best creative careers rarely adhere to a pre-determined template.

Nobody knows this better than Debbie Millman. An author, artist, illustrator, educator, and brand consultant, Millman’s career path looks much more like a winding road than it does a straightforward climb.

What’s more, it wasn’t always smooth. In fact, she describes the first 10 years of her professional life as, “experiments in rejection and failure.”

If you’re familiar with her work, this statement might surprise you—Millman is, after all, the author of six books on design; she chairs the School of Visual Arts’ Masters in Branding program; and her popular podcast, Design Matters, has accrued numerous accolades.

But arguably, those experiments, combined with a set of serendipitous curveballs, are what led to her success.

Whether you’re still contemplating the shape of your creative career or you’re looking for a bit of inspiration in your day job, take a page from Millman’s playbook on finding fulfilling work, navigating tough decisions, and defining success in a way that matters to you.

Follow Your Interests

Millman’s initial goal was to design magazine covers for a proper glossy in New York City, but despite being the editor of her college newspaper, her attempts fell short.

It wasn’t until her early thirties that she “fell into” a role in branding; the field was a perfect fit for her skill set, interests, and passions. At Sterling Brands, Millman began exploring the relationships between people and the brands they choose to integrate into their lives.

Then, in 2005, she started Design Matters—the world’s first (and now longest running) podcast about design—in which she converses with notable figures in the design space. It was the first thing that put her on the map, especially after garnering the People’s Choice Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2011; in 2012, Millman was invited to the White House and personally congratulated by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Today, Millman dedicates a significant portion of her time to educating others about design. She finds her day job exceptionally fulfilling—a key litmus test for career success.

“I think that any time you are doing work that fulfills your soul, it has the opportunity to become much more universal—because chances are there are other people out in the world who it will fulfill, as well,” she says.

Look Beyond the Beaten Path

Recently, Millman found herself at a career crossroads: She was offered the position of CEO at Sterling, where she’d served as President for years. For many, it would have been the logical next step, but she wasn’t sure it was the right one for her.

“It was a really exciting opportunity, and one that I know I would have enjoyed—but it would have meant putting my own artistic and creative aspirations aside. It took me four months to decide to turn down the job. It was the hardest decision I have ever made,” she says.

The decision ultimately aligns with one of Millman’s core beliefs about careers: Financial and creative fulfilment aren’t mutually exclusive. Seeking the proper balance of both is key.

Plus, “if anything takes you four months to decide, you probably don’t want it,” she says.

Difficult choices aren’t the only element of Millman’s career that have led her off the beaten path—she’s also had the opportunity to travel to some of the most obscure corners of the country for her work.

“Travel has really impacted my career. As much as I am a homebody, I love seeing new places,” she says, adding that she’s always prepared for a spur-of-the-moment trip or opportunity. “I have a bag that’s always packed with the day-to-day things that I need when I travel. I keep everything that I need in that bag—all my toiletries, technology, cords… all of the things that make me feel comfortable when I’m not home. All I need to do is pack the clothes that I’m going to wear,” she says.

The Lowest Moments Can Reap the Highest Rewards

When Millman talks about the early rejections and hurdles, it’s easy to dismiss her protestations as humility. But, she insists, at one point in her career, she actually thought she might be “the most hated woman in design.” The low blow occurred when she read a piece in a blog called “Speak Up” criticizing the work she’d done for a major brand, as well as for a major film franchise.

Instead of folding when she faced criticism, she decided to actively join the conversation.
She connected with the blog’s founder, Armin Vit, and began contributing to the site, persuading the design community about the merits of her work. Millman and Vit went on to form a long-term professional relationship. Today, she’s the godmother of his oldest daughter.

“I look back on it now and think, ‘I’m so glad that happened,’” Millman says. “Almost every major [accomplishment of mine]—the kernels and the seeds—came out of that experience. Ultimately, that turned into one of the most profound, life-affirming, life-changing things. So, sometimes the worst moment of your life can be a catalyst for the best life you could possibly imagine.”

If You Can Dream it, You Can Be It

As an accomplished writer, it’s perhaps no surprise that Millman’s most emphatic piece of advice for young creatives is to turn to the power of the pen.

“Write an essay about the life you’d like to have five or 10 years from now,” she says. “Write it with as much detail as you can muster. What does your day look like? Where do you go? How do you get there? What does one perfect day in that life look like? Write it down, savor it, save it, reread it every year, and I will guarantee that the life you envision is one that you’ll get closer to.”

As for Millman’s perfect life?

“I’m living it,” she says.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-design-the-career-of-your-dreams-advice-from-creative-genius-debbie-millman?ref=carousel-slide-0


A truck load of Maitland’s finest hay is on its way to Queensland to help nourish stock battling drought stricken conditions.

Rutherford-Telarah Rotary Club member Glen Lewis and his wife Maree are driving 38 round bales of hay 1800 kilometres north to Muttaburra in central west Queensland with the Burrumbuttock hay runners.

They are also carrying bags of dog food students from Rutherford Technology High School, Kurri Kurri High School, Cardiff High School and Lake Macquarie High School collected to help feed the canines on the land.

The convoy started at Darlington Point on Thursday morning and moved on to Cobar where the Lewis’ met them.

Another 40 trucks joined the convoy at Bourke en route to Wyandra where they spent Thursday night.

Small communities along the route have backed the cause and organised meals for the drivers.

Eighty per-cent of Queensland is in drought. The state has been suffering dry conditions for years, but it has been severe since 2014.
Mr Lewis said the hay donations wouldn’t solve the problem, but it sent a strong message to the farmers who were dealing with the emotional, mental and financial stress of the situation.

He said 18 round bales were donated from farm land around Maitland and the rotary club bought another 20 at a discounted rate.

He said dry conditions across the Hunter in recent months had made it harder for farmers to spare a lot of hay.

“We’re really pleased with the 38 we’ve been able to get,” he said.

“It’s a good cause, it’s showing them we’re here to help and to let them know that people care.

“These are small rural communities who are suffering through the drought, and some of them are suffering in silence.”

This is the 12th time a convoy of hay has traveled to Queensland. It started in 2014 when a group of men decided to do something to help farmers in need.

Some of the trucks have left the hay run this year to deliver hay to areas devastated by fire in NSW.

Mr Lewis is driving his show truck and borrowed a trailer from a friend to make the journey possible.

The hay will be unloaded within 12 hours and delivered to farmers in need.

He is looking forward to meeting some of the landholders.

“The look on people’s faces will be satisfying,” he said.

“They’ve been in a long drought, that would be very tough for them.”

Source: http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/4487707/citys-hay-dog-food-joins-burrumbuttock-hay-run-photosmap/

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | February 17, 2017 | Weekly Update

HU word cloud

Jobs in sales, IT, hospitality – just a few of the new vacancies available this week on Jobs In The Hunter!  Click here to see more…


When you think about advancing your career, what do you think about doing? Learning new skills? Building your network? Maybe pursuing a side gig?

These are all great options for getting ahead at work. If you’re gunning for a promotion or simply want to make yourself more marketable for future opportunities, you can’t go wrong by expanding your knowledge and building relationships.

But as you solidify your plans for advancement this year, I’d like you to also consider a different approach: letting go. Sometimes the thing holding us back isn’t a lack of something—it’s our refusal to ditch something that’s become outdated or irrelevant. Check out the list below, and ask yourself if you can make room for those new skills or relationships by abandoning that which you no longer need.

1. An Unhelpful Mentor

You will always need people who can help you professionally. There are plenty of examples of top performers who access coaches or mentors to help them navigate difficult decisions or major changes. Because relationships evolve over time, however, it’s entirely possible for someone to be influential and helpful at one point in your relationship, and then become problematic later on.

As you progress in your career, someone who was once a great mentor may grow competitive. Or he may simply get stuck in an outdated mindset while you (and your company) move on. Whatever the reason, if you outgrow a mentor, consider letting go of the relationship—at least in its current form. You don’t have to cut ties completely or end a friendship, but you don’t have to hold onto this person as your career guru, either.

2. An Irrelevant Goal

Goals are obviously important. If you aren’t working toward something concrete, after all, then what are you doing? And yet being inflexible in the pursuit of your goals may lead to trouble in some situations. A leadership change at work, a transfer to a different department, a new opportunity, or any other number of unforeseen changes could all impact the feasibility of any given goal.

Let’s say you set a goal to increase revenue for a specific product line, but your supervisor tells you she wants you to increase revenue on a different product line. If you can’t do both, you better align yourself with the company goals or you may land in hot water.

While you certainly don’t want to get in the habit of abandoning a goal the minute you feel challenged or stressed, you do need to get in the practice of periodically evaluating whether your goals are still high priority.

3. An Outdated Approach

No one plans to be the person who blurts out, “But we’ve always done it that way!” And yet, when we get comfortable, we become afraid of change and seek security in what we know.

Ask yourself if you’re sticking with something—a routine, a software system, a practice—because it’s familiar. Do you feel a twinge of fear when you think about modifying your approach? That twinge is the beginning of the “We’ve always done it this way!” mindset.

There’s certainly a benefit in knowing a particular tool of your trade backward and forward. You can work quickly and confidently when you’re at ease with your processes and technology, but getting stuck is dangerous. Committing yourself to exploring even one new thing a year in your industry can help you avoid attachment to products or practices that are increasingly outdated.

4. Technology

Think about an interaction with a colleague or friend that was profoundly impactful. Did it happen over text or an email? Unlikely. If you need to make a convincing argument, elicit assistance, make a difficult decision, or deliver an apology, technology is an aid, not the vehicle for communication. Make an effort this year to set your phone down, walk out of your office, and engage with people face-to-face.

Of course, seeking worthwhile and meaningful interactions with colleagues is only one reason to let tech go when possible, but there’s also an argument for increased productivity. How many minutes a day do you lose to mindless scrolling on Facebook? How long does it take you to coin the perfect Instagram caption?

I’m not saying to abandon your apps, but to look at much you . Wrest back control of your time before your boss takes note of your distractions. You’ll likely be amazed at how your productivity blossoms when you control your use of technology instead of the other way around.

This is certainly not a comprehensive list of all the things you might consider ditching. Most of us have habits, relationships, beliefs, and practices that warrant occasional scrutiny to determine if they still have a place in our lives. If you haven’t considered this before now, it’s a good time to review your plans to determine what you want to add, and what you want to leave behind to make this your best professional year yet.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-things-you-need-to-ditch-if-you-truly-want-to-get-ahead?ref=carousel-slide-2


Your team drive the success of your business, but can also be one of the hardest aspects of the organisation to get right.

Paying attention to these five fundamentals will positively affect your company’s performance and profitability:

  1. Effective recruitment
  2. Talent retention
  3. Performance management
  4. Compensation and pay equity
  5. Productivity

Is it time to consider outsourcing aspects of your HR function?

Versatile Resourcing offers cost effective HR solutions while allowing you to focus on growing your business.

What our clients are saying

When Tim Mackew of Versatile Resourcing started working with Australian Hose and Fittings Pty Ltd, their turnover was $150K per month.   At the end of September 2016 Versatile Resourcing received this message from the owner/MD:

“Hi Tim, I just wanted to thank you for all the effort and passion you put into AHF.  Because of your continued dedication to our team we have broken our last record ending the month of September 2016 at $962,000.00. How good is that! Have a great long weekend Cheers AL”

To receive a free, no obligation, consultation you can email Versatile Resourcing on service@versatileresourcing.com.

Source: http://www.versatileresourcing.com/five-strategic-hr-metrics-every-employer-capture-sustainable-competitive-advantage/

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | February 10, 2017 | Update, Weekly Update

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Here’s our suggestion for beating the heat this weekend.  Crank the fan up to high, gorge on icy poles and search for the the coolest jobs in the Hunter Region right here!



THE region’s largest support group for mentors will present 26 scholarships to deserving students across the Hunter this month.

And, in 2017, it will all take place at the Parade Ring room of the Newcastle Harness Racing Club on Tuesday, February 21, from 1.30pm

Since the first two scholarships were presented in 2008, Mentor Support Network (MSN) has supported 149 pupils from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Upper Hunter, Cessnock, Dungog and Muswellbrook.

Incoming chair Jon Chin says the educational scholarships would not be possible without the generous backing of their sponsors.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary since the scholarship program began,” Mr Chin said.

“The support from the wider business community and industry enables us to offer a real lifeline to help keep students at school.”

The scholarships are designed to assist eligible secondary or tertiary level students aged 15 years or older with their educational expenses.

Scholarships are granted to those students who demonstrate the drive and determination to achieve educational goals while experiencing a level of hardship.

Established in 2005, Mentor Support Network supports youth development organisations in the Hunter by providing regular networking events, annual forums, scholarship programs and youth mentor training.

Source: http://www.huntervalleynews.net.au/story/4456750/a-decade-of-youth-mentoring-support/


Owners of high-end vineyards in the Hunter Valley have been selling up, with two more luxury properties at Pokolbin hitting agents’ books in January.

‘The Longhouse’ off Palmers Lane is expected to fetch around $1.65 million and the nearby Iron Gate Estate has been listed for between $8 and $10 million.

But despite the surge in new stock, agents say there is no danger oversupply could dampen prices.

“There’s been a higher number of properties for sale in the higher price range than in the previous four or five months,” agent Cain Beckett of Jurd’s Real Estate said. “But demand is outstripping supply. There are many more buyers than there are sellers and that’s why the prices are so strong at the moment.”

Mr Beckett said that like the residential market, the main driver of demand was increasing levels of interest from Sydney buyers escaping an overheated market.

“People are cashing out of the Sydney market and doing a tree change,” he said.

“They can get a lot more for their money up here. These are not high end purchases in these buyers’ minds.”

The Iron Gate Estate features a palatial four-bedroom home on a 36 acre block, complete with mature vineyards, a commercial winery, olive grove and cellar door.

The Mediterranean-style mansion accommodates a home gym, media room and swimming pool.

“That property is really a lifestyle change one. I suspect the buyer would live there or use it as a weekender and employ an operator for the commercial side of things,” Mr Beckett said.

‘The Longhouse’ is at the top end of the Hunter Valley’s accommodation market and sits on a 25 acre parcel, overlooking its own boutique chardonnay vineyard.

It consists of three eco-friendly luxury villas, designed and built almost entirely by a group of architecture students from the University of Newcastle.

FOR SALE: The Longhouse

The sleek, modern theme was inspired by the traditional Australian woolshed; and the materials used in construction were even sourced from a 130-year-old woolshed in Western Australia.

“The interest in the Longhouse has been some of the strongest we’ve had,” Mr Beckett said.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4435066/high-end-wineries-hit-the-market/?cs=305



One of Australia’s favourite holidays is a caravan and camping getaway and there is no better place to find all the latest RV products, accessories and holiday destinations than the 2017 Newcastle Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo.

Each year, the industry’s peak body, the Caravan & Camping Industry Association (CCIA) NSW, stages an amazing caravan and camping showcase at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground, and this year it’s being extended to a four-day event.

“For the first time we will be operating the Expo over four days – from Thursday, February 9 to Sunday   February 12  – giving plenty of time to check out over 170 exhibitors on display,” CCIA CEO Lyndel Gray said.

“Our Newcastle Expo is our largest event in regional NSW, and the extra day will give more people more time to browse hundreds of caravans, motorhomes, campervans, camper trailers, tents and camping equipment, accessories and holiday park displays.

“Australians are taking record numbers of domestic holidays and the latest industry data shows there has been strong growth in NSW’s caravan and camping sector, with visitor nights up 22 per cent over the past 12 months.

“Our caravan and camping Expos are a fantastic place to browse, research, review and buy all the latest caravan and camping products in one convenient place.

“It’s a great opportunity to compare the huge range of brands and products on display and  speak to the experts who can help inspire your next holiday.”

Now in its seventh year of operation, the Expo will have  plenty of entertainment and activities for the kids, including a jumping castle, fairy face painter and  rides along with free towing demonstrations.

The Newcastle Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo is on at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground and  open from 9am – 5pm (closes 4pm Sunday).

Tickets can be purchased at the gates: adult tickets $15, concession $10 and children 16 and under free when accompanied by an adult. There is free onsite parking, and a free shuttle service operates from Hunter Stadium.

Pick up your free reusable shopping bag to carry your free copy of the latest 2017 NSW Holiday Parks & Products Guide with information on over 400 Holiday Parks and more than 200 products and service providers.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4443527/expo-adds-an-extra-day/?cs=5070


We all often face the same problem: The workweek drags by at a glacial pace, while the weekend speeds past us before we even realize what’s happening.

Mathematically, of course, it all makes sense. But, what if you could change that? What if you could use your time so efficiently that you had all of your important to-dos wrapped up by Thursday?

Even if you can’t actually pack up, leave the office, and take every Friday off (we wish, right?), wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have that whole “bonus” day to stop putting out fires and instead get a jumpstart on next week—or even use that day to tackle those bigger ambitions that have been permanently parked in your back seat?

I know, it sounds impossible. But, skepticism aside, it’s totally doable if you use your time effectively. In fact, numerous companies have actually begun instituting flexible or four-day workweeks for their employees.

So, how do these people manage to pull this off? It’s not as tough as you think.

1. They Schedule Intentionally

You’re aiming to view Friday as the extra day tacked onto the end of your workweek—a day when all of your weekly tasks are finished and you can finally have a clear head and a somewhat empty plate.

This means you’ll want to avoid scheduling meetings, phone calls, and other important get-togethers on that day (unless it’s just a casual coffee get-together with a networking contact). Instead, you want Friday to provide a large chunk of totally uninterrupted time that you can use however you’d like.

Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder and CEO of Asana, swears by this no-meeting structure—although, he implements it on Wednesdays for his team. “With very few exceptions, everyone’s calendar is completely clear at least one day out of the week whether you are a maker or manager,” he says in an article for Inc., “This is an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work.”

This intentional scheduling applies throughout your entire workweek. In order to set yourself up for an empty Friday, you’ll also need to keep a close eye on your schedule during the other days as well.

No, you don’t always have complete control over your calendar. However, it’s important that you frequently check through your schedule to see how your week’s shaping up. If you think you have far too many commitments and not enough time to actually work, you’ll need to see what you can move around or back out of.

2. They Focus on Priorities

You start your week with the best intentions and a laundry list of things you’re going to tackle in the office. But, when Friday rolls around, you’re shocked to realize that you barely accomplished any of them. You were too caught up in the emergencies that cropped up.

As Stephen R. Covey, the incredibly successful businessman and author, said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

People who get everything wrapped up before Friday know the value of effective prioritization, and many of them use the time management matrix developed by Covey in order take a step back and readjust their focus on the things that are critical, rather than time-pressing.

Oftentimes, there’s a big difference between how you’re actually spending your time and how you should be spending your time. And, if you want to have Friday reserved as free space, you’re going to need to constantly evaluate your priorities and ensure that you’re channeling your energy into the right things.

3. They Tune Out Distractions

Of course, you’re going to need to maximize every single minute of the days you actually do have. And, that means minimizing distractions as much as possible.

If you can’t focus at your desk with the office chatter and phone calls happening around you, try to find a quiet spot (or, if you’re desperate, some noise-canceling headphones) so that you can get into a groove and zone in on whatever you’re working on.

Another distraction you’ll want to keep at bay? Emails. So, close out that browser tab and resist the siren song of your inbox. You can even take a cue from Tommy John’s CEO, Tom Patterson, and set an out-of-office message that lets everybody know you’re only reading your emails at a certain time. That way, you won’t feel as tempted to keep checking in on your inbox.

4. They Find Shortcuts

You might hear the word “shortcut” and assume that means shoddy work. But, that’s not what this strategy is about at all.

Successful people are always concerned with producing top-notch results—however, they also find little ways to save time in the process. So, take a page from their book and have a good, hard look at your routine. Are there places where you’re spending a lot of unnecessary time?

Perhaps it’s a document you’re repeatedly drafting. Create a template so you always have the barebones in place. Is it an email you’re always sending? Save a canned response so you don’t have to draft the same message over and over again. Is there a menial task you need to complete daily or weekly? See if there’s a way you can automate it.

These changes seem small. But, if you managed to save yourself 15 minutes each day between Monday and Thursday, that’d be an entire hour by the time Friday rolls around. See? It all adds up.

Cutting a day out of your week might seem like a surefire way to get far less done. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, four-day workweeks have been proven to offer plenty of benefits—including increased productivity, higher levels of engagement, and happier employees.

Studies also show that longer hours don’t always equal more tasks being accomplished. After a certain point, we check out and our productivity either flat lines or takes a total nosedive.

So, even if your office won’t officially implement a compressed week, you can still roll up your sleeves, make the most of Monday through Thursday, and reserve Friday as a more low-key day when you can tackle bigger projects or set yourself up for success next week. After all, there’s no better way to head into the weekend.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-successful-people-finish-all-their-work-by-thursday-stressfree?ref=carousel-slide-5

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | February 3, 2017 | Weekly Update


Is the Hunter Region the best place to live and work?  Quite possibly!  We have hundreds of local jobs, right here, in your own back yard.  Click here to take a closer look…


These are the essential traits of a trustworthy boss.

By Marcel Schwantes, Principal and founder, Leadership From the Core

Organizations far and wide have for years attempted to crack the code on what makes for a healthy and profitable work culture. Well, let me save you time and money and simply break it to you here: It is trust.

We already know this to be true from several studies. For example, Great Place to Work — the global research consultancy that partners with Fortune to conduct the annual study of those “best companies” — confirms that trust is the human behavior you cannot afford not to have.

The research on those companies (Google, to no surprise, being No. 1 on the list seven out of the last 10 years) says that 92 percent of employees surveyed believe that management is transparent in its business practices. And transparency begets trust.

Author and thought-leader Stephen M.R. Covey makes his living on this. In his book, The Speed of Trust, Covey says that a team with high trust will produce results faster and at lower cost (not to mention it’s free).

5 Leadership Habits You Absolutely Want for Developing Trust

In all my years working with HR and executive teams, I have often found that these five leadership habits are difference-makers in building trust. Trustworthy leaders:

1. Are willing to give up power.

You will find that many successful leaders give up power and entrust it to their team. They do this because they are confident in their team’s ability, since trust is freely given as a gift even before it’s earned. By giving up their power and pushing their authority down, they empower others to own decisions, thus creating a proactive leader-leader culture of success, rather than a reactive leader-follower culture.

2. Show remarkable resilience in the face of adversity.

Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Such leaders are the ones who bounce back from setbacks by self-diagnosing why the same issues keep coming up over and over. They will recover and be open to change much quicker — changing what’s holding them back, and changing what no longer serves the company. This is someone you can trust.

3. Are willing to trust and believe in the people they lead.

Bringing Stephen M.R. Covey and The Speed Of Trust back to the discussion, he says that a team with high trust will produce results faster and at lower cost. But should you first earn the trust of your people? Or does trust develop from having a belief in your people first — their strengths, abilities, and commitment? In other words, which of these two statements would you agree with?

A. Trust is something that people must earn.

B. Trust is something that should be given as a gift.

If you chose A, you’re in the majority. Conventional thinking says that people have to earn trust first, and if they violate that trust, it becomes difficult to earn it back, right? But if you selected B, pat yourself on the back. It has been found that, in healthy organizations, leaders are willing to give trust to their followers first, and they give it as a gift even before it’s earned.

4. Display humility as a leadership strength.

I’ve heard a few times from people in positions of power that humility is weak. Yet this core virtue drives against the inner strongholds that make a bad leader: pride, self-centeredness, judgmentalism, control, and impulsiveness.

Author and thought-leader Jim Collins has probably dedicated more time to researching and writing about humble leaders than any other topic in his landmark study of Level 5 Leadership. He states:

Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It’s not that Level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious — but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.

5. Are willing to seek input from peers.

Wondering how you are doing on your leadership path? Ask. It takes humility to say “How am I doing?” And even more humility to consider the answer.

Any company with a leadership team committed to developing a culture of trust will eventually realize that it starts with them. That is, if they’re willing to change and set the wheels in motion.

There is an absolute ROI when organizations invest in creating a high-trust culture. Great workplaces have significantly less turnover and attract employees who have a vested interest in their companies.

These factors ultimately lead to a competitive edge and enable companies to quickly bounce back from challenging situations.

Source: http://www.versatileresourcing.com/trusted-leaders/

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A COUPLE of Upper Hunter companies are eyeing off the 2017 Hunter Safety Awards.

A panel of industry experts and sponsor representatives recently chose the finalists, with the winners – across 11 categories – being announced at a gala event on Friday, March 17, at the Newcastle Exhibition & Conference Centre (NEX).

Launched in 2016, the Hunter Safety Awards were developed to highlight and acknowledge companies and individuals within the region who are demonstrating best-practice and innovative approaches when it comes to workplace health and safety (WHS).

Awards founder Sarah-Jane Dunford said it was a rigorous process, with a number of close decisions.

“Just like last year, we were very impressed with the range of WHS initiatives being undertaken by organisations and individuals across the region,” she said.

“The finalists represent a wide range of industries and sectors and the calibre of entries was impressive.

“It was an honour to be able to read about and research how companies are developing world-first products or creating a culture of change for their organisation or inspiring others to embrace WHS.”

The Hunter Safety Awards are supported by a range of local, national and international sponsors.

“Our major partner, Blackwoods, has returned for the second year of the awards, and without them we wouldn’t be able to recognise and reward our finalists and eventual winners,” Ms Dunford continued.

“We are also supported by 10 awards sponsors including University of Newcastle, Laing O’Rourke, Greencap, WesTrac, Lifestyle Cleaning Services, 3M, KONE, Hunter TAFE, uvex, John Holland Rail.

“We are expecting a large crowd for the event, not only to support the finalists and celebrate the winners, but also to network with other WHS professionals, as there is no specific networking event in the Hunter.”

Tickets are available for the event by visiting www.huntersafetyawards.com.au

The 2017 Hunter Safety Award finalists are listed (alphabetically) below:

Organisations –

Airspeed Aviation

Anglican Care

Asset Training

Body & Mind 2000

Compass Housing


DADM Enterprises

Hunter Engineering and Fabrication

Hunter TAFE


Laing O’Rourke


Mahtech Industries

Mainstream Industries

Newcastle Men’s Shed

Newcastle Rescue and Consultancy


Port Stephens Council

Programmed Skilled

Service Stream



Training Wheels

Valley Electrical & Air


Individuals –

James Brown

John Hamson

Kim Skeffington

Lauren Meldrum

Leah Pringle

Lee Oakman

Lindsay Holt

Steven Whitehead

Source: http://www.huntervalleynews.net.au/story/4425542/finalists-revealed/

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | January 28, 2017 | Weekly Update

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Happy Lunar New Year!  It’s the year of the fire rooster, which heralds a year of results and achievement.  Get the results you’re after in your search for a job – just click here to see the latest vacancies in the Hunter Region.  Good luck in the year ahead!


THE new year has brought a smattering of new childcare businesses in Newcastle, with most citing demand for a growing shortage of vacancies in the region as their motivator.

Warners Bay centre Little Beginnings has opened its second, 92-place facility in Hillsborough Road and newcomer Creative Childcare has opened in Kotara with plans to open at least five centres in Newcastle and surrounds this year. In Waratah, purpose-built The Hub is run by veteran educators Raylee Davies and Nicole Denzin, who opened their first The Hub centre in Mayfield a year ago.

The pair met while teaching at Belmont Christian College and job-shared the role of director of Mayfield Community Preschool.

A restructure of government funding two years ago that potentially threatened the pre-school’s numbers led she and Mrs Denzin to start The Hub, which offers long day care hours and a focus on “holistic” quality care.

It opened on January 9 and is taking new enrolments.

“Council is saying there is demand, well we are not full and I am concerned but I feel happy because we are at 50 per cent capacity and we have only been open three days,” says Mrs Denzin.

A council spokesperson said council had received 24 development applications with a reference to child care in the past year. Of those, 15 have been approved, with one refused and nine still to be determined.

The Hub aspires for childcare that goes beyond best practice and its “heart and vision”, says Mrs Davies, is “that we become an extension of home for our families and children”.  It has seven rooms and “free flow” design, with indoor rooms all connected to the outdoors to maximise interaction between the two spaces in a natural setting.

Creative Childcare co-founder Craig Neil said the business will add as many as 400 places in planned centres in Newcastle, Warabrook and Hamilton this year.

“We want to raise the bar in the provision of childcare in the area,” he said.

The centre incorporates creative learning principles including music, art, dance and food into its curriculum.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4411301/growth-spurt-in-care/?cs=4200


Aldi is on schedule to open its third Maitland supermarket in September.

The company will open in The Hunter Mall on The Levee in September.

Fairfax Media announced plans for the supermarket earlier this month after a liquour licence application revealed Aldi’s plans to move into The Hunter Mall and not into a property it owns in Elgin Street, the site of the former Sam’s Warehouse.

The application had been publicly displayed between Kmart and Best and Less, where the store will ultimately open its doors.

A spokesperson for The Hunter Mall owners said the move is not only great news for businesses in the mall but for The Levee as a whole.

“The company is working towards a September opening but there is still a lot of tenancy works that have to be carried out between now and then,” the spokesperson said.

“There are a couple of development applications that still have to go before council and then the store will have to be fitted out.”

The spokesperson said the inclusion of Aldi in The Hunter Mall has the potential to increase revenue in the centre by about 30 per cent.

“Everyone is very positive about the news and it goes to show the confidence big companies do have in Maitland.

“This was a much sought after site with a few businesses vying for the tenancy,” the spokesperson said.

Asked what Aldi’s plans were for the former Sam’s site, the spokesperson said to “watch this space.”

Aldi announced on January 4 it was pleased to confirm the company had reached an agreement with the owners of The Hunter Mall to take up a tenancy opportunity in the centre in mid 2017.

The news was applauded by long time Maitland businessman Patrick Lane of Ken Lane Menswear.

“This will be great for the CBD, fantastic and will further consolidate our position as a relevant centre.

“Aldi will bring more people back into the heart of the city,” Mr Lane said.

The Hunter Mall spokesperson said the delivery of an Aldi in the centre further “secures and anchors” the centre’s position as a new and vibrant shopping location.

“In an environment of uncertainty people will now see us as a place to come for a first class shopping experience.

“We’re expecting to draw customers from the wider Hunter Valley and Cessnock,” the spokesperson said.

“It’s a full house now.”

Source: http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/4424118/third-aldi-city-revenue-booster/


Have you ever desperately wanted to quit your job and find something you love, but then—fear. Desperate, overwhelming, soul-crushing, stop-you-in-your-tracks fear.

Maybe you’re ready to quit or maybe you’re just thinking about it. Maybe you’re thinking of putting in your name for a promotion at work or maybe you’re trying to work up the guts to tell your boss you want to change your role. Regardless, your stomach’s a pit of despair, and your mind’s screaming at you to stop trying to change the status quo.

Feel like I’m reading your mind? Well, good news, I’m not! Rather, you’re going through something very common. In fact I don’t know anyone, including myself, who didn’t freak out before making a leap.

So first things first. Let’s get over the idea that fear is a bad thing.

It’s not—it’s a biological reaction that tells you when things are changing so you stay alert and react. Or, if you prefer explanations that sound less textbook-y, think of it this way: It’s also a tool to help you on your journey.

Think about the last time you were on a roller coaster. Were you screaming your head off wanting to get the heck off of it as you inched towards that first big drop? But then as soon as it ended, wanted to get ride back on and live the thrill again?

That’s the roller coaster effect.

So, if you let of of of the idea that fear is a bad thing and instead think of it as a useful indicator that you’re about to do something amazing, what would you do differently?

For starters, you’d probably follow through more on things that scare you because you knew that getting through to the other side would be worth it. Maybe you’d finally make the first move to change careers because the initial discomfort would lead you down a path that you truly love. Or maybe you’d set up that meeting with HR to talk about an internal transfer. Or perhaps you’d sign up to give a presentation  at the company meeting.

Whatever it is that’s currently getting you excited, yet also making you want to curl up in the corner, do it! Really. Whenever you feel afraid I want you to acknowledge your fear, and recognize that it’s giving you a choice: Stay stuck and make no progress—or push through it and get to the top of that roller coaster ride.

Yes, it’s scary, but it’s also thrilling and exciting and in both cases—the roller coaster and your life—the only way to get to the fun part is to push through that fear.

 Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/being-scared-is-a-great-sign-youre-about-to-do-something-amazing-in-your-career?ref=carousel-slide-0