If you’re looking or full-time, part-time or casual employment, Jobs In The Hunter has 629 current vacancies online right now – take a look here!


HUNTER businesswoman Kirsten Molloy has led a trio of women working in regional mines to win industry recognition.

Ms Molloy, the chief executive officer of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator, took out the Exceptional Woman in Mining award at the recent Industry and Suppliers Awards dinner at NSW Parliament.

Chloe Piggford, the environment and community manager at Glencore Integra underground mine near Singleton, was named the Exceptional Young Woman in NSW Mining.

Jemma Callaghan, a mobile equipment operator/trainer assessor at Rio Tinto Coal & Allied’s Mt Thorley Warkworth Mine, was named Outstanding NSW Tradeswoman/Operator/Technician.



I’m always on the lookout for the next productivity hack that’ll make my workweek shorter. But even with all that time spent experimenting with lists and apps, I still had that window each week when I was pretty much just running out the clock.

Maybe, for you, that window is when you’re easing into work on Monday. Or during that funky 3 PM to 5 PM window right before the Friday finish line.

Whenever it is, it’s exactly when you should dive into Entrepreneur Sol Orwell’s Research-Plan-Connect (RPC) activity. It’s just what it sounds like: a block of time away from deadline-driven work to focus on these three categories: researching, planning, and connecting.

Ever since learning about it, I started setting aside time on my schedule to work on things that get me ahead, rather than things that just hit deadlines. And after doing it for three months, I’ve found that I’m actually reading all those articles I save and emailing the people I’d been meaning to reconnect with.

I’ve been able to accomplish big things, while also building my skills and network in ways that would’ve taken me much longer if I’d simply followed my old “I’ll fit it in here and there” approach.

Want to give this a shot? Here’s what you might do during your new RPC time:


I’m a reformed article hoarder. I used to have weeks when I saved industry articles with all the intentions of reading them—and just never gotten around to it.

Looking back now, it seems pretty obvious to block out time to, you know, read them. But setting that time aside—specifically—makes all the difference.

Or, if you’re not sure where to start, investigate the things that’ll help out you on the job. These could include anything from new tools or resources, to conferences you’re considering attending, or workshops you feel would benefit your team.

If you can book a skill-boosting webinar during your research window: perfect.

And that potential client you’ve been cyber-stalking? Yeah, that’s actually just research.

I set Google alerts for topics related to my industry. This way there’s a curated round-up of news ready for me to absorb each week. It’s how I stay fresh and “in the know.”


Type A’s: rejoice! And non-type A’s, I promise you’ll find this worthwhile, too.

If you RPC on Fridays like me, planning for the week ahead during this block will be a no-brainer. But it doesn’t have to be on Fridays, and it doesn’t have to involve your weekly planning, either.

When you need to, seize the time to outline big projects or your goals for the quarter.

Maybe even use the time to review your personal development plan—and think about how you’ll meet larger goals to advance in your career.

Use your planning window to break that Herculean task you have coming up into small, manageable chunks; and when you get back to it, you’ll have a real, live step one (and two and three).


Connect time is all about warming and building key relationships with co-workers, clients, business partners, work friends from previous jobs—the list goes on.

I’m not suggesting you suddenly jam all of your coffee dates into back-to-back meetings and come back to work jittery, or stare, unblinking at LinkedIn. (Though, if you’re always putting those things off for “when you have time,” this is a window to do them—within reason.)

It can be as old-school as popping a thank you note or birthday card in the mail, or as informal as sending out a heartfelt tweet. One-on-one brainstorm sessions, chats with your mentor, and Friday happy hour mingling all count too!

Finally, if you want to be truly successful with this approach, remember: Don’t kid yourself.

While you don’t want to be a stick in the mud (like telling your networking contacts you’ll only meet during this window, their schedule be damned, or feeling like you have to split each block into perfect thirds), you do need to be honest about the difference between making it work for you, and pretending that cat videos are “research.”

If you use this new work schedule for all those career-boosting activities you typically back-burner, you’ll find yourself looking forward to—and benefitting from—what were once the least-productive hours of your week.


Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | April 22, 2017 | Weekly Update


It’s pretty much a given that you’ll change careers at least a few times during your life. According to research, 35% of all U.S. workers have changed careers in the past three years while millennials average four positions before hitting 32).

With each new job comes the opportunity to build skills and expertise, which Peter Roper, Google’s Head of Mobile Brand Strategy, says is the most important priority when considering the responsibilities of new positions.

Roper advises that it’s best “to think about what skill sets you want to get at your next job,” rather than look at surface level features such as location and salary. When you think of each move as building on your prior experience, you’ll have a better chance choosing the positions that’ll grow your expertise.

And as Roper says, “You don’t have to have your career perfectly mapped out,” but it helps to think of each subsequent job as a building block, not as a blank page.


Maitland town hall

MAITLAND West is one of the NSW districts outside of Sydney with the largest recent population growth, new figures show.

With an increase of 551 people in the year to July 2016, Maitland West underwent the year’s largest population growth of any district in the Hunter, and the fourth largest in NSW outside of Sydney.

But the 2.5 per cent population bump in Maitland West in the year, for a total population of more than 22,000 people, was eclipsed as a percentage by that of central Maitland, which grew by a Hunter high of 3.1 per cent to more than 28,000.

Official Australian Bureau of Statistics population figures released this week also show Maitland as an overall district increased its population by 1.9 per cent in the year to more than 74,000, nearly double the growth in Newcastle.

The figures also show the population of the Hunter grew by 6362 people in the 2015-16 financial year.

The Hunter district with the highest growth as a percentage was Stockton-Fullerton Cove, which grew by 3.4 per cent in the year to a total population of 7,306.

In Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, the major statistical growth districts included Glendale-Cardiff-Hillsborough, which grew by 338 people in a year, and Edgeworth-Cameron Park, which added 335 people.

Despite being the centre of recent pivotal civic works, Wickham-Carrington-Tighes Hill shed 39 people in a year.

There were also small population decreases in Hamilton-Broadmeadow, Toronto-Awaba, and Belmont South-Blacksmiths.

Sydney’s population grew by 1.7 per cent last financial year to more than five million people, while the rest of NSW grew by 0.8 per cent.

Source: Newcastle Herald

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | April 14, 2017 | Weekly Update

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While your search may be for eggs rather than jobs this weekend, we wish you success and a Happy Easter!  See our latest vacancies by clicking here.


THE new boss of Newcastle City Council has vowed a fresh start, pledging to end division and an “unhealthy” association with politics at city hall. Jeremy Bath – a former executive at Hunter Water – was on Wednesday announced as council’s new interim chief executive officer, taking over from Frank Cordingley. The appointment comes after bitter infighting between councillors that began in December, with some councillors criticising the recruitment drive for the $390,000 a year position as predetermined, an accusation that sparked the Office of Local Government to be called in to investigate. However, Mr Bath told the Newcastle Herald on Wednesday night his previous experience working with both major parties should serve as a sign he could work with everyone. He said he wanted his appointment to be an opportunity for council to “put some of the politics to the side”. “Newcastle City Council for too long has been enwrapped in politics in a very unhealthy way – not just at a council level but at an administrative level as well,” Mr Bath said.

“I hope, given the opportunity to perform, we can put an end to that.”

Mr Bath, who is 41 and grew up in the Hunter, declared it was an exciting time to be a Novocastrian and said he wanted to continue the city’s resurgence with an “impressive array” of council-led projects.

“Newcastle’s future will be built on our willingness to work and dream,” he said.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the appointment and paid tribute to Mr Bath’s previous experience with Hunter Water.

“Jeremy Bath brings to Council a proven ability to work effectively with all sides of politics as well as a focus on customer service and community consultation,” she said in a statement.

Liberal councillor Brad Luke – a critic of the selection process – was more cautious and said he would reserve judgement until he saw Mr Bath in action.

He warned that council’s “very good” senior staff should be retained under Mr Bath’s leadership.

“The senior executive of council is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen in an organisation,” he said.

“I would say to Jeremy coming in it would be good not to have pre-judgements on those people.”

Mr Bath’s tenure begins on May 15.


Leonardo da Vinci. Marie Curie. Thomas Edison. Beatrix Potter.

What did all four of these people have in common?

Not only were they all highly motivated and creative individuals, but they also all kept some form of an idea journal.

An idea journal is not a diary where you have to record all of the details of your day. Rather, it’s a place where you jot down daily goals, achievements, observations, ideas for projects, quotes, or other bits of inspiration.

If you’re working on a project, you can fill your journal with updates on your progress, thoughts on how to improve the project, and anything else that motivates you. A writer’s might be filled with ideas for stories or articles or blog posts. An artist’s might contain sketches or inspirations for drawings. Ultimately, the idea journal exists as a private place to plant your thoughts and watch them grow.

Here are four reasons why some of the most successful people keep one (and you should, too):

1. It Helps You Remember and Develop Ideas

Leonardo da Vinci may not have kept an idea journal strictly speaking, but he did fill hundreds of pages with sketches, scientific diagrams, ideas for new inventions, and reflections on art. These pages were bound together as books after his death.

To make his writings even more private, da Vinci often employed a kind of shorthand and didn’t worry about perfect penmanship or proper punctuation.

What he did care about was carefully recording his lab notes and his many ideas for new inventions—everything from a flying machine to a submarine prototype.

Whether you’re researching an article or a novel or planning any kind of project, you need a place where you can organize all of that material. Like da Vinci’s notebooks, an idea journal helps you clarify your thoughts and express them more clearly. The action of writing down an idea forces you to think more deeply about it.

2. It Helps You Evaluate Lessons Learned

Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She also kept detailed lab notebooks that described her discovery of two elements: radium and polonium. These notes gave her a permanent and immediate record of her experiments and accomplishments.

Though you may not be a scientist, an idea journal acts as a lab notebook of sorts. While working on a project, you can use it to record each step of your journey: the difficulties that set you back, the hurdles you overcome, the milestones you make, and your final achievements.

The idea journal helps you avoid repeating mistakes in the future. And, you can flip through it to see all the steps you took toward completing your goals.

3. It Motivates You

Here is a photo of a page from one of Thomas Edison’s notebooks. He writes at the top of the page things doing and to be done. His to-do list runs for several pages and includes an amazing number of ideas, including an electrical piano, “unflammable” insulating material, ink for the blind, and an apparatus to help the deaf.

Edison’s to-do list shows how we can use an idea journal to warm up our creative muscle. Your lists can reveal to you a detailed picture of the things you’re passionate about and can even show you what field of study you should pursue.

Best of all, it motivates you to fight procrastination, list your goals, and start working to accomplish them. It reminds you to not abandon your dreams, but continue to strive to achieve them.

4. It Makes You a Better Observer

Beatrix Potter is most famous for her children’s stories about Peter Rabbit and her beautiful watercolor illustrations. However, she was also keenly interested in the natural sciences, especially botany.

From the age of 15, Beatrix Potter kept a journal in a secret code she had invented. The code was not cracked until 15 years after her death. Potter’s journals are filled with accounts of the long walks she took and her observations of the natural world. It was in this journal that she began to outline her scientific theories. She also recorded her opinions on society, fashion, art, and current events.

Potter practiced her observational skills by writing in her journal. Your notebook will train you to be observant as well. Writing encourages you to be curious, ask questions about the world, think innovatively, and find creative solutions to the problems you encounter.


Ready to start your idea journal?

Ultimately, there are no rules set in stone when it comes to making yours. It’s up to you to decide what to fill it with—just remember that its purpose is to inspire you.

An idea journal doesn’t have to be a physical notebook, although writingwith a pen and paper will give you the feeling of creating something and make your ideas that much more real.

Personally, I have several idea journals. For example, I love using Evernote to store the many articles and quotes I collect when I’m researching writing projects. Evernote has a feature that allows you to save anything you see online—including text, links, and images—into your account with a single click.

Additionally, I journal almost every day using an app called Day One that has a simple and elegant interface.

Ultimately, the idea journal is a portable laboratory where we can record our own unique perspective on the world, note the things in our lives that awaken our muse, and experiment with new ideas.


Weekly jobs update

Posted by | April 8, 2017 | Weekly Update

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Finance Manager, Laundry Assistants and Administration Officer – just 3 of the 786 jobs advertised on Jobs In The Hunter this week – click here to take a closer look!


Newcastle visual artist Paul Maher is ready for a change of scenery – at least for a little while.

Maher has been notified that he has been successful in his application for an artist-in-residency stint at the Gatekeeper’s Cottage in Police Point Park in Portsea, Victoria. The residency program is managed by Mornington Shire Council.

In return for two weeks of residency at the historic cottage, Maher will teach some workshops on using the Brushes visual paint application on iPads to local school students.

The big draw for Maher is the opportunity to research his own new artworks.

“I’m really excited about being a recluse on the peninsula for two weeks,” he says. “I am trying to take something from here and make it unique to that place.”

He will take his field drawings and sketches from his Mornington Peninsula visit back to Newcastle to make finished works. He says he hopes to put on a “pop-up” show in Victoria to show the final artworks.

“I”ve been doing it that way for the last seven years, with the same subject matter,” he says. “I’m looking to extend what I do to a different part of the coast.”

I’m looking to extend what I do to a different part of the coast.- Paul Maher

Maher’s own recent practice has seen his works capture “the edges where the built environment meets the open space of a street, park or coastal walk”.

He recently participated in a show with fellow artists Dino Consalvo and Peter Lankas at the University of Newcastle gallery. Maher’s large-scale works continued his reflections on the Newcastle coastline and life around its public spaces and adjoining suburbia.

Maher has been a finalist in the Kilgour Art Prize, and is  working in his Hamilton studio on his entry for this year.

He’s also working with Newcastle ceramic artist John Cliff, who he has collaborated with previously, notably on pavement mosaics on Beaumont Street in Hamilton after the 1989 earthquake. Maher will experiment with some glazes/art on vases made by Cliff.

Source: Newcastle Herald


You used to love your job, but now you’re bored. You have to drag yourself to the office each day, and while you’re there, you’re not even working, just refreshing Facebook every five minutes.

If you’re being honest, you’ve outgrown your role, but you’re not ready to throw in the towel and move on just yet.

Job searches take a lot of time and effort, and—especially if you once loved your position or have close relationships with your team—you may be torn as far as whether you should try to make it work or look elsewhere.

Well, the answer depends on what’s causing your boredom, because once you know where it stems from, you’ll also be able to clearly see what your next move is. Here’s what I mean:

Stay if: You’re Coasting

The truth is, you could do your work in half the time—and with your eyes closed.

If the assignments that used to challenge you now seem like rote errands, then you’re sleep-working. Sure, you can do your job really well (maybe because you’ve been in it long enough to develop superb expertise) but you dread the idea of doing the same things over and over.

Remember how you struggled to learn new skills when you started? That’s because work isn’t meant to be too easy. It’s supposed to stretch your abilities.

The good news? You can still be happy at your job. What needs to change is the kinds of projects you’re working on—and that’s something you can talk to your boss (and co-workers!) about.

Next Step

Set up a meeting with your manager to explore how you can take on challenging new projects. Say, “I’d love to pursue opportunities for growth within my role. I’m only a beginner at [skill] and becoming more proficient would help me with [aspect of your job]. So, I like to work on projects that require me to practice it, such as…”

If you come with concrete ideas, you’re making it easier for your supervisor to say yes.

Another way to find out career-boosting opportunities in your day is to offer to help your co-workers. Tell them how much flexibility you have in your schedule and your interest in joining new teams.

Go if: You’re Out of Sync

Once upon a time, you were bubbling with ideas. You were able to excite people around you and ultimately get results.

Now—not so much.

You’re not excited about going to the office because your ideas are constantly shut down, your suggestions are never taken, and you’re frequently asked to redo things. It’s just not clicking—but that doesn’t mean your only option is to get comfortable coping with feeling frustrated each day.

Priorities may’ve shifted for your manager, team, department, organization, or industry, and you may no longer be the right fit (or your role may no longer be right for the company). If you and your team are on different pages, it can be best for everyone involved for you to seek out an opportunity that’s more suitable for you in this stage.

Next Step

While everyone has some small things they may not like about their job, successful people know better than staying in a role or at a company that’s no longer good for them.

When you accepted your current job, you felt you were making a smart decision. In that moment, you clearly saw how the position could elevate your career. Now you see something else: a new path.

Your best bet once you’ve come to this realization is to start actively looking for a new opportunity. To make sure you don’t end up in the same situation again, don’t apply only to roles you’re qualified for. Consider those that’ll take you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to master new things.

No one wants to be bored at work every day—and no one should have to be. Do what you can to make your job grow with you, but if that isn’t possible, don’t feel bad about looking for a job that excites you.


Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | April 1, 2017 | Weekly Update

1 april

We’re not fooling you – we’ve got the latest job vacancies in the Hunter Region  - just click here!


When you’re a nice person, conflict can be a real challenge. Not that mean people are any better at conflict; they just enjoy it more.

New research from Columbia University shows that how you handle conflict can make or break your career.

The researchers measured something scientifically that many of us have seen first-hand:

  • people who are too aggressive in conflict situations harm their performance by upsetting and alienating their peers
  • while people who are too passive at handling conflict hinder their ability to reach their goals.
  • The secret to effective handling of conflict is assertiveness – that delicate place where you get your needs met without bullying the other person into submission.Assertive people strike a careful balance between passivity and aggression (that is, they never lean too far in either direction).How to handle conflict assertively:

    It’s easy to think that nice people are too passive. While that’s often true, unchecked passivity can boil over into aggression. So there are plenty of very nice people out there who have exhibited both extremes of the assertiveness spectrum.

    To be assertive, you need to learn to engage in healthy conflict. Healthy conflict directly and constructively addresses the issue at hand without ignoring or trivializing the needs of either party. The strategies that follow will get you there.

    Consider the repercussions of silence.

    Sometimes it’s hard to muster the motivation to speak up when the likelihood is high that things will turn ugly. The fastest way to motivate yourself to act is to fully consider the costs of not speaking up – they’re typically far greater than not standing up for yourself. The trick is that you need to shift your attention away from the headache that will come with getting involved… to all of the things you stand to gain from your assertiveness.

    Say “and” instead of “but.” 

    The simple act of replacing the word “but” with “and” makes conflict much more constructive and collaborative. Say, for example, that your teammate wants to use the majority of your budget on a marketing campaign, but you’re worried that doing so won’t leave enough money for a critical new hire. Instead of saying, “I see that you want to use the money for marketing, but I think we need to make a new hire,” say “I see that you want to use the money for marketing, and I think we need to make a new hire.” The difference is subtle, but the first sentence minimizes the value of his idea. The second sentence states the problem as you see it, without devaluing his idea, which then opens things up for discussion. Saying “and” makes the other party feel like you’re working with them, rather than against them.

    Use hypotheticals.

    When you assert yourself, you don’t want it to look like you’re poking holes in their idea (even when you are). Hypotheticals are the perfect way to pull this off. Telling someone, for example, “Your new product idea won’t work because you overlooked how the sales team operates” comes across much more aggressively than suggesting the hypothetical, “How do you think our sales team will go about selling this new product?” When you see a flaw and present a hypothetical, you’re engaging with the original idea and giving the other party a chance to explain how it might work. This shows that you’re willing to hear the other person out.

    Don’t speak in absolutes (“You Always” or “You Never.”) 

    No one always or never does anything. People don’t see themselves as one-dimensional, so you shouldn’t attempt to define them as such. Using these phrases during conflict makes people defensive and closed off to your message. Instead, point out what the other person did that’s a problem for you. Stick to the facts. If the frequency of the behaviour is an issue, you can always say, “It seems like you do this often.” or “You do this often enough for me to notice.”

    Ask good open questions until you get to the heart of the matter. (Questioning funnel)

    Failing to understand the motive behind someone’s behaviour throws fuel on the fire of conflict, because it makes everything they do appear foolish and short-sighted. Instead of pointing out flaws, you should seek to understand where the other person is coming from. Try asking good questions, such as. Why did you choose to do it that way? What do you mean by that? And Can you help me to understand this better? Even when you don’t see eye to eye, using questions to get to the underlying motive builds trust and understanding, both of which are conflict killers.

    When you challenge, offer solutions.

    People don’t like it when they feel as if you’re simply attempting to take apart their idea. When you challenge someone’s idea, but also offer a solution, you demonstrate that you want to work together to come up with a fix.

    This reinforces the value of their idea. For example, you might say “One potential problem that I see with your idea is ___. However, I think we can overcome this problem if we can just figure out a way to___.” In this example, you aren’t even providing the solution. You’re just acknowledging that you’re willing to work together to find one.

    Bringing it all together:

    Mastering conflict requires emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent people know how to craft their message in a conflict, whether they’re naturally assertive or not. They take other people’s feelings into account while still asserting themselves confidently.



What is your day job? 

My day job is a Project Manager working on Civil Construction projects.

 How did you get into construction?

 I always loved to build things when I was a child. Things such as model cars and planes, cubby houses and billy carts. As I grow older I started building beach buggies then cars.  You name it, my brothers and I probably tried to build it and drive it. I was always fascinated in large construction and earthmoving equipment, this fascination and the sense of achievement of setting a goal to build something and the enjoyment of actually completing it got me into construction.

Have you had any other career phases?

I’ve worked as a civil engineer since graduating from University of Newcastle.

How did your passion for fast cars develop? 

I guess the passion for slick cars developed when I was a child collecting matchbox cars, then it grew when I first got my licence with an old V8 Holden driving to/from school. I had also loved nice cars and this dream has now become reality.

When and why did you start Hunter Supercruise?

In August 2014, when my wife Maria and I finally got the nerve to actually put our money up to kick of the idea of renting out supercars to customers to actually drive them. We started off just attending car shows showing our 1968 Camaro, however the opportunity for people to not only see the cars but drive them was the reason we started Hunter Supercruise. Most guys decide to build a car, but we decided to build a business that could use our cars.

 What model of cars do you offer to clients? 

We offer a selection of cars, ranging from old school American Muscle Car, the 1968 Chev Camaro SS to our exotic supercars a 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera or a 2013 McLaren MP4- 12C. The muscle car has always been our favourite and appeals to some of the old generation. The Lamborghini is popular for the kids over eight on our joyrides and the wives and girlfriends as a gift idea for Christmas and birthdays. The McLaren is relatively new to our fleet and has had some great feedback as being the ultimate supercar. All our cars offer different driving experience such as V10 All wheel drive vs twin turbo V8 rear wheel drive to our big block muscle car.

 What is your business model?

Our business model is to offer our customers a unique experience. The pure joy and thrill of  riding in a high performance supercar or classic muscle car. We offer our cars for wedding hire, school formal transport and driving experiences. Our objective is to provide the most powerful and exciting cars for customers to experience.

List your intineraries?  

The three-hour Hunter vineyard cruise is based around some beautiful country roads such as Mount Sugar Loaf, up to Cessnock then a quick stop at Hungerford Hill Cellar Door. Through Branxton and down the back roads of Stanhope and Maitland Vale through Morpeth and return to Wickham. Our one-hour hour Newcastle Beach Cruise takes in the Newcastle coast line via, Nobbys, Newcastle, Bar Beach, etc with a photo opportunity at Dixon Park.

What is the most popular itinerary?

It is always great travelling through the vineyards just before harvesting.

 Have you ever had any famous clients?  Our most famous client has been Toby Price – 2016 Dakar Winner who took our McLaren for a quick trip around Newcastle Beaches and a photo opportunity at Bar Beach. Toby is a great bloke and it is amazing what he has done so far in his racing career, and it is great to see a Novocastrian as number 1 in the world.

What does it cost to ride in one of your cars?

Our 20-minute joyrides start at $149, with our drive packages from $399 for one-hour or $799 for three hours. We also have a drive and dine package with Scratchelys for $599.

 As a Novocastrian, what is the place that makes you feel most proud of the city?

The beaches and the country side makes me most proud, and we love showcasing these aspects to our customers who some have never been to Newcastle.

How can Newcastle be improved?

We would love to increase the number of tourists to our region, I see this as one of the main growth areas for Newcastle. We need to improve the whole tourist experience, with improved roads, transport and parking. If we can build a cruise terminal, along with more accommodation, more attractions and things to do, Newcastle could be an awesome tourist destination.


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.”



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.


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.”




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.


Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | March 10, 2017 | Weekly Update


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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.



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.


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.



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.


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.



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.”