Industry News

Newcastle Uni image

The Hon, Taylor Martin MLC joined the University of Newcastle’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky, AO, last week to announce construction is set to begin on the first building within the University’s Honeysuckle City Campus.

The construction contract for the $25 million project has been awarded to Hansen Yuncken, who will bring to life the University’s latest development.

The building will house the region’s new Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) Hub and additional facilities for the expanding School of Creative Industries.

Taylor said the NSW Government was committed to boosting the Hunter region’s digital research and technology capabilities through targeted infrastructure investment, as demonstrated by the $4.8 million Restart NSW contribution to the I2N Hub as part of the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund.

“Newcastle and the Hunter region have a highly skilled workforce which supports a diverse range of industries. We are committed to growing that,” Taylor said.

“The I2N Hub at Honeysuckle is an investment in the future of Newcastle as a city increasingly known for digital research and innovation. This Innovation Hub is going to boost business opportunities, and job growth for the region.

“By partnering with a leading educational provider like the University of Newcastle, this region can continue to attract strong business investment and innovative people,” he said.

Hansen Yuncken, who have been awarded the building contract, have a strong reputation in delivering dynamic construction projects in the Hunter Region.

Their successful delivery of the University of Newcastle’s iconic NUspace building testifies to their ability to make this first building at the University’s Honeysuckle City Campus something special.

Alex Zelinsky thanked Taylor for the NSW Government’s investment, and for their partnership with the University and City of Newcastle to bring this next phase of the Hunter Innovation Project to life.

“The co-location of the Innovation Hub with the School of Creative Industries on our Honeysuckle City Campus will be a dedicated space for students, academics, researchers and entrepreneurs to work alongside industry, technical specialists, business advisors and investors,” Alex said.

“The University of Newcastle wants the whole community – our students, neighbours and regions to take advantage of the opportunities this building will present.”

The first building in the new Honeysuckle Precinct of the University’s City Campus is due to be complete in mid-2021.

IMAGE | Architectural stills of the proposed Honeysuckle Precinct due for completion in 2021.

SOURCE: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/work-start-university-newcastles-new-home-innovation-creative-endeavour/

Cyber Image

Of this, 34 per cent were attributed to human error and 62 per cent to malicious or criminal attacks. Of the malicious attacks, more than 50 per cent occurred by way of phishing, hacking and ransomware.

This seems to be a pattern in Australia with similar statistics appearing in every OAIC NDB report since January 2018 when the report began.

The prevalence of these attacks reveals that many staff are not aware, nor educated on the types of attacks they may encounter day to day.

Due to their small size and local operations, many SMBs view cybersecurity as a big end of town issue and not something that affects them directly. As a result, many small businesses are left unprotected, with cybersecurity not being prioritised.

Head of Network and Security at CSA, Leon Slattery, said that no business can simply escape the threat of cyber-security and believes events like this and education can help to equip businesses against this threat.

“No industry is immune from digital disruption. This brings opportunity and risk for all organisations, as the shift to digital increases cyber security risk,” Leon said.

“For a long time now, industry has realised that it’s not a question of if, but when you will be faced with a data security breach. This has led to cyber risk now being directly linked to business outcomes. CEOs and Boards are now tracking and governing the risk, to ensure the protection of their brands and customer trust.”

Global Security Solutions Engineer at Sophos, Ben Verschaeren, continued with this Leon’s sentiments expressing how important it is that small businesses are educated about common risks and how to effectively avoid them.

“Small businesses are not immune to cyberattacks, however many cybercriminals target SMBs as they know that these businesses think they have immunity because of their size,” Ben said.

“This is why it’s so important for business owners and managers to allocate resources effectively, ensuring that cybersecurity is prioritised and the business has the protection it needs to thwart any attacks.”

The True Blue Defence tour has been organised to fill in the gaps of knowledge and ensure small-to-medium enterprises become more aware and informed about cyber-security and how to put together a risk management system that takes cyber-security into consideration.

Leon said that many businesses find the idea of combatting cyber-security scary, but with the right support you will safeguard your business from what would be even scarier outcomes.

“This means that building cyber resilience is no longer an option, but a necessity. Actively securing systems end-to-end against current threats is hard. It is even harder if you don’t have expert resources, knowledge and skills within your internal team.”

“CSA has partnered with Sophos for over 10 years to provide end-point protection. We provide a range of strategic and tactical cyber consulting and ongoing managed security services, to help protect clients of all sizes and industries.”

The event will commence at 3:30 PM on Tuesday 25 February, with a range of speakers, Q&A’s, networking and more included with each registration.

IMAGE | Head of Network and Security at CSA, Leon Slattery.

SOURCE: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/cyber-security-tour-comes-newcastle-educate-small-medium-businesses/

RDA Hunter image

On Wednesday 12 February, Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter and NSW Minerals Council (NSWMC) launched their new partnership, PRIME (Pathways to Resource Industry and Mining Employment).

PRIME is a two-year partnership that will see NSWMC leverage RDA Hunter’s strong reputation for implementing industry-skilling and workforce development initiatives to increase awareness of the NSW mining industry and its career opportunities.

The new collaboration will assist Hunter secondary school students better appreciate how science, maths and geography subject matter applies across the lifecycle of a mine, and the types of skills and jobs that are required to support a mining operation.

The project will include the implementation of mining-specific content, scenario-based learning activities and real-world problem solving in the classroom.

Stephen Galilee, CEO of the NSW Minerals Council said the organisation is very happy to be working with RDA Hunter to promote the breadth of mining industry career opportunities that exist in the Hunter.

“NSW’s mining sector consistently innovates to implement leading edge technology, and international best-practice across its operations. Our aim in developing this project with RDA Hunter is to build a motivated future talent pool by encouraging interest in the diverse and interesting job opportunities available in the industry,” he said.

“Mining jobs are secure and rewarding and part of the positive contribution the industry makes to communities in the Hunter and beyond. We’re looking forward to building on the work we already do in the region’s schools to support young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for a sustained mining-industry career.”

According to its Chair, John Turner, RDA Hunter works to support innovation-driven industry development and jobs growth in the Hunter and is pleased to support young people considering a mining industry career.

“The mining sector continues to be a large employer and important driver of economic growth in the Hunter region. We’re delighted to be NSW Mineral Council’s partner of choice for this new project. We have significant experience connecting Hunter schools with industry to deliver graduates with relevant industry knowledge and skills.

“We’re looking forward to working with NSW Minerals Council to hone our model for the mining industry and helping them highlight the career opportunities that will continue to exist in the sector well into the future,” Mr Turner said.

Careers Adviser and Learning Support Teacher at PRIME participating school All Saints’ College Maitland, Kim Wickham, said the real-life experience will be a great asset to students.

“As teachers of young, enthusiastic and energetic learners we know there is no better teacher than real-world life experience and we see great benefit in joining this mining industry partnership to bring that into our classrooms,” she said.

“We know mining is a sustainable employer offering a range of prosperous employment pathways for students with an interest in science, maths and geography. We are genuinely excited about this new project and keen to work with RDA Hunter again. Historically they have helped us develop strong relationships with industry which has enhanced our students’ learning and contributed to them being educated citizens of the world.”

This year the PRIME partnership will see 20 participating Hunter high schools receive 2 x Oculus VR sets and programs to give students a real mining industry experience; lesson plans pertaining to the lifecycle of a mine; real-world industry challenges set by the mining industry for resolution by student teams; and teacher professional development sessions.

IMAGE | John Turner (RDA Hunter Chair) and Stephen Galilee (CEO of NSW Minerals Council)

The project will include the implementation of mining-specific content, scenario-based learning activities and real-world problem solving in the classroom.

Stephen Galilee, CEO of the NSW Minerals Council said the organisation is very happy to be working with RDA Hunter to promote the breadth of mining industry career opportunities that exist in the Hunter.

“NSW’s mining sector consistently innovates to implement leading edge technology, and international best-practice across its operations. Our aim in developing this project with RDA Hunter is to build a motivated future talent pool by encouraging interest in the diverse and interesting job opportunities available in the industry,” he said.

“Mining jobs are secure and rewarding and part of the positive contribution the industry makes to communities in the Hunter and beyond. We’re looking forward to building on the work we already do in the region’s schools to support young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for a sustained mining-industry career.”

According to its Chair, John Turner, RDA Hunter works to support innovation-driven industry development and jobs growth in the Hunter and is pleased to support young people considering a mining industry career.

“The mining sector continues to be a large employer and important driver of economic growth in the Hunter region. We’re delighted to be NSW Mineral Council’s partner of choice for this new project. We have significant experience connecting Hunter schools with industry to deliver graduates with relevant industry knowledge and skills.

“We’re looking forward to working with NSW Minerals Council to hone our model for the mining industry and helping them highlight the career opportunities that will continue to exist in the sector well into the future,” Mr Turner said.

Careers Adviser and Learning Support Teacher at PRIME participating school All Saints’ College Maitland, Kim Wickham, said the real-life experience will be a great asset to students.

“As teachers of young, enthusiastic and energetic learners we know there is no better teacher than real-world life experience and we see great benefit in joining this mining industry partnership to bring that into our classrooms,” she said.

“We know mining is a sustainable employer offering a range of prosperous employment pathways for students with an interest in science, maths and geography. We are genuinely excited about this new project and keen to work with RDA Hunter again. Historically they have helped us develop strong relationships with industry which has enhanced our students’ learning and contributed to them being educated citizens of the world.”

This year the PRIME partnership will see 20 participating Hunter high schools receive 2 x Oculus VR sets and programs to give students a real mining industry experience; lesson plans pertaining to the lifecycle of a mine; real-world industry challenges set by the mining industry for resolution by student teams; and teacher professional development sessions.

IMAGE | John Turner (RDA Hunter Chair) and Stephen Galilee (CEO of NSW Minerals Council)

SOURCE: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/rda-hunter-nsw-minerals-council-partner-industry-skilling/

Astra Aerolabs

The creation of the world’s most uplifting defence and aerospace precinct, Astra Aerolab, takes another significant step forward this month, with Newcastle Airport appointing Daracon as a lead contractor for the stage one civil works.

Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock, says the realisation of the globally significant hub will help position the region at the forefront of international innovation and high-end manufacturing.


“We’ve seen our region evolve quickly in recent years and we’re confident Astra will be a catalyst for further growth and development into the future,” he said.

“I’m confident this development will become the pre-eminent space for innovation in aviation, defence and aerospace-related manufacturing, maintenance, research and education in Australia.”

Peter took the time to acknowledge and congratulate local firm, Daracon, for their appointment as a lead contractor for first stage of the Astra Aerolab development.

“As leaders on this project, they will manage a contract worth approximately $13 million. We’ve additionally signed a number of other contractors, bringing our total commitment to approximately $18 milllion to date,” Peter said.

Stage one of the project will include all the elements required to deliver on the promise of an uplifting experience for both workers and business. This includes road pavements, sewer, water, lighting, CCTV, fencing, street furniture, signage, high quality landscaping and street art.

“We will also be ensuring this is a smart, sustainable site, including the installation of smart pole technology, which has already been adopted by the City of Newcastle, water sensitive urban design and additional fibre optic links to allow connections to our defence neighbours at RAAF Williamtown,” Peter continued.

“Wherever possible, construction material will be recycled. Ultimately, we’re aiming to achieve overall precinct sustainability accreditation with our design to create something truly remarkable.”

The $19.8 million Astra Aerolab development is set to deliver 5,500 new jobs and greater global connectivity for the region.

Daracon Executive Manager, David Mingay, said they were thrilled to be given such a great opportunity to work with Newcastle Airport.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to continue working with Newcastle Airport and commence the civil works for the Astra Aerolab Development.”

“We are a Newcastle business, so it is great to be involved in a significant local project such as this. Astra Aerolab will be a great boost to the region, and another step in the ongoing success and growth of the airport,” David said.

The NSW Government contributed $11.8 million to the Astra Aerolab development under the Growing Local Economies program, established under the Restart NSW Fund.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro congratulated the Daracon Group on securing the contract to deliver the first tranche of the development.

“This project will support the local construction industry while also delivering future economic growth, and I’m delighted the NSW Government is contributing significant funding to assist with the delivery of this outstanding new infrastructure,” John said.

“Upon completion, this development will see new jobs created in the Hunter, greater global connectivity for the region and an injection of millions of dollars into the NSW economy.”

Expected completion of the stage one works is scheduled for late 2020.

The tender is based on a four-contractor panel that will run for three years with Daracon being the first panel member to secure work.

IMAGE | Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr. Peter Cock, reporting to media on the Astra Aerolab site

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/astra-aerolab-lifts-off-newcastle-airport-lead-contractor-appointment/

Image 1

The Hunter Business Chamber has welcomed the NSW energy deal announced last week by the state and federal governments, saying it will provide much-needed security for business and industry as the country transitions to a lower-carbon economy.

The $2 billion deal will deliver a range of initiatives designed to increase gas and electricity supply by encouraging investment, improving grid security and supporting emissions reductions.

Hunter Business Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes, said that this package will help avoid further supply shortfalls and provide a win/win for businesses and the community.

“This package of measures promises to bring down costs while boosting confidence that we can avoid looming supply shortfalls,” Bob said.

“In recent years, gas prices in NSW have tripled. With NSW production decreasing, gas has had to be shipped longer distances into the state.

“As our detailed report Running on Empty released last December found, this imposes cost increases on smaller businesses of $26,400 per year for a typical commercial bakery, $66,000 per year for a galvanising plant or $369,600 per year for a tomato processor based in NSW, compared with an equivalent business located in Queensland.”

Bob said that as well as prioritising new gas production at Narrabri, the joint plan must also ensure that new LNG import facilities can progress, including the Newcastle GasDock proposal at Kooragang.

Also, new investment in pipeline infrastructure should be brought forward so that gas can get to where it is needed.

“Gas generation can help the state reduce its power sector emissions while ensuring that our industry sectors remain competitive,” he said.

“The transition process must be practical, supporting industry as they seek to develop and convert to new technologies.

“Businesses have consistently identified energy costs as one of their leading priorities for cost savings. If this announcement delivers the savings promised it will come as welcome relief and a significant boost to the productivity of the state’s economy.”

SOURCE: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/energy-deal-boost-hunter-business-industry/

42_HBC_SkillShortagesDroughtAffectingHunterBusinesses_Nov2019_Image

Ongoing skills shortages and the impact of drought are hindering business performance and confidence in the Hunter region, according to the NSW Business Chamber’s (NSWBC) latest Business Conditions Survey.

The September quarter survey shows some signs of stabilisation compared to previous quarters, but business conditions remain challenging across the state, with relatively weak household demand constraining spending in people-serving industries such as construction, retail and food services.

Hunter Business Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes, said that whilst the Hunter region has improved on June 2019 survey results that there is still much room for improvement.

“The Hunter region bounced back marginally from the subdued results in June 2019 however the improvement was not as marked as we might have anticipated following the uncertainty created by state and federal elections being held in quick succession earlier in the year,” Bob said.

Business confidence was suppressed across the state, but the slump was less severe in the Hunter, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie statistical areas.

“Positive sentiment for capital investment, the continued level of activity in the construction sector and reasonable employment levels are supporting the regional economy to a greater extent than is the case elsewhere,” he continued.

The anticipated economic stimulus from record low interest rates, a more competitive exchange rate and tax cuts were not immediately evident in the survey, although these factors could eventually boost growth.

Skills shortages continue to be an issue, with more than half of survey respondents across all industries indicating skills gaps in their workforce.

The impact was more pronounced in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie than elsewhere in the state, with more than 70 per cent of businesses reporting skill shortages.

In the Hunter Valley, excluding Newcastle, the figure was 51.7 per cent.

Trade and vocational skills are most in demand in the Hunter Valley, while the biggest shortage in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie is in IT skills.

“Businesses in the region are becoming quite pessimistic in response to the question ‘Do you have suitably skilled staff?’” Bob said.

“The Chamber is working with the NSWBC to redouble efforts to make sure shortcomings in training and education are addressed.”

The persistence of drought conditions continues to affect regional NSW, with all industries affected.

Not surprisingly, the most seriously drought-affected areas, the Far West and New England areas, recorded the lowest results.

The Hunter and NSW Business Chambers are calling on governments to implement a range of drought-relief measures, including expediting promised infrastructure spending in the regions to give local economies a much-needed boost.

Energy costs also continue to be a significant financial drain on many businesses, with elevated electricity and gas bills continuing to squeeze margins and reducing capacity to invest in capital and other resources to increase productivity and output.

“The importance of the energy equation of availability, reliability and affordability cannot be overstated when it comes to sustaining business and industry and the jobs they provide in the Hunter,” Bob said.

“The survey again shows these issues need more attention, despite initiatives being taken by governments to facilitate improvements in the sector.”

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/industry-news/skills-shortages-drought-continue-challenge-hunter-businesses/

rail

The Hunter Business Chamber has welcomed a new inquiry into options for financing faster rail by the federal government’s Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Cities.

The committee, chaired by Bennelong MP John Alexander, will look at financing options for eleven routes identified in the federal government’s Faster Rail Plan including the Newcastle to Sydney link.

Hunter Business Chamber CEO, Bob Hawes, said the Chamber was pleased to see the government prioritising faster rail and, significantly, considering funding options.

“Faster rail is a realistic objective, achievable in the medium term, that could make enormous difference to the Hunter by increasing the flow of commuter traffic and investment in both directions,” Bob said.

“Reducing the journey time will make it easier for people living here who need to travel to Sydney for business, but it’s not about making the Hunter a dormitory for people who want to work in Sydney.”

Bob said that with faster rail, this could encourage investors to consider the Hunter region for business opportunities and growth.

“Greater connectivity and faster travel time will encourage investors to bring their businesses and staff here, to take advantage of lower property and rental prices, the positive business environment and lifestyle opportunities,” he said.

“The Chamber believes investment in faster rail is nation-building infrastructure that will boost economic development in the Hunter.”

The federal inquiry follows the NSW Government’s appointment in December 2018 of high-speed rail expert Professor Andrew McNaughton to lead an expert panel looking into how the government should best deliver a fast rail network to connect the state.

The NSW Government’s Fast Rail Strategy is due for completion before the end of the year.

IMAGE | Hunter Business Chamber encourages faster rail for Hunter region to boost economic development

 

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/industry-news/hunter-business-chamber-welcomes-inquiry-faster-rail/

cessnock

Hunter Defence has launched a series of Defence Ready seminars, which are designed to help local small medium enterprises (SMEs) break into or expand their footprint in the potentially lucrative defence industry.

Hunter Defence taskforce chair, Tim Owen, said the seminars were the perfect way for manufacturers and service-based firms interested in working in defence to find out how to position their business to take advantage of opportunities in the sector.

“Defence can be a hard sector to crack if you don’t have the required accreditations, contacts and quality standards, but the rewards are rich for those who make the effort to be Defence Ready and market their products well,” Tim said.

Tim said that local companies in the Hunter have the potential to grow in the defence industry, as it has been done with other businesses in the area.

“We have seen companies in the Hunter like Varley Group grow their defence business from a single contract to a huge portfolio of contract work across land, sea, air and cyber.

“With the arrival of the JSF program at Williamtown, there has never been a better time for Hunter firms to explore opportunities in defence,” he said.

The Defence Ready seminars are designed to help SMEs build the organisational capabilities and competencies that will help them win work with Australian and international Defence Primes.

This innovative Hunter Defence initiative has already attracted international attention, with a party in New Zealand interested in presenting the course for SMEs across the Tasman.

The series will launch with a Defence Introduction seminar at the University of Newcastle on Monday 4 November 2019.

The course has been developed by several partners in the Hunter Defence Taskforce including Goal Group, The Australian Defence Industry Network (AIDN), HunterNet and McLean Management Consultants.

Further seminars, targeting specific areas of defence industry involvement tailored to firms at various levels of industry engagement, will be rolled out in 2021.

To find out more about the seminars or book a place in the Defence Introduction course, you can source this on the Hunter Defence website.

 

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/industry-news/defence-ready-seminars-boost-opportunities-local-smes/

rix

Jobs have been secured at a New South Wales coal mine after approval was granted for it to operate for another two decades.

The Rix’s Creek South Mine, northwest of Singleton, will stay open until 2040, after a decision by the state’s Independent Planning Commission was announced on Saturday.

NSW Planning and public spaces minister Rob Stokes said the decision – which will allow the mine to be expanded – will secure almost 300 jobs.

The matter had been referred to the commission due to some local opposition but it was given the green light after what the three-person panel described as careful consideration of “all the evidence and weighing the community’s views”.
Factors considered included noise, visual and heritage impacts.

On concerns around greenhouse gas emissions, the commission said these had been “adequately minimised as far as practicable”.

It added that the approval is conditional upon owners Bloomfield Collieries Pty Ltd taking all reasonable steps to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions over the next 21 years.

Other positives around the application include “economic and social benefits as a result of employment opportunities and revenue to the State”, the commission said in its decision.

Mr Stokes welcomed the decision as “great news for the people of the Upper Hunter and the community of Singleton”.

The publication followed an announcement on the issue being mistakenly revealed eight days ago due to an “administrative error”, the commission said.
Source: https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6434796/jobs-secured-by-rixs-creek-mine-approval/?cs=9397

Hu 06.10.19

This year was the 26th anniversary of the Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards, which are one of the longest running ceremonies in the Hunter region.

The awards continue to demonstrate the resilience, confidence and professionalism in the Hunter region’s local economy. The awards are the initiative run by the Hunter Region Business Hub.

Seventy finalists from over 100 businesses across the Hunter Valley competed for the four major awards and fourteen category awards at Cessnock Leagues Club on Friday, 20 September.

The Hub’s manager Kerry Hallett said that the awards are a big celebration of the amazing talent in the Hunter Region.

“We know there are many good businesses in our region through those that enter the awards, however, we also know that is only fraction of the organisations pursing excellence in the region. We can see why the Hunter is a great place to live and work,” she said.

For the second year an entrant from the Professional Services category was not only winner of their category, but also overall winner of the Business of the Year.

Palfreyman Chartered Accountants located in Cessnock, who provide a wide range of accountancy and financial planning services took out the major award of the evening.

Other major awards went to Young Entrepreneur, Jessica Rodgers of Explore and Soar. Explore and Soar is an occupational therapy organisation that works with people to reach their highest potential, but particularly children and young adults.

Hunter Regional Business Woman of the Year was awarded to Sarah-Jane Dunford of Riskology, a boutique safety consultancy.

Sarah-Jane is also involved in the community including founder Hunter Safety Awards, founding chair Hunter Branch of the Safety Institute of Australia, founding chair of the National Safety Awards for the Safety Institute of Australia, founder NSW Regional Safety Conference and Expo and the list goes on.

Business Leader of the Year went to Peter Kirkwood of Kirkwoods Institute of Karate. Not only does Peter support his family through his business but he has numerous awards from ISKA.

He is also passionate about standing up for the underdog and works with domestic violence victims, bullying victims and those with mental and physical disabilities, through various programs, giving much of his time at no cost to help gain (or regain) confidence.

The Hub’s manager Kerry Hallett said each year she is amazed by the quality of businesses that enter the awards, with so many new entrants received each year.

Kerry said the Hunter region are lucky to have so many fantastic businesses on our doorstep.

“All of the finalists were exceptional businesses in their overall operations, service, products, presentation and customer service,” Kerry said.

“On the night, it was great to see everyone – businesses owners, staff, supporters and sponsors – mingling, connecting and supporting each other.”

The Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards are thrilled to be announce they will be back again in 2020 to celebrate their 27th award ceremony.

IMAGE | Palfreyman Chartered Accountants awarded Business of the Year in 2019

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/hunter-region-business-excellence-awards-celebrate-26th-anniversary/

1

So you just landed a leadership role at a new company. Congratulations! Going in, you know there’ll be a learning curve when it comes to handling your new responsibilities. But there’s also the people factor to consider.

Being the boss of a completely new team also means influencing a group of employees you don’t know very well to work together (and with you) toward a common goal. Nerve-racking, yes. But not impossible!

Even seasoned leaders make mistakes when managing a new team. Here are four common ones to avoid if you want to make your transition as smooth as possible for both you and your direct reports.

Mistake #1: Acting Before Understanding
If you think the first thing you need to do when joining a new team is to start making changes—slow down. Yes, part of your role is to help things run better, and you were most likely hired to bring in some new perspectives and fix some outdated or dysfunctional strategies. But ignoring input from experienced team members—particularly those who have been at the company for a while—won’t win you any fans.

Instead, you’ll signal to your team that you’re only interested in running a one-person show. And it will leave you vulnerable to making bad decisions that could’ve been avoided had you gotten some context.

This isn’t to say that you need to form a whole committee to make decisions on every little thing. You’re the boss, after all, and sometimes it’s your duty to make the final call. But strive to implement changes (especially big ones) in baby steps and over time. Be receptive to (and ask for!) feedback from your team before moving forward, and communicate your intentions clearly and proactively when you do.

Mistake #2: Constantly Talking About the “Old Job”
Do you find yourself saying all too frequently, “At my old job, we…”? Maybe you’re trying to prove yourself by bringing up your old wins. Or you may just feel comfortable referring back to a time when everything didn’t feel so foreign. (Being the new kid on the block isn’t easy.)

Here’s the thing: Your current team will quickly tune you out if you’re constantly talking about how things were done at your previous company. They want to see that you’re able (and willing!) to adapt to a new environment, and that you can competently lead and work with their unique skill sets.

Yes, you achieved great things in your last role. But don’t get caught living in the past—it’s time to focus on creating new wins with what your new team has to offer.

Mistake #3: Hiding in Your Office
Closing your office door or hiding behind your monitor can give off the appearance that you’re not interested in being there for your employees.

You may think, “I’ve told my team they can come to me any time with questions.” But as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and it can be intimidating for employees to knock on a new boss’ door. There’ll be times when you’ll need (or want) to close the door, and that’s OK—but make sure this doesn’t create a barrier between you and your team.

Make a conscious effort to show your employees that they’re welcome to come seek guidance or share concerns. Literally keeping your door open helps, so does providing “office hours” or popping your head out every few hours or so to see how everyone’s doing.

If you work in an open office, try to avoid wearing headphones all day, and when you can, sit near your team. You can also schedule weekly touch-base meetings with your direct reports so you have dedicated face time with them on a regular basis—and so that they know they will always have the opportunity to discuss something with you.

Mistake #4: Believing You Don’t Need to Know the Details of Your Employees’ Work
Some people think that the role of a leader is to just tell others what to do and set expectations. But there’s more to it than that. You can’t hold employees, especially new direct reports, accountable if you don’t fully grasp what their roles entail and how they approach their work.

While you don’t need to know all of the nitty gritty details of their responsibilities, you want to do more than just care that tasks are getting done. Understanding the “how” of operations and the “whys” behind how your employees tackle them will make both you and your team function better. You’ll be able to better manage them knowing their strengths, weaknesses, and preferred forms of communication, and they’ll feel more comfortable around you and motivated to do great work with the knowledge that you’re invested in their success.

Take the time when you’re just starting out to talk to each employee individually to learn about what they do, what their current challenges are, and how their tasks fit into team or company goals. You can even ask the following questions in your next one-on-one:

What challenges are you facing that are making you less productive?
What’s missing from the team that will help make everyone’s life easier?
How do you like to receive constructive feedback?
What are you hoping to learn from me that will support you in your role?
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
Or you can have them fill out this user manual so you have all the information you need about their working style.

Mistakes are going to happen when you’re starting a new job, whether you’re a manager or not, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get things “right” the first time. Even just reading this article means you care deeply about being a good boss to your new team—and that’s a great place to be in!

Most importantly, make sure you enjoy this new beginning—because it’s one more phase in your career that will help you grow and become the kind of leader you want to be.
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/common-mistakes-starting-new-job-boss?ref=recently-published-1

1

This year marks twenty years in business for SafetyWorks Group.

Led by two directors; Liz Nicol and Kerry Walker, SafetyWorks has gone from a small consultancy based in a home office to a fully-fledged consultancy working for large organisations across Australia and internationally.

Since 1999, Liz Nicol and Kerry Walker have merged strategic safety management skills with the vision of a safety culture encompassing values-based leadership and engaged people, to create a unique and holistic approach to workplace health, safety and wellbeing.

SafetyWorks was founded on the principle of ‘valuing people to create freedom of choice’.

Freedom of choice comes when we can go home safe and well every day to the things we love.

Work should be an enabler to this choice and help us to be the best we can be. This purpose drives everything the team does at SafetyWorks.

“During the last 20 years we have partnered with over 300 clients, forging strong relationships with companies like Coca-Cola Amatil, Port Waratah Coal Services, Australian Rail Track Corporation and various departments of the New South Wales Government (Health, Water, Trains and Schools),” said Liz Nichol, Director of SafetyWorks.

“While we have worked in every state and territory of Australia, as well as engaging in work in the Asia Pacific region, we have had the pleasure of employing 41 people and have achieved rapid growth and change along the way,” she said.

“When we started out, health, safety and wellbeing was still very compliance driven,” Kerry Walker, Director of SafetyWorks said.

“During the past 20 years we have seen a huge shift in the workplace and we are proud to have contributed in particular to the growth in active engagement of organisational leaders,” she continued.

Both Directors gained their expertise with forward-thinking global corporate enterprises, bringing a quality focussed customised approach to SafetyWorks Group.

They seek out team members with diverse backgrounds to provide a wealth of knowledge and experience to deliver specialist solutions in partnership with our clients.

Liz and Kerry seek to partner with organisations, building frameworks for sustainable change in health and safety where people feel valued and can work every day without harm.

“I love that at SafetyWorks we make a difference. Sometimes it is a “light bulb” moment that creates a significant shift, and sometimes it’s just a small change in one person,” Kerry said.

“Either way, caring about and valuing people creates a ripple effect that spreads out to free people to make choices.”

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/celebrating-20-years-business-safetyworks-group/

1

Newcastle business woman, Lisa Gamble, has received recognition as a leader in the finance industry this month.

As a finalist in the Women in Finance Awards 2019, Gamble was nominated in the Regional Professional of the Year category for her work in the Newcastle financial advisory firm Infinity Financial Advisors.

The award acknowledges top female professionals’ excellence in shaping and influencing the financial services industry.

The finalist list, which was announced on 21 June and features over two-hundred and thirty high-achieving professionals across twenty-six categories.

“I’m honoured by this recognition. I’ve built my career in some of Australia’s largest financial firms and have, often still do, find myself one of the few women in the room,” Lisa said.

“These awards, and other events like them, recognise the contribution women have made to what is a dynamic and ever-changing industry.”

“My hope, of course, is that eventually we may be part of an industry that is accepting of diversity and the value that it brings in terms of idea generation, growth and a greater reflection of the community in which we operate.”

“Ultimately, my wish is that all our industry participants are acknowledged for their good work, not because of, or in spite of their differences, but simply because of their work. If this nomination furthers this cause, I am humbled to accept the acknowledgement,” she said.

The awards will be given in August this year at an event hosted in partnership with AMP Bank at The Star Hotel Sydney.

The event puts a spotlight on women in finance and recognises the different skill sets and experience they bring to the table.

Lisa has a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Western Sydney, a LEAD certificate in Corporate Innovation from Stanford University and is Partner and Business Manager at Infinity Financial Advisors.

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/hunter-business-woman-recognised-among-australias-top-finance-leaders/

2

Young people undertaking education in our region will benefit from Mentor Support Network scholarships that have been made possible by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

Each year, the Lord Mayor chooses a charitable organisation to be the beneficiary of a collaborative donation made possible by long-term supporters of the annual breakfast event.

This year, Cr. Nelmes chose to support the Mentor Support Network because of its ability to provide students access to scholarships and support that furthers their education endeavours.

The Annual Lord Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is a gathering of churches, charities, businesses and community leaders who donate money to the chosen charity.

Mentor Support Network Chair, Jon Chin, acknowledged the support of the Lord Mayor and the other sponsors.

“It is a valuable contribution that will assist the continued work of the Network, and importantly, young people in our region.” he said.

“I was stunned when I found out we were the beneficiary for this year as we are a small non-profit voluntary organisation, but we are so thankful and the students who receive the scholarships will be as well,” Jon said.

The Mentor Support Network provides scholarships to young people who are committed to achieving their educational goals but lack the financial means necessary to obtain basic educational resources.

An MSN Educational Scholarship allows recipients to pay for items such as computers, course materials, uniforms, reading glasses and excursion fees.

Their Refugee Student Education Program is a pilot program that allows refugee students to flourish within their school setting no matter their background.

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/young-people-benefit-lord-mayors-prayer-breakfast/

 

 

 

1

When you’re getting ready for a job interview, it’s always good to try to predict which questions an interviewer might ask. If you’re like most people, you’re fully prepped to field queries about what you know and the experience you have, like “Tell us about your responsibilities in your current job” or “Explain the strategy you used for [project on your resume].”

But don’t stop there! Recruiters and hiring managers also often ask behavioral questions, which can help them get a better idea of your personality and your soft skills. This could include questions like, “What type of work really excites you?” or “Tell us about a time you were frustrated by your colleagues.”

An even more sophisticated example that may not initially seem like a behavioral question is “What do you like least about your job?” Because it can be a bit of a “gotcha” question, you’ll want to craft your response with care. We talked to a few career experts and got their insights to help you avoid the pitfalls and answer it the right way.

Resist the Temptation to Vent
Even for those of us who genuinely love our careers, “What do you like least about your job?” is a question that we could easily wax poetic about over a few rounds of drinks with friends. But an interview is not the time to dish about, for example, how your boss is not nearly as smart as you.

That’s because this question isn’t really about discovering what you dislike, points out Conrad Woody, a partner at Odgers Berndston, an executive search and recruitment firm. More likely, it’s a test of how you would respond to an invitation to vent. “The interviewer wants to know if you’re the type of person who will go negative when given the opportunity,” says Woody.

Your answer should not leave the interviewer believing they could be your next gossip victim if things don’t go well. Speaking negatively of your current employer ends up reflecting poorly on you, not the company. If you must vent, save that for your friends—ideally not ones you work with.

Focus on New Opportunities
A great way to answer this question is to talk about a responsibility or duty you’d get to have at your new job that your current role doesn’t offer. For example, if the job you’re interviewing for requires that you deliver presentations to large groups, you could share that you wish your current job gave you the opportunity to flex the public speaking skills you’ve honed at your local Toastmasters club.

Alternatively, you can speak about a responsibility at your current job that simply isn’t challenging you any longer because you’ve mastered it. Just make sure that whatever it is, it isn’t a duty that’s integral to the job you’re interviewing for!

Frame the Answer in a Positive Way
No matter what you talk about, always take the opportunity to turn the negative into a potential positive with your new employer. “You don’t want to focus too much time on something you hate or don’t like,” says Tamara Rasberry, an HR Manager in Washington, DC. “Even when you briefly mention something you don’t like, highlight that you are well-versed in it but that it simply doesn’t challenge you anymore or utilize all of your strengths.”

By quickly pivoting to how your current role was a necessary and informative building block for your next career move, you show your ability to find the silver lining and do what needs to get done.

What This Looks Like
Need some inspiration? Consider these sample answers:

The “It Was Fun While It Lasted” Answer
By concentrating on the positives of the new employer, you can avoid mentioning anything explicitly negative about your current job:

“While I enjoyed working for a large law firm because I was able to gain experience across several subject matters, I’d prefer to bring all those learnings to your firm because I believe that your singular focus on the entertainment industry would allow me to have deeper impact.”

The “I’d Rather Be Doing Something Else” Answer
This answer briefly mentions a current responsibility, but focuses on the opportunity the new job would provide:

“In my current role, I’m responsible for drafting media lists to pitch. While I’ve developed a knack for this and can do it when it is necessary, I’m looking forward to a job that allows me to have a more hands-on role in working with media partners. That is one of the things that most excited me about your Account Supervisor position.”

The “You Asked, So Here Goes” Answer
There is of course, always the bold option, which is to speak more bluntly and directly about something not-so-great about your current role or company. But again, you’ll want to end on a positive note that spotlights your enthusiasm for the new job:

“My current company acquires new business through traditional methods like cold calling and direct mail. I’m impressed with the digital, email, and social acquisition campaigns you have implemented and how they reflect a more modern, innovative approach. While I am flexible enough to succeed in a diversity of work environments, I’m eager to work for a company that embraces change.”
Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-do-you-like-least-about-your-job-interview-question-answer?ref=carousel-slide-0

1

Newcastle businesses cleaned-up more than 1.64 tonnes of litter from around the port on Friday, 3rd May 2019.

The second annual Port Litter Pick saw everything from cigarette butts, plastic bags and soft drink cans through to old tyres, scrap metal and an ironing board cleaned up and properly discarded.

The Port of Newcastle initiative attracted 87 people from 13 port-related businesses, including Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), Port Authority NSW, Cargill Australia, Linx Cargo Care, Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, Kooragang Bulk Facilities/Tomago Aluminum, Impact Fertiliser, Sims Group Australia, Port of Newcastle, Koppers, Newcastle Stevedores, Custom Transportable Buildings and Newcastle Yacht Club.

The ARTC team took home the ‘Litter Legends’ trophy, having collected 400 kilograms of rubbish from the rail corridor, the largest haul from all participating teams.
Port of Newcastle environment adviser, Jackie Spiteri, said the Port Litter Pick was an important annual event that formed a part of the Port’s overall environmental management and sustainability program.

“It is a collaborative effort that is only possible due to the enthusiasm and service of the many port business that have a mutual commitment to protecting our environment and the overall health of the Port,” Ms. Spiteri said.

“We set a new record this year, easily eclipsing the 300 kg collected last year.

“It is concerning that there is such a large amount of rubbish needlessly being dumped on and around Newcastle Harbour and port land. It is a reminder to everyone in the community to take responsibility for their own rubbish and dispose of it safely and responsibility.”

All rubbish was collected using biodegradable bags and gloves and will be sorted for proper disposable and recycling where possible.

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/port-community-members-roll-sleeves-environment/

1

Two Hunter based electrical apprentices have been recognised at HVTC’s annual Excellence Awards, which were held in Newcastle on Friday, 3rd May 2019.

Daniel Beavan, who is currently employed as an electrical fitter at Origin Energy’s Eraring Power Station, was named HVTC’s Apprentice of the Year. The Award, which was sponsored by Howden Australia, was selected from finalists across HVTC’s nine regional branches located throughout New South Wales.

“I was over the moon to have been named HVTC’s Apprentice of the Year. It’s a huge honour to receive this Award,” Daniel said.

Meanwhile Phoebe Giadresco, a first-year electrical apprentice hosted to Liebherr-Australia, received the inaugural Milton Morris Encouragement Award.

Sponsored by Glencore, this Award was created in honour of HVTC’s founding Chairman, the Honourable Milton Morris AO, who passed away in February of this year.

“It is such an honour to be the first recipient of the Milton Morris Encouragement Award,” Phoebe said.

“It means a great deal to me to be acknowledged by HVTC and my trainers for my efforts and commitment to completing the Electrical Accelerated program with HVTC. This program provided the skills and knowledge for me to be confident and successful in obtaining an apprenticeship as a female in a non-traditional trade.”

Despite being at different ends of their apprenticeship journeys, Daniel and Phoebe were both pursuing other career paths before making the switch to the electrical trade.

Already a qualified fitter machinist, Daniel decided he wanted a dual trade under his belt, so he commenced an electrical apprenticeship with HVTC in 2016.

Initially hosted by Donaldson Coal, Daniel was rotated to Origin when the mine went into care and maintenance. Since completing his apprenticeship in December, Daniel has gained a full-time role with Origin and is grateful for the opportunities and support he received as an HVTC apprentice.

Phoebe commenced the NEWSTEP program in the hopes of pursuing Nutrition, but soon realised that university wasn’t for her. Following in her father’s footsteps, Phoebe decided she wanted to become an electrician and enrolled in the electrical Accelerated Program with HVTC to boost her chances of securing an apprenticeship.

During the course, she successfully applied for an electrical apprenticeship with Liebherr-Australia.

HVTC CEO, Sharon Smith congratulated Daniel and Phoebe on their awards, which showcase the calibre of the organisation’s workforce.

“Every year at the HVTC Excellence Awards, we celebrate the achievements of our apprentices, trainees, students and the many host employers we partner with to deliver skills training and employment opportunities across NSW,” Smith said.

“The achievements of apprentices like Daniel and Phoebe are proof that VET pathways lead to successful careers.

“Daniel took the initiative to undertake another four years of training after already completing one apprenticeship, making a lot of sacrifices for the betterment of his skills and long-term career aspirations.

“Throughout his apprenticeship, Daniel was consistently praised for his leadership and communication skills, passion for learning and his work ethic and it is unsurprising he was offered a permanent role with Origin.

“Similarly, Phoebe took it upon herself to complete an electrical pre-apprenticeship course to gain introductory electrical trade knowledge and skills.

“Phoebe now attends the Work Readiness program at HVTC 4 days per week and is on site at Libeherr-Australia each Friday. Her tenacity and commitment to improving her career opportunities epitomises the characteristics Milton Morris would have been delighted to support and she is a deserving winner of this award.

“I wish Daniel all the best in his career and look forward to supporting Phoebe through her remaining years as an HVTC apprentice. They both have a bright future ahead of them.”

 

 

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/industry-news/hunter-electricians-shine-hvtc-awards/

1

One of the region’s most historic locations celebrated its future by officially opening its newest building on Monday in Maitland.

Chairman of The Maitland Benevolent Society Ltd (Benhome), Bob Geoghegan, together with fellow board members hosted the official opening of the Benhome Board Building in front of a crowd of residents, their families, staff and people from the Maitland community at a special ceremony officiated by Australian Senator for New South Wales, the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO.

Bob said the event symbolised an important milestone in the aged care village’s history.

“Creating places for people to live and be cared for is not about bricks and mortar. It is about understanding the needs of our community now and into the future. We are very proud of what has been created in Maitland for local people,” Bob said.

“We are also very pleased to welcome Senator Sinodinos to officially open the Benhome Board Building and celebrate with us.

“On 3 April, the board announced that it had sold Benhome to Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI). We are very proud of what we have built and we are very excited about its new place within RFBI’s network of aged care services.

“RFBI is a leading aged care provider that has been providing high quality aged care services in the Hunter region for over 40 years and shares our commitment to improving the quality of life for older people in this area.”

The Benhome Board Building is the product of many years planning and reflects an $18 million investment made by The Maitland Benevolent Society Ltd to create a place where residents can receive the highest quality care and love to call home. The capital development works included a complete refurbishment of the Eichholzer and Ribee Wings, a new front entrance, new kitchen and laundry facilities as well as the addition of 24 new resident rooms.

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/benhome-officially-opens-benhome-board-building/

1

HVTC has announced 35 new positions to encourage local women and Indigenous people to take up apprenticeship and traineeship roles across NSW.

Available to Hunter-based individuals, the group training organisation recently gained approval from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board to advertise and recruit 35 Women in non-traditional trade (WNTT) roles and 35 Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander (A&TI) roles.

For the next two years, HVTC can offer recruitment of WNTT and A&TI apprentices and trainees to host employers without the three-month waiting period and can place advertisements for positions that are only available to WNTT and A&TI applicants.

HVTC Manager Human Resources & Safety Services, Janet Lee said these exemptions will go a long way towards helping HVTC achieve greater diversity in its workplace and that of its host employers.

“HVTC is one of Australia’s oldest group training organisations, established to connect more people to the opportunity of employment and training,” Janet said.

“One of the fundamental principles of group training is that it provides pathways to employment opportunities that might not have otherwise been available. A particular focus for the sector has been supporting minority groups, such as women in non-traditional trades, Indigenous people, school-leavers and the long-term unemployed.

“Women in non-traditional trades are currently underrepresented at HVTC with only 10% of applications for trade roles submitted by females. Often job seekers are discouraged from applying for roles because of stereotypes or self-doubt.

“Offering targeted roles is one way we can demonstrate our commitment to addressing gender imbalances while providing additional encouragement for women and Indigenous people to apply for roles they might not normally have considered.”

To date, one host has taken up an Indigenous placement in Lismore, while HVTC recently placed two female apprentice electricians in Salisbury.

“Over the next 12 months, we hope to achieve a representation of more than 5% of WNTT and 10% for Indigenous placements,” Janet said.

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/hvtc-targets-women-indigenous-apprentices-trainees-latest-push-diversity/

1

A room full of tech start up founders, investors and members of the innovation ecosystem gathered in Newcastle in late February as the Business Centre sought to unearth more local tech talent to become part of its Start House accelerator program.

Innovators and entrepreneurs were given the chance to meet with leaders of the local innovation ecosystem and hear what Start House can offer them.

More Discovery Sessions are being held in Singleton, Wyong and Maitland as Start House builds four region-based cohorts to lead through its unique distributed incubator and accelerator model.
Steve Wait, CEO of the Business Centre, said the Discovery Session gave local intenders or those already with a minimum viable product a chance to meet mentors and experts in residence and understand the advantages of the unique Start House program.

“Start House is a no-equity incubator and accelerator program with the aim of mentoring some of the incredible local tech talent we have in the region to lead them to scale their businesses globally,” Steve said.

“We have the intention of developing diversity in innovation – be it diversity in location or diversity in the age, background or life stage of the founders.

“Not every start up or existing business fits the mould that other accelerator programs may cater for.”

Powered by the Business Centre, Steve said Start House will support 50 start up and globally scalable enterprises across the region over the next year.

“Start House will provide mentoring and business education to entrepreneurs right across our region, working with partners in Maitland, Newcastle, the Hunter and on the Central Coast,” Steve said.

“We will connect more diverse innovators to the opportunities in Sydney while showcasing innovators who are geographically isolated.”

The Business Centre announced recently that it was the recipient of $189,500 in Australian Government funding under the Incubator Support initiative for its accelerator program, Start House.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews congratulated the Business Centre and the other five national successful applicants, which received the funding under the $23 million initiative.

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/innovators-set-take-part-new-regional-incubator-accelerator-program/

1

Cessnock City Council’s economic development team was presented with the inaugural Netstripes Digital Innovation Advocate Award at the Bizruption event held in Sydney in February.

The Bizruption business event is supported by the NSW Business Connect program and endorsed by the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

The award recognises the work the council has done through engaging with small businesses online, and supporting business owners to renew their digital strategies. It also demonstrates council’s ongoing commitment to promoting small business innovation and empowering business owners with the knowledge and tools for growth.

Mayor Bob Pynsent said the Advance Cessnock City platform has been a huge success.

“Advance Cessnock City is the online platform and business engagement tool that is our region’s one-stop-shop for local business and prospective businesses,” Bob said.

“It has enabled our economic development team at Cessnock City Council to be more responsive, better engaged with businesses and provide opportunities for small and micro businesses to access official training programs such as the popular Digital Bootcamps.”

Council’s Acting Economic Development Manager, Rhiannon Stevens said digital literacy is becoming more and more important for businesses.

“We are really pleased to be able to better facilitate businesses to work on their digital strategies, providing opportunities to up-skill through workshops and training promoted through our Advance Cessnock City fortnightly business emails.”

“Research conducted by Deloitte confirms that businesses who are digitally engaged grow faster, employ on average two more people and earn more revenue per employee.

“We’ve been really pleased to be able to bring these opportunities to our business community to accelerate their growth and make a positive impact to their bottom line.”

The winners of the inaugural Digital Innovation Advocates Awards were:

Local council – Cessnock City Council;
Business Chamber – Gosford Erina & Coastal Chamber;
Industry Body – Retail Drinks Australia; and
Federal Agency – Regional Development Australia, Orana.
Cessnock City Council recently announced a new digital marketing workshop tailored for tourism and services businesses taking place on 21 March, 2019.

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/cessnock-city-council-rates-high-small-business-digital-innovation/

1

Construction is poised to begin on a landmark 30,000sqm retail centre in Lake Macquarie set to create more than 600 full-time jobs once complete.

Spotlight Group, which owns the Spotlight and Anaconda retail chains, got the green light in September from the NSW Government to commence work on the first stage of a $90 million centre fronting the Pacific Highway at Bennetts Green.

A Bunnings Warehouse and Spotlight and Anaconda stores will anchor the site, with a number of other businesses, including two fast food outlets and a service station, also included in the plans.

Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Cr Kay Fraser, said the centre – the largest retail development in the city since the 2010 expansion of Charlestown Square – would provide an enormous boost to the local economy.

“This is land that has long been earmarked for development,” Cr Fraser said.

“It’s wonderful to see the Spotlight Group backing the potential of Lake Macquarie and investing in a project that will generate local jobs for local families.”

“A development of this size has the potential to significantly boost employment in surrounding suburbs, including Windale. It will further activate the area and, by establishing itself as a retail destination, provide flow-on benefits to other businesses nearby.”

Spotlight Group Executive Deputy Chairman Zac Fried said the development would generate more than 825 full-time-equivalent jobs during construction and more than 600 full-time jobs once open.

“Bennetts Green is a significant development for the Spotlight Group,” he said.

“We are investing more than $90 million in the local community to support long-term job opportunities and growth in the area.”

The Stage One approved by the NSW Government’s Hunter & Central Coast Regional Planning Panel consists of the Bunnings Warehouse at the southern end of the site, the central block of retailers including Anaconda and a fast food outlet, and utilities infrastructure works.

Spotlight Group will improve footpaths and roads around parts of the site, with new traffic lights installed on the Pacific Highway about 150m south of the Groves Road intersection.

The company has lodged development applications with Council for Stages Two and Three. Stage Two includes Spotlight, while Stage Three comprises a service station and second fast food outlet.

These are expected to be processed by the end of the year.

Lake Macquarie City Council Head of Development and Planning Justin Day said the new development was “an exciting time for Lake Macquarie, and specifically for this part of the city”.

“We’re already seeing booming residential development just up the road in Mount Hutton, as well as a $58 million makeover of the Lake Macquarie Fair shopping centre,” Mr Day said.

“This development comes on the back of a record $1.16 billion worth of development applications approved in the 2017-2018 financial year, and really demonstrates how Lake Mac is increasingly becoming the city of choice for investment and development.”

Of the $20.3 million sale price of the land in 2016, $5.58 million was transferred to Council’s Property Investment Reserve.

The remaining $14.73 million went into Council’s Community Land Reserve, to be spent on community infrastructure.

Projects either planned or underway to receive funding through the land sale include:

Windale Skate Park relocation
Windale library and community centre construction
Scrubby Creek restoration (Windale)
Munibung Road extension
Pearson Street Mall upgrade (Charlestown)
Spotlight Group said the new centre was expected to open within 14 months.

Source: http://www.hbrmag.com.au/article/read/600-jobs-slated-for-90m-bennetts-green-retail-development-2895

1

One of the practices that contributes to Michael Phelps’ success as a swimmer takes place well before he gets into the pool. As part of his training regimen, Phelps visualizes every detail of his race—from responding to something going wrong (like ripping his suit) to crossing the finish line ahead of his competitors.

Phelps has used visualization (along with other training methods, of course) to achieve incredible things in his career, like winning 28 Olympic medals to become the most decorated Olympian of all time. But you don’t need to be a world-class athlete to borrow his tricks—and I’m living proof.

Visualization has played an absolutely essential part in hitting a number of my career goals, such as pitching high-profile clients with confidence, scaling my business to six figures, and tackling large, complex projects without feeling completely overwhelmed. My visualization practice has, in many ways, acted as the bridge between where I am in my career at any given moment to where I want to be—by allowing me to see and feel my future success before it actually happens.

“Think about building a jigsaw puzzle. Have you ever attempted to build one without having the box top to look at? It is extremely difficult to complete the puzzle without knowing what the outcome should look like,” says executive leadership coach Cynthia Corsetti. “You may fit pieces together, you may get bits and pieces of the puzzle done, but it will take longer, be more challenging, and possibly never reach completion.”

Corsetti believes the same is true of your career; the more clear and detailed you are when you visualize what you want from your career, the easier it will be to make it a reality.

Of course, while visualization can definitely help you improve performance, for the best results, you need to pair it with action. Phelps didn’t just visualize himself winning races—he also spent hundreds and hundreds of hours in the pool.

Want to give visualization a try? Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Visualization 101

What’s Visualization?

Before we jump into how visualization can completely transform your career, let’s quickly cover what, exactly, visualization is.

“Visualization is the ability to create a clear picture in your mind of the exact circumstance you wish to create,” says Corsetti. “It has also been called setting intention, attraction, and ‘positive thinking,’” she adds. It’s “an actual skill that a person can learn.”

Visualization is seeing, feeling, and completely embodying a future outcome—whether that’s snagging the corner office, completing a marathon, or buying your dream home—before it happens. By creating your desired future outcome in your mind in as much detail as possible, you can actually transform your visualization into reality.

The Science

How Does Visualization Actually Work?

When you visualize yourself hitting a specific goal, your brain interprets that imagery as reality—and, as a result, creates new neural pathways to support that reality.

“Visualization is effective at boosting performance because it activates the same regions of the brain that are activated when actually performing a task—athletic, academic, [or] anything else,” says Roselyn Smith, a licensed psychologist, hypnotherapist, and management consultant. “It actually changes the pattern of our electrochemical brain waves.”

In other words, by using visualization, you’re tricking your brain into acting as if your desired outcome—whether that’s nailing a presentation, landing a big promotion, or launching your own business—has already happened. And because your brain thinks your desired outcome has already happened, you’re more likely to take the actions necessary to align with your brain’s perceived reality.

Visualization can even cause physical changes. One study found that participants who visualized workouts were able to increase their muscle mass by 13.5% over the course of 12 weeks—even though they never stepped foot inside a gym. (Imagine how much more they’d have gained if they’d actually worked out!)

The Exercises

What Visualization Exercises Can I Do to Be More Successful at Work?

So research has shown that visualization can work. But how, in practice, do you use it to make you more successful? Here are a few exercises to get you started.

Start With Basic Visualization
If you’re just hopping on board the visualization train, you’re going to want to start with the basics. Carve out a few quiet minutes each day to sit down, close your eyes, and picture where you want to go, who you want to be, and what you want to do in your career. You can start small (like picturing yourself rocking an upcoming presentation) or go big (like celebrating your first six-figure year in business).

The key to this exercise is being as specific as possible. See what’s going to happen clearly in your mind. Home in on all the small details, from what you’re wearing to the way you’re speaking. And let yourself experience the emotions that go along with the visualization (so, for example, the sense of pride you’d feel when landing a raise or the rush of excitement you’d get when you launch a new product). The more realistic you can make your visualization, the more effective it’ll be.

Picture the Worst-Case Scenario

There are bound to be obstacles on any career journey. With visualization, you can anticipate what they’ll be—and come up with a plan so you know exactly how to handle them when they arise.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re gearing up to pitch a new project idea to your team. Visualize all the things that could go wrong—your presentation crashes, you forget important information in the middle of your pitch, your team says they’re not interested—and, more importantly, how you’ll handle them.

Entrepreneur Tim Ferriss calls this “fear-setting;” basically, you spend time imagining all the potential worst-case scenarios and how you’d navigate them. This way, you’ll be prepared and have a game plan if and when it happens, and you’ll be much more likely to succeed as a result.

Focus on Specific Skills or Goals

As the previously mentioned study showed, practicing a task in your mind can yield measurable results—even if you never practice that task IRL.

Want to become a better public speaker? Spend time visualizing yourself speaking to large crowds. Want to increase the number of potential clients you speak to each day? Picture yourself hitting the phones and connecting with tons of prospects each day. The point is, the more you practice the skill in visualizations, the better you’ll be at said skill in reality.

Write it Down

Have a hard time visualizing things in your mind? No worries! Writing down your visualizations can be just as effective as picturing them in your head—perhaps even more so.

“I have my clients write a story that describes in detail what they want their future to look like—down to the pictures on the wall of their office,” says Corsetti. “Adults learn by using all their senses. By writing the exercise they are using their thoughts as well as the physical activity of writing which seals the idea and makes it more concrete.”

The Next Steps

What Else Do I Have to Do?

Clearly, visualization is a powerful tool. But here’s an important reminder: If you want to see real results, you need to pair it with tangible actions. You can visualize yourself calling up 100 client prospects a day—but if you never actually pick up the phone, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for.

It’s “more than just ‘think about it and it will happen,’” says Corsetti. “You see, when you visualize yourself as a leader, or as an entrepreneur…you have to start to respond [and act] as you would in that role.”

So, for example, if you’re visualizing yourself landing a coveted promotion, in addition to picturing yourself in this new role, you need to start acting as if you’re already in it, whether that means taking on more responsibility, mentoring newer members of your team, or logging extra hours at the office.

And when you pack this one-two punch—visualization and action? “Opportunities begin to present themselves. You attract people and circumstances that will help you get there,” Corsetti explains. “It literally steps up your game on a daily basis.”

Visualization is like a roadmap for that old saying—if you can dream it, you can achieve it. Because the right exercises can help you imagine the career you want. And with that vision, plus the corresponding actions, you can start making it a reality.

 

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/visualization-exercises-boost-career

1

Projects that light up Newcastle’s stunning harbour make up some of the successful applications in Round 4 of the 2018 Newcastle Port Community Contribution Fund.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC announced that five new community infrastructure projects would benefit from the Round 4 Fund, with a total value of $1.35 million going into projects to enhance the port-side areas for the community.

“I am pleased to announce that a good mixture of community activation and port-side infrastructure works make up this year’s successful projects,” Mr MacDonald said. “The $1.35 million will be awarded to Projecting Newcastle, Cottage Creek Beautification, Seafarer Volunteer Service, Camp Shortland Precinct Activation, and Lightscape. “The largest single grant this year is $450,000 towards Hunter Water’s work to explore Cottage Creek Beautification – Bank Amenity Works.

Pending environmental investigations, community engagement, design and approvals, the project could see new vegetation, open areas and promenades introduced along the stormwater channel, stretching from the rail line to Honeysuckle Drive.” Hunter Water’s Managing Director Jim Bentley said Hunter Water welcomed the $450,000 grant.

“This grant will allow Hunter Water to continue its exploration of the liveability and public amenity benefits of naturalising the existing Cottage Creek channel, and allow us to work with our communities and stakeholders to finalise design, environmental investigations and approvals,” Mr Bentley said.

“Naturalising the Cottage Creek stormwater channel would transform the current concrete waterway into a thriving space for community recreation and greatly improve the environmental and social amenity of the area.”

“There are also two separate lighting/projection projects that will add attractive activation to the harbour, with the University of Newcastle successful with its Honeysuckle Lightscape project and GrainCorp successful with its Projecting Newcastle initiative,” Mr MacDonald said.

These will use state-of-the-art laser technology to project images and video onto some of Newcastle’s iconic structures and landscapes, providing safe night-time attractions to bring people into the city after dark.

In addition to this, the city will benefit from significant infrastructure improvement with Newcastle City Council’s Camp Shortland Precinct Activation that involves temporary infrastructure improvements to the Camp Shortland site, including children’s play areas, walkways, seating and exercise equipment.

http://www.hbrmag.com.au/article/read/successful-community-port-fund-projects-announced-2898

1

A new Australian program, including an interactive website and app, has been developed specifically for small business owners to give them practical resources and tools to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

In NSW, the small business sector makes up almost 98 per cent of all businesses, employs 1.51 million people, contributes approximately $41.61 billion in annual wages and salaries and contributes more than $269.32 billion to annual sales and service income.

Ahead for Business will be activated initially in three sites across NSW in October – Lake Macquarie, Singleton and Parramatta. Local business owners are being invited to register to attend a free event in each area to find out more and network with other locals in small business.

The program has been developed by Hunter-based mental health and suicide prevention institute, Everymind, in partnership with the icare Foundation and NSW small business owners.

Everymind Director, Jaelea Skehan said Ahead for Business was designed following research conducted in 2017 into the stressors small business owners face and the gaps in existing support for this sector.

Jaelea said small businesses are the backbone of the economy and the community. Yet, until recently, there has been very little focus on the wellbeing of small business owners.

“Small business owners face a range of stressors including long working hours, feeling obliged to work when sick, multiple responsibilities, and financial stress,” Jaelea said.

“We also know from our research that many small business owners were concerned about the impact of the business on the family and many were feeling disconnected or isolated in their business.”

A survey of more than 440 small business owners showed they had higher levels of symptoms of depression and anxiety than the national average. Stress levels were high too with 57.6 per cent falling outside the normal range.

Jaelea said the website and app will help people to assess their current situation and direct them to relevant information and available supports tailored to their specific needs. It also enables people to identify simple things they can include in their everyday routine and provides templates to develop their own Business Mental Health Plan.

“Ahead for Business not only builds awareness about the importance of mental health and wellbeing within the small business community, it connects people immediately with tools, resources and supports,” Jaelea said.

“We listened to small business owners and the online screening tools and resources on the Ahead for Business portal can be accessed discreetly, 24 hours a day from home or work, to help to prevent and manage stressors and support early help-seeking.

“Whether people are new to small business, are running a side hustle or have many years of experience in business, it is important they are encouraged to focus on the most important asset that their business has – themselves.”

She said the upcoming information events are a great opportunity for small business owners in Lake Macquarie and Singleton to be the first to start using the program and the range of tailored supports it provides.

The Lake Macquarie event is being held in partnership with Lake Macquarie Combined and Southlake Business Chambers, the Business Growth Centre and Lake Macquarie Art Gallery. The Singleton event is being held in partnership with The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program and Singleton Business Chamber. Joining Jaelea to speak at the trial site events are: Workplace Psychologist, David Burroughs; Founder of Billy Goat Soap, Leanne Faulkner; and former Wallaby Player and Founder of the social network Karma, Clyde Rathbone.

 

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/new-program-keep-hunter-small-business-owners-mentally-healthy/

1

There are over 100 Newcastles (or New Castles) around the world. Newcastle, South Africa. Nyborg, Denmark. New Castle, Indiana. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK – just to name a few.

Every two years there is a conference where they come together. This year’s conference was the 20th anniversary and was held in Shinshiro, Japan from 3 to 9 October 2018.

Local marketing and brand agency, Out of the Square sponsored Irini Kassas, an ambassador of Newcastle, Australia, to attend and represent the local community on an international scale at the conference.

Only 21 years old, Irini already presents a comprehensive resume, including Newcastle’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2018 and the 2017 Humanitarian and United Nations Global Youth Award.

OOTS Managing Director, Marty Adnum said she is passionate about the city’s future, so the business had no hesitations in sponsoring her and covering the airfares for her to attend the conference.

The conference discussed business development, tourism, cultural collaborations, youth councils, charitable support and sporting links.

“As passionate Novocastrians, and myself coming from a migrant background, I felt because of the mix of the conference’s multicultural diversity and regional benefits along with Irini’s own intellect and youthful insights, that it would have been a travesty for us not to get behind this,” Marty said.

Before leaving for the conference, Irini said she was honoured to be provided with the opportunity to represent Newcastle, Australia, on the world stage.

“I am proud of my community and wish to be educated on issues relating to our community and how they can benefit us all through such experiences,” Irini said.

“In addition, I will do my best to promote the incredible assets that our region has to offer and encourage others to visit and enjoy.”

The opportunity exists to bring the conference to Newcastle NSW in 2024 and Irini has put her case forward, highlighting the benefits of this region, easy access from Newcastle Airport, and the cultural, business and tourism attributes to be shared.
Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/oots-sponsors-young-ambassador-attend-newcastles-world/

1

Tomago Aluminium employees have dug deep, donating a portion of their pay packet, matched by the company, to total $50,000 for farmers doing it tough throughout the drought-stricken Hunter region.

Tomago Aluminium CEO, Matt Howell said the employee-led initiative was the biggest single donation of its kind for the organisation and reflected just how important the cause was to the workforce.

The money will be donated to Australia’s signature drought assistance program, Rural Aid, to be used for the Hunter’s Buy a Bale campaign.

“Our community is very important to us here at Tomago Aluminium,” Matt said.

“So when the communities surrounding Tomago Aluminium are doing it tough, we feel it.

“There are so many people in our workforce that have strong links to Hunter farmers who are doing it tough out there. The initiative is a direct result of our employees seeing what our local farmers are going through and wanting to help.”

The employees initially set their sights on a target of $9,500, which according to Rural Aid buys one semi-trailer load of hay. Matt pledged that the organisation would match the total amount of employee contributions dollar for dollar.

“Within just one week of promotion, over 500 employees donated out of their pay bringing the total amount to $21,000, which far exceeded expectations,” Matt said.

“We extended the campaign another week and managed to bring the total amount contributed by staff and Tomago Aluminium to $50,000, which I am told is a lot of hay bales.”

Rural Aid Co-founder, Tracey Alder, will visit the smelter Monday 3 September to collect the generous donation and enjoy a morning tea with the employees.

The donation would fund the equivalent of nine semi-trailers of hay and feed, plus provide for other vital supplies to go to families on the land.

Source: https://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/tomago-employees-dig-deep-farmers/

1

WHILE concerns about the reliability of renewables, as expressed by some big electricity consumers including Tomago Aluminium, are understandable, industries across the country are adopting the technology as fast as they can.

At a Beresfield plant operated by pallet maker CHEP yesterday, acclaimed University of Newcastle researcher Paul Dastoor was on hand for the unveiling of a commercial-scale pilot installation of the printable solar cells that he and his team have been working on for the past 15 years.

While conventional solar cells have, until now, been reasonably weighty objects held in solid metal frames, the technology developed by Professor Dastoor at the Centre for Organic Electronics generates power by printing electronic inks onto paper-thin sheets of flexible laminate.

In earlier demonstrations of this technology, Professor Dastoor has described these printed cells as so light that large arrays can be attached to a roof with nothing more than velcro. While the Beresfield installation is a collaboration with CHEP, a Brambles subsidiary, rather than an outright sale, it is another sign that of how much the electricity market is changing, and how far removed from reality the federal government is when it comes to energy policy.

It is, admittedly, early days as far as the government led by new Prime Minister Scott Morrison is concerned.

But his initial comments in emphasising power prices over emissions reduction have been widely interpreted as a sign he has little interest in trying, as Malcolm Turnbull did, to convince the Coalition’s climate sceptics that they should listen to the experts when it comes to energy.

The global weight of investment and research going into renewable energy means the best technologies will find their way to the surface, and elbow aside more expensive and more environmentally suspect means of generating power, regardless of the attitude of the Australian government.

Indeed, given that the Coalition is supposedly the party of the free market, it is difficult to understand why it has such a philosophical opposition to progress.

In turning paint and plastic – with the help of sunshine – into electricity, Paul Dastoor is the embodiment of that progress. And further proof (not that we need it) that there is more to Newcastle than coal.

Source: https://www.theherald.com.au/story/5615937/newcastle-breakthrough-on-solar-cells/

1

Research into the Hunter Valley region has revealed there are particular employment growth areas forecast for the region over the next three years, including construction, aged and disability care, child care and cookery.

TAFE NSW’s Regional General Manager, Susie George said the research, which was conducted by Australia’s largest training organisation, revealed that the predicted growth in employment opportunities in the Hunter Valley is thanks to a number of important factors.

“With a number of exciting projects, such as planning for the construction of a new $450 million hospital in Maitland, diversification and growth of the energy sector, the Hunter Innovation Project which aims to encourage ICT startups, as well as a new facility at Beresfield for FLSmidth, an increased demand for skilled workers will continue to be generated by industry,” Susie said.

“The Hunter Valley is the fastest growing area in the North Region, with the population forecast to grow by 3 per cent between 2018-2021, and employment forecast to grow by 4.1% over the same period.”

TAFE NSW is a provider of vocational education in the Hunter Valley and it is evident that residents are upskilling in readiness for the employment growth in these industries. The top five courses by enrolment at TAFE NSW in this region last year included a Statement of Attainment in Foundation Skills Support; Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology; Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician; Certificate III in Business Administration and TAFE Statement in Youth Engagement.

“TAFE NSW will continue to innovate and develop courses to meet the skills needs of local regions,” Susie said.

“TAFE NSW delivers the skills that drive a strong economy, support vibrant communities and help individuals, enterprises and industries to adapt and thrive.

“With more than 1200 courses available and with current and future job prospects looking bright, there’s never been a better time to upskill or reskill at TAFE NSW.”

Source: http://www.hunterheadline.com.au/hh/business-news/employment-growth-areas-hunter-brings-opportunity/

1

An $11.5 million clean-up project at the former Newcastle Gasworks site could start early next year, paving the way for a future development on the Hamilton North site.

The 12-month project would see the heavily contaminated site, which has laid dormant since the mid-1980s, concrete capped and rehabilitated to a level suitable for commercial or industrial purposes.

Newcastle Gasworks operated on the seven hectare site between 1913 and 1985. It left in its wake one of the region’s heavily polluted legacies.

An analysis of contaminants revealed a range of known carcinogens, potentially carcinogenic compounds and toxic compounds including benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), total recoverable hydrocarbons (TRH), benzo(a)pyrene, cyanide, ammonia and lead.

A 2016 report noted some of the toxins, including cyanide, ammonia and lead, were leaching into groundwater and posed a risk to human health and the Hunter River, NSW Department of Planning documents show.

Source: https://www.theherald.com.au/news/local-news/5560774/115m-clean-up-bill-for-newcastle-gasworks-site/