Posts Tagged “jobs in the hunter”


It’s been a short but busy week – where did it go?!  But look no further for the latest job opportunities in the fabulous Hunter Region  - they are right here!


There’s so much to do in the Hunter Region this weekend it’s ridiculous!  We’ve got the Hunter Valley Moon Festival, Smokin’ and Blues Festival,  Spring Festival of Flowers and the Hunter Wine Country Markets – just to name a few!

What if you are looking for work or someone new to join your team and still ant to join in the fun?  No probs – just go wireless and find what you need right there relaxing on your picnic blanket enjoying the view.  The beauty of Jobs In The Hunter is that you can check in and apply, join or search any time anywhere.  So click here to see your Weekly Update  and find what’s waiting for you…


The creation of any volume of new jobs in the Hunter is good news, given the economic climate of the region.

With mining sector jobs disappearing, economists and business experts from across the region have repeated calls over the past several months for the Hunter to diversify and think beyond the square when it comes to fighting unemployment.

So it’s a welcome announcement that the NSW Department of Corrective Services is creating more jobs and training opportunities for prison officers.

The department exclusively has told Fairfax Media that it planned to create an extra 150 employment places at Cessnock Correctional Centre, among 1400 new positions across the state.

It’s been flagged as the biggest recruitment drive in the department’s history.

Cessnock resident Shenais Morgan (pictured) is one of the new recruits training at the department’s Tomago facility.

She is one of the region’s first cohort of 24 graduates.

“I thought I would give it a go and I was stoked to get the opportunity,” Ms Morgan, 21, said.

“The training facility was very good and the staff were very responsive and approachable. We have been given a lot of tips and feedback to improve ourselves for the job.”

This boost has obvious implications for residents of Maitland, Cessnock and the wide Hunter, where the jobless rate – particularly youth unemployment – is consistently among the state’s highest.

More staff are also necessary, given the state government’s controversial plans to increase Cessnock’s prison population by 1000 inmates. But this announcement should also be considered in the context of another story playing out at the jail.

Almost 10 full time teaching positions at the prison are expected to be slashed to four clerical roles in a move that the Corrective Service Teacher’s Federation has rightly slammed.

The federations has told Fairfax Media in recent months that replacing qualified corrective services teachers with employees who have no experience in the sector, from private companies, could have negative implications for recidivism.

The announcement of so many new jobs for prison officers will, no doubt, raise questions about the need to cut jobs in other vital roles, like those teaching positions that are on the chopping block.



Do you have favorite interview questions that you ask each job applicant at an interview? If so, you’re not alone. Seasoned interviewers develop a short list of best questions that quickly tell them what they need to know about a candidate’s job skills, job fit, and potential cultural fit. I have my best interview questions, too.

My best interview questions focus on the skills I want candidates to have and the contributions that I most want my candidate to make.

They help me assess the prospective employee’s work experience and his or her approach to problem solving. They help me understand how the candidate interacts with people and the work environment.

These best interview questions have a track record of helping me select people who became successful employees. These are some of my best interview questions to ask a prospective employee and your goal in asking each question.


Interview Question: Tell me about your greatest achievement at work.

Goal: The applicant’s answer tells a lot about what the individual values and what he or she considers important. It also demonstrates what the applicant considers to be an achievement.

Interview Question: Describe the work environment in which you will most effectively be able to contribute.

Goal: The candidate’s response tells the interviewer whether their work environment is congruent with the candidate’s needs. The answer helps the interviewer

Interview Question: What kind of oversight and interaction would your ideal boss provide?

Goal: You want to know how self-directed your candidate is. In a company that emphasizes empowerment, for example, a candidate that requires constant direction will not fit. If you know that the boss who is the hiring manager is a micromanager, the self-driven candidate may not succeed. (What are you doing about this boss’s management style?)

Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a major obstacle that stood in the way of you accomplishing a goal or commitment.

Goal: You will obtain a clear picture of the candidate’s past performance. You obtain information about his or her problem solving style and you also learn about what the candidate considers an obstacle. You may also learn about his or her interaction style with coworkers.

Interview Question: What prompted you to apply for this job? What interested you the most about this position?

Goal: You want to know what the prospective employee is most interested in related to your position. The answer will tell you about what motivates the individual and what is important to the applicant.

Interview Question: Why are you leaving your current employer? (If the applicant is employed.)

Goal: The applicant’s response tells you about his or her values, outlook, goals, and needs from an employer. You can determine what prompted the job search.

Interview Question: What are the three most important attributes or skills that you believe you would bring to our company if we hired you?

Goal: The candidate’s answer tells you what he or she considers most important in their skill set. You also learn about how the candidate views your open position.

Interview Question: What are the first three things you would do on the job if you were hired for this position?

Goal: You will gain an understanding of what the applicant deems important, their understanding of the requirements of your job, and how the candidate approaches a new situation.

Interview Question: How would your coworkers at your current job describe your interaction with them and your general effectiveness in your work performance? How would your coworkers describe you?

Goal: You want to understand how the candidate thinks that his or her coworkers view their interaction. You also want to assess how coworkers like working with the candidate. These questions give you an idea about the candidate’s assessment of his effectiveness in his current job and in his relationship with coworkers. Past practice can predict future results.

Interview Question: How would your current boss describe your work and contribution?

Goal: You want to understand how the candidate perceives the support and opinion of his current employer. This question tells you about the candidate’s interaction with his current boss. It also informs you about how he accepts criticism and feedback.

Interview Question: How do you believe that your current skills will contribute to the accomplishment of our company’s goals and mission as stated on our website or in company literature?

Goal: Prospective employees have long been asked to learn about the company to which they are applying. In this Internet age, learning about the company has never been easier. This question tells you if the prospective employee did learn about your company. Further, it tells you if the candidate was thoughtful about his or her potential “fit” in your company and whether she will be able to contribute.

Interview Question: How do you go about continuing to develop your professional skills and knowledge?

Goal: You want to hire employees who believe in continuous development and improvement. Listen carefully to whether the prospective employee pursues his or her own professional development or whether they depend on their employer to provide the development opportunities.

These are examples of the best interview questions to ask as you recruit and interview new employees. You will devise your own list of the best interview questions to ask as you participate in more interviews and experience the success or failure of the people that you hire.

By Susan M. Heathfield

new position4

Are you looking for a new position?
Click here and use your intuition.

You may have the need to increase staff?
Well click here now, it’s not a craft.

Looking for some industry tips?
Click here now and learn some tricks.

We have got it all for you…
At JOBS IN THE HUNTER- we share it too!


DANIEL Prasad believes he may be on the cusp of something big, and in about six months the market will dictate whether he is right.

The self-described tecchie, 35, has developed the Adpad, a tablet that effectively digitalises a traditional printed business directory.

A static device that is not connected to internet, the tablet lists business advertisements including videos, creating a revenue stream that Mr Prasad says will allow him to cover the costs of manufacturing the Adpad and, crucially, give the product to customers for free.

Content on the Adpad is stored on a micro SD card, or memory chip, which will be updated each year, as per a traditional print directory.

Other features on the tablet include the ability to save favourite businesses, allowing ease in finding them over time, a contacts page and the ability to download other products, for example cook books.

“I believe it’s an Australian first and will become the first option for households to use to search businesses, like [print] directories were 15 years ago,” he says.

Mr Prasad began tinkering on the product about five years ago after reading a newspaper story about the rising number of people who were throwing away paper directories and the environmental cost.

“More than 20,000 tonnes of paper are used to make [directory] books that are delivered to households,” he says. “That has a massive impact on the environment and even recycled paper has huge toxic waste from the process of removing ink from paper.”

Stripping back typical tablet features that were unnecessary for his product and a cost burden, Mr Prasad worked to make the Adpad as simple as possible and “familiar” in look and feel to a traditional business directory.

With help from the Business Centre Newcastle Region, the Cameron Park man then moved to secure the trademark, patent the product and manufacture it.

He believes Adpad is the only digital directory that is given to consumers free.

“I think people are intrigued by new technology but don’t want to pay for it, so if you offer it free then they will use it,” he says.

“There’s a risk involved but … this is the next generation of advertising.”

Mr Prasad is trialling Adpad in the Newcastle market – deadlines for business advertising close on March 31 – and then hopes to take it national.

“Early feedback from about 100 businesses tells me that they are ready to embrace it,” he says.

Confident in his product, he’s already thought about the next model for his tablet alongside accessories.

Details at

Source: Penelope Green


Posted by | September 7, 2016 | Job Seekers


Many employers and recruiters encourage you to apply for jobs online, either through their own websites or through a job search website.

This can make applying for a job a little easier, but if you want your application to succeed, you have to work just as hard on an online application as you would on a job application that you’d submit via email or post.

It’s important to make sure your application provides all of the information that you’re asked for. Some organisations only let you apply for jobs with them every six months, which means if you get it wrong – or don’t provide the right information – you may not be able to fix this mistake for a long time.

Here’s a few things to think about, both before you start on your online application and while you’re submitting it.


Before you put your online application together you need to know as much as you can about the company you’re applying to work with, and what they’re looking for.

Do Some Research

Check out the company’s website and read over it carefully. Make sure you visit more than just the homepage! You need to be able to show you know a lot about the organisation and explain why you want to work for them.

Read Things Over Carefully

Read the job’s selection criteria carefully. Look out for any key skills or words that are mentioned. Lots of companies use software to scan your application for certain words or phrases, and if you don’t mention these your application won’t get very far.

Work Offline

Print out the application form and read over it carefully. Write down your answers using pen and paper, or type them out on a word processor, before you start filling in the online form.

This can help you write your application in a more thoughtful way. It also means that there’s no way you can accidentally submit your application when it’s not ready.

Follow the Instructions

Read the instructions on the application form carefully. If you don’t follow the instructions, your application could be chucked before someone ever gets to read it.


Here are some things to keep in mind when you get down to actually filling out the form.

Tailor Your Application

Whatever you do, you should never submit a generic resume or cover letter as part of any job application, online or not. It’s important tailor each job application to the job that you’re applying for. One tailored application equals a hundred generic ones.

Answer All of the Questions

This might sound obvious, but make sure you answer all of the questions on the form before submitting it.

Once you’ve finished filling in the form, take a quick break and then come back and read over it again – you might notice something that you’ve missed or overlooked.

Give As Much Information As Possible

When responding to questions or selection criteria, your answers shouldn’t be a simple yes or no. They should give as much detail as possible, including examples of how you meet the requirements of the job.

Don’t go over any word limits and don’t pad out your answers – make them short and sharp, but still as informative as you can.

Use the S.T.A.R. Approach

When responding to selection criteria, use the S.T.A.R. approach to put together your answers. This involves describing:

The Situation you were in
The Task you were given
The Approach you took
The Result of that approach

Double-Check the Instructions

Make sure you’ve followed all of the instructions carefully. Once you think everything’s ready to go, read over the instructions one last time before sending, just in case you missed something.

Leave Enough Time to Meet the Deadline

It goes without saying that you have to make sure you get your application in on time, but you also need to leave yourself enough time to do a good job. If you start working on your application early enough, you won’t have to rush things to get it in on time, and your application will be all the better for it.

Check Spelling and Grammar

Before sending it in, you should always check your application for spelling and grammar. Ask a friend, family member or teacher to look over your application.

At the very least, you should type your answers into a word processing program and run a spellcheck before cutting and pasting them into the online form.


Unless instructions specifically advise you not to, you should always include a cover letter with an online job application. Make sure that you address the selection criteria in your cover letter as well as in your resume and the application form.

Remember that e-recruitment scanning software is often used on cover letters as well as resumes, and if your cover letter doesn’t tick enough boxes, your entire application may not make it.

Depending on the application, you might need to either attach the cover letter as a separate document, or you might have to type a cover letter into the application form. Either way, it’s best to write your cover letter in a word processor, then cut and paste it into the form if you need to.

File Formats for Resumes and Cover Letters

It’s important to find out what format the employer wants your resume and cover letter to be in, then make sure that you submit them in that file format.

Common file formats include:

Word documents (.doc)
Rich Text documents (.rtf)
Text documents (.txt)
If a file format isn’t specified, normally it’s best to provide a .doc or .docx file. – most e-recruitment tools work best with Word.

Generally speaking it’s best to avoid submitting documents as .pdfs – some e-recruitment software can have trouble reading .pdfs.

Email Addresses

Before you submit your application, get yourself a professional-sounding address. For example, your first name and last name with an “” tacked on at the end is far more professional than something

Little details like this can make a difference and set you apart from other applicants. A playful email address is fine for friends, but for a potential employer, it doesn’t create the image of a professional person.


It may take a while for you to hear back about a job application. In the meantime you should keep on looking and applying for other jobs.

If you do hear back, you may get asked to come in for an interview. To find out more about job interviews, check out our Job Interviews pages.

There’s also a chance that you may either get a response simply saying that you didn’t get the job. Sometimes you might not even hear back at all.

If this happens, it’s important to remember that it’s normal to apply for a job and not get it. The best thing to do is to keep on searching and applying for jobs online, but also to remember that there are other ways to find work, including:

Cold calling
Tapping into the hidden job market…

Good luck, and happy job hunting!



Spring has sprung, the grass is ris, I wonder where a new job is?

Right here at Jobs In The Hunter of course!

Click here to check out our Weekly Update and visit our website for available positions, news and ideas on all things job related. Whether you are an employer, employee or future employee we have something for you.


One of the most important ongoing tasks you’ll have as a business leader is hiring. It’s not easy, though; it’s a time-consuming process with monetary and reputational consequences if you make a bad hire.

Taking the time to find the right person — someone who is not just technically capable but also a good fit for the company — is important. Companies that are successful in hiring have a process that includes attracting high-quality candidates, evaluating them in several different areas, and taking the time to get to know the people in different ways. Here are nine tips to build and improve your own hiring process.

1. Write better job descriptions.

If you’re not careful, the way your job posting is written can deter great candidates from applying. Many companies write detailed descriptions with long lists of responsibilities and requirements, but a study by researchers in the United States and Canada found that this can actually alienate qualified employees, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In the study, researchers rewrote 56 job ads to emphasize two different approaches: the “Needs-Supplies” approach, which focuses on what the company can do for the candidate, and the “Demands-Abilities” approach, which focuses on what the company expects from the candidate. Of the 991 responses, applicants who responded to “Needs-Supplies” job listings were rated higher than those who responded to the “Demands-Abilities” ads. The more successful postings included statements such as “We seek to provide employees with constructive feedback to foster their career growth,” and “You will have many opportunities to collaborate with talented people.” The takeaway? Put more of the focus on what your company can do for potential employees, and you’ll attract candidates who better fit your needs.

2. Embrace digital trends and social media.

Most people want to work for companies that keep up with the latest tech trends. A survey by MIT and Deloitte found that the vast majority of respondents, ages 22 to 60, want to work for digitally enabled organizations, which means businesses will have to stay ahead of the curve in order to retain employees and attract new ones.

Another good way to embrace the digital side is to make sure your career site is mobile-friendly. According to a 2015 Pew Research survey, nearly 30 percent of American adults have used their smartphone in some way for their job search, including browsing job listings (94 percent of smartphone job seekers), filling out online job applications (50 percent) and creating a resume or cover letter (23 percent).

3. Focus on soft skills.

Although the right skill set may seem like the most important factor in whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular role, the truth is that skills can be acquired, but personalities cannot.

“Social intelligence — being able to navigate social situations and work well with others — is very important,” said Maynard Brusman, a San Francisco-based psychologist and founding principal of consulting firm Working Resources.

“Don’t become pigeonholed into thinking the person with the exact necessary experience is the right person for the role,” added Tom Gimbel, CEO and founder of staffing and recruiting firm LaSalle Network. “Consider soft skills — like interpersonal skills, communication skills, thought processes and emotional intelligence — because they matter.”

4. Check social media profiles.

Like most employers, you’ll probably do a background check (or at least a quick Google search on the candidate’s name) to see what comes up about that person online. But if you’re not looking through the candidate’s social media profiles, you could be missing a key way to find out more about the individual as a person and an employee — for better or for worse.

While it’s legally risky to allow a candidate’s social media activity to factor into your hiring decisions, it can give you a better picture of someone you’re interested in hiring. In another Business News Daily article, Aliah Wright, a manager with the Society For Human Resource Management, said that social media can be used as a skills assessment, especially if a candidate has professional blog posts or portfolio work.[See Related Story: The Pros and Cons of Social Media Background Checks]

5. Fit the personality to the job.

A candidate’s personality is another important factor to consider. For example, a trait such as empathy would likely be much more important for a nurse or a social worker than it would be for a tax attorney or a computer programmer.

“What kind of person you hire depends on [the] culture of organization and the kind of job,” Brusman said. “A great person with all kinds of skills may be [a] good fit for one and [a] poor fit for another, simply based on their personality type.”

6. Improve your interviews.

A study by Leadership IQ found that failures exhibited by new employees may result from flawed interview processes. Eighty-two percent of the 5,000 managers surveyed reported that the interviewers were too focused on other issues, too pressed for time or lacked confidence in their interviewing abilities to pay attention to red flags candidates exhibited during the interview process.

According to Leadership IQ CEO Mark Murphy, this is because the job interview process generally focuses on making sure new hires are technically competent, whereas other factors that are just as important to employee success — like coachability, emotional intelligence, temperament and motivation — are often overlooked.

7. Ask the right kinds of questions.

You can’t come right out and ask someone if they’re a jerk, but you can ask questions that will help you figure it out on your own.

“If you ask someone why they left their last job and they blame someone else, it’s important to follow up with another question,” said Paul Harvey, a professor of management at the University of New Hampshire. “If they continue to blame external forces for their problems, you may want to look for another employee.”

So what are some other great questions to ask? John Schwarz, CEO and founder of workforce analytics company Visier, said answers to questions such as, “Who are you going to be 10 years from today?” and “What makes you get up in the morning and do what you do?” can tell you a lot about a candidate’s drive and ambition.

8. Let candidates interview you, too.

Allowing prospective employees to interview you will give you a chance to see what’s important to them, Brusman said. Plus, it will give candidates a chance to determine that they want to keep pursuing a job at your company, or to decide that it’s not the right fit for them.

“Be open and honest about what it’s going to be like to work for your company,” Brusman said. “You want to give a realistic preview of the work environment.”

9. Keep an eye on your reviews.

Potential employees often seek insider information about companies they want to work for, and this includes salary estimates, interview tips and reviews from current and former employees from sites such as Glassdoor. According to Glassdoor, 46 percent of its members read company reviews before they even speak to a recruiter or hiring manager. Top candidates may not even apply in the first place if they don’t like what they see: 69 percent of job seekers said they would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were currently unemployed.

On the flip side, 94 percent of respondents said they’re likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages the employer brand by responding to reviews, updating the company’s profile, and sharing updates on the company’s culture and work environment.

Based on Glassdoor’s data, two actions that draw in candidates include being active on review websites and posting accurate information. And if you have a lot of negative reviews from former employees, it may be time to work on your company culture before you try to fill any open positions. Doing so can help improve employee retention and lead to more positive reviews that will attract quality employees.

Source: Marci Martin

hand up

WHAT will the Hunter look like in 2036? The NSW government and councils are developing regional and local plans for land use. But what jobs and businesses will thrive in 20 years? As a region that has undergone and continues to experience significant economic transformation, it is an important question.

The Hunter is resilient. Jobs grew by 4.8 per cent in the Hunter Valley ABS region in the 12 months to July, 2016. The Newcastle/Lake Macquarie ABS region grew by 6 per cent. That is an additional 16,500 positions over the two regions in the past year.

The Baird government is making an important contribution with record, productivity-enhancing infrastructure works. The evidence can be seen in the cranes in Newcastle and across the Hunter.

But it will always be the private sector that generates sustained growth. Traditional Hunter industries are significant, but new jobs are in the services sector – health, education, financial services, IT, construction, tourism and creative industries.

On August 19, Premier Baird released the government’s ‘Jobs for NSW’ vision. The target is to create one million new jobs over the next 20 years. From 1996 to 2015, the state added 925,000 additional jobs. Job creation over the next 20 years will be a lot tougher.

The challenges are predominantly around an ageing workforce, automation, participation and exposure to global competition. Given our demographic trends, business as usual would mean a reduction of 370,000 in the NSW workforce. That translates to a lower standard of living, fewer opportunities and a degraded capacity to meet services.

The ‘Jobs for NSW’ plan has four strategies for overcoming the technological and demographic trends and setting the state on target to create an extra one million jobs. They are: nurture our globally-competitive growth sectors; support our entrepreneurs; skill up for the knowledge economy; and lift the employment participation rates across the genders, ages and cultural groups.

I am determined the Hunter doesn’t get left behind in the challenges and responses.

As the plan shows the ‘Jobs for NSW’ board will shortly be looking for partners in identifying and stimulating distinctive, geographic business clusters to assist targeted businesses thinking of establishing themselves in the regions; encouraging export orientated agribusiness and developing means of encouraging entrepreneurs. To my mind the Hunter seems well placed to meet the future. It is already in the forefront of many of the ‘Jobs for NSW’ strategies. The Dantia start-up incubator is a good example. It has the people with the vision and drive. It’s agriculture sector has a strong track record. The challenge will be to ensure it is not fragmented and builds on its export capability. The University of Newcastle has an ethos of innovation and commercialisation.

I sent the ‘Jobs for NSW’ plan to the region’s councils, university, business chambers, Regional Development Australia and other key stakeholders. I will be asking them to work with ‘Jobs for NSW’ chair David Thodey and his board. If I have one criticism of the Hunter Valley, it is that is has a poor record of working collaboratively and with a united voice. There is now an opportunity to work closely with the state government to ensure it is the platform for ‘Jobs for NSW’ in regional NSW. The Hunter is the strongest regional economy in NSW. This plan offers the tools to help maintain that position.

The Jobs for the Future report can be found at

Scot MacDonald is the Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter

Source: Scot MacDonald


Yes!  I know what you are thinking (even those of us who love our job do it)…”IT’S FRIDAY”!   At Jobs In The Hunter, we have our Weekly Update ready for you to read before the weekend hits!  Whether you are looking forward to a birthday party, a mountain climb, a movie marathon or a night out on the town (or all of the above!) over the weekend, CLICK HERE to get updated with Jobs In The Hunter…Friday is here and the time is now!

performance review 2

Performance review… this presents an opportunity for employees to demonstrate their accomplishments and distinguish themselves and their value to the organization. In this challenging economy it is important to use this critical tool to its best advantage as it has significant impact on pay, professional development and, possibly, job security. Here are ten tips to make the process work for you and make it easier for your boss to write you a terrific review.



1. Know Your Role

If you are uncertain about any aspect of your job, seek clarification. A great place to start is a detailed list of job duties or, if it is available, an official job description, from your manager or human resources department. If no description exists, use the Salary Wizard® to search for one or two jobs that are close matches to your job. You, along with your manager, can develop an appropriate description from there.

2. Be “Engaged” in the Process

Many workers are missing important opportunities to maximize their earning potential by not devoting more effort to their performance review or ensuring that they get a clear explanation of their goals and objectives. Be an active participant in establishing your goals from the start. Focus on key objectives and define a plan that makes sense for you and your employer.

3. Set Goals that are Reasonable and Relevant

When establishing goals, make sure they are meaningful. There should be value in doing a particular activity. Each goal must be relevant to the work you do each day and should be mutually agreed upon by you and your manager.

4. View goals as a project plan

Make your goals your mission for the year. Keep goals current, track progress and contributions, and update goals as appropriate to reflect any changes in your role or responsibilities. Remember that although goals are set to achieve certain work-based objectives, they can also yield personal rewards in the form of professional and developmental growth and greater earnings potential.

5. Document your accomplishments

No one pays closer attention to your work than you do. The annual performance review, and the promotion or salary increase that often goes with it, can be enhanced significantly if you highlight your accomplishments clearly and make a case for yourself. Document your accomplishments along the way and let your boss know when you have reached established milestones. If you reach a stumbling block along the way, seek advice on how to best resolve the issue.

6. Show an interest in additional training

If you don’t have access to the tools or training necessary to achieve a particular objective, be sure to ask. Your employer will see that you want to improve the quality of your work and are interested in professional growth. Additional training will make you more valuable to the organization and set you up for the next step in your career.

7. Check-in

Have an open dialogue with your boss throughout the year so you have a better sense of where you stand and how your progress is being perceived. Don’t leave all of this discussion for the annual review. Try to conduct brief, informal discussions throughout the performance review period. Taking time to check shows your boss that you are interested in performing well and are working hard toward achieving goals.

8. Share positive feedback

Feedback from colleagues and/or customers is also valuable when you are preparing for a review. If someone sends you a thank you via e-mail or on paper, keep it on file. If someone says something complimentary, ask him or her to put it in writing.

9. Demonstrate a Positive Attitude

Performance is about results, but some great performers can have bad attitudes. Employers look for employees that produce quality work and are flexible and easy to work with. Think seriously about what your general behavior conveys to those around you. Try to be “likeable” in a business sense by being pleasant, respectful and courteous to colleagues.

10. Utilize Performance Review Feedback

When you get constructive feedback during a performance review, listen to it carefully and objectively. If part of the feedback is difficult to hear, try not to appear defensive. Instead, take time to consider what was said and try to make improvements in your work habits to avoid similar comments in the future. Companies value employees who can accept professional guidance.

Source: Maura Pallera, contributing writer.


UPPER Hunter Community Services are excited to share an opportunity for volunteer community members to attend a weekend of adult literacy tutor training.

On completion of the training, volunteers will be equipped to facilitate a small group of adult community members to gain essential skills and knowledge in the area of literacy.

Read Write and Spell’s qualified teachers will be facilitating the training weekend at Muswellbrook Library on September 17 and 18.

The adult literacy training weekend will ultimately provide opportunities through qualified volunteer tutors for community members to engage in adult literacy programs.

These programs will provide literacy skills through reading, writing and numeracy skills to adults within our community where literacy is a barrier to obtain the skills they need to fully participate in life, learning, community and employment.

The cost of the weekend Tutor Training is free, spaces are limited and it is intended that participants once qualified will be able to support a small adult literacy group working alongside Muswellbrook Library and Upper Hunter Community Services.

The “Reading Rocks” initiative aims to promote literacy and life-long learning in Muswellbrook and the Upper Hunter.

We would like to acknowledge the support of the Reading Rocks key partners, BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Upper Hunter Regional Library and Upper Hunter Community Services.

Please contact Mel Atkinson at Upper Hunter Community Services on (02) 6542 3555 for further information about the program or to register for the training.

UHCS is a community-based incorporated organisation primarily located in Muswellbrook to service to Upper Hunter. UHCS was formed by the amalgamation of Upper Hunter Community Management Inc., Upper Hunter Community Training Inc. and Upper Hunter Family Support Service.


employee exc 3

It’s always pleasant (if rare) to find a management tactic that works well and is also easy and even fun. Over the course of my career – both as an employee and a manager – the best way I found to reduce stress and improve productivity was simple: to exercise at midday.

Everyone has his or her own biorhythms, but I found and observed energy and concentration often flagging toward midday. And also noted considerably renewed energy and productivity following a lunchtime workout.

These aren’t simply my own idiosyncratic observations. Numerous studies link exercise to mood elevation and productivity enhancement, as well as more collaborative and tolerant behavior. The benefits of exercise are copiously well documented; the trick is effectively integrating a regular exercise program into a conservative or restrictive work environment.

What form of exercise works best? My answer’s simple: Whatever you like and can easily do in or near the workplace. For me it was usually a 3-mile run. All I needed was a change of clothes and a shower. Many I managed liked weightlifting, walking, aerobics classes, yoga, Spinning and so on. (Personal aside: The only form of exercise that was clearly not for me was Spinning. First, it looks wicked hard. Second, I exercised at least partly to take a break from people barking at me, so the last thing I wanted while taking a break from people barking at me was other people barking at me.)

Here are six common reasons why people can’t or don’t exercise at work, and ways to easily overcome them.

  1. I don’t have time. Sure you do. It may take you 15 minutes longer than a normal lunch hour (maybe even 30 if you have to go a little farther to get to a facility), so work 15 (or 30) minutes later. Chances are in those extra 15 minutes you’ll be more energized and productive than if you hadn’t exercised in the first place.
  2. My boss won’t let me. Tell him or her… data shows exercise enhances productivity, reduces stress, and improves collaboration. Ask for a chance to demonstrate the results, and be sure to over-deliver when providing them.
  3. We don’t have a Fitness Center. It’s great if your company has one, but no knockout if you don’t. Sometimes all you need is a shower. Or you can go to a nearby gym or club. Often your company can get a corporate discount, a trade that helps both teams.
  4. I won’t have time to eat lunch. Nonsense. Eat lunch at your desk while working following your workout. I did it productively for decades. I ate a cheese sandwich or a peanut butter sandwich (fortunately I have a limitless capacity for monk-like culinary boredom), plus an apple or an orange. The main criterion for my lunch was that it could be prepared literally within one minute – no kidding – at about 9 p.m. the night before.
  5. My hair will be a mess. Don’t be too hard enough on yourself. I’m sure your hair actually looks a lot better than you think it does. Note to employees: Of course you’ll use common sense here – no triathlon workouts right before Board presentations. Note to managers: Offer (as appropriate to your environment) flexibility of casual dress and appearance. Your employees will appreciate you for it and likely reward you with loyalty and diligence.
  6. My CEO doesn’t believe in exercise in the workplace… I’m as old school and dinosaurish as they come and I’ve been exercising at work since the 1970s. Note to CEOs: You’ll gain in employee engagement. You’ll gain in recruiting. You may gain in reduced absenteeism and health care costs (though that’s usually harder to document). Plus, dedicated exercisers/athletes tend to be highly disciplined individuals and fine employees. It’ll make your company a cooler happier place.
  7. One final thought: The ability to exercise at work is a benefit and privilege, so you can’t abuse it – all expected work still has to get done. Otherwise, any straight-thinking manager will – and should – pull the plug quickly. But it shouldn’t come to that. Well-managed exercise programs improve the quality of worklife for employees and management alike. And that’s the bottom line. I’d write more, but I’ve got to go for a run.

Source Victor Lipman


NovaCare is a Broadmeadow-based, not for profit community aged care service and it’s just beaten some large competitors to win the Organisation award in the NSW/ACT Aged and Community Services Awards. How so?

I think NovaCare stood out because while other organisations provide support services for people living at home, we go further to create experiences that help people truly live their way. Our playful team spirit and innovative approach is born out of the FiSH philosophy that we implemented in 2014. Based on extraordinary staff and customer engagement at the now world-famous Seattle Fish Markets, FiSH and its four key values of Play, Make Their Day, Choose Your Attitude and Be There creates common culture, strengthens relationships and fulfils goals.

How did NovaCare begin?

In 1992 a group of locals saw there was a need to support older people living in their Newcastle community. They pooled their expertise, secured funding and NovaCare began as a day social centre when Milpara was opened in Merewether.

At that time, did it fill a niche?

Twenty five years ago there was limited support older people living at home. Milpara provided meaningful social opportunities while giving carers a break.

What core services does NovaCare provide to support seniors?

Our core services enable independent living and include transport, social support, domestic assistance, personal care, home maintenance, clinical care, technologies that assist people at home, therapy and exercise, medication assistance and food services.

We offer choice and flexibility on how care and support is provided in your home in the community and in our private respite cottage at Hamilton.

Where is NovaCare experiencing most demand?

Unfortunately, there is a long waiting list for people needing nursing home style care at home but we can’t always help as federal funding is rationed. Thankfully though, after February 2017, with control and choice of providers in the hands of consumers, we can offer these higher level services outside Newcastle in areas such as Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie. Meanwhile, we try to be innovative and support people and families while they wait.

What innovation have you introduced?

In a first for a community organisation, we have partnered with the highly innovative Arts Health Institute to deliver their Sing Out Loud Together experience, which brings Year 6 students from local schools together with our community elders to share stories, music and fun as they sing together weekly, guided by a maestro. Music & Memory is another Arts Health Institute program that NovaCare is again, Australia’s first community-based organisation to implement.

The FiSH philosophy’s four key values [see first question] is nurturing NovaCare’s cohesive culture and meaningful relationships with clients.

Our contribution to research undertaken at the University of Newcastle, the Council of the Aged and Community West is helping design the wellness and enablement services of tomorrow.

What are the biggest pressures on your business?

The demand for our services is greater than our funding allows us to provide, so sometimes we can’t help and I struggle with that. We are a for-purpose organisation with an incredible professional team but they do not always get the remuneration they deserve. We strive to retain staff by focusing on having a great culture and investing in their education.

The demand for our services is greater than our funding allows us to provide, so sometimes we can’t help and I struggle with that.
- Joseph McCarthy

How has the NDIS affected your service?

NDIS caters to people under 65 and 90% of our clients are over 65. Our NDIS clients have overwhelmingly chosen to stay with us, so the impact is not significant.

Where did you begin your career?

I began as a trainee accountant at Cutcher and Neale while completing my Commerce Degree at Newcastle University, then worked at public and commercial firms before deciding that I wanted to contribute my skills for community support organisations. I joined Catholic Care of the Aged as Business Manager then became CEO for 6 years until the aged care services was sold and I moved to NovaCare.

Would resources would you love to boost?

NovaCare has an overnight respite cottage in Hamilton that provides day and overnight accommodation to our guests and flexible support for carers. The comfortable and familiar home environment works wonderfully for people living with dementia and additional cottages in Port Stephens and Maitland would be so helpful to carers.

Best thing of your job?

I love working for an organisation that makes a difference daily in my community. Our board encourages us to be inventive and to be a state and national leader. NovaCare is very selective in recruiting staff with the right values and qualifications so my workmates are amazing. The added perk is that I get to meet some lovely ageing Novocastrians and their families.

gold 5

Yaaa!  It’s the Olympics and aren’t we doing oarsomely?

At Jobs In The Hunter we are running as fast as we can to slam dunk as many jobs, opportunities and information onto our online jobs notice board and pass it on to you.  Click here to see our Weekly Update!  We want to help you land your next employment hurdle with a perfect score for your new job or employee.  So take the leap, dive in (without a splash), go for gold and feel like a weight has been lifted from  your shoulders…it’s all smooth sailing from here!!  Cheering!


Future of Jobs in the Hunter is the Hunter Research Foundation’s special August luncheon. What is the format?

I will be releasing new HRF research, supported by Keolis Downer, that examines the future of six key sectors in the Hunter and some of the drivers of employment growth, the skills that will be required and where they will be located.

Our speaker Sue Beitz has worked at senior levels in government to develop policy and manage programs in the fields of employment, skills and education, and workplace relations. She also contributed to CEDA’s influential 2015 Australia’s Future Workforce report and will talk about industry transformation, in particular the implications of technological change for jobs and skills.

Prof. Bill Mitchell from the University’s Centre of Full Employment and Equity, and Geoff Crews from Forsythes Recruitment will then join Sue on a panel discussing the future of jobs.

Why should Hunter businesses attend?

No business is immune to the challenges confronting the Hunter in the tsunami of change washing over our economic and workforce structure, due to digital disruption, globalisation, and servitisation of industry. This event will help local businesses to anticipate the skills and workforce opportunities and challenges as they plan for future success.

Tell us more about the research to be unveiled?

The Future of Hunter Jobs project maps the current (2011 Census) dispersion of major industries throughout the Hunter region, and the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie industry concentrations, and concentrations of population in urbanised areas, generating travel between home and work, education, health and retail outlets.

HRF identifies key opportunities arising from the changing structure of our workforce and the challenges likely to influence the competitiveness of the Hunter economy in employment growth areas. We also draw out a range of strategies that could enable the region to generate high-value industries and employment, and to thrive and grow into the future.

Our speakers and panelists are experts in their fields and will bring their knowledge to the discussion.

What are the biggest challenges to the Hunter as mining and manufacturing job losses continue?

The new jobs being created in the Hunter are predominately in the lower-value services sector and we also see growing part-time and under-employment in the region. We have a rapidly ageing population, low projected population growth (less than 1% per annum over the next 20 years), and a proliferation of micro-to-small businesses. We are well served in business, retail and real estate services, which all face the threat of emerging technology and cost pressures from global competition, but lack the ICT and creative industries sectors that will utilise these same technologies to produce new jobs and export opportunities.

It’s no secret that businesses must be agile, however many SMEs operating in traditional fields feel ill-equipped to do so. What’s the answer?

Creative thinking is needed to develop new opportunities for small-to-micro businesses to participate in broadening their traditionally local market perspective. Enhanced clustering and collaboration and rapid adoption of new service-delivery models that leverage technology are necessary for success.

What are the major drivers that are changing the Hunter workforce?

They include population ageing, the impact of new technologies and digital disruption, globalisation and the Asian century, and service of industry.

What are key areas of opportunity for firms?

Hunter firms will need to boost the percentage of their workers with degrees or advanced education.
- Brent Jenkins

The Hunter will benefit from jobs growth in the six sectors reviewed with health care, business services, education and hospitality being the biggest sources of new employment.

What strategies can they adopt to move towards the new economies?

Support for Hunter firms to access the new market opportunities opening up through Australia’s free trade agreements will help companies grow into the future.

What are Hunter firms doing well and not so well at present?

Health care, business services, education, hospitality, and retail services have all established strong footholds in the region and have opportunities for significant growth. However, by 2020 the skills mix required will change, with increasing demand for more highly-skilled workers, who can leverage new technologies for delivery of services, both domestically and internationally. Hunter firms will need to boost the percentage of their workers with degrees or advanced education.

Does industry and business need to work together more?

Strong regional planning is required to attract new opportunities and investment to the Hunter and ensure that we continue to grow. Strong policy signals and new investment are needed if it is to maintain growth and continue the structural changes begun at the end of 2013.

Tickets to the August 17 HRF Future of Jobs in the Hunter luncheon via


business man doing yoga

Employees want to balance work with the rest of the activities they wish to pursue in life. Work balance is especially important to your millennial employees who are used to cramming their days with diverse activities and hours of electronic communication.

Employers are not responsible for providing work balance for their employees, but they can assist the employees to seek and maintain their own work balance. Optimistically, the decisions, policies, values, and expectations in your workplace support employees in their work-life balance choices.

In the best case scenario, these employer choices help you to recruit and retain the superior employees you seek. Here are ten factors that you control that encourage or discourage employee work-life balance.

  • Offer a flexible work schedule. A flexible schedule does not mean that employees can come and go at will, which is a possibility that concerns employers. A flexible schedule policy spells out what the employer means by flexible hours.  In many workplaces, flexible starting and ending times are easy to implement. More sophisticated flexible schedules such as a four-day work week or telecommuting require more planning, but flexible work schedules are a cornerstone for work balance.  My favorite example involves a New York City online publishing company that allows employees to telecommute two days a week. With employees living in Brooklyn, New Jersey, and all over the other boroughs, this company policy saves employees hundreds of hours of commuting time and expense. It also enables them to have additional time for all of life’s needs.
  • Offer paid time off (PTO) in lieu of traditional paid sick leave, paid personal days, and paid vacation. A paid time off (PTO) approach treats employees like adults who are capable of making decisions about how, when, and why to use the paid time off supplied by the employer.  In a PTO system, neither employers nor employees need to worry about accounting for how the time off was spent. This eliminates confusion and the need for additional policies such as defining what constitutes a sick day. Yes, I realize that there are downsides to PTO, but not in terms of work balance.
  • Allow only limited carry over of paid time off (PTO) into anther calendar year. If the goal of paid time off is to encourage employees to do just that – take time off – paying employees for the time is counterproductive. Even if employees want to donate the value of their paid time off to a charity or a coworker who has used his or her time up for valid reasons, these actions do not encourage the work balance and rejuvenation employees need.
  • Managers and senior managers need to model the work balance they’d like to encourage for their employees. When a manager uses PTO to take a vacation yet responds to email as if she is in the office, this sends a powerful message to employees about whether they need to do email while on vacation. The actions of senior leaders are heard and observed by employees. When a senior manager calls in for unimportant meetings while out-of-the-office, employees get the message. It affects their personal choices for work and life balance.  With employees electronically connected to the workplace 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the office or out, work and life balance is a challenge. Set up the expectation, in your workplace, that when an employee leaves for vacation, it is okay to send an email that says he is on vacation with limited access to email. Honor the employee’s PTO by not contacting him unless it is truly an emergency.
  • Allow employees to take unpaid leave as needed for life cycle needs. Employees have serious, life-changing events, emergency family needs, and desires to explore life and career opportunities. While the 12 weeks required by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and employer leave policies that existed prior to FMLA, cover many events, they’re not always sufficient. I have known employers to allow employees to take an unpaid leave of absence for activities and events such as:

–the premature birth of a baby who is hospitalized for an extended time period,
–nursing a parent with a serious illness in another state,
–settling a relative’s estate in another state,
–extending maternity leave for an additional 4-8 weeks,
–exploring moving to a new location with a spouse without burning the bridge to current employment,
–attending grad school full time to complete classes that were only available during the day, and
–attending online grad school in another state for the four required two-week onsite sessions a year.

  • Sponsor employee and family events and activities monthly to encourage team building, friendships among employees, and inclusion of families in work events. At the same time, schedule some of the events for adults only. Provide babysitting at the event or elsewhere, if it will encourage employee attendance.  Bowling, picnics, outdoor movies and bonfires, game centers, ice skating, sports events like a baseball or football game, a hay ride, and interaction with a company favorite charity’s event are all appropriate for families. (On a side note, the relationships that employees build encourage them to stay with your company and in your region.)
  • Expect employees to work hard, work long hours, and weekends, but not all of the time. It’s okay to expect employees to work long, hard hours during the push for a timely product release, for example, or at a trade show. But, employees can’t sustain an extraordinary level of energy and long overtime hours as a constant work expectation. Employees will check out, burn out, and / or leave if long hours and extraordinary effort are the norm. Don’t confuse commitment, engagement, and dedication with 60-70 hour weeks.
  • Allow some cross-over of life needs into the workplace and vice versa. Shopping online at a sale while at work is often mitigated by the employee responding to emails at 10 p.m. You don’t want to encourage your employees to talk with their children while at work. Nor do you want to encourage employees to use online time during the work day for personal reasons.  But you need to recognize that for many, especially professional employees, the line between work time and life time is no longer distinct. Would you prefer that the employee take a half day off to do his holiday shopping or spend twenty minutes making a quick purchase online? Or, do you want a mom has to leave early most days to make sure her children got home from school?  Do you really want to monitor whether an employee is posting a joke on Facebook or avidly recruiting potential staff for your open position? You can trust adult employees to make good choices. Deal with the individuals who don’t – individually.
  • Offer the opportunity for employees to job share or work part-time. Employers tend to believe that every job is a full-time job, but not all jobs need a full time employee. Consider the talent that would be available to your organization if you hired employees for part time hours.  With the appropriate two people, job sharing can also work effectively for employees who you want to retain while they start families or home school, for example.

Creative employers and employees will think of more ways that employers can support employees in their quest for work-life balance. Start with these ten ideas to take a giant stride to support your employees in their efforts to fully participate in all aspects of work and life.


today is the day

Today is the day!  If you haven’t found that perfect job or employee here to read our Weekly Update from Jobs In The Hunter.

You can view our latest jobs, news and opportunities PLUS you can share them with friends!  As Mark Twain once said “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”.  That day could be TODAY – so don’t delay – the only thing that separates your dreams and your reality is the ACTION you take!

bullet train

A HIGH SPEED Rail Forum held by Regional Development Australia Central Coast last month saw nearly fifty Central Coast community and business leaders learn of the opportunities and benefits that a High Speed Train would bring to the Central Coast.

Keynote speaker was Shohei Yoshida, General Manager of the Sydney Office of the Central Japan Railway Co (JRC) owner, operator and innovator of the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train system linking Japan’s principal metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka since 1964. Also speaking was CCBR Editor Edgar Adams who focused on the economic opportunities a high speed rail service between Sydney and Newcastle would bring to the region and the importance of working with the Hunter region group advocating for High Speed Rail. In support of this project Lederer Group’s Steve McGillivray informed the group on changes to the Gosford CBD and how that could influence a HSR service through Gosford. Mr Yoshida highlighted JRC’s fifty year history with a perfect safety record and no accidents resulting in fatalities while maintaining absolute punctuality.

Source: Source:

respect workers

Most of us have said it at one time or another “Why don’t they respect me?” “Why won’t they take on board what I’m saying?” “What can I do to make them LISTEN to me and treat me how I deserve to be treated?”  The simple fact is – RESPECT EARNS RESPECT.  No matter what their position in the organisation, people are people and there are some very simple tools that YOU can use to make your life as an employee easier and more rewarding.  As a bonus –  your employer, or co-worker will show you what you want, what you really, really want… and that is… to be treated with R-E-S-P-E-C-T!  Happy days! Lisa Quast has some great points below on how to make this happen for you.  It really isn’t a lot to take on… sometimes simplicity is the answer!

Someone I was coaching recently wrote in their development plan that one of their goals was to “earn the respect of more people at work.” I thought that was an interesting goal and asked her to tell me more about her comment. She said, “I just don’t feel like people respect me so I want to earn more respect.” When I asked her specifically what behaviors she thought she needed to exhibit in order to earn respect, there was a long pause and she gave me a blank stare.

You’d be surprised how many times I go through this same “respect” discussion. So here’s the deal…respect is something you have to earn – it’s not something handed out free on a silver platter. If you want to earn respect then you need to ask yourself this question, “How can I change my behavior to earn more respect from others?”

Here are some of my personal suggestions for earning respect:

Use active listening skills – really listen and hear what people are saying.
Treat others with dignity and courtesy at all times.
Keep all your commitments – and never make a commitment you can’t keep.
Be patient with people; realize that most people want to do what’s right.
Treat others as they would like to be treated; in other words, learn to flex your social style so you can work better with others.
Don’t state your opinions unless you can back them up with data. And be sure you fully understand the situation before you comment on it.
Be sincere.
Be generous.
Be humble.
Be confident, but exhibit confidence without arrogance.

Sometimes I think we speed through life so quickly that we don’t take enough time to really hear other people. To do so takes the ability to be patient, generous with your time, and sincerely care about others. These are all behaviors that will lead to earning more respect from co-workers.

Source: Lisa Quast

Key dates for your diary

Posted by | August 3, 2016 | Community

hunter community

Belonging to a community can make such a difference in your life.  You can meet some amazing people, learn new things, rekindle old passions and so much more!  You never know where it could take you.  See below for some activities that are available in the Hunter Region.

Do you have a community event you want to share? Send in the details, and your contact information to to have it included in our weekly Community Events listings.


* Learn to Paint classes are being held at the Hope City Church office, in 93A Hill Street, Muswellbrook, from 10am. Phone 0418 206 707.

* CWA Evening group meet at the CWA rooms Surman Street, Scone 6pm start. All welcome .

* Muswellbrook Men’s Shed meets every Wednesday at 7-9 Industrial Close, Muswellbrook, from 9am. New members are welcome. Phone 0474 253 256 or by email at

* Transclub, a Transcare social group, will meet from 10am to 2pm. Contact Samm at Transcare on 6545 3113.

* Scone Historical Society Research Centre, Kingdon Street opens 9.30am to 2.30pm in the Sergeants Residence. Contact Ann on 6545 9773 or Betty on 6545 1598.

* Scone Youth Centre 5pm to 8pm. Afternoon tea provided. Canteen available. Contact Melinda Timmons on 0417 287 540.

* Country Cottage Craft card making and beading workshop, from 10am to noon at Muswellbrook library. Contact Janis on 0418 629 449.

* Scone Historical Society Museum has an exhibition in the Gray Room, on the story of the Scone Soldier’s involvement in the First World War. It’s open from 9.30am-2.30pm at Kingdon Street, Scone. Phone Ann 6545 9773 or Betty 6545 1598.

* All are invited to join free fitness group – Scone Community Walkfit. It’s fun, social and free, 9.15am for 9.30start. Rain or shine, they meet at 9 Stanstead Close, Scone (top of cul-de-sac). Contact

* Join in the fun this National Tree Day at Muscle Creek, Muswellbrook, from 9am to noon; or at Karoola Park from 9am to 12noon. For more information visit


* The Scone SDA Church Food Pantry is open from 1pm to 3pm weekly (Thursdays) at 164 Susan Street, Scone. Registration is required by Centrelink or Healthcare card, but no disadvantaged person will be turned away. For more details, phone 0490 078 105.

* Upper Hunter Homeless Support and the Muswellbrook Men’s Shed will host a free barbecue at the Red Door Kitchen from 12pm to acknowledge Homeless Persons’s Week. All are invited to attend and enjoy a sausage sandwich with the team. Hand knitted warm, winter beanies will be available to anyone who needs one.

* The Upper Hunter Motoring Association will host the July Winter Woollies Park Up at Auto Pro, Maitland Street, Muswellbrook, from 5pm. Bring your classic car or bike. Sausage sizzle available. All are welcome. Contact Colin McLean on 0428 431 857.

* There will be an Introduction Session to experience Tai Chi at Singleton CWA Hall, Pitt Street at 10am and 6pm. This is the first lesson of a 10-week ‘Tai Chi Qigong’ course. Contact Hunter Valley Instructor Alex McHarg 0409 321 403 for more information.

* The Red Door Kitchen is on in the Uniting Church Hall, Muswellbrook, on Thursdays. Enjoy a home-cooked meal and friendly company, open for lunch today between noon and 2pm. Bring the children along.

* Aberdeen Playgroup at will be at the Tennis Club from 10am to noon. Contact Monique on 0458 594 702.

* Scone Bridge Club will meet at Scone Arts and Crafts from 10am to 3.30pm. Anyone interested in learning to play are welcome. Contact Philippa on 6545 2683 or Amy on 0416 326 612.

* Lions Club of Singleton will hold their annual book sale on from Thursday, July 28 to Saturday, July 30. The book sale will be in the N.A.A. Pavilion, Singleton Showground, from 9am to 5pm each day, with one extra hour on Thursday to 6pm. All good quality second­ hand items (books, magazines,games, CDs, DVDs etc) will range in price from 50c to $2.


* Homeless Person’s Week will be acknowledged with a free community barbecue at The Scone Neighbourhood Centre from 11am. All are invited to enjoy a sausage sandwich with the Upper Hunter Homeless Support team on the corner of Liverpool and Main streets. Hand knitted, warm winter beanies will be available to anyone who needs one.

* There will be a Ladies Pamper Night at 8 Bell Street, Muswellbrook, from 6.30pm. Cost is $20. Contact Heather on 0438 405 925.

* Active Over 50 Muswellbrook is a group session aimed at improving stamina, strength, flexibility, bone density and balance. Classes are suitable for beginners. There are two sessions at the Uniting Church Hall, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 8.15am. Contact Julie on 6543 2517.

* Scone Arts and Craft – Painters, join our small and friendly artist groups 10am to 2pm. From beginners to experienced. Contact Betty on 6543 4310.

* Catholic Faith session will be at St James Church, Muswellbrook from 2 to 3pm. The topic is prayer and devotions. These are free sessions for Catholics wishing to learn more about their faith, or wishing to return to the faith. Contact Monica on 0409 913 453.


* The next McCullys Gap Family Dance will begin at 7.30pm for an 8pm start on August 6. Bring supper to share. Music by the Ray Boys Band.

* Uniting Church – Learn Conversational English – Scone Uniting Church Hall, Kingdon Street, Scone, 2-4pm Saturdays, no cost. Contact Jackie on 6545 1429 or Greg on 6545 3176.

* Crochet and Craft group meet at the Scone library from 9am to 12pm. Free morning tea will be provided. Contact Scone library on 6540 1370.


* The Hunter Valley Over 50s’ Singles’ Social Club meets at the Polish Hall, Grant Street, Maitland, on the first Sunday of the month at 10am. Outings throughout the month include dinners, picnics, shows, movies, lunches, morning teas etc. Come along to our meeting and enjoy morning tea or contact Glenda on 4934 3136 or Mary on 4951 4407 for further details.

* Hope City Church meets at Hill Street, Muswellbrook. Morning Service Sunday at 10am. All welcome. Contact Pastor Garth Belford on 0418 206 707.


* Quilting classes take place at the Hope City Church office, 93A Hill Street, Muswellbrook, from 7pm. Phone 0418 206 707.


* Every Tuesday a TransCare bus travels to Tamworth from Scone, departing at 8am with connecting buses from other towns. Fare is approximately $30 return depending on where you are travelling from. Return journey departs from Tamworth at 2pm. Bookings are essential. Phone 6545 3113.

* Gidget Foundation Support Group meets on a monthly basis from 1pm to 3pm at Scone Youth Centre. The group is an inclusive group who are experiencing or have experienced, supporting a loved one with or at risk of Prenatal Depression. Contact Katrina on 0411 587 655.

* Scone CWA Craft and Friendship Day, meet Scone CWA Rooms, 10am to 3pm. Contact Carolyn 041 246 308.

* Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Tuesday night at 7.30pm in Muswellbrook. For more information, contact the national AA helpline on 1300 222 222.

* CWA Wingen/Parkville meets from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Wingen Hall. Contact Helen on 6545 0367.


* Your local experts MV Solar Australia will host a free launch and information evening at Singleton Diggers Club between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. RSVP by Monday by phoning 1300 000 76527 or 6547 1100. Come along to receive the latest information on solar and battery storage.


walk for life

Volunteers raising money to help beat cancer

FOR the second consecutive year, Michael Gillis and Jeff Jackson will hit the streets for a good cause.

But, on this upcoming journey which encompasses the Upper Hunter, they’ve enlisted the services of Mr Gillis’ wife, Melissa, Cameron Burrow, Midge Gray and David Seabrook to participate in the Fire Fighters Walk for Life.

The group plans to fundraise for the Cancer Council NSW, with the main event being a walk from Tamworth to East Maitland in September.

The 265km route will follow the New England Highway, as well as pass through the towns of Werris Creek, Willow Tree, Wingen, Aberdeen, Muswellbrook and Singleton, before finishing in Lochinvar.

“Jeff and I are volunteers with the Lochinvar Rural Fire Brigade,” Mr Gillis said.

“I was inspired to act after a well-respected fire control officer passed away in the Maitland district following a battle with cancer.

“We [Jeff and I] also had family, friends and other brigade members whom at the time were either battling cancer or on the mend.

“We’re both passionate about the cause and, supported by the Cancer Council NSW, undertook the first walk which successfully raised more than $24,000.”

So, now, they’re doing it again.

“We’ve recruited the help of more volunteer fire fighters and family,” Mr Gills said.

“We’ll be joined by my wife, Melissa, NT Fire and Rescue Service volunteer Cameron Burrows, Tasmania Fire Service/NSW RFS volunteer Midge Gray and NSW RFS volunteer David Seabrook.

“Again, we’re raising money for the Cancer Council NSW.

“We’ve also been supported, in planning and promotion, by Pausha from the Singleton office.

“As a group, we acknowledge there are many forms of cancer, and that it does not discriminate on age, gender or what a person has achieved in life.

“As such, we felt the Cancer Council NSW provides the best available assistance to the greater community.

“To date, we’ve raised in excess of $3000 but have a number of initiatives in place to raise further funds including a major raffle, motor cycle run from Newcastle to Wollombi (Sunday, September 11) and a fundraising night at the Lochinvar Hotel (Friday, September 23).”

The group will leave the Tamworth-based Rural Fire Service Control Centre on Saturday, September 17, and stopover at Werris Creek (September 18), Willow Tree (September 19), Wingen (September 20), Aberdeen (September 21), Muswellbrook (September 22) and Singleton (September 23), finishing at the Lower Hunter Fire Control Centre on September 24.

Donations can be made at the Do It For Cancer Page, Fire Fighters Walk for Life, or check out the online page or Facebook


ride the wave

At Jobs In The Hunter we are amped because the opportunities out there are cranking!  Don’t get caught inside the idea that the right job or employer is not out there – they are!  Layback and click here to see your Weekly Update from Jobs In The Hunter.  Ride the wave with us and you will be on your way to creating an epic future.


HUNTER Valley workers learned the value of workplace safety from former National Rugby League (NRL) star Shane Webcke.

The Brisbane Broncos legend was notably named among the “100 Greatest Rugby League Players of all time” and is now a safety ambassador for Workcover Queensland.

And, he shared his knowledge and personal family experience concerning safety with some of the team from Ezyquip Hire, who joined Robson Civil Projects’ team at their Muswellbrook Depot and the businesses’ head office at Somersby.

Mr Webcke spoke about tragically losing his father through a workplace accident in 1994 and the impact that it had on him and his family.

He explained that he shared his message with the ultimate goal of improving the commitment to safety, not only in the workplace but also at home.

“Ultimately, on the day of dad’s accident, the decision that he made was solely his responsibility and no one else,” Mr Webcke said.

“Dad was a proud and hardworking man, who never wanted to muck around – he always wanted to just get stuck in and get the job done.

“Unfortunately, in those days, safety at both work and home were secondary considerations.”

He commended firms which encourage staff to consider the true value of staying safe at work and at home.

“It’s great to see companies like Ezyquip Hire implementing safety campaigns such as ‘PB5’, which prompts team members to consider five big things in their life, such as family, to stay safe for,” Mr Webcke said.

“To be given the opportunity by Ezyquip to visit the Robson Civil Projects’ sites in NSW and share my story, really depicts the spirit of community and working together – so I jumped at the chance to be part of it.

“These days, commitment to high standards of safety practice on work sites are a given, especially in regards to operating heavy machinery.

“But, I continue to share my story as a reminder of how easily and quickly things can change if you don’t remain focussed on what is important.

“If I can get just one person to transfer their commitment to working safely while on the job to also working safely at home, then I might save a family a lot of heartache in the future, and it will all be worthwhile.”

Robson Civil Projects’ managing director Grant Robson has also thrown his support behind this safety initiative in inviting Mr Webcke to share his experiences with staff.

“Robson prides itself on maintaining a solid safety record, yet we are always looking at ways to improve and keep our people safe,” he said.

“However, the message of working safely at home and at work is something that is not always considered.

“We all know that as a business you want your workforce to go home in the same condition that they arrived at work, but how we conduct ourselves outside of the formal workplace can also have significant negative impacts on our lives.

“After such an inspiring and personal message from Shane, promoting safety at home is definitely an area where we will be looking to expand our safety messaging.”


bowing for respect

RESPECT… Earning employee respect isn’t always easy, but when employers find ways to build respect at work, positive benefits ensue. How do you build employee respect at work? According to Bruce J. Avolio, Ph.D., executive director at the Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking in the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, five tips for employers/managers to earn the respect of employees include:

  1. Be authentic:  Be an authentic reflection of your organization’s espoused values and principles while promoting transparency and justice.
  2. Promote ‘ownership’:  Make all employees feel like ‘owners’ versus ‘renters’, that their voice matters, and that people in positions of power listen to learn and engage with their employees.
  3. Develop potential: Help each individual feel like they are reaching their full potential and achieving their performance goals by investing in development.
  4. Create an energized culture: Create a positive climate where your followers’ energy is directed towards winning against competitors versus defending against internal detractors from what you’re trying to accomplish.
  5. Sacrifice when necessary: Be willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the organization when such sacrifices contribute to everyone’s success.

Bill Mixon, president of Universal Hospital Services, Inc., believes the key to earning employee respect is to empower employees and model the leadership behavior you desire by treating employees with dignity and respect. “If employees respect a person’s leadership, they are more prone to put those same leadership qualities into practice. Empowering employees to make decisions also builds trust. When you show employees you trust their knowledge and skills, you allow them to make smart decisions that benefit the company.”

Developing employee potential is also important. Notes Mixon, “When employees feel valued and appreciated, they take stronger ownership of their work and seek new opportunities to grow in their roles. This not only benefits the employee, but also the company and its customers.”

Howard Behar, retired president of Starbucks Coffee Company, used this same tactic of showing employees they are appreciated to help establish the Starbucks culture, which stresses the importance of people over profits. For example, Starbucks made sure there were no special perks for executives. “All employees are called ‘partners’ and there is no separation in any way of partners and the management team. Outside of pay and stock, every partner gets the same, even the same health insurance. We did this because it was the right thing to do, not because we thought it would help us build respect,” Behar explained.

In addition, the Starbucks management team held ‘open forum’ meetings where any partner could ask anything and they would address it. “It was open dialogue, and I mean really open dialogue during these meetings. If they wanted to debate what I was paid as the president of the company then they could,” said Behar. “No topic was off-limits.”

The management team also included a feedback card in every partner’s paycheck asking for comments on anything that seemed in contradiction to the company’s values and morals – with Behar reading every feedback card submitted. If an executive didn’t live up to the values and morals of the company, the organization would eject that individual. Behar added, “You could get fired a lot faster for not living the values than not achieving the financial numbers.”

Bottom Line: Are you a manager/employer looking to earn the respect of your employees? Then focus on relationships and trust. The foundation for earning respect is establishing good relationships with employees by building trust within the organization. Explains Behar, “If people are feeling trust, they will be more productive, are more willing to take risks, be creative, and solve difficult problems. It doesn’t mean issues won’t arise, but it means you can withstand just about anything because you can talk things through.”

Source:  Lisa Quast


The sun has been shining and the warmth in the air brings a spring to your step.  Let the good times keep rolling and let us help you achieve your employment goals by clicking here and checking out our Weekly Update here at Jobs In The Hunter.

If there is one thing Homer Simpson said right it was “All my life I’ve had one dream, to achieve my many goals.”… so set them and go get them!

job interview

So you’ve aced your resume YAY!   Now…the interview.  Instead of feeling doubtful - get prepared!  From what the employer has read about you, they have liked - they have already got an inside scoop from you!  Now it’s your turn to get some information from them – make the interview a two way communication pathway and you will be amazed at the outcomes.  You will feel empowered and they will be impressed that you had the confidence to dig deeper than most people do.  Read on for some tips on which questions you should ask at your next job interview.  

There are standard questions to ask during a job interview, and then you’ve got the ones you really should avoid.

It’s obviously important to ask your potential future employer the basics, but don’t bore them with the same old lines without throwing in a few things they actually really want to be asked.

Here are some ideas for shaking up the interview and keeping both you and your interviewer on your toes. These will help you stand out and get remembered the next time you’re job searching.

1. What’s the one quality you hope for your employees to have?

This simple question begs a concise, definitive answer from your interviewer. It also is a great way to really get a feel for what the company you’re interviewing with is looking for — and to see if it’s the right fit for you.

For instance, if you’re a people person and love working with a team, and the “one thing” your interviewer is looking for is someone who is self-directed and can work well alone, then that may already mean the position isn’t what you’re looking for.

2. How does the company define and measure success?

Future employers like it when you know your professional goals and are impressed when you can be assertive about personal and team success within the company.

By asking for more information about how the company measures success and recognizes accomplishments, you’re subtly saying that you already plan on being a model of success in your role.

3. What is the company culture like?

Company culture is crucial. It can make or break a job for many people, so getting a feel for what the people are like at your potential place of work is must-know information. Interviewers will see that you understand the importance of office relationships and company culture by asking this question in your interview in anticipation of being hired.

It’s also an indicator that getting along with co-workers is important to you, and this implies that you’re a team player.

4. What do you enjoy most about working here?

Asking someone who knows firsthand about a company is the best way to get an idea of what it’s really like — so ask your interviewer! It’s a polite and professional way of asking someone in an interview situation personal information, without crossing the line.

It gives your interviewer a chance to talk a little bit about themselves, and it’s also a great way to figure out if the position is really what you want.

5. How can I add value to the team?

Instead of asking “what is expected of me?” in an interview, it’s better to phrase the question in a way that emphasizes your consideration of the company and the future potential team you’ll be a part of. Ask what the vision is for the role, and then elaborate on how you think you embody that vision.

6. What is one challenge that comes along with this role?

Again, asking for one definitive answer is something that benefits both you as an interviewee but also helps the interviewer. It allows them to focus their answers in order to provide succinct details about the position, and it gives you a single, solid idea of what would be expected of you in the role.

7. What is a fun fact about this company?

Interviews, depending on the position you’re going for, can be pretty dry. While you should never delve into extremely personal information, one way to make things a little more interesting is to ask for a fun anecdote or fact about the company you hope to work for. This gives the interviewer a break from the same old questions, while still giving you more background on the company.

Read the original article on POPSUGAR Smart Living. Copyright 2016. Follow POPSUGAR Smart Living on Twitter.


WORKING at one of the world’s best restaurants is hectic but Thomas Boyd wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Hunter-raised chef now calls Notting Hill home and works at London’s The Ledbury alongside Brett Graham. He lives with partner Eliza Stevenson, who hails from Branxton and is head waitress at The Ledbury.

Boyd grew up in New Lambton Heights and Black Hill with his twin brother and two sisters and attended Newcastle Grammar, Black Hill Primary and Hunter Valley Grammar. He loved sport and represented the state in rowing and rugby.

Then he discovered the joy of cooking.

“I was always interested in cooking programs but it wasn’t until I was studying Food Technology in year 11 that I started following recipes and understanding the methods behind cookery,” Boyd told Food & Wine.

His first experience in a kitchen was work experience at Maitland’s Restaurant 305 with Daniel Kibble.

“I loved it so much that I started working weekends and was offered an apprenticeship in 2009. Daniel taught me the basics and I could not have asked for a better introduction to the industry.”

Boyd narrowly missed out on winning the Brett Graham Scholarship in 2012 but was named ACF Australian Apprentice of the Year while working at Margan Restaurant. Then he was offered a job at The Ledbury.

The restaurant opens at 7am and staff hit the ground running.

“The fish chef is pulling sea bass, oysters, scallops and lobsters out of icy foam boxes that have been traveling through the night from all over the UK, Cornwall, Brighton and Scotland,” Boyd said.

“Pastry chefs are busy grading the seasonal fruits and the sauce chef on meat will be breaking down a whole deer, lamb or suckling pig or butchering a dozen game birds or ducks. It is madness, as you can imagine. Ten feisty chefs all on a mission to perfection.”

It’s exhausting, he says, but worth it.

“There is a lot at stake. Most of the time it’s your neck, but ultimately it’s The Ledbury’s reputation. That is why everyone puts in 110 per cent.”

For Boyd, cooking is all about using seasonal ingredients. And taste.

“It has to be honest, not too fancy or technical, and generous. Something everyone can enjoy.”



UPPER Hunter businesses are invited to hear how they can access supply opportunities at BHP Billiton’s Mt Arthur Coal operation through the Local Buying Program.

The initiative provides chances for businesses in the Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter shires with 25 or less full-time employees to competitively supply goods and services to the mine.

Launched in NSW earlier this year, the program has been operating successfully in Queensland since 2012 and is delivered in partnership by BHP Billiton and C-Res, a cost neutral entity.

Singleton-based SHOCKWAVE Mining Services director AJ Jeske has already secured opportunities through the Local Buying Program and strongly encourages local businesses to participate.

“Becoming an Approved Supplier was a simple task, as the online workspace is easy to navigate and self-explanatory – well worth the short amount of time it took to register,” Mr Jeske said.

“Being a small company, we must remain competitive among the other larger scale labour providers.

“The Local Buying Program helps my company to come in at the right cost, saving both myself and the client money.

“This platform breaks down the barriers between huge business and the smaller operator/owner.”

Free upcoming information sessions will provide useful information about how to register and maximise registration effectiveness and how to increase business visibility once in the program.

An update will also be provided at the Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s August breakfast.

Session dates and times are as follows: 

Monday, August 1: Scone Golf Club 

Tuesday, August 2: Muswellbrook Workers Club 

Wednesday, August 3: Singleton Golf Club

Registration from 5.15pm; with presentations at 5.30pm.

RSVP is essential. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, visit or phone 1800 536 663.

Source: Hunter Valley News