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You don't need millions to start investing

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No longer a niche market: You don’t need millions to start investing
Even with little experience, almost anyone can begin investing, and the good news is, you don’t need much money to get started, says local financial adviser, Wayne Byrne from Vanzwan Accounting Plus.
“Savvy investors are often those who have started with modest amounts, and have built up their savings with a bit of hard work and a disciplined approach. These days, whether you have $1,000 or $1million, there are numerous ways to enter the market,” said Wayne.
Managed funds are often a good starting place for new investors as your money is pooled together with other investors’, so depending on the fund, you may require as little as $1,000 to get started.
“This type of investment is simple as all your money is invested by a team of professionals who research and manage the investments – you do not need to be an expert. Also, you have the opportunity to add small amounts to the fund on a regular basis, continually increasing your portfolio. This acts like an automatic savings plan and sets you up for good habits if you invest further later down the track,” says Wayne.
With the power of compounding, you may be pleasantly surprised at how a relatively small amount, together with regular contributions can add up over time.
Once you have gained more experience, gearing, or borrowing to invest, can help maximise your returns even further. “When you borrow to invest in a managed fund, the lender matches your initial and ongoing contributions, effectively increasing your portfolio. This method can produce great results and generally, the interest you pay on the loan is tax deductible”.
However, Wayne warns that gearing is not suitable for all investors and should be approached with care.
“Like any investment, gearing involves a certain level of risk, which should be taken into account. First time investors especially need to be aware of the risks involved. Investing can be easy, but make sure you know what you are getting into, and seek professional advice as well.”
Wayne Byrne is an Authorised Representative of Count Wealth Accountants® an Australian Financial Services Licensee (No. 227232) and Australia’s largest independently owned network of financial planning accountants and advisers.
The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it, we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances.
For more information:
Wayne Byrne
Vanzwan Accounting Plus Pty Ltd
Phone: 02 6251 4888

Happily Ever After – a contented story with sparkle

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Cinderella at the Sydney Opera House
The happily-ever-after feeling you get after shutting the pages of a fairytale elicits a contented sigh, ready for a good night’s sleep.
Similarly, Opera Australia’s production of Le Cenerentola (Cinderella) by Rossini is a sparkling lullaby – gentle enough to soothe but without the dynamism and bombast to keep you wired with insomnia for the rest of the night.

The two-act opera begins with a lengthy overture, after which the set is unveiled and proves to be a consistent backdrop to the plot, with clever, quick changes between scenes, featuring quirky and ingenious stage props such as the carriage and horse.
The traditionally small scale production is by no means miserly – the performers and artistic directors bring richness to the ho-hum story which is neither a melodrama, nor a comedy. Rossini’s Cinderella has no hum-along arias such as the Largo al factotum in Barber of Seville, though the tongue-twisting fest of Italian gibbero has the signature of shower song serenades.
The plot is a twist on the tale we’re used to -there’s no glass slipper, pumpkin or fairy godmother. Instead Prince Ramiro (Kanen Breen) and his Valet, Dandini (Joshua Bloom), swap roles in disguise, weaving a ruse as a means to find the Prince’s true love – the grandest and most innocent heart among the ladies scouted for him by his tutor Alidoro (David Thelander). These contestants for the prize of princess are the daughters of down-and-out Don Magnifico (Richard Alexander): Clorinda (Taryn Fiebig) and Tisbe (Jacqueline Dark), and later revealed, the mysterious missing third daughter. With all the elements of good versus evil, the story and acting was entertaining overall, the stepsisters had suitably fulsome facial expressions prompting giggle-moments as they vied between bosoms and cunning quips to snare the Prince. Rather oddly, Ramiro is directed as an effeminate dandy – was this to ingratiate him towards the audience in the manner of getting a few laughs? Even for a guy wearing tights and a floppy hat, surely to have the masculinity and spine-melting “Your Sighness” would be relevant to the story, as to just why Cinderella would prefer the Prince to living with with her stepfather, who didn’t seem all that evil. But then it’s not Madama Butterfly with all that hara-kiri misery guts action that children hide their eyes from (or ought to).
To keep eyes affixed to the stage for an opera based on an existing story, the audience needs an extra reason to don a tux and pay exorbitant prices for bottled water at intermission. Performers and directors need to go the extra mile to bring the fizz to an experience that a musty book between yawns won’t deliver. The audience is awakened not only by the exquisite costumes with tassels of dazzle, so too does the production have the sparkling Dominica Matthews as Angelina the cinder girl, Cinderella. In her debut lead role, Ms Matthews handles Rossini’s demanding style of hyperventilation-inducing short sharp sixteenth notes right through to the end of the near three hours performance, nailing the aria ‘Nacqui all’affano…Non piu mesta’ with the clarity of a bell chime on an Italian hillside. Such wow-moments make up for the occasional awkward stage direction, when, during a trance-like solo, a performer stands still with hands at sides, staring at some distant blown light fixture as if it were an approaching celestial wonder. Thankfully though, the audience interest is snared again when the direction moves from side to back and front, performers riding anything from an ingenious prop horse and carriage to a cask of wine held up by the satin-suited chorus.
Holding together the entire event is of course the orchestra, conducted by Brad Cohen, maintaining faultless timing and clarity throughout the frantic fiddling.
After all the energy expended, the stock-standard story is solid, with a softness and shimmer provided by the leading lady. If you could see only one opera in your life, this isn’t it – but it’s not going to bore you to sleep either. Cinderella is the slipper that fits a night of enjoyment.

Performance Dates:
Evenings at 7.30pm – January 12, 15, 18, 22, 31; February 5, 8
Matinee at 1.00pm – January 26; February 2
Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Performed in Italian with English surtitles

Stallholders Wanted

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The Tuggeranong Indoor Community Market is seeking new Stallholders for their markets in 2008.

The first market for 2008 is the Tuggeranong Summer Market Sunday January 20.
From February 24 the markets will be held the last Sunday of each month.

The markets are held indoors with airconditioned comfort at the Tuggeranong Community Centre.

Types of stalls they are looking for: woodturning, collectables, plants, home baking, photography, charities/school/sporting fundraising stalls, general art & craft and anything else creative.

If you are looking for an outlet/market to sell/promote your goods or services, or would like to find out more please contact the Market Organiser by emailing indoor-market@grapevine.net.au or visiting the market website www.tuggeranongindoormarket.com.au.

Canberra 100 promoted to visiting Australian history teachers

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More than one hundred teachers from across Australia will learn more about Canberra’s 100th birthday celebrations in 2013 when they attend the Australian Government’s Summer School for Teachers of Australian History in Canberra this week.

The cream of Australia’s history teachers are attending the Summer School at the Australian National University from 14 to 25 January and will receive an information pack from the ACT Government’s Canberra 100 team, promoting Canberra’s centenary and highlighting some of the historical milestones leading up to 2013.

“This is a great opportunity to further promote the upcoming centenary celebrations,” Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said. “It is my hope that over the coming years the history of Canberra is taught in schools across Australia so that all students are acquainted with the story of the nation’s capital.

This year will see one of the first major milestones in the lead up to the celebrations being the 100th anniversary of the selection of the Yass-Canberra region as the site for the national capital. The city was officially named by Lady Denman on 12 March 1913.

“I hope we can continue to use the Summer School for Teachers of Australian History in years ahead to promote the fascinating history of Canberra to teachers and students across Australia,” Mr Stanhope said.

Canberra's Centenary organisers learn from Canadian experience

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Canberra’s Centenary preparations received a boost this week with the arrival of the former
Executive Director of the 2005 Alberta Centennial Initiative, Mr Terry Keyko, to assist Centenary organisers over the next month, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope announced today.

Alberta, Canada celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005 with a spectacular year of events and activities including a Royal visit, several large-scale outdoor events, outreach and legacy programs.

“Mr Keyko’s visit to Canberra comes as we enter an exciting new stage to assess the feasibility of many of the proposed projects and events for the 2013 celebrations.

“Alberta had many successes and faced numerous challenges during its preparations and there is much that can be learned from the experience of organisers.

“Early on in the process of preparing for Canberra’s centenary international partnerships were formed with several cities and provinces in Canada, including Alberta and Saskatchewan, that were celebrating their centenaries and could offer valuable advice.

“Mr Keyko is well acquainted with the Centenary of Canberra project. He took time out towards the end of Alberta’s centennial in 2005 to visit while the Canberra community was putting forward ideas for our celebrations.”

Mr Keyko will assist Centenary staff with business and strategic planning, provide advice on a number of projects and meet with key stakeholders during his stay.

100 days until Olympic Torch arrives

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With just 100 Days to go until the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay comes to Canberra on 24 April, Canberrans are being urged to think about getting involved in the many activities surrounding the event.

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said Canberra, sister of Beijing, is the only Australian city to host a leg of this significant international event.

“The eyes of the world will be on Canberra during the relay, “Mr Stanhope said. “That’s why the ACT Government will provide $950,000 to maximise this unique opportunity to show the world what a modern, tolerant and beautiful tourism and investment destination our city is.

Mr Stanhope said the arrival of the Olympic Torch will bring with it a range of events the whole Canberra community can get into.

“For example Canberrans have the opportunity to be part of the 500-strong mass Choir which will perform at several key stages along the relay’s journey through Canberra,” he said. “It is believed this will be the biggest choir ever assembled in Canberra.

“The Torch relay will also see the arrival in Canberra of an exhibition called Bridge of memories – exploring identity, diversity and community, which is being brought here by Melbourne’s Museum of Chinese Australian History, in association with the ACT Government.

“And promising something for everyone, the Torch will finish its 20 kilometre journey through the ACT at a community party to be held in the evening at Stage 88.

“The arrival of the Olympic Torch will mark a significant day in the life of our city and its residents. With only 100 days to go I urge all Canberrans to find out more about the great events to be held on the day and plan to enjoy at least one of them,” Mr Stanhope said.

Canberrans interested in auditioning to be a part of the Beijing Torch Relay Choir have only until COB 31 January 2008 to register their interest. To do so or to find further information about the relay visit www.events.act.gov.au or call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

Signage acknowledging the 100 Days to go will be exclusively up on the National Convention Centre’s outdoor LCD screen from 10.00 to 10.30am today.

Chinese Spectacular

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MICK WRIGHT
53 TANAMI ST, HARRISON, ACT 2914
(02) 62424762 / 0414 716 701

GOING GREEN

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Going green & gold for Australia John Martin will race for the remainder of the 2007/08 season in the A1 GP World cup of Motorsport.
By Graham Jacobs
Doing the right thing in regard to reducing environmental emissions has all the major motorsport categories in search of the right mix to improve and move in the right direction on emissions.

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will make history next weekend (18 – 20 January) with all 22 national teams competing in the New Zealand round taking to the track with biofuel in their tanks. The landmark event will make A1GP the first truly global motorsport series to race on a 30 per cent biofuel mix.

The cornerstone of an ambitious series of initiatives to help reduce its environmental footprint, A1GP’s new fuel, an ethanol based product Hiperflo E30, is sourced from sugar beet in Europe and produced specifically for A1GP. Developed in partnership with Zytek, the series’ engine manufacturer, the fuel produces less harmful particulate matter than conventional fuels and will reduce CO2 emissions by 21 per cent per car.

Ahead of the NZ round and its home race in Sydney next month, A1 Team Australia has confirmed that John Martin will race for the remainder of the 2007/08 season. The 23-year-old from Rockhampton, Northern Queensland, who has been the team’s rookie so far this season, will replace Ian Dyk.

Australia currently lies 17th in the championship standings, having only scored two points this season, with ninth place in Sepang’s Feature race.

MOTHER & SON

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By Graham Jacobs
Movie and sporting memorabilia items have turned into a multi billion dollar industry world wide and now the motor vehicle the stars have made famous are starting to attract huge interest at auction when and if they come on to the market.

While money cannot buy Michael Schumacher’s Championship winning Ferrari or some of the famous vehicles destroyed in the name of action in some of the more spectacular television and movie episodes, Elvis’ Cadillacs, Royal limousines, Bathurst winning race cars and Mr Bean’s famous little number have sold at auction in recent years.

The much-maligned black 1955 Morris Minor Tourer Series II that Arthur Beare (aka actor Garry McDonald) drove in the popular ABC television comedy series ‘Mother and Son’ will be auctioned by Shannon’s during its Sydney Summer Auction.

In the series, which rated highly for more than a decade from 1984-1994, ‘Arthur’ lived with his elderly, scheming mother ‘Maggie’ (played by the late Ruth Cracknell), with his efforts to establish outside romantic or work relationships continually sabotaged by her.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation purchased the Mk II Morris Minor Tourer (convertible) specifically for the TV series, in which it played an on-going tragic role as Arthur’s car, constantly breaking down and further thwarting his attempts to bring dates back to the family home.

Following the completion of the series, the ABC placed the car in underground storage for a number of years before deciding to sell it. Morris Minor Tourers are relatively rare in Australia, with all examples fully imported, adding to their collectable value the Morris is expected to sell in the $7,000 – $12,000 range.

MOTORSPORT COMRADERIE

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By Graham Jacobs
Former Round Australia Trials participants, tarmac rally drivers, outback adventurers, husband and wife teams and your Mr Joe average looking to participate in a little motorsport action are amongst those nominating to compete in this years 12 day Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial.

Those committed to competing include 1979 Repco Reliability Trial runner-up and twice Southern Cross Rally winner Barry Ferguson, former Australian Rally Champions Geoff Portman and David ‘Dinta’ Officer, London-Sydney Marathon participants Steve Ashton, George Bevan and Michael Blakiston and leading current tarmac and gravel rally competitors Graeme Alexander, Ian Swan and Steve Coad.

Created by former Australian Rally Champion Bob Watson to capture the spirit of the previous great Round Australia Trials, the 2008 Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial will take participants on a 7,000km Outback roller-coaster ride from Alice Springs to the Gold Coast via Normanton, Cairns, Longreach, Birdsville and Bourne.

Befitting its classic trial nature, the event is designed for Historic, Classic and Production rally cars built prior to 1986, while there are also categories for traditional four wheel drive vehicles and former London-Sydney Marathon cars.

Other vehicles expected to participate include a Porsche 911 and a replica of the Chamberlain tractor nick-named ‘Tail-end Charlie’ that followed competitors in the 1957 RedeX reliability trial as a promotional ‘sweep’ car.

To capture the comraderie of the early Round Australia trials, entrants will camp out under the stars on at least one night due to the length of some rally stages.

However unlike some of the early Trials, the 2008 Trial will not be a car breaker, opening up the possibility for tarmac rally entrants with suitable cars to participate in the adventure with a change of tYres, springs, shock absorbers and with increase ground clearance and underbody protection.

Domestic Electrical SwitchBoard Upgrades

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Many homes in the Canberra and Queanbeyan area have old style wire fuses. These fuses have a plug in unit that has a short piece of fuse wire connected between two screws on the unit. The exterior of the fuse unit indicates the amperage of the fuse wire to be inserted and is rated depending on the load of the circuit it protects.

All very well in theory, but when a fuse blows and you do not have the correct fuse wire to replace it then what? Unfortunately some people replace blown fuses with whatever wire they can get their hands on.

The result of this can be quite disastrous. The following two photos are from the switchboard shown above when the wrong type of wire was inserted in the fuse block. Fortunately the home owner noticed a problem before this switchboard fire got out of hand.

This switchboard was upgraded to current Australian Standards to prevent any re-occurance of this type of fault. Circuits are now protected against over current faults as well as earth leakage faults.

The benefits of upgrading your switch board include:

* easy circuit restoration the circuit tripped due to overload,
* protection against electrocution with earth leakage breakers,
* prevent cables overheating and cable fires

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This article was written by Canberra & Queanbeyan Electrician.
The Canberra & Queanbeyan Electrician website can be viewed at:
http://canberraelectrician.com
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Lingerie for the fuller figure – Sizes D+

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From our Vanity Fair range
Finally a business in Canberra specialising in lingerie and swimwear for only the D+ ladies!

When I was age 18 to my utter disbelief I grew out of a size “E” bra. I was horrified. What was I going to do? Did anyone even make bras bigger than that? Living in Canberra at the time, unless I wanted to wear something my Grandmother would be wearing, the short answer was no. I searched desperately from store to store trying to find a bra that wasn’t only big enough, but didn’t have that ‘granny’ style. It was hopeless. The rest of my teenage and early twenties years were filled with lingerie shopping trips ending in tears as shop attendants who, unable to help properly, told me ‘that will have to do’ and ‘it’s as good as you’re going to get’. I wore ill fitting bras, and swimwear (due to the standard sizing of 8, 10, 12, 14, etc) was something only my friends and other girls got to wear. It was a crucial time when I was becoming a woman and should have been flaunting my new womanly figure, instead I looked dowdy in my clothes, I missed swimming trips, my boobs hurt and my self esteem was at an all time low.

When I was 23, I decided it was time to get up, get out and see something new. I lived in London for a short time and it was here that I thought, ‘if I’m going to find lingerie that fits anywhere, it’s going to be here’. My search was short lived before I was given a tip to check out a store which my tipster believed ‘only stocks from size D up’. I was nervous as I hopped on the tube and approached my destination. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high.

I rounded the corner in Covent Garden and got my first glimpse of the store. It looked good so far. I came closer and I could hear my heart starting to pound faster as I saw a sign in the window which indicted that they in fact did only range upwards from size D. My heart nearly burst through my chest as I entered the store and saw bra upon beautiful bra that for once I knew would fit! All of this gorgeous, delicate, colourful lingerie was designed especially for me (and of course women like me, not that I was thinking about anyone else in the world at that exact moment)! All my problems were solved at once. I couldn’t believe this store had delicate looking bras and a whole range of swimwear in sizes and colours. Colours! Not black, or white, or beige. Real life vibrant colours! The range was not only extensive, but the service from the ladies (who like me were more endowed in the breast department) was fantastic.

I returned home and continued to purchase my lingerie and swimwear through the stores online service, which was fantastic. However as time went by and my body continued to change (as bodies will always continue to do), I found it frustrating ordering my lingerie, waiting for it to arrive and then having to send it back to exchange it, as it was no longer the best fit for me. I complained constantly to my best friend, Rachel that something needed to be done.

Together we decided that nothing was going to be change unless perhaps we did something about it. So we did. We formed a partnership that would bring the larger busted women of Australia a more diverse range of lingerie and swimwear.

We called our partnership Extravagant Bra Solutions.

Today Rachel and I run our small business mainly from home. We stock lingerie and swimwear from band sizes 8-22 and cup sizes D-K. Although only new in the market and without shopfront, we are yet to find a customer who we haven’t been able to fit properly and who hasn’t left us without a smile a mile wide plastered all over their faces. We are constantly trying to source new products in a more diverse range to help fit everyone who comes to us for help.

We have selected from speciality boutiques around the world to form the most stunning collection one could imagine. Our range not only offers style, but also offers comfort and most importantly support.

We wish to share our feeling of confidence with the women of Canberra by inviting them to our Showcase Sale to be presented in the corporate function room at:

Olims Hotel Canberra
Friday 22nd February 2008
4.30-7.30pm

Ladies are invited to browse through and try on our stock, get fitted properly, make purchases and place orders. Unable to make the Showcase? Contact us through our website www.xbrasolutions.com.au to make arrangements to come and visit us in either Kaleen or Dickson.

Become a Kids' Friend

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Barnardos
Become a Kids’ Friend

Are you over the age of 20, reliable, patient, understanding and fun? Would you like to develop a supportive long-term relationship with a child/young person through mentoring or tutoring?

Barnardos Queanbeyan are seeking volunteer Mentors and Tutors for children and young people aged 6-16 from Queanbeyan and the surrounding region. If you live in the Queanbeyan region and are able to give 3-5hrs (mentoring) OR 1-2hrs (tutoring) per week for a minimum of 1 year, we would be happy to hear from you.

Who are the volunteers in Kids’ Friends? Our Mentors/Tutors range from young professional people to retirees. You can be male or female, a parent or grandparent, or without children; you can be partnered or single. The most important thing is that you can work with children/young people and families with compassion, care, a sense of fun and a non-judgemental approach.

Becoming a Mentor or Tutor involves a recruitment process including criminal and child safety checks, and training. When you become a Mentor or Tutor, we will match you with a young person/child based on your skills, experience, interests, availability and where you live.

Barnardos will support you in ‘the match’, provide follow-up training, networking opportunities with other Mentors/Tutors, and social activities with fellow volunteers, kids and workers in the program.

Why volunteer for Kids’ Friends? The children/young people in the program need some extra adult guidance and friendship for a range of reasons – a parent or sibling may have an illness or disability; the family might be isolated; the child/young person could have lost a parent.

You could assist a child/young person in their development through supporting them in learning (tutoring) or through recreational activities (mentoring), and by being a role model. Through helping a young person and their family, you would be contributing to and learning about your community.

Mentoring and tutoring provide you with learning opportunities too – from sharing experiences with the child/young person, using and potentially expanding your communication skills. Your learning could assist your educational and employment prospects.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Kids’ Friend – Mentor Tutor, please contact Kathleen by phone
6228 9576 or email kfqbyn@barnardos.org.au

When Children Love To cook. See U-tube

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My daughter recently showed an interest in cooking. She’s only 11 but she really enjoys cooking. She is more competent in the kitchen than I am (which isn’t all that hard) and has produced some wonderful food and meals for us.

She also wanted to share her experiences with other like minded people and spoke to me at length about what she could do. I suggested that we used a Blog (weBLOG) to document her attempts.

This has proven quite successful and she has written up several recipes to share with the world at large.

Her Blog can be viewed at:
http://rhiannonsrecipes.com

Over Christmas, she decided that she wanted to add video to her blog and twisted Dad’s arm into videoing her making a Baked Sponge Pudding. The results were astounding.

The question that I have asked myself continually during all of this, is whether an 11 Year Old should have access to the Kitchen and associated appliances. Our experience is, that as long as we are physically there to monitor the activity, there is certainly no problem with the process. However, we are extremely careful about ensuring that this is something she WANTS to do, as opposed to something she feels she HAS to do.

This experience for my daughter should be a rewarding one, and so far it has been.