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VC Connect comes to Canberra

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The inaugural VC Connect ACT is to be held on Wednesday 25th July, 2007 from 11:45am – 7pm at The Federal Golf Club, Gowrie Drive, Red Hill, Canberra. Organised by Slattery IT this event has proven a great success when it has been run in other parts of Australia.

Australia’s leading Venture Capital firms dedicated to investing in early-stage technology companies and successful entrepreneurs will share their experiences of how venture capital works. Attending VC Connect ACT will help attendees:

+ Gain a greater understanding of whether venture capital can help your business
+ Evaluate the right VC firm to meet your needs
+ Discover the challenges and opportunities ahead for fast-growing companies
+ Hear the experiences of those who have built companies and achieved successful exits
+ Network with VCs, angel investors and technology entrepreneurs

The cost is $220 Inc. GST (50% discount for entrepreneurs and employees of public funded research institutions & start-ups)

Register here. See a list of speakers here. See you there!

Fostering Our Children

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I meet so many people who praise me for fostering children. This is even though what I have done is so very minor compared to many of the foster carers in the ACT.

Fostering is something I do for myself, my family, the children in care and their family. If I wasn’t doing it for myself and my family first, I wouldn’t be doing it. It’s challenging in a positive way. It makes me revisit my learning on parenting and keeps me aware of what works and doesn’t for different children of different ages and with different experiences. It shakes me from the complacency of a middle class Canberra existence.

So what is fostering? From the DOCS brochure on fostering: “Fostering is a unique and special service to children by caring indivisuals and families. When children are not able to live at home for various reasons, the first choice of permanent placement is with relatives or someone they know. When this isn’t possible, fostering agencies rely on individuals and families to open their homes to these children.”

“There are different types of care as some children need emergency care for a few days, others need care for a few weeks and some may need long term care. Often it is not known when the child is placed, how long the care will be required for.”

The impression I get from people who ask me about fostering is that they expect all the kids to be naughty, rather difficult kids. That’s not the case at all. Sometimes parents are unable to care for their children due to physical or mental illness, drug and alcohol dependance, domestic violence or imprisonment. Sometimes there’s a crisis in the familly and no-one else can care for the children while the grandparents come from interstate. None of these circumstances make the kids bad kids!

That’s not to say that there aren’t challenging children in foster care. In fact, some carers only take the challenging ones. Those carers win my respect. They work hand in hand with the health services to provide a loving home and support for a steady stream of children.

Some foster carers specialise in caring for babies, others for teenagers. Whatever their focus, they are assisted by their agency and numerous government departments. They receive some financial assistance and some extra costs are reimbursed on a case by case basis. But I am sure that not one of them would be doing it for the money!

If you have a love of children, are single or married or in a de-facto relationhip, are over 18 years old, rent or own a home and have space in your life to care for a child (or a few), please contact one of the local agencies that matches carers with children and find out about their information sessions and training programmes.

More information about foster care is available here: http://www.dhcs.act.gov.au/ocyfs/foster_care.htm

Rugby's best comes to town

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The Tuggeranong Vikings RUFC will host the annual Australian Schoolboys Rugby Championships at Viking Park, Wanniassa from the 3rd to the 8th July. Six teams will contest the Championships, two teams from NSW and QLD and one each from ACT and a Combined States team.

Each team will play a total of four games in six days in a hectic schedule. This year’s Championships will be the second held in Canberra since 1998 and only the fifth time the national capital has hosted the Championships in its 30 year history.

NOVOTEL RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIPS – CANBERRA 2007

Tuesday 3rd July 2007 – Duty team NSW II
. 1200 Match 1 – CS v ACT (non – competition)
. 1330 Match 2 – NSW I v QLD II [Pool A]
. 1500 Match 3 – QI v NSW II [Pool B]

Wednesday 4th July 2007 – Duty team Combined States
. 1200 Match 4 – NSW I v QLD I (non-competition)
. 1330 Match 5 – NSW II v ACT [Pool B]
. 1500 Match 6 – QLD II v CS [Pool A]

Friday 7th July 2007 – Duty Team ACT
. 1200 Match 7 – QLD II v NSW II (non-competition)
. 1330 Match 8 – NSW I v CS [Pool A]
. 1500 Match 9 – QLD I v ACT [Pool B]

Sunday 8th July 2007 – Duty team QLD II
. 1000 Match 10 – Redraw (25 minute halves)
. 1120 Match 11 – Redraw (25 minute halves)
. 1240 Match 12 – Championship Final

Four-legged friends benefit from Budget

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Kambah Resident Elvie Roberts with dog Bonnie, Mick Gentleman MLA with dog Lizzy and Karin MacDonald MLA with dog Tiny.
8 June 2007

FOUR-LEGGED FRIENDS BENEFIT FROM BUDGET

Canines of Canberra will have dedicated areas to exercise, play and socialise in following the Budget announcement that two ‘Dog Parks’ will be developed at Lake Tuggeranong and Lake Ginninderra.

Labor Members for Brindabella Mick Gentleman and Karin MacDonald have welcomed the announcement that $300,000 has been allocated to develop the parks and have asked the Tuggeranong community for their feedback on its development.

“The Dog Park at Lake Tuggeranong is going to be a great area that many Canberrans and their pets will benefit from,” the Members said. “For many people dogs are valued members of the family so this will be a fantastic facility for owners to treat their four-legged friends.”

The Lake Tuggeranong Dog Park will be a fenced area where owners can let their dogs off the lead for a run around with other dogs and a bit of socialisation. Similar to other parks around Australia, the area is likely to include seats for owners, doggy fountains and bins for those unexpected deposits!

Dog owners in Tuggeranong have welcomed the announcement, with long-time Kambah residents Peter and Elvie Roberts stating they are looking forward to taking their Labradoodle Bonnie to the park.

“It is going to be wonderful to have an area where we can take Bonnie off the lead for a run around but knowing she can’t run too far!” Mrs Roberts said. “Not only will the area give dogs the opportunity to socialise but also their owners.”

Mick and Karin will be joining Brindabella dog owners at Lake Tuggeranong foreshore TODAY to celebrate the announcement. All are invited to attend.

The community can provide feedback to the Members on the development of the Lake Tuggeranong Dog Park by contacting Ms MacDonald’s office on 6205 0130 or Mr Gentleman’s office on 6205 0131.

WHAT: Lake Tuggeranong Dog Park celebration

WHERE: Lake Tuggeranong Foreshore (meet at the Skate Park car park)

WHEN: 10am, Friday, 8 June 2007

CONTEXTUAL VILLAINS CANBERRA COLLABORATION

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APERTURE
Notorious ANU School of Art graduates, the Contextual Villains are in deep collaboration with Lake George and Canberran artists.

Focused on the story of one woman during one night, Aperture zooms into intimate detail and reveals contexts as vast as the Lake George landscape. The Villains use state-of-the-art wireless media alongside vintage machinery such as slide projectors to capture the full complexity of human experience.

Rachel Peachey and Paul Mosig have been practicing together for over four years as The Contextual Villains, often working in the context of particular landscapes and using a variety of mediums to explore human – environment relationships. Many of their projects take them out of the studio and into the field for days and weeks at a time, where the story of ‘place’ can unfold organically, uncomplicated by the distractions and conceptual boundaries of everyday life. They are interested in natural cycles of growth and decay and have a particular passion for landscapes that have a strong visual sense of human impact histories that have been left for nature to reclaim. Aperture is focussed the experience unique to this part of the world

“In the gloaming hours of Lake George we often felt strangely sheltered and cocooned in the vast openness. We found the space altered and pronounced time. Being out in the centre of the lake and visually distanced from the road – image and sound become separated altering perspectives of reality.”

From the vulnerability of humans subjected to highway speeds to the sublime stillness and numinous core of being, Aperture employs digital and live music, a radical lighting score and the interaction of performers and technical crew in a searing and uplifting portrayal of human life.

Aperture is on @ The Street Theatre from June 19 to 23rd
Bookings on 02 6247 1223

[Readers can score a hot ticket deal with the password GHOST and bring a friend for half-price]

Media Enquiries: Jan Wawrzynczak 0432 68 99 60 Jennifer Procter 0416 508 062 machineryjoints@yahoo.com.au

Mount Taylor stairs shut

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Mount Taylor
Imagine my surprise to return from a two week overseas trip to find my regular hiking track shut! Well, not just shut but removed entirely! Mount Taylor is a popular walking and hiking location for residents of Torrens, Kambah, Pearce, Chifley and all surrounding suburbs. There are numerous routes around and up the mountain. The one that is most popular and most challenging is (was!) the stairway on the eastern side of the mountain.

Canberra Nature Parks has unilaterally closed the path (supposedly for renewal purposes!) and removed many of the steps and the access bridge. If there was any community consultation on this it failed to reach me!

In 2005 I used those stairs to train for the Kokoda trail. It was the perfect training venue. Eventually I reached a peak of being able to ascend and descend the stairway five times without stopping. This sort of training allowed me to successfully complete the trail (and enjoy it!).

The stairs had extensive repairs and renovations done only 18 months ago. The trail was in good repair. This is a ridiculous decision and one that I’m sure has angered many residents on the South side. Come on Canberra Parks – commit to providing us with another stairwell as good and challenging as the one we so abruptly lost!

Capital Angels Dinner

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Capital Angels invites you to the next meeting at 5:45pm Wednesday 13 June at The Boat House.

Formed in 2005, the Capital Angels is a corporation that provides a forum for accredited investors to meet to proactively support Capital Region entrepreneurs through both investment and direct activities supporting the companies. Capital Angels provides a forum and structure for regular and formal meetings with potential companies and entrepreneurs, facilitating information exchange. The members of Capital Angels make individual investment decisions based on their own individual assessment of the opportunity presented. By the very nature of these investments, they are high risk at best. As an organisation, Capital Angels cannot make and does not make representations as to the suitability of any potential investment nor does Capital Angels as an organisation make investments or investment decisions. For a much better understanding of the Canberra Angel Network, please visit our very extensive web site at www.capitalangels.com.au

The Capital Angels typically meets for dinner every two months from 5:45pm until approximately 10:00 PM to provide an environment for companies to present in front of potential investors. In these dinner meetings, those members who are interested in the Company, would subsequently engage the presenter and work out an investment. The objective of the Scrub Team is to do an in-depth analysis of the Company, the market, the technology and the investment potential. Reports are prepared and, if appropriate, a term sheet is developed. Every two months, Capital Angels has a dinner meeting at the Boat House. At these meetings, there is typically an educational speaker. In addition, two Companies will present that have been through the Scrub process, have a term sheet and at least a couple members willing to invest make their pitch for members to invest.

The cost of the meeting will be $66 or $70 if paying by credit card which includes dinner and drinks.

For further information regarding Capital Angels, go to www.capitalangels.com.au which also provides an outline of how Capital Angels operate.

When: 5:45pm Wednesday 13 June 2007
Where: The Boat House – Grevillea Pk, Menindee Drive
RSVP: 12 June 2007 to dmalloch@capitalangels.com.au

Two extra shows!

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The Blone the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead
Jacki Weaver, one of Australia’s best-loved actors, returns to Canberra Theatre Centre to perform one of her most demanding and endearing roles. Everyone has their own story to tell about the day Rhonda Russell, deserted wife and mother, went beserk in the shopping mall. And who’s to know where the truth lies? With the best friend who might have egged her on? With the husband who denies responsibility? Or with the victim’s family, whose lives were changed forever? Robert Hewett has created seven wonderfully touching and vibrant characters, all played by the incomparable Jacki Weaver. This stunning show takes the audience on a subtle, moving and at times hilarious journey down the road of understanding and forgiveness to a place where spirits are lifted. The Blonde, The Brunette and The Vengeful Redhead is your chance to see a legend of Australian theatre in a one-woman tour de force. Written by Robert Hewett, Starring Jacki Weaver, Directd by Jennifer Hagan, Co-Directed by Sean Taylor, Set Design by Larry Eastwood and Alex Holmes, Wardrobe by Graham Wills, Lighting Design by Peter Neufeld, Sound Design by Wai Han Liao. ‘WEAVER IS A DELIGHTFUL STORY-TELLER AND A STAR WHO IS NEVER LESS THAN COMPELLING, ENTERTAINING AND ENDEARING’ Herald Sun.

Where: The Playhouse
How long: 120 minutes including interval
When: 8pm on June 8th & 9th
Prices: SINGLE TICKETS
Full: $50.00
Concession: $43.00
Group(10+ people): $43.00
U27 members(18 – 27 yrs): $25.00
ClubT/Child(under 18 yrs): $22.00
Bookings: 02 6275 2700

2 good looking fellas

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Astro and Mocha
2 dogs FREE to good home – Astro and Mocha. 18mth old beautiful family pets, regrettably moving and cannot take with us to new residence. Wormed, de-sexed, ID-chip, registered, healthy happy dogs, best of mates. Looking for someone to take both.

Stop hoodwinking Canberra – we need facts not illusions

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By Terry Kiernan
Canberra doesn’t need to be hoodwinked by illusions, we need clear, concise facts to help us make informed decisions, says Canberra’s Traditional owners.

At the recent community water2water forums, ACTEW failed to dispel public concern over the lack of information being supplied in respect to Canberra’s future water options. It was pointed out to ACTEW that in its final future water options report in 2005 and restated in 2006, to the ACT Government; there is NO suggestion that Canberra needed to recycle treated sewage effluent to support the Territories water supply.

In fact, ACTEW’s future water options report contains only three preferred options; 1), enlarge the Cotter Dam, 2), divert water from the Tantangara Dam and 3), build the Tennent Dam.

Option two was discarded because it was discovered that the waters of the Tantangara Dam are already committed to down stream irrigators.

Option three was also subsequently discarded by ACTEW on the grounds that the Tennent Catchment is a poorer performing catchment than the Cotter Catchment. While this premise is correct, the difference is only marginal. The Tennent catchment has a run-off yield of up to 1.4 million litres per hectare compared to a reduced Cotter catchment run-off yield of 1.8 million litres per hectare.

In calculating the Cotter catchment yield, ACTEW stated that it expected the Cotter catchment to lose up to 40 percent of its ‘former’ run-off due to climate change and bushfire regeneration. With a ‘former’ catchment run-off yield of 155 billion litres, a 40 percent reduction would actually take the Cotter’s annual run-off yield to just 83 billion litres.

The ACT’s Think Water Act Water resources management plan identifies the storage capacity of the existing Corin, Bendora and Cotter dams to be 91.7 billion litres. With a projected annual run-off yield of 83 billion litres, one must then ask, why do we need to enlarge the Cotter dam?

The water2water forums revealed public concern at the amount of water being released as environmental flows from the Corin Dam. According to the ACT Governments Think Water Act Water resources management plan, ACTEW is obliged to release up to 19.2 billion litres of water from the Corin Dam to sustain the Corin to Bendora riverine ecosystem. With water already being released from the Corin dam to flow down to the Bendora Dam for transfer to Canberra, one could ask, “Does the Cotter River between Corin and Bendora dam really need this extra environmental allocation?”

In a climate of diminishing rainfall Canberra’s poorest performing catchment, the Googong Dam, ACTEW increased its water resource yield by almost 40 percent. Regrettably with only 15 of the 31 catchments that make up Canberra’s water resources have gauging stations to validate their resource projections; one could ask, “How accurate then are ACTEW’s water resource projections?”

The failure of both ACTEW and the ACT Government to consult with Canberra’s Traditional owners on a matter as vital as water has disappointed the Ngunawal Native Title Claimant Group. Canberra’s Traditional owners have sought to promote smart technologies with proven outcomes to reduce water usage. At the same time, they support the construction of the Tennent Dam with the aim of returning more water to the rivers by ensuring Canberra’s future water security.

If you are genuinely interested in water conservation and returning these water savings back to the environment then please write to ngunawal@ballallaba.org.au and register your support for the Ngunawal Water Conservation Plan.

Kambah Kids run to finish line, in more ways than one!!

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Today, Kambah kids braved the cold of another frosty Canberra morning to participate in the Golden Circle Schools Fun Run program. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 raised money for Kambah High’s partner school, 10 Decembroz Senior High School in Dili, East Timor, while year 10 students raised money for there formal celebrations.

Kambah students were also privileged to have Liberal Senator for the ACT; Mr. Gary Humphries officially kick off proceeding in the morning assembly.

Kambah High School Captain, Johnathan Davis said this was a way of showing the ACT Government what the system is set to lose with the closure of Kambah High.
“Kambah High is an asset to the local community” Mr. Davis said.

“While we prepare ourselves for the closure of the school, this will not take away from any of the great programs that run at Kambah High” Mr. Davis said.

“Kambah High has always been proud of our sporting achievements, though we are not a big school; we still pose a challenge to large ACT schools, both public and private. This is just another way we can showcase some of Kambah High’s budding sports stars” Mr. Davis said.

“We would like to thank Senator Humphries for his ongoing support of Kambah High; it’s nice to know some ACT politicians understand and support their great schools” Mr. Davis said.

GEEKS TO THE RESCUE!

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U Need Technical Support!
In this age of increasingly complicated technology, computer geeks are growing and pulling out different gimmicks to get consumers’ attention. As more consumers pay for broadband Internet service they tend to spend more time on a computer. And need help trouble-shooting.

Four months ago, computer lover Sam Ruebens noticed that friends needing technical support were asking the same questions. So he launched ozForum Tech Support in his Canberra bedroom as a 24-hour free resource for anyone in need.

Ruebens said the site has more than 11,000 hits per month and you don’t have to register to read the forum. They are offering everything from Photoshop tips to step-by-step directions on removing nasty worms. The site has 10 moderators – all volunteers – and pretty much runs by itself, allowing Ruebens to keep his day job as a IT consultant.

“The reason why we agreed to keep it free is there are just some questions you shouldn’t have to pay for and can get answered in your own home,” he said.

Top reasons why customers call Tech Support for help
1. Removing spyware, virus and worm attacks
2. Help with Wireless home network installation
3. Setting up gadgets, like MP3 players and digital cameras.
4. Cleaning up computers full of old, unused software.
5. Recovering files from hard drive failures.

Visit the forum on the web at www.ozforum.com.au

Why no succession plan for family business? We've been asking the wrong generation!

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By Philippa Taylor, CEO Family Business Australia

Economists and financial advisers have been put on notice that the impending transfer of 68 percent of family owned business this decade will have severe ramifications for the economy.
While alarm bells ring when it is realized that only a third of these family owned companies, with an overall wealth of $3.4 trillion (RMIT Boyd 2003) have a plan for exit, the obvious question is `why’. Why have family business owners not planned for the day they step down, retire, fall off the perch?
Some family business advisers say it is because while they well know what they are retiring from, many do not know what they are retiring to. These entrepreneurial, dynamic people, the backbone of our economy, have perhaps not had the time to learn to play golf, or fish – and cannot imagine a time when their advice is no longer sought or their opinion needed.
So we must ask – have those doomsayers, observers and commentators been looking to the wrong generation to make the move?
Is it up to the next generation to show that they are ready, willing and able and above all – that the role their forefathers have played is respected and recognized?
A young group of family business entrepreneurs has emerged within Family Business Australia, the peak national body for families in business, and they are pushing to take up roles in their own right while working with the incumbent generation in planning for the future.
Adele Levinge, who works with her father Bert Dennis of the Dennis Family Corporation, perhaps best known for their company Dennis Family Homes, is leading the charge with support of a young, vibrant National Family Business Australia committee. Melbourne’s representative is Michael Wittner and he is keen to see many more young NSW & ACT family business ‘next geners’ join him in the move to carve an identity for those aspiring to take over the family business. “We meet regularly, with ‘next geners’ from all over Australia, where we develop our skills, prepare for succession and learn to be heard and have influence in family business decisions,” said Michael

A similar organization to Family Business Australia, the international Family Business Network has groups founded on the same principles. According to Adele, these groups are particularly strong in Spain, Italy and England. “In Europe, these groups are becoming extremely influential and are in a position to lobby governments on employment issues, taxation, capital gains etc. There are a whole range of issues that the next generation see that are not necessarily top of the current generation’s agenda,” said Adele.

According to members of the Family Business Australia group, the next generation is crying out for better communication and a realistic involvement in their businesses, but many in the managing generation see this as unnecessary. It is say the Next Geners, as much about changing and adapting management styles to suit today’s fast paced working environment as anything else.
For the generation in waiting, the business contacts have often been those of the older generation. There is now an opportunity for Next Geners to move out from the shadow of their parents, and develop their own networks of support and business contacts.
If you are a `Next Gener’ and wish to meet other like minded family business future leaders, contact Family Business Australia, 1800 249 357 www.fambiz.com.au. Family Business Australia will hold its 9th National Conference at the Hyatt, Canberra from the 23-25th August. See information adjacent.

DON'T LET YOUR POOCH BE IMPOUNDED

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sad dog
Domestic Animal Services (DAS) Registrar Drew Mclean today said more than 40 lost dogs are currently impounded at the Domestic Animal Services Shelter, a sad situation which is abnormally high for this time of year.
“Roaming dogs present risks to the community and to their own health and welfare. DAS rangers get no joy from picking up dead or injured dogs from our roads,” said Mr Mclean.
“There are three simple steps owners should take to make sure their dogs do not end up in the shelter:
“Contain – it is far better to ensure a few basic housekeeping arrangements than to be out hunting for your lost dog. Owners are urged to inspect their fences to ensure they are of a standard that will prevent their dog escaping. Self-closing gates and locks can assist with keeping your dog in its yard.
“Identify – make sure your dog is registered and wearing its identity tag. Microchipping is an invaluable way of identifying your pet and is a simple, inexpensive procedure easily performed by your vet. Vets in the ACT use national microchip registries which are accessible to pounds, shelters and vets. Dogs can be registered at www.tams.act.gov.au.
“Look and report – there are several things an owner should do if they lose a pet. Firstly, contact the DAS Shelter and the RSPCA to report your dog lost and see if your pet is in their care, contact local vets, and most importantly keep looking. If you lost your child you would not give up the search after one phone call or a single visit to a shelter. Sometimes it can take a week or longer for an animal to be found by one of our rangers.
“People can find photographs of impounded dogs, as well as reports of lost and found dogs, at www.tams.act.gov.au or can call Canberra Connect on 132281 for assistance,” said Mr Mclean.