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Export-led growth for Canberra

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Canberra Business Council logo
By Neil Primrose

In Canberra’s now predominantly private sector economy, exports are increasingly driving our growth.

Development of an export culture isn’t surprising, given Canberra’s strong international orientation as Australia’s national capital and the strong and extensive work of the Australian Government internationally in both policy and operational work.

That policy work has included working with the governments of our trading partners to reduce barriers to entry and open their markets to Australian products and services. Since the mid 1980s, this has seen the development of highly successful partnerships between Australian Government and business to grow our national income from overseas trade.

And the contribution of Austrade to the development of local businesses succeeding as exporters in the face tough international competition has been huge.

It’s pleasing the see the ACT Government also engaging in an increasingly effective partnership with local exporters, working alongside them at they move into fresh markets to help overcome official indifference and to open doors into new relationships with customers and business partners.

This kind of partnership between government and business is far more important in overseas markets than many people at home realise. Business people in other countries tend to accord significantly greater respect to the position and stature of visiting government ministers than we’re used to doing in Australia. Hence the significant role that successive ACT Chief Ministers and other political leaders have been able to play in support of local businesses opening up overseas markets.

The present Chief Minister, John Stanhope, was particularly effective in his leadership of the recent ACT Trade Mission to India. He paved the way for numerous introductions to Indian business leaders that would not have happened if the ACT businesses had not had such visible and official support in the person of the Chief Minister. We ought not to underestimate the value of governments working in partnership with local businesses.

The participants on the Trade Mission to India are now busily engaged in following up their contacts and the business leaders are very appreciative of the role the Chief Minister played. Those who are planning to be in the forthcoming trade mission to China need the same support and are looking forward to the Chief Minister working with them as the leader of Team ACT.

The bottom line for the community is that growth in exports from the ACT creates additional jobs in the ACT, as well as bringing new skills into our economy. It ensures our companies operating overseas are operating at world best practice. This high standard flows back to local operations, so increasing competitiveness even of those businesses that are not exporting.

The general increase in business activity also flows back to the community through increased GST returns that go to pay for our facilities and services, such as schools, hospitals, parks and all the other things that are paid for from the ACT Government’s revenues.

So our growing export culture benefits all of us.

On another matter, as foreshadowed in the March article, the Council’s paper on the taxi shambles has been submitted to the ACT Government and is now posted on the Business Council’s website at www.canberrabusinesscouncil.com.au

Dr. Neil Primrose chairs the Action Agenda Co-ordination Group of the Canberra Business Council and its kindred organisations.

Ainslie businesses promote local communities for children event

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Brumbies Bakery enjoyed meeting with their community
By Judy Elton
The World’s Biggest Playgroup was held ‘in the park’ throughout Australia on 28th March. Playgroup Associations organised the events to celebrate National Playgroup Week. Wakefield Gardens near the Ainslie shops saw over three hundred small children with their Mums, Dads and Grandparents converge to enjoy wonderful play activities. Ainslie businesses helped promote the event with notices in their windows. Manuel and his staff at Ainslie IGA are well known for supporting their local community and promoted the event by circulating flyers to families with young children. Erin and the ‘Bread Man’ from the Brumbies Bakery had fun participating throughout the morning and gave away show bags which included a voucher for free bread. Promotion from Ainslie shops resulted in enquiries about joining playgroups from many of their customers.

ParentLine invites other business from the inner north of Canberra to promote Communities for Children events and provide a small spark to connect families with young kids with the community. We need your help!

To offer a small spark, please contact ParentLine’s Small Sparks Project Officer, Judy Elton, on 62873833, or M. 0448244013.

To join a playgroup contact the ACT Playgroup Association on 1800 171 882.

A Celebration of the Sacred Music of Antonio Vivaldi.

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Music Ministry
Sunday 1 April 7.30pm
Wesley Music Ministry presents: A Celebration of the Sacred Music of Antonio Vivaldi. Program includes: the “Credo” (RV 591), the “Gloria” (RV 589), the acclaimed soprano solo “Nulla in mondo pax sincera” and Violin Concerto in G minor (soloist Jack Chenoweth). Performed by the Wesley Choir, soloists Louise Page, Erin Patrick and Abbey Mackay (sopranos), and Miriam Miley-Read (mezzo-soprano), chamber orchestra led by Gillian Bailey-Graham and performance conducted by Garth Mansfield, Director of Music at Welsey. No bookings required. Retiring offering for Music Ministry. Enquiries 6232 7248. Wesley Church, 20 National Circuit, Forrest

ACT Special Olympics Team Thanks the Fundraisers

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Sponsors and prize winners at the recent thank you to supporters of the ACT Special Olympics Team
Following great success in competing at the 2006 Special Olympics held on the Gold Coast in October 2006, the ACT Special Olympic Team took time out recently to reward the fund-raisers that helped get the ACT team to the Games.

In September 2006, the ACT Special Olympics Fundraising Calendar was launched to raise much needed funds to get the ACT team to the Games. The 2007 calendar features athletes in a range of beautiful and iconic places around Canberra. Super-imposed images of the Athletes playing bocce with the hot air balloons and swimming down Federation Mall make this a very special calendar.

150 athletes and carers from the ACT attended the 2006 games and funds raised through the sale of the calendar played a key role in ensuring their participation and the ACT team’s success – winning 113 medals and achieving 80 personal best performances!

One of the sponsors of the 2007 Calendar prizes, FCM Travel Brisbane visited Canberra on 5 March 2006 to present awards to two special supporters of the fundraising calendar.

Haylee Richards received a travel prize as the athlete who sold the most fundraising calendars – 93 in total. 22 year old, Haylee, has been a member of the ACT Special Olympics team for many years competing at both state and national levels, including competing in Ireland in 2003.

A second travel prize was also awarded to Darrell Burkey of the ANU.

Special Olympics ACT Region is a not-for-profit, self-funded organisation that is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of our community through sports training and competition. For the first time in the history of the games, the ACT will host the Special Olympics National Junior Games between 11 – 13 April 2008.

Attached photo:

Nikki Meyers (FCM Travel), Haylee Richards (SOACTR Athlete), Lisa Pearce (FCM Travel), Athol Dale (SOACTR Chairman),

Cricket makes 10 in the Special Olympic Program

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Special Olympic athletes having a go at cricket
ACT Cricket Chief Executive Officer Mark Vergano said he was delighted with news Special Olympics ACT Region had expanded its program of sports offered to local people with an intellectual disability to include cricket.

With a Come and Try Cricket day held last month, Special Olympics ACT Region have added a tenth sport to their program. With popular sports such as swimming, athletics and ten pin bowling already in the program, cricket has been included to fill a growing niche.

“Special Olympics has been a fantastic organisation in meeting the needs of the disabled community to encourage participation in a variety of sports which cricket is pleased to join

“ACT Cricket is pleased to be able to assist Special Olympics in progressing cricket for adults and children with an intellectual disability”, Mr Vergano said.

Special Olympics is a not for profit organisation that offers sports training and competition for adults and children with an intellectual disability. Children as young as 8 can be involved in the program. Discos and dinners are also held monthly which gives athletes and families a chance to socialise.

If you are interested in getting involved in Special Olympics or want more information, call 6230 1069 or email soactr@optusnet.com.au.

Successful waterless car wash expands in ACT and Queanbeyan

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Tim Hallahan with his Ecowash Mobile car
Successful waterless car wash expands in ACT and Queanbeyan
A Queanbeyan resident has seized an outstanding business opportunity with a waterless car washing franchise to help environmentally conscious car owners including his local council.
Timothy Hallahan owns and manages the North East ACT and Queanbeyan franchise of Ecowash Mobile – a waterless mobile car washing and detailing service which uses a 2-in-1 biodegradable wash and polish that lasts for four to six weeks.
Tim joined Ecowash Mobile in February this year, wanting a change in career with a fresh challenge that offered him the opportunity to build a business after being a financial planner.
“I wanted to be in control of my own destiny, work outdoors and meet people. Being my own boss allows me to do that,” Tim said.
Tim said the local response has been very positive so far and he has helped many car owners as well as both the local Mayor and Council employees save water.
“The local response has been so good because we are fully mobile – I can visit people at their workplace or anywhere else,” he said.
“My customers are amazed with the results of Ecowash – they have never seen anything that does as good a job as the Ecowash products.
“Most of my customers have now become monthly clients, it’s the quality and convenience that keeps them coming back,” Tim said.
Julie Matthews, Fleet Coordinator at Queanbeyan City Council, said the Ecowash Mobile service was a convenient alternative to traditional carwashes.
“The reasonable cost and mobile service made it a convenient car wash option,” she said.
“The waterless service also fits with Council’s awareness of conserving water and using eco-friendly products,” Julie said.
The 2-in-1 wash and polish compound is sprayed onto the car exterior, encapsulates surface dirt that is then removed with a soft cloth and provides a protective coating. The whole process is guaranteed not to scratch.
The complete range of products enables a full detail inside and out including leather treatment, bumper renovation and scratch removal. To ensure long lasting protection of your car, Ecowash Mobile has also just introduced new protection options for paint, fabric and carpet or leather.
A variety of services are on offer, from a basic waterless wash and polish right through to a full detail called an Extreme Ecowash, to suit individual car owners, through to car dealers, smash repairers and corporate fleets.
For more information call 1 800 ECOWASH (1 800 326 927) or visit www.ecowash.com.au.

Released for Ecowash Mobile by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)

For further information please call Teanne Ryan or Kim Larochelle on (02) 9413 4244.

ACT Primary School Swimming Carnival

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Victory!
The annual ACT Primary School swimming carnival will take place on Wednesday 4th April from 9am – 3pm at the AIS in Belconnen. This event is the culmination of the school and regional swimming carnivals which have taken place throughout the region in March.

All competitors have to qualify and meet specific qualify times defined by the sports governing body. This event provides insight into the future superstars of the sport.

More information can be gained by contacting your local primary school.

Varekai Show Review

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Vareki, one of nearly 10 continuously travelling shows from the team at Cirque de Soleil, opened in Canberra on March 15th.

Based on the journey of a man who falls into the magical world of Vareki it is both both absurd and extraordinary.

The word varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.

This production is extraordinary. After a slow start the action warms up with frequent breathtaking performances from an international cast. Crowd favourites include the kids from China and the amazing acrobatic finale.

The show runs until to April 8th 2007 before moving on to Melbourne (opening on April 19th). The circus is located opposite the National Library, Canberra.

Tickets are available from http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/CirqueDuSoleil/en/showstickets/varekai/Ticketsclub/Canberra_directions.htm

World Vision Child Sponsorship Campaign

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World Vision is Australia’s largest overseas aid and humanitarian organisation. With the support of around 400 000 Australians, World Vision helps over 12 million people every year. As well as providing relief in emergency situations, we work on long-term development projects with local communities to address the causes of poverty and help them move toward self-sufficiency.

As part of an Easter Campaign to help generate funds and increase public awareness about the work and impact of World Vision, information stands will be present in Westfield Woden between 16 and 22 April 2007. World Vision staff will be on hand to provide information, advice and resources to the public about World Vision and its programs, particularly Child Sponsorship. Come and seize the opportunity to sponsor a child living in poverty and help improve the long-term chances of an entire community.

For further information, please contact:

Catherine Wood
Relationship Assistant – New Supporters
PH: (02)9806 6307
FX: (02)9806 6301
Email: catherine.wood@worldvision.com.a

Yarralumla Uniting Church

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Yarralumla Uniting Church
The annual Yarralumla Uniting Church Winter Arts & Craft Show takes place from Friday 29th June – Sunday 1st July 2007. This popular event is once again being held at the Church on Denman Street in Yarralumla in Canberra.

Along with a wide display of oil, water and pastel paintings there are a strong displays of quilt and patchwork pieces.

More details can be found at www.yarrauniting.org.au or by calling 02 6281 2750

Lanyon Garden Festival

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Lanyon garden1
By Paul Webb
Saturday and Sunday
24 and 25 March 2007 10am – 4pm
Lanyon Tharwa Drive, Tharwa, ACT
Entry: $5 Adults $3 Concession $10 Family
Historic Lanyon will be at its best during the 5th Annual
Lanyon Garden Festival. Enjoy a wonderful array of garden
activities including specialist talks tours and demonstrations in the beautiful setting of Lanyon gardens.
With over 40 events, this year’s festival is sure to provide something for all ages. Visitors can join Jean Abbott as she imparts her secrets of making jams and preserves, or Judith Boden-Cummings in an informative demonstration of herbs for medicinal and culinary uses.
Graham Williams demonstrates how to prune your roses and fruit trees and Lyn Fisher uncovers the charming aspects of flower arrangements from the Victorian Period. Discover the ways of drying plants & how to use them with Judy Refshauge.
Specialist talks this year include, Establishing a new garden on rural land; Gardening at Highgrove House; From garden to table a culinary tour of the Lanyon vegetable garden, along with David Johnson’s tree tour.
Graham Williams talks on beekeeping and growing organic vegetables; Phil Spradbery runs an informative session on European Wasps and learn all you can from Geoff Price of the ACT Weeds Office.
Enjoy live music provided by Bunyip’n Bluegum, Tuggeranong Valley Band, and the Cantabile Choir. Children’s activities include badge making, coloring in, flower arranging and vase decoration, egg and spoon races and sack races. A variety of food will be available including lunch at the Lanyon Cafe (bookings required), a sausage sizzle along
with drinks and ice creams. A variety of stall holders will provide an array of garden related products for sale including Uncle Joe’s Chooks, Gray to Green, water recyclers and Environment ACT.
Discover or revisit the restored 1850s homestead and convict
outbuildings. Meet up with celebrity gardeners and visiting plant and garden societies or simply relax under the elm, listening to music played on the lawns and enjoying the atmosphere of the 5th Annual Lanyon Garden Festival.
Lanyon Garden Festival
Saturday 24 Sunday 25 March 2007
Enquiries. Lanyon Tel (02) 6235 5677
Lanyon, Tharwa Drive, Tharwa ACT

Distributors Wanted

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Earn between $200 – 300 per day as a distributor for The Word. We are looking for reliable people with their own vehicle to distribute batches of 10 – 100 papers to pubs, clubs, cafes, nursing homes, govt departments, business office blocks, high traffic shopping areas etc.
Work is availabe 2 days p/month.
Ring 02-62929061

Musica da Camera

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By Barbara Donaldson
Musica da Camera, a community string orchestra will be holding their next concerts on -Saturday 14 April, 3pm, Holy Covenant Anglican Church, Dexter Street, Cook;
Sunday 15 April, 3pm, “Mona” Braidwood.
A rich program of string music directed by Barbara Jane Gilby, including works by Mozart and Copland. Violin soloist is Alethea Coombe. Tickets at the door – $20 Adults, $15 concession and children under 12 free

007 Packs a punch!

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Boxing ACT
By Rob Barron, Boxing ACT PresidentBoxing ACT will begin another hectic year of boxing when it presents its first tournament for 2007 on Saturday March 3 at the Tradesmen’s Club Phillip.
This tournament will feature local aspiring boxers who will vie for selections to the World Championships later in this year in Russia.
Other major events coming up include the National Selections to the World Championships which are being held at the AIS between 23-25 March. This tournament will feature the best of Australia’s boxers from all states and territories over 3 jam-packed days.
A number of local tournaments throughout the year will enable both the novice boxer and more prominent representatives to gain invaluable experience and conditioning for other national tournaments like the Arafura Games (Darwin), Oceania Games (Samoa), World Championships (Russia) and National Championships (Gold Coast), as well as preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
This is indeed one of our busiest years and with so many chances to represent overseas, our boxers need lots of encouragement and financial support to be able to travel away from home and work.
Boxing ACT and individual boxers seek sponsorship and welcome enquires through their office on 02-61019901.or Secretary, Julia Felton on 0411030637.