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  • 20-Apr-2018 10:36 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Westmead is a home away from home for families with a seriously ill child receiving treatment at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

    When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness or injury, it can be a traumatic time in a family’s life. Keeping families close through such times is at the heart of what RMH Westmead do.

    In 2017, sadly more than 400 families had to be turned away with their former House at capacity. With their new larger 60 room House now open, turning away families is a thing of the past. RMH Westmead can now support more families than ever before - over 1,360 families each year.

    To keep the doors open 365 days of the year, RMH Westmead rely heavily on corporate and community support. Now in their larger House, the need for support is greater than ever!

    To find out more and help keep families close, contact RMH Westmead today.

    T: 02 9806 7111



  • 18-Apr-2018 17:49 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    As a leader, setting clear expectations is critical to making sure your team understand what is required of them. Of course, this applies to all of the basics like vacation time, appointments, breaks and sickness among others. But even more importantly, it also refers to what is required of different tasks and goal-setting.

    There are 3 areas where providing clear expectations of your staff will have a profound impact on your ability to get the very best from these people… over the short and long term. To lay the foundations for a high performing workplace, managers need to ensure they are setting clear expectations around:

    Direction – “Where are we going?”

    This includes the vision and strategy of the organisation (or team).

    Values – “Who are we?”

    Values are shared standards and behaviours that contribute to the organisational culture and answer the question “Who are we and what do we stand for?”

    Roles and Responsibilities – “What is my contribution?”

    This includes ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’, goals and timeframes and answers the question “What’s my contribution to the performance of the business?”


    For everyone in an organisation to clearly see what’s ahead of them, leaders must have and convey a vision, direction or focus.

    Visions are the first step in the goal setting and planning process. A vision represents what the organisation wants to become and sets the direction for the future. To achieve the organisation’s vision and strategic intent, the high-level strategic objectives and measures need to be translated into plans and actions that each business unit and individual can take.

    The high-level goals in the strategic plan need to be cascaded through the organisation – firstly into the WIGS (wildly important goals) for each unit and then the work plans and KPIs for individuals. It is vital that each individual understands what is expected of them and the contribution they make to the organisation’s goals.


    Values clarify how an organisation will conduct its activities to achieve the Vision. They represent the core principles and behaviours that are important.

    Values exist in every workplace whether they are written down or not. Your organisation’s culture is partially the outward demonstration of the values currently existing in your workplace. The question you need to ask is whether these existing values are creating the workplace you desire.

    An organisation will have functioning values and standards only to the extent that it has a capable management system (and skilful managers) that will NOT TOLERATE deviations from those values.

    Intolerance is about responding quickly to any and every instance of non-compliance with set values. This takes a lot of courage (and skill).

    It is worth noting that a weak or non-existent value system requires a lot more management time than an effective value system. A value system that is a living part of the culture takes minimal effort to sustain.

    Roles and Responsibilities

    Clear Roles and Responsibilities come from a position description/job statement and work plan so that each employee knows what their contribution is to the overall goals of the business. It also comes from a manager providing clear instructions about tasks and clear outcomes required, with regular progress updates.

    A Great Manager will let staff know how their performance will be measured and what success looks like for them. This is described clearly up front rather than at an annual or bi-annual performance review, and feedback is regularly given about whether expectations are being met.

    One way you’ll instantly demoralise employees is by saying “that’s not good enough” months after the event.

    When setting and conveying expectations, Great Managers start by saying something like “This task/objective will be successful if….” and then fill in the blank.

    Setting Clear Expectations Requires Effective Communication

    It is critical to check for understanding when giving direction and no, this does not mean providing information and then saying, “Do you understand?” or “Have you got that?”

    Instead, use your effective communication skills to ensure the other person has truly understood what is required.

    Remember, communication is the transfer of information from the mind of one person to the mind of another, so be sure that the transfer is complete and not misunderstood in any way.

    When setting clear expectations, it is important to remember that your team will do what you do, not what you say to do, if the two are different.

    This means that whatever expectations you set for the team, you will also have to meet yourself.

    As a Leader, YOU set the tone for others to follow.

    What to Do Next

    Setting Clear Expectations is one of the 7 Essential Skills for every Great Manager. Register for our next webinar here to learn more about Setting Clear Expectations and the other 6 critical people-leadership skills.

  • 18-Apr-2018 17:03 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Join a major Australian delegation, network with global rail decision-makers and showcase your organisation in the Australian Rail Industry pavilion at InnoTrans 2018 in Berlin, Germany. 

    About this event

    With 3,000 exhibitors from 60 countries and over 137,000 trade visitors from 120 countries, InnoTrans is the largest transport event in the world. Every facet of rail is represented among the exhibitors and visitors - from passenger and freight, to services, technology, equipment and training.

    A key feature of InnoTrans is a large outdoor track display area showcasing a wide range of heavy and light rail vehicles as well as a static bus display and live bus demonstration area.

    Austrade is in partnership with the Australasian Railways Association (ARA), Transport for Victoria (TfV) with Trade Victoria and the NSW Department of Industry to organise the Australian pavilion. The objective is to maximise exposure and business connections for Australian delegates to global rail industry executives, distributors, potential commercial partners and customers.

    Why you should participate?

    • Benefit from being involved in the high-profile Australian Rail Industry national delegation, including senior executives from TfV, TfNSW and ARA.
    • Be invited to networking events with senior rail sector decision-makers from around the world.
    • Receive pre-exhibition briefings, on-the-ground assistance and one-on-one business matching with global firms, as well as insights and advice on how to succeed in global rail markets.
    • Use the national pavilion as a base for meetings and interactions with partners and customers, and as a platform to display marketing collateral.
    • Participate in site visits to European rolling stock manufacturing plants to connect with decision-makers and inspect cutting edge technologies and processes.
    • Engage with Australian executives already experienced in global business - fast-track your skills development and explore commercial opportunities.
    • Be included in the Australian rail industry InnoTrans printed and electronic directory to raise your company profile.

    Event details

    Date: 18-21 September 2018

    Time: 9.00am – 6.00pm

    Location: Berlin, Germany

    Apply by: 31 May 2018 by clicking here

    Who should attend?

    Australian businesses in:

    • rail
    • transportation
    • advanced manufacturing of rolling stock, rail signalling and communications
    • intermodal and logistics
    • infrastructure development
    • rail training and education
    • research and development
    • workforce planning
    • engineering
    • consulting.
    For further information and to apply click here.

  • 17-Apr-2018 09:22 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    In response to highly publicised failings of franchisors, the Senate has resolved to commence a Parliamentary inquiry into the Australian franchising sector.


    Over the past few months, there have been increasing calls for a review into the Australian franchising sector. Critics of the sector have cited the power imbalance and limited enforceability in practice of breaches of the Franchise Code of Conduct (Code).

    The sector itself has been embroiled in numerous scandals in recent years. Notably, 7-Eleven, and more recently Caltex, have been sanctioned by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO). Investigations into Domino’s are ongoing, and Retail Food Group (owner of Michel’s Patisserie, Gloria Jeans and Donut King, amongst other franchises) has been accused of numerous breaches of the Code amidst worsening performance of its franchises.

    Government inquiry

    In light of the purported non-compliance with the franchising regulatory framework by both franchisors and franchisees, there was a call for a parliamentary inquiry into the franchising sector.

    On 21 March 2018, the Australian Senate resolved to commence a parliamentary inquiry into the Australian franchising sector. The inquiry is to report by 30 September 2018.

    The areas that the inquiry will cover include:

    • the operation and effectiveness of the Code, including the disclosure document and information statement, in properly informing franchisees of their rights and obligations (including financial performance, contractual obligations and rights, leasing arrangements and expenses)
    • the effectiveness of dispute resolution under the Code
    • the impact of the small business unfair contract provisions (under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL)) on franchise agreements
    • adequacy of termination provisions under the Code
    • the effect of restraints of trade under the Code
    • the enforcement of breaches of the Code (as well as other applicable laws include the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)).

    The inquiry appears to focus on the power imbalance between franchisors and franchisees, particularly in relation to the effectiveness of the protections in the Code and the franchisee’s ability to enforce breaches. Further, it appears as though a primary focus of the inquiry will be ensuring that franchisors afford transparency to franchisees.

    Critically, the inquiry also appears extensive enough to encourage a balanced review of the franchising sector and consideration of the problems faced by franchisors. Notably, franchisors have had difficulty terminating franchise agreements where the franchisee has been found to have underpaid employees. Such challenges will likely fall within the scope of the review, particularly given recent investigations and findings by the FWO.

    Key takeaways

    Given the breadth of the inquiry, and the increasingly negative perception of the franchising sector, significant amendments to the Code (and the franchising regulatory framework) may result from the inquiry.

    In the interim, franchisors should ensure that their franchise agreements are reasonable and fair. Some areas for franchisors to consider are:

    • Termination rights: Franchise agreements should provide the franchisee the right to terminate the agreement and, where they have not breached the agreement, exit without incurring significant costs and losses. Conversely, franchisors should also provide themselves the ability to terminate the agreement for material breaches (such as wage fraud and underpayment of employees).
    • Unfair contract terms: The unfair contracts regime in the ACL applies to franchises where the franchisee is a “small business”. Where this is the case, franchisors should ensure that terms in their franchise agreements do not constitute “unfair terms”. Particular attention should be paid to those clauses that are not necessary or appropriate to protect their interests. Examples of such clauses are restraints, liquidated damages clauses, and requirements to purchase supplies from specific (more expensive) suppliers.
    • Reporting obligations: Strict reporting obligations should be included in franchisor agreements to minimise the risk of wage fraud and underpayment of employees.
    • Disclosure of information: Franchisors should provide franchisees with all information required for them to make informed decisions. This should include materially accurate financial information, the projected financial performance of the franchise, worst-case financial performance, details regarding leasing arrangements (including any limitations of the franchisee’s ability to enforce tenant rights) and the expected costs of operating.

    Jacqui Barrett 


    T: +61 2 8267 3201


    Paul Simos


    T: +61 2 8267 3257


  • 13-Apr-2018 16:38 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    It’s time to challenge your talent thinking

    The commercial benefits of a more diverse workforce are clear. So why do so many offices still look so homogenous? The truth is, hiring someone who has a different appearance, cultural background, age or experience doesn’t come naturally. Our unconscious biases are exactly that: unconscious. They stem from a natural need to make quick judgements, but they hold us back from embracing difference.

    “It all starts with the hiring manager’s perception of what the ideal candidate ‘looks like’,” explains Natalie Goldman, CEO of FlexCareers. “Often they keep repeating situations: ‘the person who did this role before was like this and it worked.’ Of course, clearly it didn't – because they left.”

    Goldman believes small businesses can change their habits and practices much more quickly than large enterprise – and they have even more to gain.

    Click here to read the full article.

    Macquarie has been providing Business Banking solutions for over 30 years and provides SME clients with tools and strategies to grow and develop their business. You can get regular updates by subscribing to the monthly newsletter, Strictly Business by visiting If you would like to find out more about how Macquarie can support you to take your business further, call Aisling Osborne or Melissa Chung at our Parramatta office on 0410 310 716 and be connected with one of our banking specialists.

    This information has been prepared by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502 (“Macquarie”) for general information purposes only. This information does not constitute advice. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. No member of Macquarie accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect, consequential or other loss arising from any use of this information.

  • 12-Apr-2018 10:24 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Parramatta Mission would like to invite you to their 2018 Raising Hope Gala.

    As our city continues to expand there are increasing social needs that together we must address. Parramatta Mission seeks to serve the social heart through the provision of over 70 services to meet the desperate needs within our community.

    Many of these essential services are otherwise unfunded.

    By attending, supporting or partnering with Parramatta Mission in this event, you are directly investing into the areas of homelessness, domestic violence, crisis support and accommodation services.

    When: Friday 7th September 2018 

    Time: 7:00pm to Midnight

    Where: PARKROYAL Parramatta

    30 Phillip Street Parramatta

    Dress: Black & White

    Click here to purchase your tickets or download the Partnership Package opportunities here.

    For further information or enquiries, email

    You may also be able to contribute by donating items for their raffle or auction. If you can assist with donations of items, experiences or services, please contact

  • 05-Apr-2018 18:34 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    The community are invited to help 're-imagine' the future of Campbelltown CBD by providing feedback on Council's bold vision for attracting employment and investment to our city, while creating more activated, connected and sustainable places.

    The draft strategy has been placed on public exhibition for community input until Friday 27 April, and can be viewed at the Civic Centre on Queen Street, HJ Daley and Glenquarie Libraries, or can be downloaded from Council's website.

    The community is also encouraged to take a short survey on the draft vision, or provide a written submission to Council.

    From Thursday 5 April, a series of pop-up events will also be held providing the community with an opportunity to find out more about the draft strategy and speak with Council staff.

    The pop-up events will be held at:

    • Campbelltown Mall - Thursday 5 April, 4pm - 7pm; Thursday 19 April, 4pm - 7pm
    • Macarthur Night Markets at Mawson Park - Friday 6 April, 5pm - 7.30pm
    • Macarthur Square - Thursday 12 April, 4pm - 7pm
    • Campbelltown Arts Centre - Saturday 14 April, 9.30am - 12.30pm; Wednesday 18 April, 10am - midday
    • Campbelltown Civic Centre - every Tuesday in April, 9am - 11am

    Click here to find out more about the draft strategy and take the survey.   

  • 26-Mar-2018 12:25 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    As part of its $15 billion Sydney West metro line, the Berejiklian Government has announced a new underground stop at the expanding Westmead Health and education precinct. The new stop will be a real game changer for Westmead, especially as the current line will be at capacity within 10 years and will not be able to meet the growing demands of a growing hospital and surrounding precinct.

    The new stop is in addition to the new metro stations previously announced for Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park that will support future residential and business investment in the region. It is expected that the driverless metro trains will deliver a 20 minute trip from Parramatta to Sydney CBD for Western Sydney residents.

    The state government is currently exploring the viability of adding two additional stops at Rydalmere and Camellia. This will, however, add additional time to the trip and Transport Minister Andrew Constance has committed to further consultation with community and industry to determine the right balance before coming to a final decision, saying "there was a balance to be reached in deciding on the number of stations and the travel time for a journey between Parramatta and the CBD”.

    The project is expected to commence in 2022 and be complete in the late 2020's.

  • 23-Mar-2018 14:53 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Visiting Western Sydney just got a lot easier with a one-stop shop website and app launched last night as part of the first ever marketing campaign for Sydney’s West – “SW: you’ll love it as much as we do”. 

    This is the first time Western Sydney covering 9,000 square kilometres and eight local council areas is being marketed collectively as one destination.  The website and app are part of the Western Sydney Visitor Strategy, a concerted group effort driven by the Western Sydney Business Connection to position Western Sydney as a highly competitive region on the world stage.

    Visit Sydney’s West website and real time smart phone app provides locals and visitors all the stay, play, work, study and live information together in the one place.

    Each Western Sydney suburb is profiled including population, travel distances, schools, languages spoken, median house price and average age of populations. There is also a comprehensive travelling to guide, and a single source of What’s On detailing hundreds of cultural festivals, sporting events, exhibitions, entertainment along with local tourist attractions, walking, hiking and cycling trails, accommodation, places to eat and drink and special offers.

    Using world best practice in destination marketing the Visit Sydney’s West strategy and campaign elements have been created by specialist city marketing consultancy Strategetic Consultants best known for delivering the incredibly successful 100% Pure New Zealand campaign.

    Western Sydney Business Connection, General Manager, Amanda Brisot said the premise to the Visit Sydney’s West strategy is the focus on growing the visitor economy for the region rather than just attracting tourism dollars.     

    “It is designed to help the region achieve sustainable growth by attracting skilled migrants, students, investment, business and tourists through showcasing the lifestyle, sociability and other attributes of the area”, said Mrs Brisot.

    “Phase one of the marketing program, the website and app are designed to set the foundation that will be extended and enhanced over time.

    “Throughout the year we will release additional elements including a direct marketing campaign we are working on with big sporting codes, a Western Sydney Business Events Bureau and major event strategy.” said Mrs Brisot. 

    The launch event was attended by The Hon. Minister Adam Marshall, MP, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon. Dr Geoff Lee MP, Member for Parramatta, City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson, Liverpool City Council Mayor Wendy Waller, key industry bodies, local government and local business.

    The Western Sydney Business Connection is the driving force in this unique public private partnership, bringing all levels of government and local businesses together to promote Western Sydney collectively.

    Founding members include DNSW, City of Parramatta, Campbelltown City Council, Liverpool City Council, Cumberland City Council, SOPA, Featherdale Wildlife Park, Parramatta Leagues Club, Penrith Panthers, Rooty Hill RSL, Wet n Wild, Sydney Zoo, Australian Turf Club, Museum of Applied Science and TAFE NSW.

    The Visitor Strategy aims to bring 185,000 incremental visitors each year with an estimated $25million incremental spend, culminating in 12.8 million visitors and $1.1BN per annum in direct incremental spend by 2030 and 36,000 jobs over 12 years.

    A Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) will be established as a division of Western Sydney Business Connection to deliver the strategy and campaign. The project team will continue to develop an experience portfolio focusing on the area’s lifestyle both now and the future.

    Western Sydney Business Connection is also pleased to announce the formation of the Visitor Marketing Advisory Board responsible for leading the DMO. The board is designed to represent the major sub-sectors of the visitor economy including tourism, art and culture, licensed clubs, sport, local government, major events and exhibitions.

    The Board will be chaired by current WSBC Board Member Lindy Dietz, General Manager, Campbelltown City Council and will include:

    • Tony Chiefari, GM , Featherdale Wildlife Park
    • Joyce Dimascio, CEO, Events and Exhibitions Association Australasia
    • Bevan Paul, CEO Parramatta Leagues Club
    • Susan Skuodas, Senior Manager, Place Making at Sydney Olympic Park Authority
    • Jimmy Busteed, Head of Sales, Australian Turf Club
    • Arani Duggen, Head of Development, Museum of Applied Arts and Science and current WSBC Board Member
    • Julia Pucci, Director Cultural Infrastructure, Western Sydney – Cultural Infrastructure Program Management Office
    • Michael Johnson, General Manager, Parkroyal Parramatta

    Visit Sydney’s West or download the free “Sydneyswest” app - available on iOS and android platforms.




  • 22-Mar-2018 17:09 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    The racing world will turn its focus to Royal Randwick for The Championships, as the best-of-the-best vie for over $20 million prizemoney across two consecutive Saturdays.

    The Championships Day 1, the grand finals of Australian racing, is heralded by the Group 1 $2 million Australian Derby along with the world’s richest mile handicap, the Group 1 $3 million The Star Doncaster.

    A day of racing royalty that celebrates the traditions of Derby Day, join with friends at Royal Randwick for a day of fashion, entertainment, award winning hospitality, thrilling thoroughbred racing and so much more. 

    Don't forget, your event ticket includes complimentary travel on Sydney train, bus and rail.

    Click here to book your hospitality.

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