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  • 27-Nov-2014 15:47 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rosehill Gardens is the perfect venue for all your new year Business and Event needs, offering a wide selection of versatile indoor and outdoor spaces.


    Greater Sydney’s prestigious racecourse has the ability to cater for a diverse range of conferences, product launches, gala dinners and corporate hospitality.


    Paul Carabetta has recently joined Rosehill Gardens as Business Development Manager – Corporate and brings to the table a wealth of knowledge, experience and well established connections throughout the Greater Western business community. Previously the Food and Beverage Operations Manager of the Riverside Oaks Golf Resort, Paul will assist in finding the right solution with you to make your event seamless at Rosehill Gardens.


    Paul looks forward to connecting with you:


    P: (02) 9760 6255

    M: 0418 250 584


  • 27-Nov-2014 15:37 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The launch of Twilight Racing at Rosehill Gardens is set to quench Sydney’s thirst for end-of-week late lunches, ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ cheer and end-of year-catch-ups with work mates and friends. This is your first and only chance this season to enjoy balmy evenings on the trackside lawns, so book today to celebrate the festive season with live music, great food and entertainment.


    To book your hospitality please contact Anthony Nicolaou, Business Development Manager – Commercial on:


    P: (02) 9760 6215



    For more information please visit

  • 27-Nov-2014 09:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What do you think is the biggest challenge facing businesses in Western Sydney? 


    “We need it to be a true regional centre and not an outlying Sydney suburb”.

     That’s what one of the many participants in our research told us. Do you have a different view?


    Your opportunity to participate and join over 200 other businesses who have had their say closes on Monday 1 December. 


    Please take 10 minutes to share your insights by completing our online survey before it closes.

    As part of Western Sydney Business Connection's continued engagement with the businesses of Western Sydney and as a valued contact of WSBC, you are invited to have your say on the big issues affecting businesses in Western Sydney.

    Developed and led by WSBC gold member William Buck and in conjunction with WSBC, “Making Western Sydney Greater” is a research initiative designed to identify the most important issues for businesses in Western Sydney, and to drive positive change. 

    The research is proudly supported by WSBC Platinum Partners St George Bank and The University of Western Sydney.


    The results from this research will enable us to:

    • Inform government on the key issues you identify
    • Create seminars and training targeted to your needs
    • Arrange networking opportunities for local businesses with common opportunities, interests and challenges
    • Develop resources to directly support Western Sydney businesses
    • And more ...

    As a participant you will receive a full copy of our findings from this research and priority access to any seminars, networking opportunities and the like that are held. 

    You will also be doing your part in "Making Western Sydney Greater".

    We look forward to hearing from you with any questions and to your participation in the research


  • 26-Nov-2014 16:39 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In conjunction with the Federal Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda released in October 2014 was an announcement of a reform program for Employee Share Schemes (ESS).  No legislation has yet been released and there is a consultation process underway to ensure that key aspects, which were not in the original announcement, are appropriately covered when the legislation is released.


    In terms of measures announced, there are changes to the taxation of options that will impact a broader range of employers. From 1 July 2015, the taxing point of options will be the time of exercise. This is a positive change to the current rules and should make options a more attractive form of rewarding employees - the taxing point will once again align with the time the employee is able to realise a gain on the options. 

    Perhaps the most publicised part of the announcement is the proposal to provide assistance to start-up companies.  The current proposals provide that, to qualify as a start-up, companies must: 

         i.          not be a listed company;

           ii.          have an aggregate turnover less than $50m; and

          iii.          have been incorporated for 10 years or less. 

    Any shares and options granted under an ESS will only qualify for concessional treatment provided: 

    ·       Options: the exercise price is not less than market value of the shares at the date of grant;

    ·       Shares: the discount granted must not be more than 15% at date of purchase.

    Once a company satisfies the conditions to qualify as a start-up, any qualifying shares and options granted under an ESS will receive the following advantages:

    ·       The first taxing point for both shares and options will be deferred until the shares are  sold, with a 15 year time limit suggested in the Government’s media release; and

    ·       The entire gain made on the sale of shares will be taxed as a capital gain. Provided the asset (either the shares or options) disposed of has been held for more than 12 months, the gain should qualify for the 50% CGT discount. 

    ASIC has recently announced changes to its employee incentive scheme class order relief, that, once effective, will reduce the administrative burden of implementing some employee share schemes. However, it is not yet clear how ASIC may address the need to simplify the regulatory requirements for start-ups as contemplated in the latest proposals. The timing of ASIC’s changes provides an opportunity for the Government to establish a tax, reporting and regulatory framework that will encourage wider implementation of ESS plans. 

    The announcements present an opportunity for corporates to re-examine remuneration structures and how they look to incentivise their employees. There is clearly food for thought as it is clear that some companies will have the capacity to provide significant value to their employees.

    Author: David Pring, Partner, KPMG’s Private Enterprise.


  • 26-Nov-2014 15:04 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    icon_connect Deloitte Private Connect icon_entrep Entrepreneurs

    WSBC presents the first in a series of three articles from Platinum Partner Deloitte on the power of the Cloud and accounting solutions.

    The many benefits of the cloud are well understood by most entrepreneurs. The total cost of IT as a percentage of revenue is reduced and the savings can be reinvested in growing the business. But, for an entrepreneur, while the IT savings can be compelling, the biggest benefit of cloud computing is the agility it enables. Importantly, it gives the enterprise the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities and scale up effectively as the business takes off.


    Of course, alongside all the benefits of the cloud, there are two downsides we often see. One is highlighted in a recent study by Intermedia and Osterman research that shows the average small business is drowning in cloud applications, causing inefficiencies, lost productivity and data integration issues. The report found that, on average, small businesses use 14 individual cloud applications and that each user interacts with more than five software applications. 

    The other, perhaps more frustrating downside is that even when a business has made the right application choices, some are still using pre-cloud accounting practices. So while these businesses have come some way along the cloud journey, they still need to walk the final mile to get the full benefits of this exciting technology shift.


    Let me explain. While many businesses have migrated their financial information to the cloud, they’re still working on a quarterly reporting timeframe – sometimes longer. Typically, businesses that do this have their bookkeeper or accountant produce a financial report for the previous quarter when their Business Activity Statement is due – which is almost three months after the end of the reporting period.


    These businesses operate in a financial information vacuum from one reporting period to another. They don’t have information about their present financial position at their fingertips which, when used to its full potential, is exactly what the cloud enables.


    In contrast, businesses that are taking full advantage of cloud accounting services can see their accounts receivable and accounts payable in real time. They can produce an up-to-the minute profit and loss statements and balance sheets. Then they can use this information to make strategic decisions about the future of their business.


    One of our star clients, Crisp Creative Salad’s founder Ted Tolfree, is an entrepreneur who is harnessing the full potential of the cloud in his business. Having completed a full migration of his financial information to the cloud, all the business’s invoicing and accounting is done electronically, which reduces the potential for human error.


    “Being able to see our overall spending and reporting whenever we want gives us the oversight and control I need as a business owner. So when we meet with our Deloitte Private advisor we talk about the plans for the business, instead of the day-to-day accounting. It’s taken the relationship to a new level,” Ted explained in a recent blog post. 


    “We use other cloud-based software that integrates well with Deloitte Private Connect, so we can see the full picture across all aspects of our business,” he says. 


    For entrepreneurs, having access to real-time financial information is absolutely vital.


    • It gives founders confidence in the business’s financial figures when talking to potential investors.

    • It gives investors confidence the business is on top of its numbers.

    • It means the business has truly up-to-date numbers at hand, which can inform decisions about whether to hire new staff, how much stock to order and investment priorities.

    • It reduces the risk the business will burn through its cash reserves prematurely.

    • It means that if mistakes are made during the bookkeeping or accounting process, they can be picked up quickly and corrected.


    Early stage ventures are by their nature risky enterprises. But there are ways that entrepreneurs can manage these risks. Having live financial information available is one of the best ways to do this.


    Related: hear Ben’s thoughts on the ‘Inevitable Shift to Fixed-Fee Advisory Services for Accountants’ published on Digital First.


  • 26-Nov-2014 13:14 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WSBC Gold Member University of Western Sydney announce a unique dining experience for 10 cricket fans to raise money for two scholarships awarded to students who would otherwise not be able to attend university. 


    Join UWS on 2 December for a memorable evening with cricket legend and former West Indies Cricket Team Captain Brian Lara and help two deserving students realise their educational dream.

    Attendees will also meet two of UWS’s brightest students and hear what a difference a scholarship makes to their education and their lives. UWS Chancellor, Prof Peter Shergold, will also join the evening to liven up the dinner in his own entertaining way.

    There are only ten places available at $5,000 each.*

    You don’t need to be a cricket tragic to enjoy this exclusive invitation. To secure one of only ten places, book now by contacting Rita Jaber :



    P: 02 9685 9511


    Event Details:


    Date:     2 December 2014 

    Time:     6.30 pm for 7.00 pm 

    Venue:  Gilbert + Tobin, Level 37, 2 Park Street Sydney


    * All guests will receive a tax deductable receipt for $4,750.00 per seat.

  • 26-Nov-2014 12:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Changes to CBD car parks are being introduced as part of Parramatta City Council’s vision for a vibrant business hub with more commercial and residential development to boost job creation and economic growth. 


    The three single-level public car parks making way for new development are: 


    ·         The temporary 81-space car park at Smith St, which closed in November to make way for the start of work on UWS’s new campus on Parramatta Square.


    ·         The 200-space car park at 189 Macquarie St, which closed in early December to allow for a new 26-storey commercial and residential development featuring a new 700-space car park to open in 2017. 


    ·         The 75-space Lennox Bridge car park, which will close in early 2015 to allow for construction of the new Riverside Tower development including a Council-owned Discovery Centre and exhibition space.        


    Other CBD car parks have substantial spare capacity to accommodate motorists who park at these three affected sites.  


    Detailed information and maps to advise car park users on how they can best find alternative parking is at

  • 26-Nov-2014 11:30 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There are so many articles with views, commentary, and perceptions on what makes a good team. The Web, Facebook, and LinkedIn all have expert views on this. Rarely though, is there real evidence gathered on why a team performs so much better than others. Such insights are critical for our learning and development. In 2012, the inaugural XVenture Challenge was broadcast on One HD and Sky Business. The World-class experiential learning program aimed to encourage organisations to embrace the concept of people and teams in a holistic way. To acknowledge that no product or service exists without the passion and effort of a group of people, fourteen organisations including; PWC, Hertz, GWS Giants, BUPA, Bank of Queensland, Paul’s Parmalat, Storage King, and CPA Australia took part. The winning team was the team that generated the maximum number of XVenture dollars throughout the program. The program recorded the team’s growth and improvement through film, reflection, and coaching throughout.


    Following the success of the program, the XVenture team commenced the development of one and two day programs for organisations in early 2014, most of which have been held in Narrabeen. Whilst competitive, these “challenges” are focused on teamwork and leadership and structured in a similar way to the TV show. This still includes filming the whole program in high definition and capturing learning throughout, only the programs are now extremely accessible and take into account the time and budget constraints organisations face.


    At a recent XVenture Challenge held at the Sydney Academy for Sports and Recreation at Narrabeen, an extraordinary thing happened. A team of six people who had never worked together, who had never met, who had no time to prepare for the two days of challenges that lay ahead, won the program by an incredible 20% more than the team that came second. Eight organisations participated in the program so this wasn’t an easy win. All were successful in their own right. All had excellent people who were team players, competitive, and committed to win. Yet, they were well beaten. There is much to learn from the team that won. This paper draws attention to some of the main elements.




    XVenture Challenge, February 2014 


    A day before the Challenge date on 21st February the XVenture team received two calls. One call came from the CEO of Good Design Australia, Dr Brandon Gien and one from the Founder of the Australian Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy, Gordon Young. Both organisations are at the top of their tree, hold a high profile in their respective industries, and were participating in the 2-day Challenge for the first time. Unfortunately, for different reasons, both organisations were having difficulties in putting their six-person team together in time. A pragmatic solution emerged. Why not put the two organisations together for the Challenge? Both the CEOs agreed that this would be a good solution ,and so the next day their team members met for the first time. Competing in the Challenge with the “Good Institute” were PWC, GoodLife Health, Davco, Cargo and Logistics Management (Calm Logistics), Nickaz Constructions, The Works, and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.




    MGSM at their March XVenture Challenge


    The XVenture Challenge is a World-class experiential learning program unlike any other. It was created to capture the essence of what really matters – people coming together, being together and achieving something special together. Built to test and encapsulate every dimension of business life, every decision, every skill, every sense and behaviour needed within a team environment, delivered both inside and outdoors and realising that every mistake is learning for the future. Those that experience the program are changed forever. In just a few months, the benchmark has been set on the standards of learning and growth for the future.


    The program has been developed by a team of experts who have developed challenges for the best companies in the World as well as TV productions such as The Greatest Athlete and XVenture. The team also included executives with Board and global CEO experience, together with accredited team coaches and a clinically qualified team. The knowledge and skill to apply concepts relating to neuro plasticity and solution-oriented behavioural science is a fundamental and unique aspect of the program. The belief that when the self is calm and focused much more can be achieved, is also a critical element presented to the participants by the program leadership team.


    In a two day challenge teams undertake nine diverse, fun and dynamic challenges with themes ranging from strategy development, creative thinking, active listening, quality management, marketing, presentation skills, risk taking, decision making under pressure, time management, knowledge sharing and effective communication.


    Interspersed with written prompts and audio-visual messaging regarding teamwork and leadership themes, the team that wins the most XVenture dollars over the two days wins the game. It’s not an easy program. The pressure is from within the self, the team and competing against others.


    To win this challenge isn’t easy. As well as the Good Institute team, other winning companies of the Challenges have included Nivea, MGSM and OzHarvest.


    What was it about the Good Institute team that was different? Here’s a summary.





    The ‘Good Institute’ – a team of six people who didn’t know each other won the February XVenture Challenge by 20%! How did this happen?


    The team was made up of six people. Three men and three women: the CEO of Good Design Australia; an engineer, a graphic designer, a dental surgeon, a psychologist, and a life coach/body builder.


    At the commencement of the program, the team got together and agreed a specific sense of purpose: to enjoy the experience and to learn from each other and with each other with no expectations other than improve on each challenge completed and follow the XVenture mantra – be the best you can be!


    In the first challenge, they finished half way and had fun but didn’t stand out. We observed their attitude was one of enjoyment and debate about the mistakes they made rather than directing blame towards any of the individual team members. However, by the second challenge it appeared they had worked out something that the others hadn’t. They had identified very quickly the resources that each person had brought to the program in addition to the role that they would take. Such an important and fundamental aspect of great teamwork that most forget. Just because someone is an accountant, it doesn’t mean they’re not creative. Outside of work time, maybe they’re an expert in boating or using ropes or a photographer. This knowledge sharing, this openness is essential to building a great team. We have a habit of pigeon-holing people in our work place. From the second challenge on, the Good Institute ensured this didn’t happen. Their listening skills, their sense of mutual respect for each other was a joy to behold. Not to assume for a minute that the cohort of six were similar. Far from it. Different backgrounds and very different people. Their ability to focus on the challenge in front of them without distraction, consider options that were fit for purpose but without over thinking, then all commit to a solution was a fundamental.


    For one challenge, they realised an engineering background was important, so they got behind their engineer who led them to success. Again, a significant lesson in teams. Leadership changes depending on the circumstances. CEOs and senior managers in particular need to allow members of their team to lead when they have skills to do so.


    On another challenge, one member had a personal matter to attend to, so had a replacement available. The replacement just slotted in and there was no negative impact to the team at all. By the last challenge they were so far ahead, the race was on for second and third place.


    We were so interested in the team dynamics we decided to undertake some more analysis. The XVenture team is accredited to use both Belbin and Team Management Systems (TMS). On this occasion, a full TMS analysis of the team was completed. Every member in the Good Institute completed a TMS questionnaire, which assessed their work preferences. The results support what was observed and captured on video.


    TMS is built on the extensive research of Drs. Margerison and McCann, who created the Types of Work Wheel, which describes the critical types of work that all teams have to cover off on, to be effective. See below.





    The research showed that teams, regardless of their size, function or industry, need to ensure all the eight key activities are completed, however how they do this is up to them, their environment and their goals.




    Several things were noticed.


    The team’s aggregate score is very balanced. The team has every team preference area covered effectively. i.e. at least one participant has strength in each critical area. Team member 1 is particularly balanced and hence is likely to be a good “link person” within the team.

    Despite the fact that there were very different personalities within the team (i.e. Both strong extroverts and introverts), the team’s aggregate scores demonstrated a real sense of balance. Couple this with the commitment and agreement to a set of team rules as described earlier, then this team has got every opportunity to achieve its goals.


    The TMS RIDO scale, or model of interpersonal dynamics, looks at, not only the extroversion/introversion continuum, but also other critical preferences about how you like to work. It is not a black and white assessment, but takes into account the nuances of human behaviour and, when combined with the Types of Work Wheel as shown above, gives a very clear and holistic picture of individual behaviour.






    There is no question that this team was in the right time and right place. No one could have predicted that a team like this would have come together for an XVenture Challenge. That was a fluke! However, what isn’t a fluke is that a successful team needs a strong sense of purpose and commitment to a goal, an agreed culture of working, and a diverse group of people who can be very different and accepted for being so, but can cover all the aspects of what aspects of work make a good team.



    By Mike Conway Founder and CEO of XVenture © May 2014 (with thanks to TMS Australia)



    Feel free to make contact with the author: to discuss this article or any other matter relating to XVenture:



    Kick start your 2015 with participation in the ultimate team challenge – XVenture Challenge in February 2015! Click here for more details.









  • 25-Nov-2014 17:40 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    So what was it like to meet Sir Richard Branson?


    Well, the first thing I noticed was that for the first time in my life I felt a feeling like I assume all those screaming young girls do when they see their favourite boy band. Okay, I didn’t exactly want to scream, but there was an inner feeling of “wow” occurring. Could it really be that here I was about to meet the guy whom I have been inspired by for so long?

    When you have only know someone through their books, and the occasional appearance on TV, and this has been the case for 15 years or so, I guess the mind almost assumes that this person actually lives IN the book or TV, and not necessarily in “real life”. As such, when I first met Richard I was a little shocked. Not only for the fact that he was in fact “real”, but also for the fact that he was actually there, at Necker Island. The reason being that just 48 hours earlier (and just as we were due to arrive at Necker Island), Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip 2 had crashed into the Mojave Desert, killing one of its pilots. Richard of course had immediately left Necker and traveled to the site to be with the Virgin Galactic staff and the family of the pilot. Many of us had come to accept that our encounter with Richard may never occur given the circumstances as we didn’t know how long he would have to be away. But here he was, back to see us …

    He opened by apologising for not being there to greet us upon arrival at Necker Island and noted the situation at hand and his sadness for what had occurred (you could tell he was quite affected by it). He then followed by saying that he wanted to ensure he could see us during our visit and that this day may be the only one possible, as such he had returned to ensure it happened (keep in mind that this required him to fly back across the USA to Necker just to see us, a group of entrepreneurs that he didn’t know and owed nothing to).

    When the floor opened for questions, two in particular stood out for me: 

    Q: Richard, given the situation with the crash none of us expected you to come back. Thank you for doing so, but why did you?

    A: “Well I had told Fiona (the organisor) that I’d be here to spend time with you guys, and so I did my best to be here. Once again, I’m sorry I couldn’t be here to greet you all yesterday”.

    Now here is a guy worth billions of dollars, whom can do as he pleases, sitting in front of us in a pair of shorts and a singlet saying such words. I would love the world of entrepreneurs to take note – it’s clearly not the fancy suit, or the flashy cars that define success. Rather it’s the actions one takes that define the individual whom is capable of creating such success. His actions are what create the people that love him, which create the brand the company is globally renowned for and what consumers love. 

    Q: How have you handled the current crises with Virgin Galactic and crises in prior business dealings?

    A: “Crises will occur, and survival is the key. You must remain positive and have a great team to make it through. Our team at Virgin Galactic is 400 strong, so it not just me that is feeling this right now – it’s all of us. Some (external parties) have suggested we should give up … that is just not an option for our team as we believe in what we are doing. We must remind ourselves of WHY we started it all in the first place. We believe that we should be able to colonise other planets as our population grows. Why should we be restricted to just earth? We should also be able to travel much quicker – it is still far too slow to travel to places like Australia”.

    Again I was not only impressed by his answer, but reminded of why I have admired him all along. He leads with his vision (the why) and builds a team of people that share that vision. And he never forgets that it is all about the group, not just him. You could see clearly that he cared about the group and was just as committed as they were. 

    Okay, so was there anything else worth noting?

    Yes. He seemed rather relaxed and carefree for a guy who heads up such a large organisation. Further, I couldn’t help but notice he had an almost childish way about him. When he spoke for example he rarely looked you in the eyes, and when he walked he’d struggle not to want to skip a little and then jog a bit – like a little kid would do. Quite the opposite to the serious world of business we are all exposed to in our “normal” daily lives …

    Thank you Sir Richard for all that you have done to inspire and educate me in my life, for all that you’ve done for the many other entrepreneurs of the world, and for all you’ve done for the world at large – you are an amazing man.

    Daniel Davis
    CEO, Gallop Solutions

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