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  • 19-May-2015 21:46 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    The Western Sydney Business Connection (WSBC) and WSBC Platinum Partner TAFE WSI are leading a research project to conduct skills audits within the Western Sydney Area. 

    The aim of the research is to identify areas of skills shortages or over supply in your local area and potentially influence government policies associated with skills and jobs development.

    As a business operating in Western Sydney, we encourage you to take part in this research.

    By providing input of your current and future skill needs, your business will have an opportunity to get involved in this inaugural research. You can also opt-in for a customised business report which will allow you to benchmark your organisation’s performance against your competitors.

    To take part in the online survey, please type the following link to your web browser:

    The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete. Lonergan Research has been commissioned to run this study.

    or scan the following QR Code:         

    For any queries please contact Michael Sugg (


  • 19-May-2015 21:26 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Parramatta City Council has approved development applications to demolish its Darcy Street Council offices and the Civic Place Library building in preparation for the next stages of the $2 billion Parramatta Square urban renewal project.


    The approval of the applications was based on a report and assessment by independent planning consultants and will allow Council to provide developers with vacant possession of the two sites.


    The council offices, library and other council-owned property along Darcy Street will eventually make way for high-end commercial office space and the Aspire residential tower.


    Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Scott Lloyd says demolition of the Council offices and library will be carried out by the preferred developers which are expected to be selected mid-2015.


    “Council’s preparation and approval of the DAs will remove approximately six months from the critical path of the Parramatta Square development projects,” Cr Lloyd said.


    “Council has made the decision to have Stage 2 and Stages 5&6 of Parramatta Square ‘shovel ready’ as soon as possible, which will allow us to attract major tenants and businesses.


    “We have already started the demolition of the old Post Office building and other demolition DAs are currently under review by the independent assessor.”


    Parramatta Square is set to transform Parramatta’s core into a vibrant mixed-use hub, accommodating a substantial new public domain with more than 240,000sqm of mixed-use development.


    Located in the heart of the CBD, the three hectare site is set to reinforce Parramatta’s position as Sydney’s dual CBD.


    Construction work has begun on Stage One of the project - a $220.5 million commercial tower which will accommodate a new multi-level campus for the University of Western Sydney.


    Cr Lloyd said lease agreements had now been finalised for premises to house the Parramatta City Library and Council administration offices until new facilities are built at Parramatta Square.


    The library’s temporary home will be an office building at 1-3 Fitzwilliam Street where it will occupy part of the ground floor, the first floor and part of the second floor.

    Staff and services from 30 Darcy Street and Connection Arcade will be relocated over the ground floor and six floors of office space at 126 Church Street.


    “Both the Library and Council offices will continue to be conveniently located in the heart of the CBD to ensure ratepayers and other customers continue to have ready access to the library and front-of-counter Council services,” Cr Lloyd said.

  • 19-May-2015 19:37 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Parramatta is being positioned as a ‘smart city’ with the development of a Technology Masterplan for Parramatta Square and the creation of a Smart City Masterplan.


    The plans will provide a strategy for how technology initiatives can be efficiently planned for and incorporated into new developments and projects across Parramatta.


    Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Scott Lloyd says that with so much urban renewal taking place across the city, Council is taking the time now to find innovative solutions to address issues such as telecommunications planning, power infrastructure and public Wi-Fi in current and future projects.


    “Applying the masterplans to development areas such as Parramatta Square will serve to guide the types of technologies, standards and approaches that Council will follow in its planning and which developers should adopt in their building designs,” Cr Lloyd said.


    “Digital technologies are critical drivers of innovative and productive, liveable cities.


    “Council is committed to advancing connective technologies to create a better social, environmental and economic way of life. These masterplans will go a long way to embedding this vision.”


    The Deputy Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Steven Issa, and Chairman of Council’s ParraConnect Committee that has been driving a number of smart city projects, says the Masterplans will help establish a connected community.


    “The creation of these masterplans will support our long-term vision for a smart city by guiding the use and integration of leading-edge technologies,” Cr Issa said.


    “It means we are creating a city centre where workers, residents and visitors can readily interact with state-of-the-art technologies.”


    The work will be supported by a Smart City Strategic Project Officer. The newly created position will coordinate strategic relationships relevant to innovation, education and technology and represent the interests of Council in technology-focussed partnership initiatives.


    Since 2009, Parramatta City Council has undertaken a number of initiatives to position itself as an emerging smart city, including the ParraSync smart card, free Wi-Fi in libraries and wireless solar powered CCTV.


    These initiatives have been led by ParraConnect, a community partnership advisory committee, which aims to foster new digital initiatives in local public precincts.


    Further information on Parramatta City Council’s focus for becoming a smart city can be found here:

  • 18-May-2015 14:07 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Conference Day Package @ $60.00 per person.

    Book your next event at Novotel Norwest and RELAX. Win a five night Fijian holiday for two staying at the magnificent Sofitel Fiji.

    To enter simply book and hold your conference at Novotel Norwest between April 8th and September 30th 2015 and you could be relaxing by the pool in beautiful Fiji.

    Simply call (02) 9634 9634 or email 

    *Terms and conditions apply.  Valid for new conferences booked and held between 8th April to 30th September 2015.

  • 15-May-2015 10:01 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    We would like to wish Ronald McDonald House Westmead every success with their Telethon on Channel Seven this Saturday 16 May from 10 am until 5:30 pm and encourage ALL  members of the WSBC community to get involved and support one of the WSBC Charity Partners.



    Sydney Telethon is a Channel Seven fundraising initiative in support of Ronald McDonald House Westmead’s Building Love campaign.

    The aim is to help raise the necessary funds to build a new House.


    We would encourage you to get involved by doing the following:

    ·        Like the Sydney Telethon facebook page for all the latest announcements on performances and special guests on the day

    ·        Use the official Hashtags: #BuildingLove and #SydneyTelethon

    ·        Always tag @RMHWestmead -  - Instagram / rmhwestmead

    ·        Be watching Sydney Telethon Saturday 16 May from 10am on Channel Seven

    ·        Sending your message of support with your own ‘building love’ photo which will be shared with the families at Ronald McDonald House Westmead #BuildingLove


    Their dedicated social media pages are:

    ·        Facebook:

    ·        Twitter: (@sydneytelethon)

    ·        Instagram: (@sydneytelethon)


    Please help them build a new house.

    Share the love with your fans and networks through your social media!


  • 13-May-2015 18:57 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Last night the Treasurer delivered the Federal Budget. 

    In line with the firms strategic objective to ‘be known for growth for mid-size business' our report Federal Budget: Friend or foe to mid-size businessesexamines

    • How do the budget measures stack up in support of mid-size businesses?
    • Is this a Budget that builds a foundation for the future or is it a Budget of comprise that allows both sides of politics to restore trust in the political process?

    This morning our commentary was shared with our clients and contacts via email and events that were held in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney with Cairns, Perth and Adelaide to follow.

    Visit Grant Thornton’s Federal Budget webpage to access our commentary.

    What do you need to do?

    Read our report Federal Budget 2015/16 : Friend or foe to mid-size businesses? to understand the impact of the Federal Budget on your clients in the mid-size business sector

    Share our commentary on LinkedIn with your connections. Click here to go to the Grant Thornton LinkedIn page, then click here to follow the step by step instructions to share.

    Call your clients to ask them if they would like to discuss the implications of the Federal Budget measures on their business

  • 04-May-2015 15:50 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    Please join us for the ‘Foundations for Growth’ seminar with guest speaker, John Gibbs, CEO of Pacific Smiles

    Many businesses achieve high growth in their establishment and early years but can experience difficulty in achieving sustainable growth over the long term. Key to achieving sustainable growth is having the right combination of strategy, technology, process, organisation structure, people, risk and governance appropriate to the size of the business at each stage. 

    I’m pleased to invite you to the ‘Foundations for Growth’ seminar where we’ll provide will provide a framework for participants to develop and implement a growth strategy for their business.

    The session will also feature guest speaker John Gibbs, CEO of Pacific Smiles which owns and operates the Pacific Smiles Dental Centres and nib Dental Care Centres throughout the east coast of Australia. Pacific Smiles operates 45 Dental Centres at which independent dentists engage Pacific Smiles as their serviced facility provider. It made an impressive debut on the ASX in late 2014, with its stock achieving a 35% premium to the offer price on day one of trading. 

    John will give an overview of the company’s path to growth from its establishment in 2003 through to its listing and future growth plans. John’s presentation will provide some great insights into achieving sustainable growth over the long term.

    Friday 29 May 2015

    Sydney Business Chamber
    (Level 12,
    100 George Street, Parramatta)

    7.45 for an 8.00am start. The seminar
    will conclude at 10.30am followed
    by networking until 11.00am.



    Please RSVP to Natalie Passafaro by using the links below or on 02 9335 7516 by Friday 22 May 2015.


    Add to calendar

  • 27-Apr-2015 14:54 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What will the bank of the future look like? How will customers manage their money in 20, or even 40, years’ time? In this age of imminent change, is it even possible to guess? Certainly many banking executives are struggling to decide where their business should be best placed only 12 months from now. It is understandable. The impact of digital technology has been vast and swift and entirely transformational. Yet while banks try to keep up – and ahead – in the short to medium-term through the latest technological advances and innovative plays, they must also carve out a long-term strategy for themselves. It is about readying your business for who your customer will be tomorrow – whether that is next week or next decade.


    Think of customer demographics as a pipeline of sorts – as people are moving into retirement at one end, a new cohort of young men and women is entering at the other, to embark on what (for most of them) will be a 40 to 50 year experience as workers, consumers, savers, borrowers and investors.  This idea lends itself to two key points:

    • Young professionals today will be significant drivers of retail banking revenues tomorrow.
    • Understanding what this group wants will differentiate the winners from the losers in the race for the retail banking space.

    In this context, KPMG set out to survey and hold focus groups with our Australian young professionals between the ages of 18 to 30. We see this group as particularly interesting as they are a strong representation of future premier and private banking customers.

    Key findings:

    • The Gen Y cohort is diverse and somewhat heterogeneous.
    • Digital will remain king.
    • Understanding behaviour is necessary to drive adoption.
    • Online research is the prevailing way that young professionals research and choose their financial products.
    • Leveraging social media in creative ways will give banks an edge.
    • Gen Y wants to stay in control and be empowered with their own finances.
    • Security measures are a bore, giving rise to ‘invisible’ security.
    • Focus on savings first, wealth later.
    • Young professionals are cost conscious.

  • 27-Apr-2015 09:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I’m going to start this article with a confession: I work for a charity. I am one of those people that nags my friends and family to volunteer at weird and wonderful events to help charities raise money.

    And sometimes people avoid my calls when they know I have big events coming up because I can be pretty persuasive and some people don’t like being event marshals at 5am on Sunday mornings. Go figure.  

    But volunteering doesn’t have to be such a burden. In fact, given the right opportunity, volunteering provides some surprising and worthwhile benefits to the volunteer and to your organisation.

    Still sceptical? Read on.

    Here are just 3 ways that your business can benefit from volunteering opportunities:

    1.       Networking:

    Volunteering opens up opportunities to engage with people you might otherwise never gain access to. Particularly if the opportunity is for skilled volunteers, such as sitting on a steering committee, you may engage key stakeholders that are valuable to your business.

    2.       Build up different skill sets:

    Your staff can develop some really valuable skills by volunteering that can provide very tangible benefits to your organisation. Charities will provide volunteers with practical training in all kinds of fields. And it’s free – always a plus!

    3.       Team building and bonding:

    We all know that teams that bond together, make more money together. But let’s face it; most of the time, organisations are too busy to organise team days or create opportunities for staff to engage outside of work. Volunteering is the new black in team building. It’s fun and fulfilling and it works.

    One caveat though; do your research and find the right opportunities for your team. Start by thinking about what you want to get out of it – then find ways to give back by finding opportunities that are meaningful, both to the charity and your business.

    For information on finding the right opportunity, contact Nermeen Yacoub on (02) 8865 2838.

  • 24-Apr-2015 13:51 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As we approach Mother’s Day, we think about the women in our lives who are special to us and who play important roles in our lives. These women are not just our mum’s, but sisters, daughters, grandmothers, aunties, wives, partners… the list goes on.

    Imagine if one of these important women in your life found themselves in a place of disadvantage, distress, trauma or even homelessness.

    Every day, Parramatta Mission is helping women, children and men facing difficult times just like these with a focus on both helping them in their time of crisis as well as supporting them through their journey to a safe and independent future.

    Kelly’s cottages is one of Parramatta Mission’s services. Kelly’s Cottages is medium term semi-supported accommodation for single homeless women. Women can self-refer or are referred by other services.  Kelly’s Cottages offers up to twelve months accommodation and offers support to assist women overcome barriers such as self-esteem, employment, vocational training and assists women to obtain suitable stable, safe and sustainable accommodation. Kelly’s Cottages offers counselling, case management and group work. Kelly’s Cottages accepts women with treated mental health, escaping domestic violence, recovery addicts. However there is a great need for crisis accommodation and support for women facing homelessness.

    Sadly 46,000 Australian women are homeless with very few services like Kelly’s Cottages available to help them. Parramatta Mission is extremely dedicated to doing something about this as we work towards providing crisis accommodation for women facing homelessness and developing pathways to help women transition out of homelessness. 

    We’re asking all members of our community to join us on this important project by coming to our Raising Hope Gala on May 29 at WatervieW in Bicentennial Park.

    Hosted by Mark Taylor and with a special guest panel including Seven’s Chris Bath, Lady Mayoress of Parramatta City Council Kirsty Lloyd and indigenous singer songwriter Krista Pav it is sure to be a great event for a very important cause. 

    To purchase tickets, make a donation or for more information please visit: or phone Donna on 9891 2277.

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