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  • 07-Jul-2015 09:46 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    PwC is planning to double the size of its practice in greater western Sydney over the next two years as the Badgery's Creek Airport development and other state-backed infrastructure projects boost the confidence of local business owners. 

    The greater western Sydney business has already doubled in size from 25 to 50 staff since it was established two years ago and now has four partners. 

    "We've invested in growing our presence in western Sydney. With significant infrastructure spend in Parramatta about to come online, we want to ensure we are well placed to meet client demand in these emerging economic powerhouses," PwC Australia chief executive Luke Sayers said.

    Last week PwC released research showing that one-fifth of the Australia's economic output comes from just 10 locations, with Macquarie Park in greater western Sydney making the list. 

    On Monday PwC announced the appointment of 64 new partners from July 1. Among those promoted was Keenan Muir, 31, who shifted from the CBD to the western Sydney outpost 18 months ago. 

    "I wanted to make the move out to the greater western Sydney practice because some of my biggest clients were based here and I saw it as a chance to work with some of the best and brightest people. The government has committed billions of dollars in infrastructure funding for the new airport as well as roads and other projects, and that has delivered quite a confidence boost to the community," Mr Muir said. 

    The commute from Balmain, where he lives, to the office at Baulkham Hills is worth it for the career opportunities available in the west, he said. 


    "My future is out here where the opportunities are, and the daily drive is against the traffic anyway. I think there will be a trend for a lot more inner-city professionals to start commuting against the flow". 

    Another geographic location outside the main hubs of inner-city Sydney and Melbourne exhibiting strong growth for the firm is Brisbane, which gained six new partners. 

    In terms of business divisions, consulting dominated the 2015 partner intake with more than a quarter of total new appointments. This includes the formal admission of 20 partners who joined the firm through PwC's global acquisition of Booz & Co in 2014, that business has since been re-branded as Strategy&. 

    Mr Muir is one of six new partners admitted across PwC's growing private clients business. That division last week named BRW Rich-Lister David Smorgon executive chairman of its family business and wealth practice following the acquisition of his consultancy Pointmade

    While at least 30 per cent of new partnerships went to women at the rest of the big four accounting firms in 2015, only 17 per cent of the 64 new partners named by PwC were women. 

    PwC launched new gender targets for future partner intakes in an attempt to address the imbalance. 

    "We are absolutely delighted with the talent we have coming through our firm ... However, we are not satisfied with the gender split and we are working very hard to improve this moving forward," Mr Sayers said. 

    From July 1, the firm will adopt a target to ensure 40 per cent of new partners are women. The firm has also put it in writing that a minimum of 40 per cent of new partnerships must go to men, with the remaining 20 per cent of new partner positions open to both men and women. 

    The CEO said the firm had taken steps to improve diversity and inclusion, including naming it a strategic priority 12 months ago, instituting a gender pay audit, establishing an all-roles flexible-work policy and appointing an external diversity advisory board. 

    In a bid to remain competitive in winning work from clients with overseas business interests, the firm has also set targets to improve its cultural diversity. The aim is to ensure 20 per cent of new partners admitted in 2016 identify as coming from another cultural background, rising to 30 per cent by 2020.

  • 01-Jul-2015 13:31 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    I would like to take this opportunity at end of financial year and with the recent NSW state budget to provide you with a few figures from WSBC to highlight how we are providing business connections across Western Sydney that generate brand awareness, lead generation, learning and engagement for both the economic and social growth of our members and the region.

    Over the past year we have seen a 20% increase in the number of new members joining the WSBC Community. Our business leader luncheons this past year, held right across our region, have seen increases in attendance from 170 to 250 with the last three being sold out. 

    All this means more new faces and new organisations for you to connect with. 

    We’ve seen the most growth in our gold membership category and over the past year our gold and platinum members have showcased their thought leaderships, services, products and member offers with over 300 news items via our website, increasing their brand awareness across the region.

    All this activity has seen the WSBC community engage with over 3,300 businesses, an increase of 800 new businesses this past year. 

    In July we launch our new strategies to grow membership and a new focus in the SW region to provide further connections between industry, education and government. 

    The improved member benefits and value proposition and particularly the way we work with members to understand their needs and utilise the right tools at our disposal to achieve them is now kicking some goals. In the new membership year we hope to see further growth and engagement as WSBC continues to grow as part of our members marketing and BD teams and an extension of their BD strategies. 

    Also in the year ahead we have our five business leader luncheons, including topics such as health, infrastructure, regional economic development, leadership and our main event of the year The State of The Region address by the Premier of NSW The Hon Mike Baird. A date for your diaries is 6 October. All other dates can be found on our website and look out for the GWS Employment Forum with Newscorp and TAFE WSi due to be confirmed soon. This will address the employment issues businesses in our region face and provide advice for business owners, HR departments and the future of the regions workforce. We have 2 remaining event partner positions available, so get in quick to secure a great platform to promote your business and share your thoughts on this popular subject in our region.

    By now I hope you have all managed to review the results of the first piece of research on Making Western Sydney Greater, a research project lead by William Buck in conjunction with WSBC and Platinum partners St George Bank and UWS. The second of this bi-annual research is in progress now and you have until the end of the week to get involved and help shape the future of our regions economy. Please view the website and our twitter feeds for links to the survey. The more organisations contribute the more information we have to advocate on your behalf and take to government at all levels. 

    Full details of these and more of Western Sydney’s projects, along with articles to assist you in managing and growing your business are located on the WSBC news pages. 

    WSBC, along with many key stakeholders in the region are also contributing to Deloitte’s Shaping Future Cities Strategies. It is another piece of extensive research that will represent businesses thoughts to government on key projects and strategies on how the region can generate over 200,000 jobs in the region. I believe further news will be ready in Q2 of the financial year and we will of course bring you up to date with all developments. 

    To be part of this growing and vibrant community please contact us or simply join up straight away. Can your business benefit from up to date information on the region and business connections with over 3,300 businesses? Find out more on how you can benefit from the WSBC Business Development tool.

  • 01-Jul-2015 13:02 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    UWS launched their Western Sydney economic development strategy at a WSBC collaborative event in Penrith last week. It was great to see the Australian Government recognising the importance of our region with local Federal MP, Fiona Scott, granted a rare release from the final parliamentary sitting day before recess, directly from the Prime Minister.

    The panel discussion with Fiona Scott MP, Prof. Barney Glover, VC of UWS, Dr Tim Williams, CEO Committee for Sydney and Paul Van Bergan, Tax and R&D incentives Partner at KPMG saw a very informative conversation. Many businesses in attendance praised the initiative and the discussions.

    The Western Sydney Innovation Corridor is a strategy that is regional in focus and international in context and made up of interconnected knowledge-driven commercial hubs. The attached document provides further information and you can keep up to date with progress via WSBC news pages. 

    In mid July the University will release a detailed paper by Professor Donald McNeil, to add to the evidence base for the innovation corridor to preview the following key findings:

    • In fostering innovation across a defined area, competition between firms can be just as important as collaboration.

    • In this region, skilled jobs will, to a large extent, come via mastering software platforms across different industries rather than just within single sectors.

    • We need to work together to capture the full benefit of the region’s infrastructure investments, and avoid the ‘splintering’ and ‘bypass’ effects faster connections can bring.

    • Under its ‘Grand Paris’ strategy, the French Government is positioning a university at the centre of its new orbital transport infrastructure.

    • We must encourage airlines to plan for high-volume service, by shifting the narrative from, ‘What will the airport bring?’ to instead ask, ‘What can the region bring to the airport?’

    • Process innovation can be just as valuable as product innovation.

    Prof Glover in his presentation highlighted a number of details of the strategy and in closing indicated a number of points to consider if we fail to act on the opportunities presented.

    • Productivity decline - RBA assessed productivity declines over the past decade worsen. 
    • No airport benefit - The ‘aerotropolis’ fails to materialise along with employment and economic benefits.
    • Labour market disconnect - Employee skill-sets fail to adapt to, and keep pace with international trends.
    • Investment goes elsewhere - International investors look elsewhere for product and process innovation.
    • Intergenerational disadvantage - The decline in the uptake of STEM disciplines in our schools worsens, particularly across Western Sydney.
    We encourage you to get involved and look at the opportunities available to your business. 

  • 30-Jun-2015 11:42 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    It has been said that change is the only constant in life, but the rate of change seems to have gone into overdrive over the last few years. For large vocational training organisation TAFE Western Sydney, this is evident through new projects which have taken training out of colleges and onto pop-up style training facilities on worksites.

    Such projects see the TAFE Institute partnering with organisations to achieve specific outcomes based upon the needs of an organisation and also fulfilling social objectives. The Barangaroo Skills Exchange is one such example where specific targets were set. In just a few years more than 7,000 workers, many of whom would never have stepped into a TAFE college, have completed training onsite. A celebration for the enrolment of the 500th apprentice and the 50th Indigenous apprentice onsite was held in late June.

    TAFE Western Sydney has also been identified as the prime training provider for a major infrastructure project - Australia’s biggest public transport project, and is looking into how the pop-up college model can be used for other major projects.

    “What was only a few years considered innovative is now commonplace so our challenge is to keep adapting. We are finding now that we need to step outside and take our training into the marketplace,” said Robin Shreeve, Institute Director.

    “We are always open to conversation with businesses and government organisations to explore more ways of skilling up workers.”

    Business case study documents have recently been released by TAFE Western Sydney. Call (02) 9208 9421 for details.

  • 29-Jun-2015 18:36 | Michael Sugg (Administrator)

    The popular multicultural festival Parramasala will return to Parramatta for a sixth year after a funding agreement was reached with the NSW Government.


    Parramatta City Council will provide funding of $200,000, which is in addition to a $400,000 commitment from the State Government and corporate sponsorship in excess of $100,000. 

    Parramasala 2015 will feature as a signature event for the launch of Indian Tourism Week in NSW under the banner of Incredible India.

    “Parramasala is a vibrant and positive festival that brings people of all cultures together. It has become a hugely popular event in Parramatta, drawing in thousands of visitors each year, and we are thrilled that it will return for 2015,” Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr Scott Lloyd said.  


    “The funding arrangements are of a similar scale to last year’s event, which means the festival’s format will largely remain unchanged and the popular Harris Park component will return.”


    The festival, which will be held from 23 October to 25 October, celebrates Indian and South Asian cultures but in recent years has taken on a multicultural flavour. Highlights of the 2015 Festival will include an opening colourful street parade through the Parramatta CBD, the Parramasala festival hub in Prince Alfred Square and the Harris Street ‘block party’ on Saturday 24 October.


    Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka said that this year’s festival will be celebrated in conjunction with the inaugural Indian Tourism Week, which was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Australia last year.


    “Now in its sixth year, this year’s event will place greater emphasis on everything we love about India – its customs, cuisines and colours – in one jam-packed weekend,” Mr Ajaka said.


    Parramasala Chairman Dr G.K Harinath said he was thrilled that the Government and Parramatta City Council are continuing to support Parramasala this year.


    “Parramasala explores and celebrates the rich social fabric of Sydney and has grown to be the best multicultural festival in Australia,” Dr Harinath said. 


    Festival Director Di Henry said she is looking forward to staging another successful Parramasala Festival in Parramatta and Harris Park.


    “Following on from the success of the format of Parramasala in 2014 we are planning more surprises and will work with the wonderful artists and performers of Western Sydney to showcase the diversity and talent of this exciting part of Sydney,” Ms Henry said.

  • 29-Jun-2015 10:28 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NSW Minister for Skills John Barilaro visited the construction site of the new engineering and technology centre which is taking shape at TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute’s (TAFE SWSi’s) Wetherill Park College on Friday, 5 June 2015.

    Mr Barilaro inspected the site and chatted to construction workers and students who will benefit from the centre’s state-of-the-art facilities.

    Mr Barilaro said that the centre wouldprovide a massive boost to training and career opportunities for people in the south western Sydney region where the youth unemployment rate was around 16 percent.

    “There’s no question that the investment in this facility will meet the needs of industry, not just for today but, for well into the future,” Mr Barilaro said.

    TAFE SWSi Institute Director Peter Roberts, who accompanied the Minister on the visit said the centre was a “landmark facility in the region”.

    “We see it underpinning the development of skills in the region of south-western Sydney,” Mr Roberts said.

    The 2016 opening of the multi-million dollar TAFE SWSi Transport & Engineering Technology Centre is timed to coincide with an expected spike in demand for courses in automotive transport, engineering, technology and logistics.

    The centre will be the largest training facility of its kind in Sydney and will offer an integrated delivery approach to training in transport technology which will meet the needs of students and industry into the future.

    The centre will offer students a 21st century learning environment changing from a traditional teacher-centric model to a learner-centric model that will provide for a better student experience.

    TAFE SWSi Manufacturing & Transport Faculty Director Terry Saunby said “flexible learning” was the key to improved educational outcomes for students attending the state-of-the art Centre.

    “As automotive technologies continue to rapidly change, the TAFE SWSi Transport & Engineering Technology Centre will have the capacity to adapt learning spaces quickly and efficiently to keep pace,” Mr Saunby said.

    “Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the classrooms, workshops and common areas and the integration of proven technologies will allow students to be engaged in workshop projects and activities rather than following a traditional lock step classroom delivery.”

    The TAFE SWSi Transport & Engineering Technology Centre will open in 2016 and offer students a number of course options including light vehicle technology, heavy vehicle mechanical technology, plant mechanics, automotive electrical technology, speciality automotive courses and engineering technology courses.

  • 29-Jun-2015 10:05 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There's a new temporary home for BAR:30 at PARKROYAL Parramatta, it's just a step to the left!

    BAR:30 has relocated to below the hotel's restaurant and there's no better time to come in out of the cold and enjoy the warm and inviting atmosphere. Whether you choose to complement your light bites with a soothing hot beverage or a refreshing cocktail, BAR:30 offers you the perfect place to relax with your favourite drink.

    The previous home of BAR:30 is currently being extended out to Phillip Street to introduce an alfresco dining element that captures the vibrant "eat street" atmosphere that Parramatta offers. This is part of the PARKROYAL's $25million extension project, due for completion mid-2016, and involves the construction of a new seven-storey tower with a Club Lounge, as well as 40 Club Rooms and 50 Premium Rooms that offer views of the Parramatta skyline and incorporate the use of the latest hotel technology and innovation. Club guests will enjoy priority check-in and check-out as well as complimentary breakfast, laundry services, regular refreshments throughout the day and a new gymnasium with state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

    The addition of five meeting rooms will bring PARKROYAL Parramatta's total number of conference and meeting spaces to 13 rooms, making it the largest meetings and events hotel in Parramatta and thus setting a new benchmark of accommodation, facility and service distinction in the area.

    Mention you are a WSBC member and receive 2 beverages for the price of one*. (*valid on purchase of first beverages only and subject to availability)

    We look forward to updating you next month on what our stunning new rooms will look like!

    PARKROYAL Parramatta, bringing a new level of distinction to Parramatta.

    PARKROYAL Parramatta Extension.pdf

  • 29-Jun-2015 10:02 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The all new Corolla has arrived at Lander Toyota and is ready to test drive! Revamped with a bolder and sportier look, the all new Corolla is more fun than ever before.

    Featuring an all new stylish interior surrounded by the latest technology and comforts, you’ll always feel like you’re travelling in style.

    To book a test drive or for more information, contact us on 02 8884 4888 or visit our website at  

    Land a better deal at Lander Toyota!

  • 29-Jun-2015 09:53 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You have had the chance to meet many members of the team at Novotel Sydney Parramatta, but now they want to introduce you to the General Manager of the hotel, who says he has the greatest team in Western Sydney, that is Michael Daviss.

    Michael’s love for hospitality began while playing golf and working in the pro shop and bar at Oxley Golf Club in Brisbane. From here he went on to work in 5 star hotels in his hometown of Queensland starting as a housekeeping followed by concierge until he worked his way up to a Hotel Assistant Manager.

    After nearly 9 years in 5 star hotels came the desire to travel more and work outside of Queensland, Michael joined international brand Accor Hotels in 1999 working at the Mercure and Ibis Brisbane as Hotel Assistant Manager before heading to Darwin as Front Office Manager. Over the expansion of sixteen years with Accor, Michael has worked in 15 hotels with 8 city changes across the multiple brands within Accor Hotels from Ibis to the luxurious Sofitel Sydney and even one year spent in French Polynesia for their 4 Sofitel properties.

    After numerous General Manager roles, Michael finds his greatest achievement to date, is his time spent at Novotel Sydney Parramatta over the past two years. He describes that it is the feeling of watching the hotel evolve with his great team by his side that helps him get out of bed daily.

    Michael finds his passion in the development of the people within the hotel and watching the excitement in his team’s faces when they’ve achieved their goals individually and for the guest and the hotel as a whole. He states that the team is what creates the soul of the hotel and the soul is what gets the hotel through the challenging times as well as the good.  

    Michael describes that the hotel has gone on an extraordinary and positive journey from rebranding, to changes within the team and moving forward with the ever-changing landscape of Parramatta and Western Sydney. While the City of Parramatta makes changes to be acknowledged as a ‘region for business’ Novotel Sydney Parramatta has kept up with its multi-million dollar conference refurbishment and changes in their restaurant and bar to help make it a destination for all. Not to mention the plans for the next few months that he has up his sleeve. During the changes, Michael has always made a conscious effort to make his team feel like they are a part of the action, and ensure that they feel ownership and pride in where they work.

    So how does a General Manager of a busy hotel relax? Well when the suit and tie comes off, Michael finds relaxation in the form of a game of golf, cruising around on boat with close friends or with a corona watching his favourite football team.  Michael is described by his team as being more of a friend than a boss and someone they have learnt a lot from within the hotel industry.

    To meet Michael Daviss and his friendly team, pop into Novotel Sydney Parramatta any time. For more information on their winter holiday offers go to   

  • 29-Jun-2015 09:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Thursday 22 July from 10am to 7pm Northcott will be holding its first ever Expo and will be opening its doors to the public.

    If you’ve ever had a question relating to the disability sector now is the time to come along and met with experts in the field and take part in a series of free workshops which will be running all day.

    The workshops will cover topics such as:

    • The NDIS - what you need to know and prepare for the NDIS in 45 minutes
    • Behaviour Support – Northcott’s approach to Behaviour Support: Person Centred, Positive and Practical
    • Equipment Maintenance – Basic maintenance tips for equipment
    • Employment – ‘The Excellent Job Interview – Giving the Employer What They Need’
    • Transition to Work – ‘Looking to the Future – developing skills for employment’
    • Person Centred Practice – A snapshot of how you can shape the support and services you receive and work towards your dreams
    • Apps for Therapy – A demonstration of our favourite apps to help children practice skills for reading, writing and communication

    There will also be information stalls from all service streams across Northcott as well as stalls from external organisations such as Headspace, Ability Links and Autism Advisory Support Service.

    Demonstrations of Adaptive Cricket for people with disabilities and our new Accessible Vehicle will also take place throughout the day.

    Venue: The Northcott Building, 1 Fennell St, North Parramatta, NSW 2151.

    Enquires: Sarah Pearce 02 9890 0513 /


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