Laura’s ready to rule the kitchen

If you have ever fretted over a flan or struggled with a strudel, spare a thought for Laura Skvor.
In a little over eight months, the Chisholm commercial cookery student will pit her skills as commis chef against the best from the Asia Pacific region in a bid to make the final of the most prestigious gastronomy event in the world, the Bocuse d’Or.

Laura and Michael Cole, the head chef at Georgie Bass Café and Cooking School in Flinders, are representing Australia at the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific semi-finals in Singapore from April 24-27.  If they finish in the top five, they will go on to compete in Bocuse d’Or 2019 in Lyon against 23 other teams from around the world.

Laura has been cooking since she was a young girl, and her passion for food and cookery was fuelled when she featured on My Kitchen Rules in 2016.  Although she didn’t make the finals of the show, Laura credited her Chisholm teacher for teaching her the cookery fundamentals.
“My dreams of working in a real kitchen are being realised with help from Michael Simmons,” she said. “He is teaching solid foundations of cookery as well as inspiring us to continually be creative in our culinary endeavours and excel in our work kitchens.”

Mr Simmons is equally proud of his students’ success and links with industry. “Without the work of Chisholm’s commercial cookery and hospitality team, we would not have had the industry links for this to occur.  We look forward to the next chapter during the semi-finals which will determine the road to Lyon.”

With chefs in hot demand, there’s never been a better time to enter the industry. Chisholm at Rosebud has a variety of courses in the hospitality space that will prepare you for work, provide apprenticeship opportunities, or further study through pathways to higher education. TAFE programs range from commercial cookery, patisserie and front-of-house training to travel and tourism courses. For more information visit chisholm.edu.au

 

Vickie helps women connect

Growing up in Mount Eliza, Vickie Saunders enjoyed a privileged life that included ponies, a private school education and a loving family.  At 18 and with high hopes of a career in fashion design, she couldn’t wait to make her mark on the world.

But then things started falling apart pretty quickly, and any dreams she had were quickly forgotten. Over the next decade she was to find herself in situations only imagined in her worst nightmares. Her battles with alcohol, debt and an abusive relationship became the catalysts for Vickie’s decision to completely change her life and get in touch with the person she always knew she could be, the person her family had raised her to be.

Now a successful business owner, the author of two business books and travelling the world consulting and lecturing on the topic of athlete sponsorship, Vickie cites her colourful past as vital to the value she now offers her clients. Her progression through a career in marketing in the corporate sector, and the launch of her company in 2014, has allowed Vickie to share her insights and expertise on how each of us can connect with the abundant opportunities that surround us when we know what we are looking for.

Her clients include the US Olympic Committee, Sport England and brands such as Asics, Shimano and Deloitte. Vickie says it’s all about empowering others to identify their own value and it’s the difference she believes she was born to make.

Vickie Saunders will be the guest speaker at Frankston Business Network’s WomenConnect Luncheon on Wednesday, September 6, from 11.30am-2.30pm at Frankston RSL, 183 Cranbourne Rd. Tickets: $69 (FBN members $65) or $625 for a table of 10.  Bookings: frankstonbusinessnetwork.com.au or 9781 1422.

Trusted insurance advice with BJS

Need insurance? Then call BJS Insurance Brokers - the family-owned business with local staff who know the Peninsula inside out.

BJS Insurance Brokers is a pro-active member of the insurance broking and business community, which means it can deliver real insurance results for each client’s needs.

Having moved from Frankston to Mornington, the qualified and experienced insurance brokers at BJS are proud to provide a solution for all your insurance matters. Whether it’s commercial or personal insurance, worker’s compensation support or advice and claims management, or managing your risks, BJS has got you covered. For most people insurance is a necessary evil and shrouded in mystery, so let BJS solve your insurance problems for you. More importantly, if you do have a claim, BJS will be there with you every step of the way.

“We have an expansive knowledge of the entire insurance market, with over 100 years’ experience between us,” explains branch manager Teresa Westgarth. 

As distinct from many online providers, you get the very best coverage because you are not limited to one insurer.  BJS works hard for its clients, not the insurers, and provides advice you can trust and rely on.

“We enjoy an enviable reputation for our professionalism in the industry because of our ability to structure complete business insurance programs both locally and globally,” says Teresa.
Call the only local broker in Mornington run by locals for locals - because your insurance matters at BJS.

BJS INSURANCE BROKERS
A: 315 Main St, Mornington
T: 9860 4279; 1800 208 397
W: bjsib.com.au

Go on, Bake A Wish!

Make-A-Wish Australia invites you to help make life-changing wishes come true this year!

Wishes have the power to transform lives, now and into the future, so join Make-A-Wish Australia this July and August to Bake A Wish. Whether you’re a pastry pro or a baking novice, through Bake A Wish it’s just a piece of cake to make a huge impact in the lives of children facing life-threatening illnesses. The sky is the limit when it comes to how you can get involved - from making a tray of brownies and selling each piece for a donation, to organising an old fashioned bake sale, to hosting a morning or afternoon tea with your friends, family and colleagues. It’s easy to get involved and help give the healing power of a wish to really sick kids.

There’s no better excuse for whipping up some treats this winter and your baked goodies will taste even better knowing that each bite is helping to give hope, strength and joy to children and families facing a really tough time. Go to www.bakeawish.org.au to get started!

Mornington Peninsula Magazine is a proud supporter of Bake A Wish.

Chisholm cooks on an international stage, and you can too

Photos by Sydney Low, for Bocuse d'Or Australia

Photos by Sydney Low, for Bocuse d'Or Australia

Chisholm is proud to announce the success of Commercial Cookery student Laura Skvor, who has been selected to represent Australia in the semi-finals of the most prestigious gastronomy event in the world, the Bocuse d’Or.

Laura and Michael Cole, Head Chef at Georgie Bass Café & Cookery in Flinders, won selection after a live cook-off at the recent Foodservice Australia tradeshow in Melbourne.

Michael was linked with Laura through Chisholm, during his hunt for a commis chef a few months ago. They practiced dishes for the event together and they will compete together at the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific in Singapore (the semi-finals) next year.

Skvor has been cooking since she was a young girl and her passion for food and cookery was fuelled when she featured on MKR (My Kitchen Rules) in 2016. Although she didn’t make the finals of the show, Laura credited her Chisholm teacher for teaching her the cookery fundamentals. “My dreams of working in a real kitchen are being realised with help from (teacher) Michael Simmons,” she said. “He is teaching solid foundations of cookery as well as inspiring us to continually be creative in our culinary endeavours and excel in our work kitchens.”

Mr Simmons is equally proud of his students’ success and links with industry. “Without the work of Chisholm’s commercial cookery and hospitality team, we would not have had the industry links for this to occur.  We look forward to the next chapter during the semi-finals which will determine the road to Lyon.”

With chefs in hot demand, there’s never been a better time to enter the industry. Chisholm Rosebud has a variety of courses in the Hospitality space that will prepare you for work, provide apprenticeship opportunities, or further study through pathways to higher education. TAFE programs range from commercial cookery, patisserie and front-of-house training to travel and tourism courses. For more information visit chisholm.edu.au

*Read our interview with Michael Cole, also in this issue.

And the winners are...by Andrea Kellett

The winners of the third annual Soar Awards will be announced at a cocktail party in Melbourne this month.

The awards, hosted by Soar Collective, recognise businesswomen beyond our capital cities for their dedication and commitment to making a positive change through their business and community. Soar Collective founder and CEO Jess Jones, from the Mornington Peninsula, describes the awards as “the time to take a step back, take a breath and acknowledge how far you've come”.

The 2017 winners will be announced in the following categories: Business Owner Award, Business Owner Award (non-profit), Employee Award, Employee/Volunteer Award (non-profit), Regional Contribution Award and theSoar Awards Woman of the Year. Roong Saisombat, head chef at Commonfolk Coffee Company in Mornington and executive chef at Finesse Catering Group, is the 2016 Soar Collective Woman of the Year.

All entrants must reside and/or do business outside of Australia's capital cities (and own at least 50 per cent of their own businesses). Soar Collective’s mission is to connect and support Australia's regional businesswomen of calibre.

The gala Soar Awards celebration cocktail party is on Friday, July 21, at One Roof Melbourne. Full details at soarcollective.com/soarawards

Soar Collective

Last November, I had a realisation; it was time to play a bigger game. I needed to get the word out about Soar Collective’s vision for connecting more incredible regional businesswomen throughout Australia and to give them the visibility and support they deserved. I knew it had to be a big idea without the big budget to back it. The Rise for Regional Road Trip and documentary was born.

From May 29th – June 2nd, I drove from Geelong to the Sunshine Coast with another businesswoman, Bridget from Suburban Sandcastles, and our baby daughters. We held five free events in Geelong, Wollongong, Newcastle, Byron Bay and the Sunshine Coast and interviewed incredible regional businesswomen along the way. We had film crew Pickford Media driving another car and filming the journey. And that was only half of the project done!

We had two attempts at a crowdfunding campaign and were successful with the second. We had partnerships with Audi Australia (who gave us a car for the trip!), Airbnb (who covered our accommodation), Endota Spa, thankyou group and others. It was a six-month project, done and dusted in five days. Here’s what I learnt from the experience of managing a big idea, a big project and a crowdfunding campaign to back it up:

1.     Timing is everything

Our first funding attempt was launched a couple of weeks before Christmas and with a much bigger budget. It wasn’t successful.

2.     Timing is everything

If the first attempt was successful, we never would’ve had the partners we ended up working with! Don’t admit defeat, just learn from the experience and then have another crack.

3.     Always share your vision

I once received some great advice – the number one currency you have as a start-up business, is vision. There’s no chance we could’ve raised our target of 4k and be supported by the companies we did if we didn’t share our big vision with everyone we connected with.

4.     You need a tribe to achieve great things

There’s no chance we could’ve made this happen without the support of our community and their belief in our mission and purpose. Never underestimate the power of a group of likeminded people.  

Wireless Sensing Technology with Zigsense By Liz Rogers

ZigSense is an Australian designed and manufactured line of low power wireless sensing nodes which utilise wireless mesh network technologies to monitor both physical and environmental conditions.

Designed for ultra-low power consumption, ZigSense wireless nodes can be powered by external DC power supply, solar panels, windmill generators or small Lithium batteries, and can be used both individually or collectively. Monitoring and control applications supported by Zigsense wireless sensors include: building automation and HVAC systems, refrigeration and cold storage, soil moisture and irrigation, aquaculture, greenhouse temperature, plus environment pollution and gas amongst others.

ZigSense provides a range of options to help monitor your data by using long range (900MHz license free) radio modules. The ZigSense Cloud Controller model ZS-3GERF-001 is designed for Internet based ‘cloud’ monitoring. It enables data logging, alarm generation (email or SMS) and statistical reporting services. The ZigSense 3G SMS I/O controller model ZS3G-SMS provides straight forward monitoring and control of remote digital inputs or outputs over the 3G cellular networks (Telstra and OPTUS). Setting up the SMS controllers use simple SMS text sent from your mobile phone.

Data generated by ZigSense wireless sensors distributed throughout a site are sampled, uploaded and recorded in a secure and dedicated ZigCloud web space which is simple to use. All data logged in the ‘cloud’ is backed up through three data centres around the globe and is available for three years.

Call ZigSense today to find out more about data monitoring and utilisation, and how it can help your business grow.

ZIGSENSE PTY LTD

Mornington office is now being established

Phone: 0490 761 994

W: zigsense.com.au

A real confidence boost

A partnership between training provider BRACE and disability service provider Marillac is assisting young people with disabilities develop skills for life.

Jesslyn Penglase is glad to be one of the students taking part in foundation skills training with BRACE. Her confidence, self-esteem and independence have improved since starting the course in February.

The course not only enables Jesslyn and the other students to learn in class, they also get hands-on experience through work placement.  In preparation for her job interview, Jesslyn went to Dress For Success to find suitable clothing.  She looked great and felt confident and happy.

Jesslyn is completing her work placement at Crafty Cakes in Somerville, and after only a few weeks she built up the confidence to catch public transport independently. You can see by her smile that she is thoroughly enjoying her work there.

“At the start of the course I was very nervous, but as time went on my confidence grew and now I am really enjoying the course,” said Jesslyn. “I love the work placement as I am doing something I really love. I have learnt a lot. Debbie and Trish are good trainers.”

Her trainer, Debbie Rogan, can see the difference in Jesslyn since she started the course. “Jesslyn recently led her group (in class) to successfully complete a team building activity that was based on time constraints, limited resources and thinking outside the square for concept and design,” Debbie said.

BRACE
A: 1 Playne St, Frankston
T: 9781 3388
W: www.brace.com.au

The Family Law Specialists

Calley Rajah Family Lawyers are specialists in all areas of family law. This means they can offer tailored advice on all family issues with the aim of achieving favourable and commercial outcomes.

Experience and expertise are key at Calley Rajah Family Lawyers. Clients are their number one priority and their focus on attention to detail and quality of service is second to none. Led by an accredited specialist family lawyer, this ground-breaking family law firm prides itself as the leading provider of family law services on the Mornington Peninsula.

Firm principal Vic Rajah is one of Melbourne’s leading family law practitioners and headlines the team alongside well respected Peninsula based lawyer Helen Roach. By consulting with Calley Rajah Family Lawyer’s team you are benefiting from a wealth of experience - so you know you are in safe hands.

Calley Rajah Family Lawyers have Mount Eliza, Melbourne CBD and Braeside offices. Vic is proud of his team’s ability to provide unrivalled service to clients and anyone who is currently in the separation process and dissatisfied with their current representation, should come in for a 30-minute free consultation to see how the team at Calley Rajah Family Lawyers can do it better.

Call them today for legal advice that is always right.

CALLEY RAJAH FAMILY LAWYERS

A: 1-3 Davies St, Mount Eliza

A: 17/459 Collins St, Melbourne

A: 232 Boundary Rd, Braeside

T: 9781 4222

W: calleyfamilylaw.com.au

Blindsided by Bling! By Kate

I had always assumed my engagement ring would be different to everyone else's. I’m uniquely individual and so I wanted my engagement ring to be uniquely individual too. Truth be told what I really wanted was for my engagement ring to be the envy of others. Bigger, better and in true bridezilla form, more expensive too.

In choosing the ring of my dreams I did what most of my girlfriends did. I loaded myself up with various clippings from high end retailers and even the odd movie star. The more outrageous the design the better. I’m going for maximum bling here!

Everything changed when I met Anthony at Diamond Coco. Anthony gave me clarity in the form of expert advice. Not only did he show me a range of designs similar to what I thought I wanted but he then blindsided me with a design so utterly different to what I was looking for that it was a game changer! In an instant I knew I had found the one!

So what did my dream engagement ring turn out to be? Well it must be said that it was the very ring that I swore I would never wear. A simple solitaire with a breathtakingly beautiful round diamond. Simple, elegant and timeless. All I need now is a boyfriend.

Diamond Coco is a diamond wholesaler located at Suite 6, 38A Main Street Mornington. Anthony is available for appointment by calling 1300 230 630. 

How to manage when you can’t manage your business

From the outside, running your own business can look pretty amazing. You choose your own hours, you're doing what you love, you get interesting opportunities plus freedom and flexibility. And it is all of those things. But there's a down-side too.

Recently, I had a week of drastic highs and lows. I celebrated my birthday in Sydney by (among other things) attending the Small Business Champion Awards. The celebrations continued when I got home to Melbourne with my family.

And then...the kids got sick. I waved goodbye to my personal space for a few days as I was cried on, slept on, even puked on. Anything business related got dropped as I rode out the not-so-high of being a business owner - wishing I could just call in sick and someone else in the office would pick up the slack.

I'll be honest with you, I struggled (as I shared over on Instagram @soarcollective – look for the pic of sick kids leaning on me!). I missed business-owner me and I didn’t know when I’d see her again!

Regardless of whether or not you have kids, there will always be something that pulls you away from your business - your own illness, a family crisis, a friend who needs your support. You'll feel guilty, maybe even resentful. The work will continue to pile up so when you do get back you'll probably feel overwhelmed, having lost sight of your own version of super-sized, on-fire you. 

Here's what I remind myself at times like that, and I want you to hear it too: You are doing the best you can and when the wave passes you will climb back on top. You will once again feel like you can conquer the world! 

 

You are number one at Sphere…by Liz Rogers

Mornington Peninsula Magazine switched to local Peninsula Tax and Business Advisory Firm Sphere Accountants & Advisors Pty Ltd in October 2015. Publisher Lisa Walton says that Sphere had “been an integral part of the magazine’s growth over the past two years because of their expertise in building relationships based on each client’s individual needs.”

The team of experienced accountants at Sphere work closely with individuals, small and medium sized and large scale businesses across all industries, and realise every client comes with their own unique set of facts and figures. That’s why they deliver flexible and responsive connections to client requirements. Directors Brett Hughes and Neil Copp are motivated to maximise each client’s wealth, whether they work in Property Investment and Development, Manufacturing, Trade Based Business or the Service Industry.

Brett explains.  “We listen to our clients and create optimum solutions for individuals and businesses alike.  The Sphere Group is a real hub for all your financial needs.” Lisa Walton agrees. “We couldn’t be happier with their advice and support.”

Your solid financial future is of paramount importance at Sphere.  Contact the experienced team of professionals today who will work closely with you to achieve optimum results in their quest to add value to your financial future. They’re good with numbers and know how to make them work - for you. 

Bookkeeping and pay roll services are also available.

ACCOUNTANTS & ADVISORS PTY LTD
A:         101 Beleura Hill Rd, Mornington
T:         8899 6399
W:        thespheregroup.com.au
E:         [email protected]
FB:      @sphereaccountants.com.au

Let’s honour our volunteers

Do you know someone whose voluntary work is enriching the Frankston community?  If so, nominate them for the 2017 Frankston City Volunteer of the Year Awards.

The awards celebrate and recognise the valuable contributions volunteers make.  Last year’s winner, Trudy Poole (pictured), has been a volunteer for more than 20 years, and her achievements have included establishing a new Rotary club called Peninsula 2.0, setting up the first playgroup in Carrum Downs, serving as president of the Frankston High School Parents and Friends Association, and on the FHS Chaplaincy Committee and Frankston Churches Community Breakfast Program. 

To be eligible for the 2017 awards, the volunteer must live in Frankston City; be a current volunteer of a not-for-profit organisation in the city; have been a volunteer with the organisation for at least three years; have a positive attitude and have had a significant impact on the organisation; and have received no remuneration for services directly associated with their volunteer work.

The overall winner will receive $1000 from Impact Volunteering for their organisation. Nomination forms: www.impactvolunteering.org.auor from Impact Volunteering’s information desk at Frankston Library, 60 Playne St.  Nominations close June 30.

Enquiries: 9783 5883 or [email protected]

A rewarding career change

Students on the Mornington Peninsula are becoming qualified to work as teacher’s aides with BRACE Education & Training. A teacher’s aide provides assistance to teaching staff in preschools, primary schools and high schools.

Janet and Erin are currently enrolled in the Certificate IV in Education Support CHC40213 with BRACE and have already been recruited by a teacher relief agency.

Both Janet and Erin are glad they chose BRACE as their training provider.

“I wanted to change my career path to something more fulfilling. I am very glad I decided to study to become a teacher’s aide. The course is enriching, rewarding and fun,” Erin said.

Janet agreed: “I had already done a qualification with BRACE, so when I decided to study again the choice was clear. Our trainer is wonderful and the administration staff are very approachable and friendly.”

Janet and Erin are now both on call for teacher’s aide relief. They hope to go into permanent work when they have completed their qualification.

BRACE offers the Certificate IV in Education Support in Frankston, Hastings and Rosebud.

BRACE
A: Level 2, 54 – 58 Wells St, Frankston
T: 9781 3388
W: brace.com.au

 

Landscaping goats – we kid you not

Herd about the latest additions to EastLink’s landscaping team?  Goats are now helping clear noxious weeds and reduce the fuel load from a steep and rocky parcel of land along the tollway.

The landscaping team responsible for maintaining 480ha identified a small area where blackberry and flax-leaved broom had taken hold and where overgrown vegetation presented a potential fire risk.  However, the rugged area posed significant safety risks to staff and equipment.

The environmentally friendly, sustainable and safe solution was for the team to engage the services of a herd of goats.  The sure-footed animals are at home on the tough terrain and have displayed quite an appetite for the weeds since being introduced to the area last December.

Unable to get on to the tollway or the EastLink Trail, the animals are able to safely feed on the weeds’ foliage and leaf buds, which exhausts the root system and kills the plant while leaving the soil fungi, insects and worms unharmed.  The area’s potential fire load is not only being eaten, it is also being trampled by the goats, and this meant the area required no extra attention over summer.

The goats have been provided and cared for by Colin Arnold, of Graze Away, who has been working with goats for 20 years to assist in the restoration of native habitats.

These ‘Staff Members of the Month’ will provide a better habitat for ground fauna and will in turn attract a greater variety of birds, such as wrens, kites, butcher birds, finches and kookaburras.