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Local News

HammondCare and The Disability Trust join forces to officially open The Plant Room cafe

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HammondCare CEO Mike Baird (centre) with Plant Room Cafe staff Jonathon and Izzy (square)
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HammondCare and The Disability Trust join forces to officially open The Plant Room cafe

 

Supported employees with disability will work in a social enterprise co-located in a dementia care village at HammondCare Horsley in an Australian first. 

The Plant Room café operated by The Disability Trust — offering barista-made coffee with beans from Illawarra-based Seven Miles and quality fresh food — will be open to both the local community as well as HammondCare Horsley residents, their visiting loved ones, and staff.

The Plant Room, located at Shone Ave, Horsley, is next to a children’s playground that HammondCare provides for the benefit of visitors and the local community

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HammondCare CEO Mike Baird opened The Plant Room together with The Disability Trust’s Chief Executive Officer, Carol Berry, at Horsley at a small event with catering supplied by The Plant Room Café, of course.

“We are delighted The Disability Trust has chosen to operate this café at Horsley that has potential to change the lives of people as they pick up new skills and experience,” Mr Baird said.

“HammondCare is aligned with The Disability Trust in our values and our Mission to improve the quality of life of people who have needs or require support.”

“Offering a café on our Horsley site, like the playground, is an important way for HammondCare to connect our aged care home with the local community.”

HammondCare GM Property Michael Cooney, HammondCare CEO Mike Baird, Disability Trust CEO Carol Berry and Plant Room Cafe worker Brett

HammondCare GM Property Michael Cooney, HammondCare CEO Mike Baird, Disability Trust CEO Carol Berry and Plant Room Cafe worker Brett

Ms Berry said the café was The Disability Trust’s second Plant Room after opening its first at Edney Lane, Spring Hill.

“The Plant Room’s philosophy is to create a more inclusive world through employees and customers alike having a fantastic experience. We want our staff to feel safe to practice their skills as well as produce high quality food and coffee,” Ms Berry said.

“Our goal with this venture is to develop the skills and experience of our supported employees so they can pursue open employment in the hospitality industry, should they choose to do so, and to maximise the chances of that transition being a great experience for them and their future employers.”

The Disability Trust employs more than 1800 permanent and casual staff providing care for more than 4000 participants in NSW, ACT, and southeast Queensland.

Two supported employees and two other staff will be in The Plant Room Café at Horsley at any time. Before they begin work with the Disability Trust, supported employees are given an opportunity to outline what their goals are, including where they would like to be in 12-18 months.

One of the supported employees who work at the café, Isabella said: “I always loved cooking and wanted to build on my confidence as I have always been quite shy”.

HammondCare CEO Mike Baird (centre) with Plant Room Cafe staff Jonathon and Izzy (square)

HammondCare CEO Mike Baird (centre) with Plant Room Cafe staff Jonathon and Izzy (square)

Isabella said she has a long-term goal to further her training in hospitality with a view to working in open employment.

Local chef Lorenzo Pagnan, who has experience at Illawarra establishments such as Ristorante Due Mezzi, Sweet Lips and the Cheeky Fig, will oversee training and food preparation.

“These supported employees will be taught to work in a fully operational kitchen with commercial equipment like coffee machines and the challenge of preparing food to order,” he said.

“It’s not a case of taking the lid off something and zap in the microwave for 30 seconds.”

The Plant Room café will be open for coffee, snacks and café food, Monday – Saturday from 8am until 2.30pm.

 

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Casino NSW News

Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

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Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

 

We are excited to announce that the recently revitalised Casino Showground and Racecourse precinct will commence accepting bookings starting from Monday, June 3rd.

With a generous funding injection of $12.8 million from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, alongside contributions from various sources including the NSW Showground Stimulus Program, Drought Communities Funding, Crown Lands, and Council, the total investment in this redevelopment has reached $14.4 million.

This newly enhanced facility boasts a range of features including a spacious undercover arena, an outdoor sand arena, turfed areas, covered stables, and a state-of-the-art racehorse stable complex capable of accommodating up to 80 horses. Additionally, new parking areas for cars, trucks, and floats have been added for the convenience of visitors.

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Of notable appeal is the newly constructed racehorse exercise area, which includes round yards, a horse walker, and a 50-metre equine pool. These amenities are expected to draw considerable interest from equestrian enthusiasts and event organizers alike. Furthermore, enhancements such as powered event camping areas have expanded the facility’s versatility, allowing for hosting a diverse range of events including country music festivals, car shows, trade exhibitions, and markets.

Despite the official opening ceremony held on April 20th to commemorate the acknowledgment of government funding, certain essential construction tasks remain pending due to unforeseen circumstances. These include the high-voltage power upgrade, completion of the equine training area, and fencing installations crucial for ensuring the safety of all facility users.

Unfortunately, adverse weather conditions in the Northern Rivers region have exacerbated delays, saturating many areas of the facility and rendering them unsuitable for immediate use. However, efforts are underway to expedite the finalisation of these outstanding projects in alignment with the originally tendered project costs.

In tandem with these developments, the Council is set to deliberate on its Draft Revenue Policy for 2024-2025 at its upcoming meeting. This policy will outline the proposed fees for utilising the facility and will undergo a public exhibition period of 28 days following the meeting, during which community feedback and submissions will be welcomed.

We extend our gratitude to all existing stakeholders and potential users for their patience throughout this project’s completion, which has been hampered by unforeseen challenges. We eagerly anticipate opening all elements of this facility to serve the broader community.

For those interested in booking the venue, please visit the Council’s venue hire website.

 

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Evans Head News

Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

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Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

 

Serenitas, a leading provider of lifestyle communities and resorts for individuals over 50, proudly announces the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort, Evans Head. The celebratory event saw enthusiastic homeowners joined by Mayor Robert Mustow and Serenitas CEO Rob Nichols, who officiated the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Nestled in the tranquil coastal enclave of Evans Head, the Clubhouse epitomises refined living and leisure. Located near the historic Evans Head Aerodrome and a short walk from pristine beaches, Thyme Evans Head offers an unparalleled blend of luxury and laid-back coastal charm.

Rob Nichols, CEO of Serenitas, expressed his excitement about the new facility: “We are thrilled to be opening the Thyme Evans Head Clubhouse, inviting residents and their guests to immerse themselves in the pinnacle of luxury living. With its striking architecture, ties to Evans Head’s aviation heritage, and a host of premium amenities, this opening heralds the next inspiring chapter for the resort’s homeowners and underscores Serenitas’ unwavering commitment to excellence.”

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The multi-million dollar Clubhouse features an array of exquisite facilities, including a fully equipped gym, heated swimming pool, health and beauty studio, luxurious cinema, sports bar complete with darts and pool table, croquet court, and more. A standout feature of the Clubhouse is the sophisticated Evans Lounge, providing homeowners a serene setting to enjoy views over the aerodrome by a cozy fireplace.

“The Clubhouse caters to every taste,” added Mr. Nichols. “From our active residents utilising the fitness facilities to our social groups making use of the Art & Craft Studio and other recreational spaces for gatherings and events.”

Demand for homes at Thyme Evans Head has been incredibly strong, with sales surpassing expectations since its inception. Located in the highly sought-after Northern Rivers district of NSW, Evans Head has emerged as a coveted community known for its relaxed coastal vibe and pristine waters.

“Our homes have garnered significant interest and are selling at an unprecedented pace,” remarked Rob Nichols. “With prices starting from $615,000, we are preparing to release our final homes for sale, reaffirming Evans Head’s status as a desirable destination for discerning homeowners.”

For more information about Thyme Evans Head, please visit here.

 

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Local News

Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award
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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

 

In a competitive field of contenders, Ranger Nick emerged victorious, securing the prestigious “Australian Owned Achievement Award 2024” in the recently announced Australian Owned Business Awards on May 7, 2024.

Surprised by the announcement, Ranger Nick received a message from the judging panel praising his unwavering commitment to Australian ownership and excellence. The panel acknowledged the stiff competition and commended Ranger Nick’s business as a leader in its domain.

Reflecting on the unexpected news, Ranger Nick expressed his elation, stating, “I was on my way to the Capella Country Music Festival, after spending a few days in the scrub with no mobile reception, when I received the news. Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled, flattered and honoured.”

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This accolade marks Ranger Nick’s third triumph in a year, following his recognition as a Finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards and as a Winner in the Innovation and Sustainability Excellence category of The Australian Rural Business Awards.

Renowned as the charismatic Aussie Bush Cook, Ranger Nick embodies the authentic Australian spirit with his unwavering passion for Australian heritage and traditions. He has dedicated himself to sharing his camp oven cooking and bushcraft skills with fellow adventurewrs across the country and abroad.

With four published books, his own merchandise line, and notable appearances on television and radio, including Channel 7Mates’ “Step Outside with Paul Burt” and West Bremer Radio, Ranger Nick’s influence continues to grow.

Grateful for the support he has received, Ranger Nick humbly thanked his supporters, expressing his determination to continue his endeavors. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to all for your unwavering support,” he said. “I better pull up my socks and keep on going.”

Ranger Nick eagerly anticipates receiving his official trophy at the Dayboro Annual Show in early July, marking another milestone in his illustrious career.

 

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