The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2017-08-18T05:06:27Z Stellarossa Serves Up Franchising Success To Steal Market Share 2017-08-18T05:06:27Z stellarossa-serves-up-franchising-success-to-steal-market-share Darren Schultz, Director of Stellarossa, is standing-by his philosophy that in order for his franchise Stellarossa, to continue to grow; his core group of existing franchisees need to be happy and successful business owners. “We have concentrated on building a strong platform in South-East Queensland before expanding. I wanted to get our backyard right first before we moved interstate. Now we’re geared up for growth and prepared to go anywhere nationally,” says Darren. "Regardless of whether you’re a new or existing business owner, business planning is essential for success. We have worked really hard to create an award-winning café; with a modern and sophisticated set-up, high-quality supplier arrangements and is positioned in a great location. And while this sets the foundations well, each store’s success really boils down to how well the business is managed. Darren explains "Budget One has created a unique programme that can support Stellarossa franchisee’s on their business journey and provide them with much needed management confidence and clarity, helping to lower their business risk, improve efficiencies and build their wealth." "We began integrating this program at the start of this year and the results are promising and expect it can only get better! It simply is a “win-win” for all. Happy franchisees mean happy franchisors” exclaims Darren. Click here to find out more on our franchising success story. If  you're actively looking to franchise or want to purchase a franchise, don't miss the Franchising Expo in Melb next weekend. Come and Visit us at stand D32. Author Taso Tounis Taso Tounis is a business planning, cash flow management and budgeting consultant. He is passionate about equipping soon-to-be business owners with insightful knowledge on the outlook of a prospective business so they can decide if its the right fit and has great success potential. Learn more  about Taso. Want to know more about Budget One? Read more on our business planning and business growth advisory services. WET rebate reforms pass muster 2017-08-18T03:58:36Z wet-rebate-reforms-pass-muster The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has welcomed this week’s passage through Parliament of critical Federal Government reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).   Winemakers Federation of Australia Chief Executive Tony Battaglene said the reforms were needed to restore the integrity of the WET system.   “I was delighted to see all sides of politics coming together to support passage of these very important reforms through Parliament,” Mr Battaglene said.   “The reforms will help ensure the WET rebate can continue to deliver on its original policy intent of supporting winemakers who have a genuine investment in regional areas, growth and innovation,” he said.   “To operate successfully in a highly competitive global market, it is critical that the domestic policy and regulatory framework is robust and without distortions.   “We have worked closely and productively with the Australian Government to drive the reforms and it is now time to get on with business.   “Coupled with the  $50 million package being provided over four years to promote Australian wine overseas and wine tourism at home and the $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door grant program, this provides a stable platform for the sector to invest and grow.   “Reforms such as these are often difficult for industry. I would like to acknowledge the many winemakers in our industry who despite changes at an individual business level have wholeheartedly supported the package of reforms recognising that overall this delivers industry-wide benefits in the long term.   “I acknowledge the leadership of the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, and the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston. Their comprehensive industry consultation process earned much respect from local and regional winemakers.   “I would also like to acknowledge the Federal Labor Party, Independents and other parties in the House of Representatives and the Senate for their willingness to listen to industry and facilitate the passage of these important reforms.” BEAN-TO-BAR ARTISAN CHOCOLATE COMES TO SOUTH MELBOURNE MARKET 2017-08-17T22:21:51Z bean-to-bar-artisan-chocolate-comes-to-south-melbourne-market Established by French trained pastry chef-turned-chocolatier Charles Lemai and his business partner Chi, Atypic Chocolate is handcrafting single-origin, small batch chocolate from bean-to-bar in a brand-new stall at the Market. The business was inspired during a visit to Vietnam last year where Charles met a chocolate maker who introduced him to creating chocolate from raw cacao bean to final product (bean-to-bar).   The process of creating artisanal sweets is central to the offering at Atypic Chocolate. “Chocolate takes centre stage in our stall and the design creates a deep sense of appreciation for the process of chocolate making. I want customers to feel my passion for chocolate and see the entire bean-to-bar process on a micro level”, Charles said.   It really is like Charlie and his Chocolate Factory brought to life. Customers can watch it all - from roasting, dehusking also known as winnowing, and grinding the nibs, to refining the balance of flavour and texture (conching) and molding the chocolate. The 42-square metre space is set to an optimal temperature of 20 degrees and humidity controlled, creating an ideal environment for making and storing chocolate. The large viewing windows allow shoppers to see every detail, but nothing can contain the sweet chocolate aroma.   Atypic Chocolate offers delicious handmade chocolates, desserts, gifts and specialty chocolate items. The range includes single-origin chocolate tablets in dark, milk and white chocolate (around $11); chocolate pastries like decadent brownies and hazelnut merveilleux - mounds of crisp meringue with organic praline and single origin Solomon Island 70% dark chocolate ($4-$8); European-style hot chocolate with dark chocolate, spicy chocolate or matcha white chocolate options ($5 or $5.50 with almond milk). Chocolate soft serve will be added to the menu in summer.       The emphasis at Atypic Chocolate is on premium and organic ingredients. Organic or direct trade cacao beans are sourced from small farms in the Solomon Islands, Haiti, Brazil and Madagascar and the resulting single-origin chocolate allows the flavours of the beans from each location to shine through. Organic raw sugar, non-GMO sunflower lecithin, unbleached organic flour, free range eggs, and organic or chemical free nuts are also used to make the chocolate and pastries. Charles will be experimenting with new textures, cream fillings and unique flavours, always with an emphasis on the finest ingredients.   Since 1867, South Melbourne Market has been a treasured inner-city landmark and a favourite destination among locals and visitors. Operated by Port Phillip Council, it is the quintessential village market, a place where people come not only to purchase fresh food, but also to meet, eat, drink, shop, discover, share and connect.   New stalls such as Atypic Chocolate are part of Council’s plan to meet the changing needs of the community while staying true to the Market’s identity. Mayor Bernadene Voss says “it is fitting that in the Market’s 150th year, we are opening a chocolatier that is innovative, progressive, organic and sustainable. Charles is a true artisan and being able to watch the chocolate-making process adds a new element of food theatre to the Market’s exciting mix of modern, on trend and classical food stores”.   Atypic Chocolate is located at Stall 170 in Aisle D, South Melbourne Market, corner of Coventry and Cecil streets, South Melbourne.   For more information visit, or   Crestron innovative technology honoured at the Australian Business Awards 2017 2017-08-16T03:59:00Z crestron-innovative-technology-honoured-at-the-australian-business-awards-2017 Sydney, Australia, 16th August 2017 – Crestron, the global leader in advanced control and automation systems, has been recognised as an ABA100 Winner in The Australian Business Awards 2017 for Technology Innovation. As an enterprise management platform, Crestron Fusion Cloud revolutionizes the way organization’s control their building technology. It goes above and beyond to streamline the everyday operations of businesses, becoming an integrated necessity in the lives of users, working to progress routine processes while enhancing key decision-making and learning. Stuart Craig, Chief Executive Office, Crestron, Asia Pacific, says: “We are very pleased that Crestron Fusion Cloud has been selected as the 2017 ABA100 Winner for Technology Innovation. Crestron Fusion represents our passion for optimising a business’s most important investments spanning people, spaces and technology. This networkable, scalable, manageable and reportable solution ensures use of workplace technology is seamless, stress-free and incredibly intuitive for every user. “Australian C-level executives have driven the demand for Fusion as a Cloud offering, as organisations continue to seek cost-effective, fully managed end-to-end solutions with fast deployment timelines." Australian Business Awards Program Director, Ms Tara Johnston, said: “Today, companies are facing a competitive and continuously changing business landscape. In this context, the performance of companies depends more than ever on their flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness. New technological possibilities have the potential to transform the way companies operate within their respective industries with long-term gains in efficiency, productivity and customer loyalty,” “Each year the ABA100 Winners are recognised for their commitment to business and product innovation and for their achievements in transforming business practices and end user experiences. “The Australian Business Awards are proud to acknowledge the role of these leading corporate, government and non-government organisations for implementing innovative, well-managed high-performing business initiatives and for the research and development of their innovative products and services,” Ms Johnston added. The Australian Business Awards program provides notable opportunities for high-performing organisations which implement world-class business initiatives and develop innovative products and services to be acknowledged and honoured for their achievements both nationally and internationally. The World Business Awards Framework (WBA Framework) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world class performance standards. Organisational participation includes private companies, publicly listed companies, multi-national subsidiaries, non-government organisations, educational institutions, franchise systems, partnerships, government departments, government agencies, local government and statutory bodies operating in Australia. For more information on The Australian Business Awards and the 2017 ABA100 Winners go to About Crestron Crestron is the world's leading manufacturer of advanced control and automation systems, innovating technology and reinventing the way people live and work. Our solutions are built on a validated architecture, using best-in-class technology that integrates unified communications, AV presentation, IT, lighting, audio and environmental systems. Crestron streamlines technology, improving the quality of life for people in Education, Corporate, Government and Defense, Hospitality, Retail and their homes. Crestron's leadership stems from its dedicated people who are committed to providing the best product solutions, programs and services in the industry. This culmination of loyalty, devotion and innovation is what our dealers refer to as "The Crestron Experience." Our product solutions are backed by over 90 fully-staffed offices that provide 24 x 7 x 365 sales, technical, and training support around the globe. In addition to its World Headquarters in New Jersey, Crestron has sales and support offices throughout Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin, New Zealand and United States. Discover the world of Crestron by visiting Contact Information DEC PR Ruth Fletcher, Duyen Nguyen or Ashleigh Manion / (02) 8014 5033 Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2017 program revealed 2017-08-15T00:40:13Z parrtjima-a-festival-in-light-2017-program-revealed The second annual Parrtjima – A Festival in Light will illuminate Alice Springs with extraordinary contemporary art by some of Central Australia’s most celebrated Aboriginal artists over 10 nights from Friday, 22 September to Sunday, 1 October 2017, as revealed in the new creative program announced today. The free public event will transform Alice Springs Desert Park into a mesmerising outdoor gallery of light and sound with a breathtaking illumination of a 300-million-year-old natural canvas, the majestic MacDonnell Ranges, and a series of new installations involving Aboriginal artists from the central desert region. The festival program, created by Parrtjima curator and renowned First Nations creative director Rhoda Roberts OA, showcases the oldest continuous culture on earth and puts the magnificent Aboriginal art and culture of Central Australia on centre stage. “We are proud to present the creative program for Parrtjima 2017 and look forward to bringing senior Aboriginal artists together in Alice Springs – home of the Arrernte of Mparntwe – to share their vibrant artwork and stories with thousands of visitors at this truly unique event. “It has been a privilege to work with each artist to bring new light to their work using the newest technology, and it is our shared hope that the festival will inspire all visitors to learn more about the rich culture of the central desert artists who continue to paint country and keep our knowledge alive for future generations.” Roberts worked closely with AGB Events and Aboriginal artists and art centres from across the desert region to develop the festival program, with endorsement from the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group and ongoing consultation with a wider network of respected Arrernte persons. The creative program features the following elements and installations:   The Heartbeat of Elements of Country Alhe Itethe (Central and Eastern Arrernte) / Arna Itatha (Western Arrarnta)The majestic MacDonnell Ranges will be illuminated with a stunning light treatment celebrating the heartbeat of country, pulsating through expression of the elements wind, fire and water. Up to two kilometres of the 300-million-year-old natural canvas will be bathed with colour during a six-minute theatrical light display timed to music, playing on a 20-minute cycle. The spectacle respects the life of the land and its elements, reflecting their drama and inherent beauty. The kaleidoscopic display of colour, texture and movement is the result of consultation with a network of respected Arrernte people, some of whom gave this display on the range the Arrernte name and spellings: Alhe Itethe (Central and Eastern Arrernte) and Arna Itatha (Western Arrernte), saying it means: “The sands and lands are alive. It’s all alive and we are all still here.” Interactive Space – Wave Space Between the cycles of the Alhe Itethe/Arna Itatha display, visitors can step into a booth and experience lighting the range using a world-first interactive control system that follows arm and hand movements to change the lighting colours and patterns, discovering how their gestures affect the motion of the lights in real time. Expression Space – Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists Expression Space is a gallery of giant lampshades suspended beneath the stars, giving a panoramic perspective of the vibrant contemporary artworks created by Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists (Lifestyle Solutions). The luminous artworks portray the essence, beauty and humour of Central Australia and each artwork is a radiant reflection of the life and surrounds of the region as seen, known and loved by the group of artists involved in the installation. Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists is an art centre in Alice Springs supporting Aboriginal adults with disabilities to express story and paint country. Artists include Adrian Jangala Robertson, Billy Tjampijinpa Kenda, Charles Jangala, Ingkamala, Jane Mervin, Kukula McDonald and Lance James. The lampshade frames are made by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled business, Centre of Appropriate Technologies, Desert Knowledge Precinct, Alice Springs. Honouring Space – Iltja Ntjarra/Many Hands Art Centre Honouring Space is presented in collaboration with Iltja Ntjarra/Many Hands Art Centre in Alice Springs, which supports Hermannsburg School-style watercolour artists who paint in the tradition of their grandfather and relative, Albert ‘Elea’ Namatjira. To honour the community, Parrtjima will represent landscape paintings by artists Gloria Pannka and Mervyn Rubuntja in collaboration with Reinhold Inkamala, Vanessa Inkamala and Kathy Inkamala in windows suspended in the desert, as if viewing the landscape. Pannka’s painting will be represented in the style of large-scale windows, as if looking out onto a landscape rendered in watercolour. The remainder of the installation will evolve over the 10 nights as the artists return to Desert Park each day to paint a scene especially for Parrtjima. The artworks are displayed between two arches made by Aboriginal-owned social enterprise Tangentyere Constructions, which is based in Alice Springs. Grounded The much-loved Grounded installation returns in 2017, showcasing a fresh crop of artworks by Ikuntji Artists Eunice Napanangka Jack and Gordon Butcher, and Arrernte Artists Patricia Ansell Dodds, Carol Turner and Greg McAdam, and artists from Barkly Regional Arts. Using a powerful digital projection onto the desert sands, the sequence of works creates a giant, seamless canvas on country, accompanied by an atmospheric soundscape and recordings of stories told by the artists. Visitors can enter the projection space for an immersive experience and become part of the art. Respected Arrernte people gave permission to display artwork by artists and arts centres from other areas on Arrernte country. The audio and specialised projection equipment for Grounded is provided by the Aboriginal-owned Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA), as part of a three-year agreement to allow for a fully integrated audio-visual experience at Parrtjima. The partnership will allow local suppliers to take ownership of the spectacular installation; acquiring world class equipment and expertise and will see the implementation of a training program to develop a long-term crew of Aboriginal employees for events. Visitors to the free family-friendly event can explore the installations at their leisure and relax at the Festival Hub in the beautiful surrounds of Alice Springs Desert Park while sampling local food and drink. An expanded program of events, including live music and artist talks will soon be announced. Andrew Hopper, General Manager, Northern Territory Major Events Company said: “Parrtjima is an uplifting family-friendly event, connecting visitors with original, contemporary and traditional Aboriginal art, while providing meaningful artistic opportunities to Central Australian artists and paving the way for local growth in capacity, jobs and training.” The festival is open to the public at Alice Springs Desert Park from 6:30pm to 10:30pm and visitors are asked to register their attendance for one of four sessions held each night. A free park ‘n ride shuttle bus is available to and from the festival at Alice Springs Desert Park, stopping at several locations around Alice Springs. Parrtjima (pronounced Par-CHee-ma) comes from the Arrernte group of languages, which has many dialects and ways of spelling words. In Central and Eastern Arrernte, ‘apateme’ means ‘to have trouble understanding something’ and ‘pwarrtyeme’ means ‘to shine’. The event name suggests shedding both light and understanding on a subject. The first Aboriginal light festival of its kind in the world, Parrtjima is proudly supported by the Northern Territory Government and event partners Northern Territory Major Events Company, AGB Events, Alice Springs Desert Park, Alice Springs Town Council, Alice in the Territory and Diggamen Civil Contracting. Join the conversation with #ParrtjimaAustralia. For more information and to register to attend, please visit EVENT DETAILS Event                Parrtjima – A Festival in Light Date                 22 September – 1 October 2017 Time                6:30pm – 10:30pm Location           Alice Springs Desert Park, Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs, NT Entry                Free URL         -ENDS- Media contact: Sarah Shields, +61 408 283 091 | Rachael Ryan, +61 406 484 929 | About Northern Territory Major Events Company Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) is a dynamic organisation that delivers and supports significant events across the Territory. Owned by the Northern Territory Government, NTMEC was established in 1999 and has the responsibility of developing, delivering and promoting world class events in the Northern Territory.   FoodPro 2017 a Resounding Success for Tennant Company 2017-08-14T02:06:36Z foodpro-2017-a-resounding-success-for-tennant-company FoodPro 2017 a Resounding Success for Tennant Company In July, Tennant Company were delighted to exhibit at FoodPro 2017 in Sydney where visitors were able to get a hands-on look at a number of our floor scrubbers. We introduced them to our proprietary ec-H20 NanoClean technology and showed off our brilliant little T1 Walk-Behind Micro Scrubber Dryer. Odour-free, residue-free, detergent-free scrubbing ec-H20 NanoClean generated serious interest at FoodPro. Given the foodservice theme of the expo, its next generation detergent-free cleaning capabilities turned many heads. The T300 Walk-Behind Scrubber was on hand for a close-up look and feel along with the full range of 3M’s floor care consumables. Once visitors learned that these scrubbers provide single-pass efficiency and emit no odours or residues, they were pretty much sold on ec-H20 NanoClean®. For us, it was a welcome opportunity to show off the unparalleled features and benefits. Visitors were hugely impressed that floors of all types – including carpets – would receive a deep cleaning and still be touch-dry in under 30 minutes. Masterful on anti-slip floors, they are now being installed in high-traffic commercial kitchens where greasy contaminants can present major challenges for ordinary scrubbers. T1 Micro Walk-Behind Scrubber Dryer manoeuvrability shines On the Tuesday at FoodPro, our demonstration of the T1 Micro Scrubber Dryer resulted in an upsurge of enquiries. A brilliant little unit that is proving popular for its compact size and matchless manoeuvrability with Insta-Adjust™ handle and ergonomic grips help create a more comfortable cleaning experience.​ It provides a thorough and effortless clean and gets into small, tight spaces that other scrubber-dryer simply can’t reach. With its optimal water recovery capabilities, it leaves floors to dry rapidly, minimising streaks and preventing slips and falls. Beyond the products FoodPro was a welcome opportunity to extol the virtues of Tennant Company’s complementary offerings including product demonstrations and training, and direct-to-you servicing. Upon understanding our commitment beyond the sale of a product, a significant number of visitors expressed interest in having a Sales Rep book a time to visit. We look forward to welcoming our new customers on board and staying in touch with those who registered an interest in Tennant Company for their future cleaning equipment needs. Franchising Right – How Do You Make Your Franchise System Support Your Franchisees? 2017-08-08T05:08:43Z franchising-right-how-do-you-make-your-franchise-system-support-your-franchisees Getting franchising right leads to ongoing success. So, it makes sense to look critically at what factors make a franchise prosperous. According to research, business planning and management are ‘two musts’. But, it goes deeper than this. Mentoring and business growth advisory services are critical aspects of that planning and management. Franchise Mentoring and Business Growth Advisory Services Apart from having a tried and tested franchising business model in place and systems that work, mentoring and business growth advisory services are critical to franchise success. As such, mentoring needs to be business focused, rather than just focusing on the technical aspects of products or service. Plus, mentoring must also be ongoing, to keep pace with the market. This approach makes the franchise competitive, and the franchisee able to keep-up with changes in consumer behaviours and market trends. Business growth advisory services, on the other hand, must be available when needed. Having this structure in place means that franchisee questions get answered quickly, so they overcome challenges without unnecessary delays. Research Data Looking at research on why franchises fail, the primary reason is poor business planning and management. According to the Franchising Australia 2016 survey, in 2014, 1124 franchise brands existed. However, these numbers dwindled to 1089 brands in 2016 – a decrease of 3.1 percent. So, what were the main reasons for a drop-in brand numbers? Brands failed to maintain stability – bad business models, inadequate training and support and poor cash management. Brand growth wasn’t sustainable – poor planning, unrealistic expectations, and failure to evolve. Franchise and Franchisee Success Undoubtedly, the success of a franchisee supports the success of the franchise. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of a franchisor to support their franchisees. To genuinely do this, broader mentoring and business growth advisory services need implementation from the get-go and then throughout the franchisee’s business journey. Stellarossa, Xpresso and Jim’s Financial Services are ideal examples of this. Stellarossa – wanted to improve the value of the franchise model for new and existing franchisees, and extend and improve its café and coffee shop market share. Xpresso – needed to sustain growth and brand positioning of the mobile café group, as well as attracted new franchisees and support existing owner success. Jim’s Financial Services – sought to protect the franchise’s status in the competitive lending marketing and looked to distinguish its reputation of support-excellence. Getting Planning and Management Right All three franchises – Stellarossa, Xpresso and Jim’s Financial Services – used Budget One’s unique business planning and growth mentoring programme for new and existing franchises. Consequently, this programme incorporates two plans – Start Up Success and Business Success. Start-up Success Ideal for new franchises starting out who need to record their venture idea, gain financial insight and to set-up a plan to succeed. This plan includes: Customised business plan 12-month road map Cash flow forecasts Regular progress checks Action step identification Business Success Implemented after franchise operation of more than 12 months, this plan focuses on: Business performance Staffing Expense control Accelerating growth This two-step model enables Franchisors to provide the right type of support and advice needed according to the franchisee's period with the business. As such, our programme has been designed to help franchisors create an active and engaged franchise support system that will drive growth in the brand. But this does not happen overnight.  It is developed and nurtured only by providing ongoing, effective franchisee support. By providing franchisees with best-practice business planning tools, helping them understand and live by the numbers as well as determine together, the right actions to move forward, franchisees are being coached to become "better managers". Franchisors should look at implementing a management programme that is an extension to their initial product/technical training offer.  Business planning and mentoring programmes will deliver a higher rate of visibility into your franchisee community as well as give your franchisees a strong sense of support and dependability from the corporate team. Franchisors that are not getting the results they believe are possible in their system, need to re-look at their model to determine how they are going to provide effective franchisee support. See our Franchising Success Stories Are you looking to create a secret weapon against your competing franchises? Call Taso today on 0429 142 413 and learn more on how we can help your franchise enhance its appeal and balance attracting new franchisees while supporting long-standing ones in their journey to business growth success. If  you're actively looking to franchise or want to purchase a franchise, don't miss the Franchising Expo in Melb this month. Come and visit us at stand D32. Author Taso Tounis Taso Tounis is a business planning, cash flow management and budgeting consultant. He is passionate about equipping soon-to-be business owners with insightful knowledge on the outlook of a prospective business so they can decide if its the right fit and has great success potential. Learn more  about Taso. Want to know more about Budget One?  Read more on our business planning and business growth advisory services. Register here to get our blog delivered to your personal email. Australian Homestay Network Recognised as International PIEoneer 2017-08-02T22:48:54Z australian-homestay-network-recognised-as-international-pieoneer BRISBANE, Australia – 31 July 2017: After a decade advocating for quality student homestay standards across the globe, leading homestay provider the Australian Homestay Network (AHN) has been recognised for its contribution in transforming the international education sector. AHN’s parent company, MyStay International (MSI), is in the running to be named the Accommodation provider of the year at the 2017 PIEoneer Awards. Hundreds of entries were received across 12 categories for the awards which acknowledge outstanding innovation and achievement in international education. Founded in Brisbane, the business has built its reputation on providing world-class homestay accommodation and support services, improving the student experience and contributing to what has become Australia’s third-largest export earner. AHN Founding Director, David Bycroft, said being nominated for a PIEoneer Award in its inaugural year was an honour. “The PIE is an authority when it comes to what’s innovative and influential in international education, so to be recognised by them is phenomenal,” Mr Bycroft said. “The PIE has shortlisted 39 entries as the best of the best; we’re one of seven nominees based in Australia. Showcasing that excellence on a world stage really helps cement Australia as a destination of choice for international students.” The company is one of three shortlisted entrants in the Accommodation provider of the year category (the University of Sydney is also vying for the award). Winners will be selected by an independent 15-person judging panel made up of industry professionals from five continents. Mr Bycroft said AHN has a mission that goes beyond finding international students a place to sleep and eat. “Our goal has always been to raise the standards and set the benchmark for others to follow,” he said. “The students we look after come from all over the world – China, Saudi Arabia, Latin America – and for some of them it’s their first time away from home. We’ve worked with government agencies and industry bodies to make international student accommodation safer, better managed and more affordable so that integral part of the student experience is a good one.” Mr Bycroft believes the group’s full-service approach, range of homestay offerings and unique placement program were key to being named on the PIEoneer Awards shortlist.  “Homestay is an opportunity to establish lifelong relationships in a world without borders,” Mr Bycroft said. “We consider our hosts as ambassadors; people who help international students experience the local culture firsthand, develop a support network and really become part of the community.” While winning a PIEoneer Award would be an “incredible achievement”, Mr Bycroft said AHN still had its mission to find more quality hosts in Australia to welcome as many international students as possible to the country and help them successfully settle into their new life. The PIEoneer Awards will take place at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London on 8 September. SHORTLISTED ENTRIES – AUSTRALIA MyStay International, Australia/USA - Accommodation provider of the year University of Sydney, Australia - Accommodation provider of the year  ISANA, Australia - Association of the year Dunya Alruhaimi, Iraq – University of New England, Armidale, Australia - International alumni of the year Abari, Nepal and Laika Academy, Australia - Progressive education delivery award - Nepal Innovation Program Australian Government Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia - Championing diversity award - New Colombo Plan Study Queensland, Australia – Marketing campaign of the year - #summerlifeqld campaign MYSTAY INTERNATIONAL PIEONEER AWARDS SUMMARY MyStay International unifies two operations offering hosted accommodation in the USA and Australia, and is using best practice approaches to expand and improve this provision globally. It evidences high international student satisfaction and is innovating with the student in mind - developing a new booking platform for standard room rentals and contributing to wider discussion with key stakeholders on international student welfare. Drive a brand NEW motorhome through Europe in 2018 2017-08-02T02:27:56Z drive-a-brand-new-motorhome-through-europe-in-2018 Treat yourself to the ultimate European motorhome adventure in 2018 – a brand new, Italian styled, luxurious motorhome driven fresh out of the factory. For a limited time only DriveAway Holidays are offering the Just go Euro lease for pick ups from March through until May 2018 at half price. Be quick – stocks are limited. The sleek and practical vehicles come in a variety of sizes catering for groups of two, four or six people and all feature toilet & shower as well as a fully operational kitchen. Start the adventure from Tuscany in Italy and return to the UK with prices from just AU$44.80 per day, including unlimited kilometres and duration, no one-way fees, full European insurance cover, kitchen packages, and much more. The perks don’t stop there! You have the options as well to travel through 18 countries with the Just go motorhome, giving you complete control and flexibility of your own holiday. For more information, contact DriveAway’s dedicated motorhome team on 1300 363 500 or visit the website Volunteerism – A Big OE With a Conscience 2017-07-30T22:32:25Z volunteerism-a-big-oe-with-a-conscience Teaching Nepalese monks English in a Himalayan monastery is just one of the different ways young New Zealanders are taking their skills to the world as the traditional Big OE adapts to the 21st century according to Vicki Kenny, founder of International Working Holidays (IWH), the specialist overseas employment agency.   The opportunity to teach different subjects including English and have one on one English conversation classes with novice monks at Buddhist monasteries in Nepal is the latest offering from IWH, with travellers staying either in the monastery or in an accommodation nearby, allowing for full immersion into the lifestyle of the monks.   Vicki explains: ‘Young New Zealanders are looking for something completely different; more than just travel, it’s volunteerism, the opportunity to see the world and give something back to it. Our working holiday travellers get to see the best part of places overseas because they are living with local people who take them off the beaten track. So they get to see what the tourists do and then so much more. Not only that our travellers get to see countries that they just couldn’t get to on their own.’   IWH travellers start the programme with an introductory week in Kathmandu, and then during the teaching phase stay at one of several monasteries in the Kathmandu, Pharping, Namobuddha, and Serlo – Everest regions.      Vicki adds: `With the growing number of people around the world who are interested in learning more about the philosophy behind Buddhism, people have started seeking information regarding topics related to Buddhism. However, most of the monks have learned the religion only in their native language together with Sanskrit. This makes it difficult for the monks to communicate with English speaking communities to teach them lessons related to Buddhism.’   IWH was founded in 2001 by Vicki Kenny, who had established its sister company Nannies Abroad in 1995 after she had returned from her Big OE working as a nanny, and as a temp while she travelled the world. A spilled rice pudding and some challenging circumstances while she was in London working as a live-in nanny convinced her that there was the need for a specialist service to help others navigate the potential pitfalls and get the most from their life changing adventures.  Since then Nannies Abroad and International Working Holidays have helped thousands of people take off for their Big OE.      Further information: Vicki Kenny, IWH: 027 670 9968 Peter Boyes, BPR: 0275 540 500     Australia's Newest Hotel Start-up Announces Executive Leadership Team 2017-07-26T03:22:22Z australia-s-newest-hotel-start-up-announces-executive-leadership-team newly formed Australian headquartered hotel group, Crystalbrook Collection, has announced its executive leadership team. Following an extensive global recruitment search, CEO Mark Davie has appointed Geoff York as Group Director, Hotels, Laura Davie as Group Director, Operations and HR, Kylie Brajak as Group Director, Global Sales and Distribution, Katie Malone as Group Director, Marketing and David Kotze as Director, Hotel Systems. To date, Crystalbrook Collection has committed AU$370 million in investment to develop three distinctive lifestyle-savvy hotels in Cairns. Combined, these hotels will add more than 900 rooms to the city. Investments in other key Australian locations is expected in the near future. “I’m thrilled Crystalbrook Collection has been able to acquire such high calibre professionals and I have every confidence in their ability to lead the company in Australia and beyond,” said Mark. Combined, the leadership team has worked with many of the world’s most prominent hospitality groups including Marriott, Starwood, IHG, Carlson Rezidor, Accor, Hilton, Event, Fairmont, Jumeirah and Langham as well as with individual brands including St. Regis, Sofitel, W Hotels, Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Le Meridien, Radisson, Atura and Eventhouse. The team has extensive international experience with members having worked throughout Australia, United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand and New Zealand.  In addition to hospitality, the company’s leaders have experience across a multitude of industries including international business, aviation, automotive, online travel, luxury retail, IT and FMCG. “Hospitality is a demanding industry and I don’t underestimate the task I have set the team,” said Mark. “In addition to experience, I needed leaders that could create strong team cohesion and who have the ability to be agile, fast-thinking and capable of evolving with the ever-changing nature of a start-up business.” Over the next 12 months, the leadership team will be responsible for developing the Crystalbrook Collection brand and ethos as well as building a staff of 150 people in preparation for the opening of the first hotel in 2018. Mark Davie, CEO, Crystalbrook Collection Mark is a long-term colleague and business partner of Crystalbrook Collection sole investor Ghassan Aboud. Since 2011, Mark has been leading Ghassan’s business diversification strategy and has held the position of CEO for Ghassan Aboud Group Australia (GA Group Australia). GA Group Australia made the decision to enter the hospitality sector in 2013. The first hospitality acquisition was completed in 2016 at which time Mark also took on the role of CEO for Crystalbrook Collection. Mark has had an extensive career spanning several decades in international business and automotive including 12 years spent working in Dubai and one year in Japan.  Geoff York, Group Director, Hotels, Crystalbrook Collection Geoff has more than 35 years’ senior hospitality experience with extensive corporate and operational expertise gained working throughout Australia and in Singapore, China, India and Malaysia. Most recently, Geoff was the Director of Operations and Development at Event Hospitality and Entertainment where he launched the Atura and Eventhouse hotel brands. Laura Davie, Group Director, Operations and HR, Crystalbrook Collection Laura has been appointed to progress Crystalbrook Collection to an employer of choice overseeing the full HR lifecycle as well as business operations. She brings with her a decade’s HR experience with strong experience in FMCG and luxury retail. Most recently Laura ran her own boutique HR company where she was responsible for tailoring HR solutions for small and medium sized businesses. Kylie Brajak, Group Director, Global Sales and Distribution  Kylie will oversee Crystalbrook Collection’s global sales and distribution strategy, managing all business segments including leisure, wholesale, corporate, groups, meetings and events. She joins the company with 30 years’ experience managing customers in Asia Pacific, United Kingdom, Europe, CIS, USA and the Middle East. Most recently she was responsible for the global leisure and luxury sales and distribution strategy for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Katie Malone, Group Director, Marketing Katie will oversee the marketing strategy for Crystalbrook Collection, managing brand development, advertising, public relations, sponsorship, social media and digital strategy. She has more than 15 years travel marketing experience spanning hotels, aviation and online travel throughout Australia, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand. Most recently, Katie was based in Abu Dhabi overseeing marketing for St. Regis. David Kotze, Director, Hotel Systems David is a seasoned IT hospitality professional with more than 30 years’ experience working throughout South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Throughout his career David has worked on more than 50 hotel openings and project managed 23 hotel openings. Most recently he led the hospitality sector for IT corporation Systemnet. ENDS For further information, images or to arrange media interviews contact: Katie Malone Group Director, Marketing Crystalbrook Collection Surry Hills House Level 2, 10-14 Waterloo Street Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia P : +61 0424 927 964 E : About Crystalbrook Collection Crystalbrook Collection is a portfolio of distinctive hotels where differences are applauded. Each hotel and resort carries an authentic expression of its location. Add playful designs, a stimulating environment and a passion for fun and you have a uniquely enriching experience. To date, Crystalbrook Collection has committed AU$370 million in investment to develop three distinctive lifestyle-savvy hotels in Cairns. Combined, these hotels will add more than 900 rooms to the city. Investments in other key Australian and international locations is expected in the near future. Crystalbrook Collection is backed by the Ghassan Aboud Group. Upcoming Crystalbrook Collection Hotels 137 The Esplanade, Cairns – opening 2018 Residing in a prime location on the iconic Cairns Esplanade, this upper-upscale hotel will feature 311 rooms and suites, a lagoon style pool, exquisite restaurant and bar selections including a rooftop bar, a spa and special zones for children, recreation and quiet time.  CBD, Cairns – opening 2019 Positioned in the heart of the Cairns CBD, this 220 room and 110 two-and-three-bedroom suite hotel will capture the essence of tropical Far North Queensland. The development will feature a four-story canopy representing the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics along with a variety of restaurants and bars, both indoor and alfresco, as well as formal and informal meeting nooks. 85 The Esplanade, Cairns – opening 2020 This modern, transformative 280 room property will offer diverse contemporary design, staying attuned to the needs and wants of the connected traveller. Dynamic bars, street food eateries and lounges will incorporate the authentic city culture while a contemporary wellness and fitness centre set within the lush tropical gardens will offer holistic health experiences including yoga and meditation. Driver Turned Chef is Redmako’s Trainee of the Year 2017-07-25T06:37:28Z driver-turned-chef-is-redmako-s-trainee-of-the-year Queensland, 14 July 2017 – Redmako Learning’s Hospitality Trainee of the Year for 2016 has been awarded to a young chef-in-the-making for his high level of self-reliance and development in the commercial kitchen. The award is presented to an individual who has been outstanding in all aspects of their training, and this year it was Nambour resident Eric Benson who received the accolade for his proven personal and career growth, demonstrated keenness, and development in training. Before starting his Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Redmako Learning, 25-year-old Eric used to operate and drive heavy machinery in the oil and gas industry. Since then he has gone on to find a strong passion in the kitchen and win the title of Trainee of the Year out of more than 200 active and enrolled students. “Having found my passion is something which is important for me,” he says. “Now I can say that I can push myself to succeed in this industry, just to see how far I can take it. I never really want to settle for just getting by, it’s not me, and for me nothing compares to this. There’s just nothing like it. “For me it’s not so much a physical place, it’s more about making myself happy whether I’m in fine dining or working in a café, bistro or pub…it doesn’t really matter where I am so long as I’m using good products to produce quality food that people enjoy. “You can’t ask for more than that, right?” Eric says his apprenticeship helped shaped his life, whereby he could translate all his training into improving his personal world, and being supported by trainers and fellow colleagues was an important aspect of succeeding. He says learning to become a chef has changed his life. “A few months ago, I did a charity event with my executive chef in Brisbane, and it was on the penthouse of the Brisbane River Apartment,” he says. “There were 20-something people and I’m standing there looking at them, thinking that this time last year, I was working at a pub. It was just a really surreal moment for me – that I’ve come this far just from pushing myself at putting myself out there.” Redmako Learning trainer Ali Orchard says Eric showed the most improvement over the past year, and it was important for young people like him to consider hospitality because the industry was in their hands. She says it’s all about the support, and that having a trainer to talk openly to and ask questions of is an amazing benefit. “Eric showed creativity, dedication and innovation in his approach to cooking, which is why he won the Trainee of the Year Award,” she says. “He showed strong interests in sustainability, the environment and producing fresh produce. He is, and will be, an industry leader. “The future of the hospitality industry is in the hands of these young people, we have a responsibility to ensure they have everything they need to keep it going, to train them and develop them.” To be eligible for Redmako Learning’s Trainee of the Year Award, recipients had to complete or be due to complete a Redmako training course that led to a national recognised outcome or qualification, have a contract of training within their relevant state training authority, and excel in career and study achievements. About Redmako Learning Redmako Learning is a training specialist in niche industries including hospitality, business, tourism and events. We deliver up-to-date, dynamic and innovative Government certified training tailored by professionals, for professionals. Redmako Learning delivers training and assessment through traineeships and apprenticeships, Recognition of Prior Learning, in the classroom, and through virtual and eLearning tools. We also work with employers to help attract and retain great staff through pathway to employment program placements, traineeships, and apprenticeships. We are a market leader in providing dynamic tailored programs for students and jobseekers to meet the needs of our large, national employer database, and our success is evident through our ongoing partnerships with the largest employment services in Australia. For more information visit KAISER BROTHERS BREWERY 2017-07-25T01:04:26Z kaiser-brothers-brewery Kaiser Brothers Brewery is celebrating a year of beer and its first century! So how does this Christchurch brew crew do it? Kaiser Brothers Brewery was established by the three German-Kiwi Giesen brothers, whose great uncle, established the renowned Kaiser Brewery in the village of Bischofsgrun, in north-east Bavaria. Kaiser Brothers Brewery brews are inspired by the original 1862 recipe, and crafted to be ‘Kiwi-as’. The Kaiser Brothers Brewery took off when Alex Giesen met Kaiser Brothers Brewing Captain, Dicky Fife. With brewing legend Fife on board, Kaiser Brothers Brewing started making its beer via contract before establishing its own brewery in Christchurch in 2016. Just over a year since it began brewing at its Halwyn Drive brew HQ, Kaiser Brothers Brewery is releasing its 100th brew – marking its first century and its first year of beer. Dicky says ‘we make Kaiser Brothers Brewery beers honestly for flavour and taste. Just as it was in the 1860s, today’s Kaiser Brothers beers are made by a passionate team using real, quality local ingredients.’  Dicky says Kaiser Brothers Brewery starts with Canterbury’s world-renowned artesian water and they use the finest ingredients from the South Island before adding yeast which is true to the style of beer. “You’ll taste Germanic yeast in our Pilsener and Weizen, English yeast in English Special Bitter and - you guessed it - American yeast for our American Pale Ale,” Dicky says.    Kaiser Brothers Brewery core range of four beers is available in 500ml bottles at bottle shops across the New Zealand: ·      Kaiser Brothers Brewery Pilsener ·      Kaiser Brothers Brewery English Special Bitter ·      Kaiser Brothers Brewery American Pale Ale ·      Kaiser Brothers Brewery Weizen From time to time, the Kaiser Brothers Brewery brew crew mix it up, having fun with styles and recipes creating special limited release and seasonal craft beers. They have just brewed two special limited release beers which Kaiser Brothers Brewery will pour at the country’s leading beer festival, Beervana in Wellington on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 August. Dicky explains the first, Dopplebock Winter Beer, is a nod to Kaiser Brothers Brewery German heritage. It's a dark, Munich-style lager created as a traditional pilsener with added coloured malts. Dicky says it’s the perfect cool weather beer, full bodied with flavours of caramel, chocolate and traditional fruit cake – just like a meal in a glass.  Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale started life as a classic American Pale Ale. But then took a few deviations – the hops were dialled back, apple bourbon was added along with a touch of maple syrup and spices, all of which was matured in a French oak wine barrel. According to Dicky, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a beer reminiscent of a traditional American apple pie. Dicky encourages Kiwis to have fun and experiment with beers. With a 100 brews under their belt the Kaiser Brothers Brewery team believe they are just warming up and say they have plenty more flavour to come!  The Star Sydney scoops the pool at the prestigious TAA NSW Awards for Excellence 2017-07-21T00:29:27Z the-star-sydney-scoops-the-pool-at-the-prestigious-taa-nsw-awards-for-excellence More than 300 tourism industry leaders and guests gathered as part of the annual gala event to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements across the state’s tourism, hospitality and accommodation sectors. The Star Sydney, Australia’s leading integrated resort, was a proud finalist in 12 categories, highlighting the organisation’s superior guest service, luxury accommodation and spa, and renowned dining offering. Celebrated wins include Health Club and Spa Facilities of the Year – The Darling Spa, Best Environmental Initiatives – The Star, and Chef of the Year – Dany Karam, Executive Chef, BLACK Bar & Grill. Greg Hawkins, Managing Director at The Star Sydney said: “This extraordinary industry recognition highlights our team’s exceptional commitment to delivering thrilling experiences in our signature restaurants and the ultimate in relaxation at The Darling Spa. “We are particularly proud that our commitment to reducing The Star’s environmental impact has been recognised by TAA in a highly competitive award category. It’s a great accomplishment for us, and encourages the whole business to continue building on this success. “The Star reimagines and redefines what excellence means to our guests and I applaud each team and venue property-wide for their unique contribution to this incredible achievement,” he said. The annual Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) NSW Awards for Excellence honour tourism and hospitality excellence in the accommodation industry across the state in more than 30 award categories. The New South Wales winners will now progress as nominees for the national Australian Hotel Association Awards taking place on Monday, 18 September at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. For more information about The Star Sydney, please visit   -ENDS- For media enquiries please contact:Sarah Shields, Senior Consultant, Access-DGC P: 02 9292 7007 | +61 408 283 091 | Rachael Hoy, Senior Consultant, Access-DGC P: 02 9292 7006 | +61 4016 400 737 |  About The Star Sydney: The Star Sydney is Australia’s premier place to play. A sip of sparkling. A dozen freshly shucked oysters. Crisp white sheets and red carpet. Diamonds and spades. Gucci and gastronomy. Your day begins with luxury – where it ends is up to you. At The Star, we have just one mission –– to thrill. That’s why we have all-star chefs and restaurants, luxurious accommodation and high-end fashion, a sumptuous day spa, an amazing nightclub, and, of course, the world-class casino. It’s all yours for the taking, so will you? Come and play at The Star. Gold Coast's Youngest AGFG “Chef's Hat” Winner Celebrates First Year At The Helm 2017-07-18T04:26:24Z gold-coast-s-youngest-agfg-chef-s-hat-winner-celebrates-first-year-at-the-helm The youngest recipient of a coveted Australian Good Food Guide (AGFC) “Chef's Hat” on the Gold Coast for 2017 is celebrating one year at the helm of Broadbeach hot spot, Nero Dining. Jayden ‘JD’ Barker, 22, established Nero Dining with his father, Andrew after cutting his teeth at some of the Gold Coast's best restaurants, and gaining the confidence needed to take the plunge to build a brand of his own in the tough Gold Coast restaurant scene. Not only was Jayden the youngest to be awarded one of only 13 AGFG “Chef's Hats” to Gold Coast restaurants for 2017, but he achieved this after only five short months of operation (he was only 21 years old at the time). The intimate Italian/Spanish influence “share-plate” eatery has also maintained a consistent five-star ranking on Trip Advisor since opening. “I’m really proud of what we have achieved in such a short time”, said Jayden. “Probably the most satisfying achievement for our team is the return of our regular locals. We strive to talk with our local clients, listen and deliver what they are after. “95 per cent of locals who have dined at Nero have returned, and to us, that is the best indication that we are on the right track.” With a heavy emphasis on encouraging return visits from locals, Nero Dining prides itself on creating an ever-changing menu heroing fresh produce - something the locals love. “We have successfully delivered more than 50 new dishes during the last 12 months,” said Jayden. Another aspect that locals love is the fact Nero Dining is set away from the hustle and bustle in Broadbeach Waters. Nero’s intimate setting allows the team to engage personally with all guests taking them through a newly-created unique wines menu including the new “Wine Wall” which features four of their unique collection each week. “We have the same team who truly believe what we believe, and I think our guests experience that. We just love what we do, and I believe that genuinely comes across,” said Jayden. The team is currently working on its next series of special degustation nights for 2017. “The competition on the Gold Coast is growing every month but I think we have something really unique and we will continue to work hard to deliver a memorable experience for our guests.” Nero Dining. 3/1 Sunshine Boulevard Broadbeach Waters Open Tuesday through Saturday’s from 6pm. Functions available 7 days and nights. -ends- Media enquiries: Joanne Rahn Director zanthii communications Phone: 0402 148 334 Email: Facebook: