Bendigo Business

Bendigo Business

Articles submitted by local Business, find out what is happening in our town , how to do business in Bendigo, read press releases  and tips on networking, Marketing plus more

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 01:36


There is no question about it, with social media marketing continuing to grow, your business needs to be represented on facebook. But do you have the correct facebook presence for your business? People assume a profile and a page are pretty much the same thing. They do look similar, but there are a few very critical differences.

How can you tell the difference? If your fans connect with your business by sending a friend request, then you are operating your business as a profile! Read on to discover why you should convert your profile to a page…

Shut down

First and foremost, operating a business as with a personal profile puts you at risk of the being shut down by facebook. Facebook has indicated it will close down profiles that are not operating with business pages.Do you want to risk loosing the connection to your fans and potential customer base?


Easier to connect




Connecting with a facebook profile is a two-step process. First the request to be friends, then the acceptance. Depending on how often you access your business profile, will reflect on when the notification is received and accepted. To ‘Like’ a page is a single action, no need for any approval. Operating your business presence as a page makes it easier for people to connect with your business.




Check in




A great feature for businesses that operate from a physical shopfront is the option to link the page with their address. This allows for fans to ‘check in’ to the business, sometimes even sharing photos of their purchase or time there. The viral nature of facebook means that your business has the opportunity to reach an even greater number of facebook users.




Ad campaign




Ad campaigns are only available to business pages, and they can be a great way to increase your reach for a cost that you deem appropriate. Selecting your correct target market for the ad campaign can make your marketing dollars stretch further. If you are serious about growing your business, you should at least consider facebook ad campaigns.






Do you know how many people are seeing your posts? With facebook insights you can track the success of your page. View when your fans are online, which posts they engage with and the demographics of your fans. All this valuable information helps you tailor your marketing plans to achieve greater success.




Customised apps




Customised apps are a great way to bring more information and interaction to your facebook page, especially if you don’t have a website. If you do have a website, you can link to specific pages on your website – sending more traffic back to your website. Think about adding customised apps for your products or services, newsletter sign up, online store or even blog posts. All of which give your customers and potential customers more information about your business.




Admin delegation




With a facebook business page, you have the option to share the admin responsibilities with others you trust. Roles can vary depending on the level of experience or responsibility. Ie Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst. It’s a great way to delegate the ongoing marketing of your page with other member of your team or even your virtual assistant.


Relevant Business Information




You can add all relevant business information making it easier for Clients and potential clients to connect with you. Have you seen the birthday reminders for XYZ business? If you operate your business as a profile, you would have been required to select a gender and birthdate for your business - not relevant information. I’m sure your clients would rather know relevant information such as website, products and services than fictional details.




There are still more features we haven’t mentioned such as being able to schedule posts, making use of offers, contents, celebrating milestones, tagging with other pages…. I think you get the idea.




And finally, if you need some help converting from a profile to a business page, we’d be happy to help.


Contact Sam from Executive Virtual Associate via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.










Tuesday, 05 November 2013 05:56


Climate change is a very real issue, and many businesses find it a challenge to manage day to day business operations while minimising their impact on the environment.

Do you think it’s too hard to be environmentally friendly? Reducing the environmental impact of your business will improve the sustainability of your business, give your business a reason to stand out from its competitors, as well as positive impacts our environment.

We have some tips to help you go green below, but first you might like to calculate the carbon footprint of your business. Use this calculator from Carbon Neutral.

Now, the ideas on how to go green, try implementing the following ideas in your business;

1. Partnering with a Virtual Assistant as a great way to make a difference with the planet! A Virtual Assistant works from their own office, immediately saving to not only your operational and equipment costs. When you use electronic communication, such as skype, email and the phone, you effectively reduce the use of paper and consumables.

Here is a list of ways EVA HQ operates to minimise its impact on the environment.

2. Working from our home office! No commuting to the office each day.

3. Think before print! We have added a reminder to the bottom of our emails, prompting others to think before printing also.

4. Use both sides of the paper.

5. Turn scrap paper into a note pads.

6. Shred paper into animal bedding or compost.

7. Use Freshbooks (cloud based accounting program), that stores our business receipts and delivers client invoices electronically.

8. Turn off appliances when not in use, and even removing power cords from the plug to conserve energy.

9. Regular maintenance & servicing of appliances and equipment. Including air conditioner and leaking taps.

10. Installed a water tank, with plans to add another tank.

11. Installed a solar system to save on electricity use.

12. Empty water bottle or glass into your pot plants or garden, not down the sink.

13. Reduce landfill – recycle all items that can be recycled.

14. Use refillable ink cartridges and toners. We use and recommend Ink on the Run Bendigo.

15. Compost green waste.

16. Purchase recycled items, paper etc.

17. Car pool when attending meetings, conferences or events.

18. Offset any carbon emission from travel with Carbon Offset Programs

19. Plant a tree. We have partnered withCarbon Neutral to purchase a tree for each all our clients every year.

20. Support and participate in events such as Clean Up Australia Day.

Of course this list is just the tip of the iceberg, you may have other ideas on how your office is making a positive difference to the environment - I'd love to hear how you're going green!

For more information on how a Virtual Assistant can support your business contact Sam via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

by Sam Spence - Owner & Executive Virtual Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

Sunday, 20 October 2013 21:33


October 2013 marks the first anniversary of the launch of Executive Virtual Associate. It’s a proud and exciting time. Running a small business is not easy, and there has been times over the last year, when I considered if I had taken on more than I could manage. But here I am, 12 months down the track since the idea of operating my own Virtual Assistant business began.

Upon reflection the journey has been a great ride, and I have grown in so many ways.

I had never considered furthering my formal education since finishing secondary school. However in the last 12 months, I’ve achieved a Certificate I in Virtual Business Administration, and 2 Diploma Certificates (Social Media Marketing & Business Administration). My thirst for successful business knowledge has been quenched by my new and continually expanding business network connections, as well as many other references and resources.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many inspiring people, of which several have shared their knowledge with me about running a successful business. Those insights have saved me both time and money. They have often inspired and encouraged me to keep on going when I’ve felt the overwhelming pressures of running a small new business. Read about the people who have inspired me here.

I’m dedicated and passionate about the new business I’ve created. By way of promoting my passion to potential and current clients, I am close to achieving two Virtual Assistant accreditations – Internationally recognised VA Certified & AVBN’s Registered Australian Virtual Business.

Of course I’m still learning about building a better business, and making mistakes is all part of the learning process, but those mistakes have helped to develop and shape the business that I am creating. As they say, making mistakes is part of life – as long as we learn from it!

Finally, I would like to say a sincere thank you to my family, friends, and supporters who believed in me and my vision, and of course my clients for helping Executive Virtual Associate grow and flourish to what it is today. 

Sam Spence,
Executive Virtual Associate

For more information about partnering with a Virtual Assistant, contact Sam Spence on 0400 569 657 or visit her website.

Friday, 12 July 2013 21:15

The Media Connections Team has kicked off a week long Membership Drive after the success of their $1 Membership offer when they launched quarterly memberships on the 2nd of July.

The Media Madness Membership Options are:

·         Quarterly Press Room Membership $20 (Save $55)

·         Annual Press Room Membership $50 (Save $225)

·         Annual Marketing Membership $150 (Save 425)

What is the catch? – There is no catch and even better these rates stay in place over the life of your subscription!

The Media Madness Membership Drive will close at Midnight Friday 19th of July.

Registration is simple:

1.       Visit:

2.       Choose the membership option that best suits you

3.       Register and enter the corresponding code to save:

o    Press Room Quarterly – MEDIAMAD

    • Press Room Annual - MEDIAMADPR
    • Marketing Annual – MEDIAMADM

Why become a Media Connections Member?

Media Connections is the place where story ideas, media and publicity meet. As Media Directory, we offer business, PR and marketing companies a channel to submit releases to our growing database of journalists. Journalists are alerted of that “next story” with our Journalist Alerts putting your news, new releases and new profiles right into their inboxes.


We have over 350 journalists subscribed to our alerts and we are committed to getting your news out for you.

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 08:54

Hi! Thanks for reading about Tough Cookie!

Tough Cookie Marketing is a boutique marketing business based in Bendigo, Victoria servicing clients throughout this region and interstate.

Guess what? We really love what we do!  

  • Our aim is to help you to have the best client relationships possible; communication and interactions that convert to growth, referrals, opportunities, increased revenue and a business that really is worth the time and effort you put into it.

So why Tough Cookie?

  • With 20 years working in hospitality and service business operations, marketing and training, Director Kathie Bolitho has worked for herself, in private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector. Having studied services marketing extensively, combined with hands on experience to really get your message out into the market place; every experience enhances knowledge and creativity to really get into clever and workable service marketing strategies.

The Tough Cookie Mission:

“To provide valuable and specific marketing tools, training and advice to businesses to grow revenue and stability through the development of new and lasting client relationships, clever communications and amazing customer service.  Our goal is to turn clients into passionate aficionados.

Sunday, 05 May 2013 07:22


Without Clients every business would cease to exist. And we all recognise it’s much easier to retain your existing clients than it is to convert new clients. In fact it has been said that it costs 5 times as much to gain a new client as it does to retain an existing one. So the importance of keeping your existing clients satisfied should be a strong focus for any good business. While quality Customer Service is important, it is not the only priority when aiming to maintain existing clients.

Here is a few ideas on embracing your current client base and keep them coming back to buy more! 


Clients are consumers, but they are also a valuable source of information. As current users of your products and services, they form opinions on how your products and services could be improved or developed, as well as sounding boards for new product ideas. Are your products actually meeting their needs? If you have a new product to be launched, how will you know if your Clients will purchase it? Surveys are a great tool to use to gauge your Clients opinions and ideas. Asking your clients will help determine any concerns from the user’s opinion. Surveys can be tailored to suit the needs of your business. They can be conducted online, verbally or with written responses. Talk to us about tailoring a survey to suit your business needs and find out what your Clients think!


Social Media, you either love it or hate it, but guess what – your clients are using it! Have you considered that your competitors are more than likely using social media also? Let’s look at facebook as an example. Over 12 million Australians are using facebook, which does include your target market. Are they talking about your products or services? Unless you have a facebook presence you might not know. Engaging with your target market via social media allows them an outlet to ask questions, share experiences with your business, become aware of to new products or learning about your business – all of which leads to strengthening their relationship with your brand. We can set up a social media presence for you and/or help manage your existing footprint.

Do you have clients that haven’t purchased from you in some time? How do you keep your business in their minds? How do you let them know of your new products or business developments? Consider newsletters, they can be sent frequently to remind and educate your clients about your business as well as your products and services. Perhaps you have special offers or other valuable tips to share, newsletters can be a very effective way of informing and updating your clients, especially for those clients who don’t always visit your business premises. We can convert your client base into an email list, design your newsletters and even help with ways for your clients to opt in to receive your latest business news.

Let Executive Virtual Associate help your business support your business in developing your current clients into raving fans for your business. Contact us now, and share your workload with us, not your office.








Sunday, 14 April 2013 23:06

For many business owners (and managers in larger firms) their one big question is - "How do I get my people to improve their performance?

Even when your team are doing a good job, you know that if they do a great job it will:

- improve customer service (and that improves revenue)

- reduce tension and workplace griping (those niggling little issues that take up so much of your time)

- free you up to do your work because you know that they have the direction, skill and willingness to do what is needed

This is more than making sure that pay and leave recording are accurate - and you'll have that handled with your payroll people. (Remember that superannuation contributions change as of July 1 this year!)

And it is not as complex as seeking legal advice once things have gone badly.  People performance is the realm of the day to day management and maintenance of your team.

Some people say there is more art than science to managing people - and to some extent they are right. There is an ART - the essence of Attracting the right people, Retaining and managing them, and then Transition for them on to another role (whether with your company or another)

Let's go a little deeper...

Attracting the right people includes being very clear on role specifications in terms of skills required, style of work to fit with the rest of the team and your customers. It is important to be clear on what they need to do and to what standard (including how it's done and not just the outcome). Assessing a person's willingness and ability to learn can seem difficult yet it is very important as it indicates their motivation and attitude - two areas most commonly involved when there is a later conflict or falling out.

Retaining people is all about feedback - tell your staff when they have done something right as this encourages them to do more of it, and avoids the risks of the old adage "no news must be good news" .  One great phrase is to aim to "catch people doing things right" rather than only correcting their mistakes. Yes correcting errors and mistakes is important - vitally so when quality of product and/or service are at stake - do it early, privately and calmly.

Retaining people also includes training (whether informal, on the job or formal), workplace health and safety, amenities and the tools and resources to do the work required.

Transition is often one of the most difficult areas to manage.  Many times managers have been heard to bemoan the fact that someone they trained and invested heavily in is leaving the firm.  Well, yes it is a loss, but haven't they also put something back into the company while they were there? (and if not, then perhaps they were not the right fit to begin with)  Especially in smaller/tight knit communities (whether business or geographical) it is a boost for your company and you personally when your staff leave and hold positive memories of you.

Transition can also occur with one of your team being promoted within the company, so their skills are not lost to the firm.  Yes still a loss for you as their manager, but they will always hold you in high esteem.

Each of those three elements of ART have both evidence or science as well as some of the more qualitative and human based attributes.  It can be managed and measured.

Getting the best performance out of people is a simple, although not necessarily easy to do.

Pam Macdonald has over two decades experience in people leadership and development.  Based here in Bendigo since 2001 and working with companies with as few as 7 staff and as many as 4000.

Tuesday, 02 April 2013 21:55

Sutton Grange Winery is both unique in its location and wine style. It sits distant from the typical concentration of wineries within the Bendigo wine region, being located near the nexus of Bendigo, Heathcote and Mount Macedon G.I.’s. It is physically positioned at the foothills of Mt Alexander which influences climate and its terroir is dominated by granitic soils. Resident winemaker is third generation Frenchman Gilles Lapalus which explains the European style wines produced on the property. A stunning winery is supported by a picturesque surround to make a visit to the cellar door one of life’s great journeys.

Open the First Sunday of every month 12-4pm.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:51


The Virtual Assistant Industry is alive and growing at a rapid rate. Bendigo’s own Virtual Assistant, Sam Spence of Executive Virtual Associate has just returned from a two day Australian VA Conference in Sydney. This was the fourth annual conference, but the first time it was held outside Melbourne, and it drew International delegates and speakers.


“The event was a great opportunity to meet other VAs that I would have only previously interacted with online. We shared ideas, compared notes and more importantly worked on concepts to enhance grow within the Australian VA Industry” Sam said. “The support and expertise that a VA can bring to a business is often invaluable, but to hear that Australian businesses don’t realise highly skilled and affordable VA’s within our own shores is very disheartening”


“But working on expanding and increased awareness is not the only topic that was covered” explained Sam. Facebook Australia’s Small Business Manager, Nick Bowditch spoke about using the viral nature of facebook to benefit business. Including growing audience’s engagement and brand recognition. Sam’s tip for her Clients, both existing and new is – If your business can’t be found on Social Media, your competitors who are engaging social media, will be winning the new clients and potentially attracting clients from your business!


Pam Brossman, best-selling author and publisher of the first online magazine, shared her experiences in digital marketing, including ideas in promoting businesses to stand out from their competitors. US based, Donna Toothaker, covered the important topic of moving to a Value Based Business. BE Institute’s Christine McKee, shared valuable insights into empowering yourself in every moment and opportunity to achieve awesome results.


Sam has taken many pages of notes from the conference and she is still reviewing them for to benefit her own business as well as her current Clients. “The learning continues well after the last farewell was said at the conclusion of the conference. As an attendee of the event, I also received a $6000 grant to receive 12 months membership to the Business Coaching Time Retriever Academy.”


So if you could use the expert services of Executive Virtual Associate for your business needs contact Sam to arrange a consultation on 0400 569 657, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit


Sunday, 24 February 2013 01:04

With the roll out of the NBN becoming a reality for small businesses in 2013 it is time to ask if

you are a digital dinosaur or digitally ready. So how do you know if your business is a digital

dinosaur or digital ready?

Digital Strategist Tim Gentle has some questions every small business owner should be asking

themselves as they get NBN ready:


- Do I understand what the NBN is and its impact on me?

- Have I integrated digital thinking into my business strategy?

- Do I understand that a website is more than just a marketing tool?

- Have I asked my customers what they would like me to deliver online?

- What efficiencies can I create using digital tools?


What can you do if you are a digital dinosaur or need to do a little extra to be digitally


“Education is the key” says Tim. “Business owners can empower their business through

training, online learning, seminars and information nights.”

If you are lost, seek help. Network with businesses who are digitally ready to see what they

are doing or engage a consultant to find what is right for you.

With digital technology being more powerful, more affordable and easier to deploy than

ever before, now is the best time for small businesses to start fresh and go digital.

“The NBN is offering businesses a great opportunity to engage with a wider audience and to

do this we need to be ready” Tim adds “It is now time to review the digital potential within

your marketing, sales, finance, operations, human resources and IT functions, to make life

easier for your business”

With 90% of Australians with Internet access using it every day, the question all businesses

should be asking is “how can online and digital tools best serve my business?”

For Further Information or to arrange an interview with Tim contact:

Linda Reed-Enever - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – 0433 149 319


About Tim Gentle:

Tim Gentle is a courageous digital strategist and entrepreneur with a passion for building

business and regional lifestyle. With over 10 years’ experience in the digital world and 10

years’ experience in Marketing. Tim’s expertise is shown in his ability to help small business

harness their online potential.

Thursday, 21 February 2013 12:14

On Monday 9th May 2011 my partner of four years had popped the question to me at Red Hill Kudos Villa. We were only twenty years old at the time and we already had a beautiful daughter who was 14 months old and I was already 5 months pregnant with our 2nd beautiful baby girl.

Trying to organise our engagement party was not the easiest decision in my life! My partner and I were both full time La Trobe University students, working our part time jobs and trying to be full time parents was and still is the hardest jobs we had to do at our young age.

So I decided to do some engagement/wedding party studying over the internet in my "me" time. Whilst I was looking for some brilliant ideas I stumbled across a beautiful blog site that had captured my attention with the elegant scrolls and scriptive writing on the heading and began to read this wonderful woman's life. She blogged about how she and her family were going to celebrate their Christmas day with a dessert buffet table. My mind just blew me away with questions like what is a dessert table? It sounds to good to be true! What does it look like? And scrolling down on her page there was an amazing Christmas styled dessert buffet table with the colours of teal, gold and white. There were 6 different types of dessert all placed beautifully on hobnail cake stands and crystal compotes. It wasn't long until I Goggled dessert buffet tables and I had not realised how popular they are!

After much studying I decided to have a go at styling my own dessert and lolly buffet table at my own engagement party by using the colour concepts white and blue. We had around 100-120 guests the dessert buffet was set up at The Shamrock Bendigo. And my guests as well as the staff members loved what they had seen. No one had ever heard of dessert buffet tables and loved the idea of having one at my engagement party.

Two years on I have now styled and designed quite a few dessert and lolly buffet tables for children's parties, engagement parties and birthdays. My business has expand in not only styling and designing buffet tables but to also styling functions and events, making my own party printables and have made new friends in Bendigo and around the networking world.

If you would like me to help you with an event, style your function then just simply email me:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And if you would like to view the parties I have styled and would like more contact and information then please head on over and like my facebook page:

Melesina Fonua

Thursday, 24 January 2013 03:18

Kerryn Sonnet qualifies for worldwide Virtual Assistant certification

Bendigo, Victoria, Australia – Kerryn Sonnet, owner of Virtually There announced today that she has qualified for the new worldwide Virtual Assistant Certification from is the new standard for Virtual Assistant Certification which clients worldwide can use to benchmark the services they are looking for in a Virtual Assistant (VA). The first internationally recognized VA certification, offers a carefully calibrated and unbiased assessment of a VA's skills, education, professional experience and industry contributions to gain business owners' confidence in the skills of certified VAs.

To qualify for the certification, Kerryn Sonnet was evaluated by 13 industry leaders and specialists from the four corners of the world on a broad spectrum of personal and professional traits pertaining to her expertise and professional ethic.

Sonnet is one of thousands of Virtual Assistants (VAs), business owners who work from their own offices providing professional support, services and skills to their clients via phone, fax and Internet-based technology. Partnering with a VA reduces stress, protects cash flow, eliminates administrative hassles and enables business people to find the success they originally set out to achieve.

As more and more businesses look toward affordable, online solutions to sustain and grow their bottom line in a tough economy, Virtual Assistants are enjoying increased demand for their services. For business owners and managers who may have considered outsourcing support tasks to a VA in the past but could not justify the understandable risk of hiring an unknown, VA certification provides an assurance that the VA in question has the skills and experience needed.

Sonnet specializes in CRM (database) implementation, customization, training and ongoing support, along with general administration and is an administrative professional providing various online services to her clients. She started her Virtual Assistance career to help other businesses owners to succeed and grow their businesses and to do so with less stress.


Certification is extremely important to Kerryn Sonnet so that her clients and potential clients know that she is passionate about her role in their businesses, that she is professional, well regarded in her industry, and someone who cares about their businesses and the Virtual Assistant industry.


For more information about Virtually There visit

The seal of approval tells prospective clients that a global panel of experts has thoroughly reviewed a Virtual Assistant's skills, experience and professional ethic. To learn more about becoming a certified Virtual Assistant or to discover the benefits of hiring a certified Virtual Assistant, visit

About Virtually There

Launched in 2005, Virtually There specializes in supporting businesses to grow.  Virtually There offers a variety of services to alleviate the stress and workload preventing you from growing your business. Visit the website at


About VAcertified is the go-to resource for Virtual Assistants who want credible, unbiased and international recognition for their skills, education, professional experience and industry contributions. Devoted to creating and growing a certification program that embraces diversity, strives to enhance and evolve professional relationships between VA and client. Follow ( @ ) VAcertified on Twitter for up to date information about this worldwide certification for Virtual Assistants.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013 06:48

Executive Virtual Associate is pleased to announce it is open for business! Having over 22 years’ experience in administration and banking, Sam Spence has now established a Virtual Assistance business to support Businesses to get on top of their administration needs.

“A Virtual Assistant works from a different location to the actual business he or she supports, but can still complete many different tasks and projects to help keep Businesses on track”, says Sam. “The VA Industry has been established for many years, and some Australian businesses have been using VAs for the past 15 years. Now Bendigo businesses can use a Bendigo VA for their business needs.”

 A VA can do a wide variety of ‘jobs’, it really depends on the needs of the business. At Executive Virtual Associate, or EVA, we specialize in tasks to build relationships with your clients, social media and administration support at every level.

“For example, we can create, collate and send newsletters for your business, perhaps survey your customers for areas of improvement, set up your social media, or prepare reports for you upcoming presentation. That is just a very small sample of some of the things we can do at Executive Virtual Associate” Sam explains.

When you partner with a VA, you will save on staffing costs, and office consumables, without compromising on quality. Another benefit of working with VA is the vast network he or she is associated with, allowing business owners to connect with other specialist support providers.

 For more information on the services available from Executive Virtual Associate, contact Sam Spence on 0400 569 657 or visit

Tuesday, 22 January 2013 06:38

Giggle Toot Toot Baby Equipment Hire is a family business located in Bendigo. I started the business over a year ago when i was pregnant with my second child. I was looking at buying an expensive newborn capsule, but thought it would be so much easier if i just hire one as i only need it for 6mths.. But unfortunatly not much was avaliable at the time, So i decided to start a hassle-free and friendly service in country victoria. 

Maybe you, friends or family members are travelling to Bendigo and simply need a temporary arrangement or Having a baby and looking to hire a newborn capsule, bassinet,or baby bjorn carriers.
We have available for hire baby capsules, car seats, booster seats,portacots,prams, high chairs, bassinets , breast pumps, plus much more.
We offer a pick up or delivery service to our customers of which you can arrange to have all the equipment set up for you.
We can assist with the installation of your baby capsules and car seats. All our equipment comes with manufacturer’s instructions should you require it.
Each piece of equipment is cleaned before every hire to ensure a smooth and trouble free experience for both you and baby.
So next time you’re travelling and need baby equipment hire for a day, a week or a couple of months,take the more reliable option and simply give us
a call or drop us an email. - FIND US ON FACE BOOK
Kay Collett
Founder of Giggle Toot Toot Baby Equipment Hire BENDIGO
Saturday, 05 January 2013 23:59

We all like to think we can do it all, that we can be Wonder Woman or Superman and achieve everything that needs to be done to succeed in business and at home.  The fact is, there are simply not enough hours in the day for business owners or entrepreneurs to achieve everything on their to-do list, without neglecting something or someone. 

Meet Virtually There.  From the Virtual Assistant industry, we are known as Administration Consultants or Virtual Specialists.  Established in 2005, our services are many and varied.  We can relieve you of your general administration tasks, and we also offer more specialised skills in online CRM implementation, customisation, training and ongoing support. 

Virtually There supports businesses to succeed.

We are your behind-the-scenes admin support.

We help business owners achieve their goals by giving you your time back - time to grow your business, time for yourself, for hobbies, for family...

We help you kick your goals.

We work from our own office.

We are cost effective!  We relieve your admin workload - when you need us.

Remember the old saying “If you want something done properly, you have to do it yourself”?  That saying goes right out the window when you meet Virtually There. 

Virtually There Owner, Kerryn Sonnet says “I will love your business the way you do.”

I am passionate about alleviating stress, offering solutions, sharing the load and I am determined to be the first person my clients think of and turn to when they are feeling pressure and need some help. 

I take ownership of tasks and responsibilities necessary in business, to free up business owners and staff so they can get on with growing their business

I can be your right arm, or just a little pinkie.  Whether you need admin support on a grand scale or from time to time, the benefit of my service is you can come to me when you need help”.

Kerryn Sonnet is the owner of Virtually There, a former Melbourne girl who moved to Bendigo over 5 years ago to live the tree change and raise a family.   Kerryn offers over 20 years of high output, executive level administration in a variety of industries.  Kerryn is the consummate professional and self confessed ”Do It Now kind of chick”.  

Virtually There – Business Administration Support

Loving your business the way you do


Tuesday, 18 December 2012 04:05

Sitting here at almost 3pm I think wow I have achieved allot today as I cross another thing off my board feeling cuffed with myself but not all days are the same because some days I make unreasonable to-do lists. Today is not one of those days so what where the keys to success in today’s list.

1.       I stated the list last night so I did not get up all muddleheaded and panicked so I was ready for work.

2.       I planned my day I had time for Emails, Social Networking, Calls and Admin

3.       I tackled one task at a time = allot more focused response and a faster result

4.       I had a break for lunch

5.       The tasks were reasonable and set in to small chunks

6.       I have hidden my email so I only see it when I open it same with Facebook

7.       I allocated my time so I used it wisely

This does not mean:

-          The phone did not ring

-          My toddler played the game and let mummy work when she needed to

-          That I did not had to juggle my day

What it did mean is that when these things happened today I was prepared for it and able to handle it without feeling ambushed.

The trick to today’s to-do list it was simple, visual and I felt like I achieved something with all the tasks being a step to the bigger picture. So really planning was the key to success with the detail needed to make sure I was focused on what I needed to do!

What works for you and your To – Do list?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 03:57

Many of you will know the feeling of being overwhelmed by emails and your inbox, so as I was cleaning up my in box today I thought I would share some email tips with you. Today I am unsubscribing, deleting, creating rules and more to deal with my inbox it allows me to think clearer and deal with the pressure that emails can create on my day.

Read it, Flag it, Delete it:

It is that simple the email can be read and responded to, flagged for follow up or deleted. Apply this approach and you will save time

Don’t leave your email open

Leaving your email open only leave you open to distraction, hide it or minimise it in your toolbar and check once an hour.

Folders are your friend

Create folders and rules that sort your emails as they come in it allow you to filter your emails and prioritise into reading and response groups. The same rules of Read it, Flag it, Delete it apply

Unsubscribe from unwanted/unread emails

Emails that we don’t read just clog up our inbox, and distract us from what we need t do for the day. Unsubscribe and delete it!

Flag and Categorise:

There are times that we can’t respond to an email when we read it. Flag it or categorise it to follow up then make time once a week to clear the flags.

These tips allow me to run with a clear head I would love to hear what strategies you use for email management – why not leave me a comment.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012 03:55

The impact of Twitter on Social Media Marketing for Business is increasing so for this Social Media take it one step at a time Twitter can be a hot and powerful tool for your business.

8 Reasons to signup and use twitter today!

  1. Make New Contacts-  Following the people we know is great, however  you can also make valuable new contacts with Twitter.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for people to work for your company or you just want to interact with others who like the same music as you, you can find all the new contacts you need through Twitter. Take the time to look through their profile, website links, and past Tweets to determine if it’s someone you’d be interested in following.

  1. Monitor Your Reputation- If you’re using twitter for professional purposes, it can be an effective tool for online reputation management. Track your name to keep tabs on what people are saying about you at any given time.

This information can be useful for fixing in-house problems, and it can also help you eliminate any untrue rumours that might be spreading around. This can be done through some great tools like TwitAlert

  1. Gain Exposure for Your Website- Perhaps the most obvious benefit of Twitter is generating traffic to your website. When you’re connected with followers who care about you, they’ll help spread your content by ReTweeting it to their friends.

 Just be careful that you don’t overdo the self-promotion as that will drive your followers away. Use Twitter responsibly, and you’ll experience more traffic to your blog and website.

  1. Stay in Touch- Whether it’s a business contact from across the country or a friend from down the street, connecting with them on Twitter is an easy way to stay in touch.

You’ll always know what they’re up to, and you can engage in brief discussions through DM or @(UserName) messages. Even if it’s someone you see all the time, you might get to experience a whole new side of them by following them on Twitter.

  1. Be Several Places at Once- Let’s face it–you can’t be everywhere at once. You can’t always afford to fly out to that conference across the country, but you can keep up with it through Twitter. People often Tweet live updates from various events, meaning you can be in several places at once.
  2. Build Your Authority- If you’re using Twitter to discuss a particular niche, you can build your authority by writing high quality Tweets. A few ways to build your authority on Twitter are to send out links to useful resources, provide useful tips to your followers, give insight into relevant topics, answer questions, and engage in discussions with your followers.
  3. Learn New Tips from Others- In addition to sharing tips, you can also learn new ones from others. That’s one of the things about Twitter that hooked me . So many of the people I’m following provide useful information based on their unique experiences. There really is a wealth of knowledge out there if you know who to follow.
  4. It is a Fun – Twitter is fun you can find great resources and even more great people and businesses that you may not have found otherwise.
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 03:32

Change your life by changing your thought is the motto Anita Dickons lives by. Anita knows what it is like to not live the life of your dreams, so after finding the keys to success she now shares them through Above the Line Thinking.

The ‘go to’ person all her life Anita is compassionate, understanding and easy to talk to with no fear of judgment needed.

About Anita

Anita spent 17 years in the corporate world leading and training people to be the best communicators they could be. A master NLP practitioner Anita has given her passion for helping people a purpose through Above the Line Thinking.

Combined with her corporate career Anita also worked with couples as a relationship counselor and families as a funeral director and in family planning. These roles all brought different life skills and experience, all centered around Anita’s’ absolute passion people.

NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behavior and emotion (programs).

Compassionate and caring Anita works with her clients to confront self-limiting beliefs and unlocks their full potential. Her ability to see the “whole” person and what they can achieve empowers Anita’s clients to succeed beyond what they ever thought possible.

“If Olympians, presidents and CEOs use advisors, mentors and teachers to succeed, doesn’t everyone deserve a coach to meet and surpass their ambitions?” Anita says

Anita works with Individuals, couples and groups and brings her wealth of knowledge and experience to larger audiences through workshops and training.

For Anita is it is all about creating empowered and loving change in a supportive environment.

About Above the Line Thinking

 The Quality of your thoughts determines the quality of your life so make each thought count!

Above the Line Thinking empowers you to have more choices, more chances at success and a better understanding of what makes you tick.

We are a sounding board, a safe space for you to discover who you need to be; empowering you to take the next step of your journey with passion to your ultimate success.

Through empowered thought and conversation you can be who you want to be in your business, love and life.

Change your Thinking – Change your Life!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 03:12

Tim Gentle is a courageous digital strategist and entrepreneur with a passion for building business and regional lifestyle.

With over 10 years' experience Tim's expertise is shown in his ability to help small business harness their online potential.
Tim provides his clients and audiences with online strategy that is current, cutting edge and easy to understand.

About Tim:

A passionate advocate for regional and small business Australia wide, Tim Gentle is founder and Managing Director of Design Experts.
A sought after thought leader in his field Tim presents workshops nationally and internationally on online solutions and digital strategy for small business.
Most recently Tim has been booked to speak in LA at AdobeMAX 2013 with over 3000 people expected in attendance.Tim's journey into the business world started when he and his wife Kylie left city jobs and opted for a tree change to his father's farm in Kyabram. 
Discovering a love and passion for regional life, Tim identified a gap in quality digital services support and information on offer to regional business.Committed to educating and empowering regional businesses to reach their online potential Tim and Kylie founded Design Experts in 2008 to deliver quality web development and marketing strategy to regional Victoria and have grown their business into an award winning team of 18 with offices in Bendigo and Echuca in only 4 years.
The commitment and passion for regional business and life lives and breathes through Tim's business, presentations and workshops. Their love of regional life saw Tim and Kylie selected as one of four families to be advocates for the Victorian Good Move Campaign.
Passionate about the digital success of regional business Tim presents with a passion and conviction that is easy to understand and compels audiences to listen."I enjoy the journey of constant innovation and improvement of our business. Educating our clients and participants in our eBusiness workshops inspires and motivates me." Tim says.
Continuing his commitment to community and regional development Tim's team at Design Experts deliver services to Not for Profit and Charities allowing them to be digitally ready via Tim's Working in Harmony program.Tim is working with regional businesses to harness the opportunities the NBN is bringing to regional areas throughout Australia, through workshops and eLearning programs in 2013.

About Design Experts

Led by Tim Design Experts is the trusted Educator in their field offering regional business an educative and full service approach to digital marketing and strategy. The award winning team at Design Experts listens and guides businesses to discover their full online potential.


Bendigo Life and Interest

Bendigo Life and Interest

Life style of Bendigonians coverage on  Bendigo events submitted by the local community covering, Family friendly things to do, life style, hobbies, News and more.

Monday, 08 April 2013 11:41

Scroll down to watch video


This video hi-lights some of Bendigo's beautiful scenery via areal video. courtesy of Cornerstore Media Productions.

There website




Thursday, 21 March 2013 09:08

The arrival of FunLoong the Red Dragon in Hargreaves Mall is not far away, so to mark this exciting occasion the City of Greater Bendigo is calling on all children aged 12 years and under to enter the FunLoong colouring competition.

The City’s Director Community and Wellbeing Pauline Gordon said the competition was another great opportunity to build excitement around the arrival of the FunLoong Play Space.

“The official opening of the playground is only a week away, so this is another chance for Bendigo children to get involved in this wonderful unveiling,” Ms Gordon said.

“The winning pictures will go on display in the Mall during the second week of the school holidays and the winners will be announced on Wednesday April 10, at a school holiday fun day also in the Mall.”

There will be four winners – boys under 8, girls under 8, boys 8 – 12 and girls 8 – 12.

The City’s Dragon Play Space Launch committee will select the winners, who will each receive a prize to the value of $100. Shortlisted entries will also be displayed.

The Bendigo Advertiser and the Bendigo Weekly will this week publish a copy of the image to be coloured in, but a hard copy can also be obtained from the City’s office in Lyttleton Terrace or downloaded from the City’s website

Entries can be hand delivered to City of Greater Bendigo 195-229 Lyttleton Terrace or posted to PO Box 733 Bendigo 3552.

Entries close Thursday April 4.

Monday, 18 March 2013 23:30

The City of Greater Bendigo and Bendigo Senior Secondary College are calling on the public to submit their ideas for an appropriate name for the new community theatre which will be constructed at the old Bendigo Gaol site.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College (BSSC) Principal Dale Pearce said there have already been a number of names put forward but both the BSSC and the City want to cast the net wider to see what the community thinks would be a good name.

“The old gaol is such an iconic building and the final name must take into account the heritage and history of the site.  It must also be a name that will be embraced by the general community and we are looking forward to hearing what the public thinks it should be called,” said Mr Pearce.

He said the final name of the theatre will need to be assessed in accordance with the criteria of the State Government’s Guidelines for Geographic Names 2010 which sets the rules for naming geographic features and localities in Victoria.

People wishing to submit a name for the new theatre will have until April 29, 2013 to do so either online to by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post addressed to Name Our Theatre P.O Box 733 Bendigo 3552.

People visiting the Bendigo Gaol Community Open Day this Sunday March 24 can also submit their suggestions on the day.  The chosen name will be announced later in the year.

The $25.8 million community theatre project will feature a 1,000 seat theatre, music, dance and drama studio spaces, general learning areas and a commercial learning kitchen.  The project is currently at a very exciting stage with all planning and heritage authority approvals now in place and the announcement of the preferred contractor due in April.   Once this occurs construction is expected to commence shortly afterwards with completion due before the end of 2014. 

Sunday, 17 March 2013 01:20

Independent Review Committee (IRC) Chair Rod Hanson is encouraging residents to have their say on improvements to the City of Greater Bendigo, with the cut-off date for submissions fast approaching.

The IRC has received 18 submissions to date and Mr Hanson said he would like to see a lot more. Submissions close on April 2 – immediately after Easter.

Mr Hanson said submissions to date largely deal with single issues; however some are very detailed, covering a wide range of subjects.

“Topics covered in submissions include finances, superannuation (defined benefits), rates, organisational structure, economic development, infrastructure and office accommodation,” he said.

“The Independent Review of the City of Greater Bendigo is providing community members with a unique opportunity to have their say on how the City might operate into the future.

“The IRC is encouraging interested residents to inform us about what the City does well and how it can do things better.

“The City of Greater Bendigo is here to serve the community and the IRC is keen to hear from people who receive the services that the City provides. Are they the services you want? Can they be delivered more efficiently? Are there services currently not provided which should be made available?

“All submissions will all be taken very seriously and the community’s ideas will be included in our final recommendations to Council. Submissions can be made on a confidential basis.”

As well as the quality of service delivery, residents can also have their say on improvements to:

  • Council income and expenditure
  • Innovative strategies in management, staffing and structure of Council
  • Prioritising of capital and major works
  • Greater Bendigo's economic development and Council's role associated with it
  • Council's communication and community engagement strategies

People wanting to find out more about lodging a submission are encouraged to attend a community information session at the Council Offices in Lyttleton Tce starting at 5.30pm tomorrow (Thursday March 14).

Consultants (Aurecon) employed to undertake the review began work this week and their recommendations will be considered alongside those of the community.

The IRC is due to make its final recommendations to Council before the end of June.

Details on how to make a submission are available on the City’s website at

Sunday, 17 March 2013 01:16

The City of Greater Bendigo has expanded its network of scooter and electric wheelchair recharge points across the municipality, taking the total number to 14.

Mayor Cr Lisa Ruffell said the five newest recharge points located throughout the CBD would provide scooter and wheelchair users with greater peace of mind.

“Multiple locations including the UFS Pharmacy in View Street, Bendigo Prince of Wales Showgrounds, Bendigo Railway Station, Bendigo TAFE City Campus and MatchWorks will make scooter and electric wheelchair recharge easier,” Cr Ruffell said.

“Users can travel throughout Greater Bendigo and know they can have increased, easier access to a recharge point,” Cr Ruffell said.

“For those with limited mobility, it is important to know they can venture around the municipality without fear of losing power to their motorised vehicles.”

Recharge points include:

  • Bendigo Library – Hargreaves St, Bendigo (currently unavailable due to renovations)
  • Kangaroo Flat Library – 267 High St, Kangaroo Flat
  • Heathcote Visitor Information Centre – Cnr High and Barracks St, Heathcote
  • Bendigo UFS, Hargreaves Street Pharmacy – 379 Hargreaves St, Bendigo
  • Bendigo Bank – Fountain Court Arcade (near lifts) – Cnr High & Mitchell St, Bendigo
  • Bendigo Marketplace (located on column near Dick Smiths Electronics) - 37 Garsed St, Bendigo
  • New Victoria Hotel – 48 High St, Eaglehawk
  • Kangaroo Flat Community House - 21 Woolcock Av, Kangaroo Flat
  • Long Gully Neighbourhood Centre - 52-54 Derwent Drive, Long Gully
  • Bendigo UFS, View Street Pharmacy – Cnr View St & Barnard St, Bendigo
  • Bendigo Prince of Wales Showgrounds – (located in Holmes Rd, North Bendigo
  • Bendigo Railway Station (located inside, opposite the café) – Railway Pl, Bendigo
  • Bendigo TAFE, City Campus (located in Building P, Library) – McCrae St, Bendigo (Access via Gate 9)
  • MatchWorks - 34 Pall Mall, Bendigo

Cr Ruffell encouraged any businesses interested in purchasing and installing a recharge point to contact Rural Access.

“This is a great way for businesses that are accessible to the public to provide a wonderful service that benefits a significant number of residents and visitors to Greater Bendigo,” she said.

For more information contact Community Development Officer Maureen McMahon 5434 6386.

Sunday, 17 March 2013 01:14

The City of Greater Bendigo will celebrate National Playgroup Week on Tuesday March 19 with a free community event at Cooinda Park in Mackenzie Street, Golden Square.

The event will run from 10am – 12pm and there will be fun for all the family including art, craft and sensory activities, interactive fun, face painting and a chance to meet Goldie the Wonder Dog.

Parents will also have an opportunity to discover what Bendigo playgroups and pre-schools can offer their children.

Manager Community Services Rod Flavell encouraged parents of young children to attend the community day and consider the benefits of early learning.

“The first five years of a child’s life is critical for brain formation and is when they develop important skills and begin responding to the world around them,” Mr Flavell said.

“Playgroup and pre-school provides babies, toddlers and kindergarten-aged children with a stimulating environment where they can practice their language, problem solving and social skills in preparation for school.”

Playgroup and pre-school can also be an important social outlet for mums, dads and carers, as it is can be an opportunity for them to share their experiences and ideas on raising children.

At playgroup your child will:

  • Have fun
  • Learn to share
  • Learn to cooperate
  • Develop language skills
  • Understand different textures, colours and shapes
  • Develop hand-eye coordination, balance and fine motor skills

 (Source: Playgroup Australia and Playgroup Victoria)

Sunday, 17 March 2013 01:10

The Hargreaves Mall Red Dragon will be called FunLoong, after entrants were inspired by Bendigo’s famous Imperial Dragon Sun Loong.

It is said great minds think alike and it was true for Mia Williams (age 5), Caitlin Buchan (age 10), Zoe Willis (age 16) and adults Andrew Chittenden and Elizabeth Parry.

Caitlin said she came up with her entry by watching and being in Bendigo’s annual Easter Parade and going to lots of events at the Golden Dragon Museum.

“I just came home from school one day and thought it was a good name, just like Sun Loong the dragon at the museum,” she said.

Andrew said he wanted the dragon to have a name that was quintessential Bendigo.

“A playground is designed to be fun, so my entry was a play on the name of iconic Bendigo dragon Sun Loong,” he said.

Elizabeth said she came up with her entry in about five minutes.

“Once I saw the call for entries I couldn’t stop thinking about a possible name,” she said.

“I thought FunLoong fitted perfectly and was instantly recognisable.”

Zoe drew on her Chinese heritage background for her entry.

“I thought FunLoong and Sun Loong fitted well together,” she said.

Mia Williams agreed and said she picked the name because it rhymed with Sun Loong.

Mayor Cr Lisa Ruffell thanked the Greater Bendigo community for getting involved in the naming competition, which attracted 198 entries.

“FunLoong was the most popular entry, but the response was overwhelming and there were some outstanding suggestions,” Cr Ruffell said.

“A panel including myself and the CBD Activation Group agreed FunLoong was a great name that suited the idea of the dragon play space being a fun attraction for children visiting Hargreaves Mall.”

Monday, 11 March 2013 21:52

Looking for more than eggs to celebrate Easter this year? The Eaglehawk Anglican Parish one of Bendigo’s most comfortable and inspiring churches is welcoming you and your family to see what all the excitement is about.


Bringing together art, music reflection, the Eaglehawk Anglican Parish will be illustrating Creation to Easter. The story of God will be presented in a new and engaging manner, by youth, young adults, parishioners and minstrels. With food, paint, tunes and coffee, there’s something at this event to appeal to everyone in the family! It will be a “packed to the rafters” event for anyone in Bendigo, so ensure no one is left out.


This Easter service will be presented on Good Friday, at 10am. The festivity will be taking place at the corner of High Street and Church Street Eaglehawk, March 29th.


Known for their intricate and original way of celebrating Church, the Parish now holds three services to fit the needs of individuals and families in the community.


Perhaps you desire the traditional ways we have all grown to know and love, or maybe you desire a more modern, alternative adaptation? The Eaglehawk Anglican Parish will have the perfect environment for you.


Easter Sunday, March 31st the three services will be held at the St Jude’s, Taylor Street, California Gully. A traditional Anglican service will be held at 8.45 for all early birds. A contemporary service follows that morning at 10am. And in the evening, at 5:30pm, is the Gathering – church but not as you know it – a modern, alternative take on Church.


Come, enjoy, engage, and be inspired

Sunday, 24 February 2013 01:09


Know why you are doing it, what is your goal beyond year 12?

Ask yourself who do I want to be instead of what do I want to be, remember you are a human being not a human doing.

Write a list of all the reasons to complete it. Do you want to go to uni?

What course do you want to do? Do you want to go travelling? Will it be easier to get into a

course or a job when you get back with year 12 or without?



What do you do that makes you feel good? It is vital to keep doing it as well as studying.

If you put every minute into study you won't be topping your tank up and running on empty

can lead to illness, self doubt and apathy. Having balance will support great results not

sabotage them.



Break your week or days up, seeing it in a written plan makes it so much easier to take time

off without guilt and pressure of what you should be doing. Some of the categories could be

lessons, study, reading, friends, work, family, hobby/sports. If you do schedule and stick to it

you won't be playing catch up, you will be able to really enjoy your downtime and be

present not worrying about what you should, must and need to do.



Be aware of what is coming up when, so you can plan ahead and prepare well for exams.

Focus on what you DO want instead of what you DON'T want. So thoughts of what if I fail or

go blank etc is focusing on what you don't want so of course that is what you'll get.



During exam time. Take time to relax and breath deeply to calm your mind and body.

Remember all the work you have done, not the bit you didn't. Once you are in the exam

remember to breath deeply and allow the information to come to you. The unconscious

mind is powerful beyond belief once you have learnt something it is there you just have to

allow it the space to come to your conscious mind.



Most people know the pressure that year 12 brings, don't be afraid to ask for help if you need

it. Have a study buddy, reduce your work hours, know what you need and tell your parents

they can't read your mind and just want you to succeed. The worst resentments are about

things that you think people should just know, they don't unless you ask for what you want.

Practice this throughout the year so when it does come to exam time you are doing it

unconsciously and feeling at your best.



Anita spent 17 years in the corporate world leading and training people to be the best

communicators they could be. A master NLP practitioner Anita has given her passion for

helping people a purpose through Above the Line Thinking.

Combined with her corporate career Anita also worked with couples as a relationship

counsellor and families as a funeral director and in family planning. These roles all brought

different life skills and experience, all centred around Anita’s’ absolute passion people

To arrange an interview call Linda Reed-Enever on 0433 149 319 or email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, 24 February 2013 00:50

We all want our kids to be safe at school whether it is their first or last day. Women Friendly Services’ Kellie Briggs shares her tips and advice for sending the kids to school safely. 

Devastatingly enough each week in Australia 5 children are killed from preventable injuries of which road deaths and pedestrian accidents are the major cause.

In the 12 month period from July 2011 and July 2012 there were 90 road deaths among children aged between 0-16 year olds and boys are twice as likely to be killed in pedestrian accidents as girls.

“I believe as caregivers and parents we have an equal responsibility to make sure our children and informed and safe” Kellie says.

So how can we as parents make our child’s school life and journey safer?

Travelling to School Safely:

When Walking With You

When Walking without a Carer

When Taking The Bus

Hold the child’s hand until they are at least 8 years of age or ensure they hang onto the pram or trolley or your clothing

Plan the walking route to school or the bus stop and Walk it with your child beforehand.

Teach children to arrive at the bus stop early and stay out of the street until the bus comes to a complete stop

Closely supervise your children up until the age of at least 10years old.


Teach your child to obey all road and traffic signals and to cross roads where the traffic attendants are when possible.

Remind your children to remain seated at all times


Don’t let your child hold onto a ball when walking, place it in a plastic bag.

Organise a few kids to walk together

When exiting the bus use the hand rail to avoid falling under the bus


Teach your child never to talk to strangers or get into a car with a stranger


Teach your children never to cross in front of the bus as the driver may not see them and they may not see traffic on the other side of the bus.


Make sure your child knows your contact phone number, home address, the phone number of another trusted and available adult, and how to call 000 from both a normal phone and mobile.

Teach your child to never bend down in front of a bus as the driver may not see them


Safety in the Playground:

      Most injuries in the playgrounds are from falls, and not from very high places.

      Check the playground equipment at your childs school looking for hazards such as rusted and broken equipment and safe surfaces underneath the equipment.

      Report anything unsafe to your school.

      Avoid draw strings on the hood or around the neck of jackets and jumpers. Draw strings at the waist should be no longer than 7cm to prevent being caught on object or in car doors.

      Make sure soccer goals are anchored to the ground as children have been killed by the goals falling on top of them.

      Teach your children how to behave in a playground – no pushing or shoving and making sure you wait turns.

Backpack Safety:

Every day I see primary school and high school children lugging around massive school bags loaded to the brim and the Physiotherapist in me always says “What about their poor little backs?” They always remind me of turtles and how they could fall on their back and not get back up, arms and legs waving everywhere! Good back care practices start from a very young age and you are never too young to learn.

      Children should have a backpack that is appropriate for their height – ending about 10cm above their waist, with soft, wide, padded, adjustable straps to evenly distribute the load.

      A good backpack will have compartments to distribute the load evenly or choose a wheeled one.

      Children should never carry more than 10-15 % of their body weight over their shoulders and back.

      Help or teach your child to sort through their bag every day to take out unnecessary items for that day.

      Teach your child to always wear the straps over both shoulders even though it may be “uncool” to do so.

      Make sure your children know to bend their knees when picking up their bag to avoid straining their back muscles.


Helping your Child to deal with Bullying:

      Talk about what bullying is with your child often and the different forms it can take.

      Encouraging your child to develop a core group of friends will help them build confidence and stop them from being singled out.

      Know your schools policies on bullying and help your child to follow them

      Teach your child to be assertive and stand up for themselves. And when to walk away rather than escalate the situation.

If you feel your child may be bullying other kids at school, seek help as early as possible and don’t be in denial. Often there will be a school psychologist or social worker or an early intervention program that can help at your local child health centre.

Not only are you looking out for the safety of your own children but by setting a good example and being a responsible parent you are looking out for the safety others too.

About Kellie:

Kellie Briggs is the founder of Women Friendly Services. Her roles as Mum, Physiotherapist and in Defence Force made it clear to her that not everyone is who they see. Kellie founded Women Friendly Services to be a resource of police checked and accredited businesses. Kellie and her team personally check and accredit each business at

To arrange an interview call Linda Reed-Enever on 0433 149 319 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 07:46

I first moved to Bendigo in 2007 after meeting my husband. I was Melbourne born and bred and moving to the country was a whole new experience for me.

I was pregnant with my first daughter now 5, I didn't know anyone, didn't know where to shop it was all completely new to me.
Having grown up in Melbourne of course I was used to the shopping we had, whether it be the big shopping center, the strip shopping or perhaps the local market.

Once settled in Bendigo and with my second daughter now on the way I needed to find something to do with my time and returning to traditional work didn't really appeal to me as first and for most I wanted to be a mum.As my kids were growing I also found that I wanted to sell my secondhand baby items but there really wasn't anywhere to take them and of course they are too good to throw away.

I had a friend in Melbourne that had started up a baby and kids market and she was loving it and she said to me "you should give it a go in Bendigo, the worst that can happen is it fail". So with a friend, The Children's Market Bendigo was launched in Oct 2010.

Creating the market will allow everyone who has pre-loved items or is looking to purchase for their family a one stop place to shop. The market has been designed especially for children. Clothes, shoes, baby keepsakes, nursery decor, toys & books, accessories, maternity wear & even furniture anything for kids. Not only is the market a shopping experience but we also have great entertainment for the kids with lots of special visitors, rides, animal farm, arts and crafts that the kids can take home and we also encourage other organisations like dance schools, sports programs etc to join us on market days aswell.

Central Victorian's love a good pre-loved bargain but we've also seen a new love for the quality and love that goes into handmade items. Creating the market gave our talented WAHM's (Work At Home Mum's, and some Dad's) an outlet to show off and sell their creations. It's lovely to think that even though most can't retire on the earnings, these woman have a real passion for what they do and being able to make a little bit of spare cash also gives them the option to stay home and raise their family.

Since our launch a lot has happened, friendships have been made, small at home businesses have grown, we've expanded the market to now include Shepparton and Echuca, and there's even been a name change to ' Kid's Market Central Vic'.

There has been many up's and down's and plenty of times that I thought perhaps that traditional job isn't such a bad idea. Then I think of all the wonderful friendships i've made, hopefully the opportunity i've given many WAHM's and the real passion I now have for what I do. My biggest advice is - small business was and never will be easy but if you love what you do then don't ever let anyone try to you down. I'm certainly not perfect and there's been some challenging people i've met along the way but i'm learning and as 2013 kicks off our 3rd year of markets i'm so excited for whats ahead.

Kid's Market Central Vic runs appropriately 2 or 3 market a year in Bendigo, Shepparton and Echuca. Anyone is welcome at the market and booking a stall is easy, simply visit the website or phone Bree on 0400994399 for more info.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 18:16

Luke Owens and the committee behind Bendigo for Homeless Youth received the news yesterday that they have officially raised $70,000 of their $100,000 fundraising goal for a bricks and mortar Social Housing Project for homeless youth.

When Luke discovered a local 10 year old Bendigo child was sleeping out he was compelled to do something for homeless youth.  Further research led Luke to discover that on any given night in Australia more than 44,500 people are homeless. Nearly half of these are under the age of 25. Surprisingly, there are over 700 children in Bendigo who don’t have a stable living environment; they just need a home.

Luke deferred uni for a year to commit himself to the project and combat this growing local issue. A group of Bendigo musicians combined their talents to write, record and release a charity album.

Combined with T-Shirt sales and other local fundraising efforts Luke and the team are just $30,000 away from their goal and would love to reach this in time for the New Year.

“We are calling on the local community to help these kids” Luke said. “Donations don’t need to be large. Every little bit helps to get us to our goal.”

On Sunday Luke and his team of volunteers will be selling CD’s and T Shirts at Community Carols Rosalind Park with the support of the Rotary Club Bendigo.

The album features Bendigo artists Albert Skipper, Leigh Turner, Taylor Sheridan, Rowden Kolone, Eliza DeAraugo, Penny Larkins, Talisa Jobe and Sheridan Parry; as well as 2010 Australia’s Got Talent finalists Cameron and Taylor Henderson and Tom Tuena. The album is available online and at local businesses around town.

Why not grab a meaningful last minute Christmas gift for the Family.

Donations can be made by the Bendigo for Homeless Youth website or call into any Bendigo Bank branch. Donations of $2 or over are tax-deductible.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 18:14

It is the time of year when many people are considering a career change. Anita Dickons from Above the Line Thinking shares with us her top 5 tips for evaluating your role and making a career change.

Be honest with yourself:

While it sometimes takes a crisis for us to make a change in our lives, a good indication that you are no longer fulfilled is a lack of energy and enthusiasm on a daily basis. When the pain of desperation overrides the pain of action you’ll start moving towards your new career. Being self-aware can short cut this journey so you act sooner. If you take responsibility for where you are at it makes choice and change a possibility.

Blow your trumpet:
Start with a list of your skills, strengths, resources, learning, achievements, greatest lessons etc. It’s easy to compartmentalise our lives and not make links between them all. Remember you are all of those things and that is what you will take to the next chapter of your career not just what you are doing right now. If you were part of a netball team, remember the teamwork, stamina, courage, determination and so on that you used then. They are all resources you have and can draw on anytime you need them, you may just have forgotten they are there.

Find your passion:
There is no better feeling than doing what you love and loving what you do. So spend some time reconnecting with what you love to do. The quality of your life is based upon the questions you ask yourself. Think about what you've truly loved doing throughout your career. Ask yourself what would my ideal job look like? Dream, write, visualise your fantasy job and then explore how that could be possible.

Have a plan and a goal:
Once you have evaluated your options, take the time to set out a plan and ask yourself questions such as - do I need to retrain, do I need to develop specific skills; how can I do that? If I need to study how can I support that? What is my compelling reason why? Take the time to read, research and study this area or areas of interest. Look for mentors and people in your desired profession or skill area to speak with.

Reinvent your current role:
As an alternative to a completely new career path, it may pay to simply make a few changes to the role you currently have or look where you are able to experience new challenges, ways in which to contribute or to see where you feel you are able to serve best and what serves you best. You are never too old or too entrenched in any given profession to make a change. Focus on the experience that you've gained and the skills you have acquired rather than possible excuses for not moving forward.

About Anita:

Change your life by changing your thought is the motto Anita Dickons lives by. Anita knows what it is like to not live the life of your dreams, so after finding the keys to success she now shares them through Above the Line Thinking.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 03:48

One of the hardest things when juggling work, business and family is making time for you. As a Mummy you are often putting kids, hubby and business before your needs and if a friend in need calls you will go and help them too! Which are all great qualities and what we love about mummies but what about making time for you before you go stir crazy or burn out? Remember a happy family needs a happy Mummy not a stressed one.

I was reminded of this today when this morning I am juggling dishes, phone and writing and article it all started. Miss wanted to paint Hubbys had calls to do and I am left standing there a bit muddleheaded and feeling like the wheels are going to fall off at any minute the alarm bells rang – Time to take care of you.

Mummy needs a coffee!

Many Mummies ask me how I do what I do and I say coffee mostly as a joke but sometimes it is very true coffee is my escape and relaxes me giving me that precious moments of me time.  A coffee for me can be at my desk while surfing the web, on the couch while baby sleeps beside me or an escape outside with Miss for a Chino as I get away from what I do for the day. It is my 5 mins of my time!

Creating some 5 min My Time:

As a working Mummy it is better to create my time than wait for the wheels to be falling off like I did this morning before you take care of me however that is not always possible so here are some quick 5 min my time tips that can help to take care of you!

·         Have a coffee or treat in a special cup away from it all (I love my Mummy Rocks Cup saved just for these occasions)

·         Hand cream a really nice stop at your desk and sit back and feel the sensations– not only makes your hand feel nice but if you have a nice scented one you get aromatherapy too

·         Have a candle – lighting my candle lifts my mood and give me stress relief takes 2 seconds to do but freshens the room

·         Walk outside just you – no hubby no kids just walk outside and look around!

·         Hide a magazine – get your fav mag and hide it then bring it out when you need me time and hide it again. (Protecting it from drawings and crumpled pages)

·         Mixed tape (well Cd’s now) create yourself a playlist of your fav songs to play in the car and get in some my time that way (remember really loud and to sing who cares who see you!)

I would love to hear how other Mummies get in some my time in under 5 mins to stay sane in juggling their days.

Now for me it is off to plan a day spa trip with no hubby or kids even if I don’t get there planning if half the fun!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 03:39

Family Capers, Australia’s friendliest website is now calling Bendigo home after it relocated from Brisbane in August.

Family Capers’ Clive Enever said “the moved was motivated by a mix of work life balance for our family and the need to be central to our Audience”.

Family Capers is a virtual playground of support, friendship, business networking, competitions, events and more …connecting families across the nation with the things that are important to them.

Clive adds “It is important to us to offer resources and support to families of all ages and sizes and we do this though our online magazines, forums, jobs boards and business hub.” Family Capers is free for families to access the resources they need including business webinars with experts every Monday night and a talented Professional Support Panel in the Family Forum.

Families join a community that embraces every family who ‘walks through the door’.  Family Capers is a judgement-free, supportive online environment where individuals and families can thrive.

When you join the family you’ll receive:

  • Fun and Friendly Community
  • Resources for all the Family
  • Great Members Only Competitions
  • Online Magazines
  • Professional Support Advisors
  • And Lots, Lots More


The best things in life are FREE, and that includes our membership package. We know you’re busy, so registration is super simple.

Non For profit

Non For profit

News, insight, and opportunities on all things non-profit. read about what is happening in Bendigo with our non for profit organisations 

Sunday, 19 May 2013 06:34

It is more than a love of cars which has bought two best friends together to raise money for the Cancer Council. Bendigo residents Lincoln O'Meara and Adam Wood will compete in the Mystery Box car rally in October. Aside from having some serious fun on the way, the two men hope to raise some valued money for much-needed cancer research, prevention and support. 

"Cancer has had an impact on everyone we know," Adam said.  "Over the last few years, two of our friends dad's have died of cancer, so research into a cure or prevention is an important cause to get behind."  The Mystery Box rally begins in Melbourne on 12 October with fifty teams competing. As the name suggests, the rally is full of mystery.  "We won't know what car we will be driving until the night before the rally starts," Adam said.  "Before we can roll up to the starting line, we have to head along to an auction and purchase a car without even looking inside it or under the bonnet.  We'll certainly be taking some tools with us just in case."

The rally is held over five days, and the morning of each day teams will be given that days route and destination. The two car enthusiasts can expect to be driving on some rough and remote dirt roads.  "We won't know where we are going or what to expect from the car," Lincoln said, “It’s lucky I will have Adam with me, as I am terrible at navigating, just ask my wife, and I’d have no hope making the finish line without him.” 

To make the starting line, Lincoln and Adam need to raise at least $3500.
Lincoln hopes the money they raise will help ease the pressure for people living with cancer in their day to day lives.  "If we can help contribute money to research, which may eventually help people living with cancer, whilst having a bit of fun it sounds like a great idea to me."

Lincoln and Adam are hoping for community support to help them raise money for the Cancer Council. A tax deductible donation can be made at or for sponsorship opportunities please email Lincoln at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


Friday, 21 December 2012 02:53

Luke Owens and the committee behind Bendigo for Homeless Youth received the news

yesterday that they have officially raised $70,000 of their $100,000 fundraising goal for

a bricks and mortar Social Housing Project for homeless youth.

When Luke discovered a local 10 year old Bendigo child was sleeping out he was

compelled to do something for homeless youth. Further research led Luke to discover

that on any given night in Australia more than 44,500 people are homeless. Nearly half

of these are under the age of 25. Surprisingly, there are over 700 children in Bendigo

who don’t have a stable living environment; they just need a home.

Luke deferred uni for a year to commit himself to the project and combat this growing

local issue. A group of Bendigo musicians combined their talents to write, record and

release a charity album.

Combined with T-Shirt sales and other local fundraising efforts Luke and the team are

just $30,000 away from their goal and would love to reach this in time for the New Year.

“We are calling on the local community to help these kids” Luke said. “Donations don’t

need to be large. Every little bit helps to get us to our goal.”

On Sunday Luke and his team of volunteers will be selling CD’s and T Shirts at

Community Carols Rosalind Park with the support of the Rotary Club Bendigo.

The album features Bendigo artists Albert Skipper, Leigh Turner, Taylor Sheridan,

Rowden Kolone, Eliza DeAraugo, Penny Larkins, Talisa Jobe and Sheridan Parry; as well

as 2010 Australia’s Got Talent finalists Cameron and Taylor Henderson and Tom Tuena.

The album is available online and at local businesses around town.

Why not grab a meaningful last minute Christmas gift for the Family.

Donations can be made by the Bendigo for Homeless Youth website or call into any Bendigo Bank branch. Donations of

$2 or over are tax-deductible.


Luke Owens on 0467 301 803 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR Linda

Reed-Enever This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – 0433 149 319.

Monday, 17 December 2012 11:35

Testicular cancer isn’t new, neither is creating awareness about it and yet people still avoid talking about the disease. The Blue Ball Foundation seeks to create awareness through humour – a new take on an old issue.It was started by Mike Elliott and Jamie Morgan, two testicular cancer survivors.

We believe that there is a ‘culture of embarrassment’, that discourages men from discussing and resolving problems related to man issues. It doesn't just affect one person, but families, parents, kids as well.


We use live comedy, inspirational talks in schools and workplaces, YouTube videos, big events and social media to build a culture where embarrassment does not prevent men from checking 'their boys'. Around 700 Australian men are diagnosed a year.

We run presentations in schools, workplaces and community groups to promote men’s health. Our big events such as movie nightsand'Blue Ball Day' cricket matchhelp us raise vital funds and help us achieve our goals. The Blue Ball Foundation receives no funding from the government and rely entirely on supporters generosity and sponsorships.

The Blue Ball Foundation is endorsed as a charity and Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). You can find out more by going to

Thursday, 13 December 2012 06:53

Giving a good gift

The idea of doing a good deed with your Christmas consumer dollar is not a new one, but the Good Gift Catalog from Social Traders, an organisation that supports social enterprise, is a new way you can help social enterprises achieve their social goals just by doing your Christmas shopping. 

The catalogue is filled with over 150 products and services from social enterprises across Australia; you can buy items ranging from Indigenous bush soaps and up-cycled fashion to social enterprise wine and coffee.

With an interface that lets you choose by the recipient’s gender and interest area as well as intended spending limit, it is strongly pitching itself to the Kris Kringle market, and beyond.

‘This is a great opportunity to let people know that they can use their purchasing power to make a difference, and support businesses that benefit the community,’ Social Traders’ Mindy Leow said.

Social enterprises, also called social businesses or profit-for-purpose entities, are often run by not-for-profits looking to achieve both social goals and generate some profit to keep the business afloat.

This catalogue is based on the SEFinder website that Social Trader’s launched earlier in the year . Community Sector Banking was proud to be featured as one of the social enterprises listed in the directory.

‘As a social enterprise ourselves, we try to use social enterprise and small businesses for as many of our purchases as possible, I encourage people to consider purchasing ethical gifts this festive season and support businesses with social purpose’ CEO and Managing Director, Greg Peel.

Next month’s ‘in the loop’ will outline key fundraising campaigns from other partner organisations.

Story provided by

Thursday, 13 December 2012 06:50

Charity commission kicks off

After years of sector lobbying, inquiry recommendations and months of politicking, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) has now launched.

 ‘The ACNC will focus on cutting down on red tape for charities, so that they can get on with doing what they do best - supporting the most vulnerable members of our community.’

Assistant treasurer David Bradbury said as he officially launched the Commission on Monday at a ceremony held at Mission Australia’s social enterprise restaurant, Charcoal Lane in Melbourne.

The launch kicks off a national community presentation program in early 2013, with a regional information series, over the following six months.


Newly confirmed ACNC Commissoner, Susan Pascoe at the launchThe ACNC’s role will be:

  • establishing and maintaining a public information portal
  • implementing a reporting framework for all registered charities
  • administering a new Charities Definition Act
  • providing education and support to the sector


focus on charity

The ACNC will initially be turning its focus to the 56,000 charities in Australia before broadening the focus to the larger not-for-profit sector.


From kick off date to 1 July 2013

  • For charities receiving tax concessions, the ATO will be transferring information automatically and there is no need to register.
  • Those not receiving tax concessions may still wish to register because part of the publicly searchable web directory of charities will be implemented.
  • If your organisation is not currently receiving tax concessions but intends to apply, you’ll need to register your organisation.
  • Not-for-profits that are not charities may be able to register in the future, but not at establishment.

Between July 2013 - 2014, registered charities will need to lodge the Transitional Annual Information Statement. The transition report will ask organisations to report on main activities for the year, work towards goals, and numbers of people involved (especially how many volunteers). This information will accompany the organisation’s profile on the public information portal, giving donors more information.

Initially the ACNC is unlikely to be a complete panacea for red tape, however it is hoped that it will be possible to build relationships with the other jurisdictions (including state based and other federal bodies) to harmonise arrangements.

The commissioner’s national presentation program will tour the country and answer people’s remaining questions about the implementation and their organisation’s obligations.

To find out more:

Click here to visit the brand new website and sign up for the Commissioner’s mailing list.

 They’ve also launched a new facebookpage. Like it to keep up to date with all the latest happenings.

Story provided by

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 08:18

Photos Provided by Tracey Gordon from Tracey Gordon Photography

Tracey Gordon Photography is based in Bendigo and specializes in Wedding Photography. Tracey Gordon Photography is also available for Maternity, Newborn and Family Portraits.

Visit them here


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