Focus on Phillip

phillip business community logoRobert Issell from Priority Invest had been in Canberra for 8 years and had a client base right across Canberra, but knew very few in his own local business neighbourhood.

“There was no medium to meet; I would walk down the street passed strangers, not knowing anyone,” says Robert.

“I enquired around to see if there was a Chamber of Commerce or a group responsible for the area, and I couldn’t find one. So, I made up a survey that I could take around to the different businesses and collect information about who they are and what they do, and what concerns they had and whether having a Phillip Business Community was something they were interested in.

patricia jasonSometimes, what an established business really needs is a fresh look, preferably from someone with little knowledge about how the industry works to ask ‘why is it done that way’? If the answer comes back – ‘because that’s the way we’ve always done it’, you know you’re in trouble.

We spoke to two young people, Patricia Paraswati and Jason Ho from Asian Provisions in Phillip, about how they brought a fresh perspective to a business that had been operating for over 40 years.

robert issellFintech companies have been shaking up the world of banking; property management has also had its share of tech makeovers, but technology isn’t the only way to re-think an industry.

Robert Issell and Sumer Singh and their companies Property Invest and Infront Financials certainly offer a different perspective on wealth creation, especially for a younger demographic. To understand where they’re coming from you first need to understand their respective backgrounds.

Robert Issell started investing in property at the age of 21 and retired the first time at age 37, supported by income generated from investing in property and business.

maggie white1An exciting new social enterprise is opening in Phillip. An initiative of L’Arche Genesaret, it will focus on co-creating new social, cultural and economic opportunities in the area.

The Hub in Phillip will provide a dynamic new space for learning, working and sharing life alongside people with an intellectual disability in Canberra.

Things to look forward to include courses and workshops in visual and performing arts; hands-on carpentry and furniture restoration projects facilitated by the L’Arche Men’s Group and other community groups; a co-working space for social businesses and a venue for community events and performances.

battery markDid you know hearing aid batteries are activated by air; or that marine batteries differ in design to car batteries? When we think about technology innovations that impact us on a day-to-day basis we often think of smartphones, wearables, laptops and tablets. While everything is becoming more portable and they’re all battery powered, we don’t necessarily think about batteries as being particularly innovative. However, this industry is evolving rapidly.

Mark Roberts from Battery World South Canberra points out that even a lot of medical equipment relies on batteries.

sheryle moon1Sheryle Moon has an impressive pedigree. She could walk into any job. She chose to work for a start-up and is loving it.

Sheryle is recognised as a leader in the Australian ICT industries. She was named by Prime Minister John Howard as one of the 20 most influential women and a founding member of the Honoring Women Program on Australia Day in 2001. She is a Telstra Business Woman of the Year and a Member of the Australian National University Hall of Fame, for her contributions to the ICT and business sectors.

So, how does a start-up attract talent of her calibre?

Irene Luke Foster2Photos by Canberra School of Photography Graduate, Luke FosterYou’re probably showing your age if you remember the phrase ‘Kodak moment’, but a generation ago it referred to capturing something special. Now Kodak’s claim to fame is most likely in a business journal warning readers about the perils of digital disruption.

One person who has ridden the wave of film, to digital and now to smartphone images is Irene Lorbergs. Irene is a professional photographer and founder of Canberra School of Photography and has an uncanny knack of pivoting her business at just the right time to take advantage of new trends and opportunities.

“I’ve always been interested in photography, although it wasn’t my first choice as a career. However, thanks to Gough Whitlam I applied, and was accepted, as a mature-aged student and did a Visual Arts degree at the Sydney College of the Arts, looking for something a little more creative in my life. This was in response to a plea and encouragement from my employer at the time, one of the very first female justices in Australia."