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  • 25-Sep-2023 16:09 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    Social connection during times of adversity in an increasingly isolated world has never been more critical. Scientific research highlights that feeling part of a safe community, with a sense of purpose and belonging are critical factors to operate as a highly effective person. Equally important is to surround yourself with like-minded people providing diverse solutions regarding personal issues and business challenges.

    And this is nothing new. Most of us have used mentors longer than we realise.

    You’ve likely experienced a successful mentoring relationship, in some form or another. Cast your mind back to when you sought advice from your sports coach or teacher or bounced ideas off your older brother or a friend or, perhaps you have been thinking about your career or assessing what are your next steps to expand your business. 

    To improve our personal lives, we may belong to a sporting group or have a trainer to stay motivated, similarly in business, leveraging industry intelligence and fresh perspectives from peers to fill skill gaps in your knowledge, inspire encouragement and deepen your wisdom and industry understanding. In essence, the key is to position yourself on a path of reflection, improvement, and accelerated learning.

    According to the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, “Specific questions raise awareness of the dynamic occurring in and of conversations by inviting reflection ‘on the conversation’, such as ‘What are we doing? What do you notice? What are the desired outcomes?”

    You are not alone in feeling uncertain regarding your career, therefore future proofing makes sense, particularly within an increasingly tough, competitive, and fiscal environment.

    An essential way to control your future and ensure your business thrives and survives is to strengthen your connections among your colleagues. Generating these subjective psychological bonds is one of the most effective ways to increase productivity, gain greater perspective and heighten personal achievement. 

    This trust creates an open, comfortable environment offering a new perspective, diversity of opinions and forms a collaborative bond, whilst motivating greater work discipline due to adhering to peer accountability.

    In fact, 70% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs with mentees promoted five times more than those not in the program and mentors, six times more. Additionally, retention rates for mentees were significantly higher (72%) than employees who did not participate (49%). Interestingly mentor retention rates were also high (69%).

    Anything you can learn by yourself, you can learn faster when guided, after all, feedback is the breakfast of champions!

    Effective feedback can result in significant positive and productive results simply by re-directing your thinking along with your behaviour. The key is to be open to considering different interpretations, opinions, and business ideas.

    So how do you position yourself on a path of reflection, improvement and accelerated learning? It’s simple – whether you require a sounding board to assist integrate your professional development within your larger life journey or generate improved personal development initiatives and a better work-life balance, it’s important to acknowledge you can do anything, however you can’t do everything. Therefore, the most crucial aspect of any mentoring relationship is to accept advice, guidance and suggestions from people with first-hand experience. The dynamics are personal, not bureaucratic! You are not a protégé, however, by aligning with each other’s individual purpose it is more likely to result in more meaningful mutually beneficial outcomes.

    Citing FinanceFox Founder, Paul Kim cites, “Show your mentor you are worth mentoring.” And, in the words of Dexter Zhuang “Align goals, set boundaries and a structured agenda enabling both parties to understand the framework and context of the discussion, facilitating a deeper conversation and as a consequence generating greater outcomes”.

    The balance is between knowing and doing. Knowing the issues that are keeping you awake at night and doing is being vulnerable enough to connect with a subjective expert and committed mentor.

    Are you adequately addressing the major, macro-economic issues impacting your market? Perhaps you seek advice on how to explore business issues or challenges by adopting new perspectives. Are you forward-thinking enough, analysing important or emerging industry trends? Do you have robust data guaranteeing you are making evidence-led decisions? How do you prepare for changes influencing your market sector, your clients, staff, and other stakeholders?

    Imagine gaining peace of mind to seamlessly access these answers and navigate other business challenges as they arise, simply by connecting with empathetic, knowledgeable industry peer leaders and entrepreneurs. 

    This adaption is the strength of peer-to-peer leadership and mentoring.

    Different mentors deliver varying strengths and by understanding what you are experiencing they have the ability to strengthen your empowerment and encourage you to become the best version of yourself enabling you to navigate sustainable business success regardless of the economic climate.

    Leadership mentoring is a proven method for developing the best leaders for tomorrow.

    Supporting better commercial decisions, according to the Principal of Pinnacle Properties and Coraggio Member, Von Barnes cites “Mentoring provided the encouragement and guidance I was seeking to take the necessary actions to achieve my goals and scale up my business. In essence looking at the ‘bigger picture’. My Advisory Board examined all my financials, weighed-up the benefits regarding whether we should purchase our first rent roll. With my board’s input, guidance and support I felt courageous enough to proceed. Feeling educated and informed, supported and cared for, I made this very serious decision which has enabled us to effectively scale up our business into a more profitable position.”

    According to Kleanwell’s Managing Director, Elie Wehbe, “Proficiency is critical and Coraggio instils a level of believability and fosters competency in your character, enabling you to confidently take the right steps towards achieving your personal, business and relationship goals. It is only then the full force of Coraggio and most importantly your potential is unleashed.”

    Your simple solution to the most time and cost-effective peer mentors.

    We encourage you to leverage Coraggio’s support system and capitalise on our give-and-take dynamic amongst people who have walked the path before. They will guide you with your permission, to enter into a mutual exchange of expertise. 

    Afterall, in the words of Henry Ford “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”.

    If you would like to learn more about Coraggio, contact our team at 1300 899 006 or email

    Alternatively, attend one of our upcoming events, by registering here

  • 25-Sep-2023 14:46 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    Image: Tyree Foundation Announcement. L-R: Parramatta Lord Mayor Sameer Pandey, Powerhouse Trustee David Borger, Dr Peter Tyree AM, Robbie Fennell, Minister John Graham, Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah and Powerhouse Trust President Peter Collins AM
    Credit: Zan Wimberley. 

    Powerhouse has announced an extraordinary $8 million investment by the Sir William Tyree Foundation in Powerhouse Parramatta and the future of engineering education in Australia. This investment establishes the Tyree Foundation Gallery, one of the most significant gallery spaces at Powerhouse Parramatta, featuring an impressive 2,000 square metres of floor space and an 8-metre-high ceiling. The gallery will present world-class immersive exhibitions related to the world of engineering and science.

    Click here to read more

  • 21-Sep-2023 12:23 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    Fairfield City Council are hosting a number of events for Small Business Month NSW. All events will be held at co-working space, Fairfield City HQ and can be found here -

     Getting to Know IP Rights

    Wednesday 4 October 2023, 10.00am - 11.00am

    Fairfield City HQ

    Register via

     AI Tools for Small Business Marketing

    Wednesday 11 October 2023, 10.00am - 11.30am

    Fairfield City HQ

    Register via

     Cyber Security and How to Best Protect Your Business

    Wednesday 18 October 2023, 10.00am - 11.30am

    Fairfield City HQ

    Register via

     Business Networking

    Thursday 26 October 2023, 5.30pm - 8.30pm (Networking from 7.30pm)

    Guest speakers on the topic of emergency management, business continuity and business health

    Fairfield City HQ

    Register via

    All events that are held at our co-working space Fairfield City HQ can be found via our website. There is also a 360 virtual tour of the venue - view here (please view in Google Chrome).

  • 20-Sep-2023 09:24 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    Middle Managers are pivotal in every organisation. They are responsible for the performance and engagement of 80% of the staff, yet most have never been taught the skills they need to succeed in their leadership roles. This is setting your managers and teams up for failure.

    The truth is that managing people is challenging. You need highly skilled leaders with their finger on the pulse, who know how to inspire their team to deliver exceptional results, who are forward-focused and positive about change and who resolve conflicts themselves rather than passing them onto HR.

    Rapidly Upskill Your Middle Managers

    Introducing World Class Teams’ Advanced Certificate of Leadership. This program is designed to equip Middle Managers with the five essential skills to become world class leaders. It offers all the practical content of our comprehensive Diploma of Leadership and Management course minus the extensive assignments needed to achieve national accreditation.

    Get in touch with us today and find out how to turn your Middle Managers into an unstoppable force, driving your organisation to new heights.

    Managers will discover how to:

    • Build a cohesive, high-performing team
    • Inspire people to deliver exceptional results
    • Adapt their style to bring out the best in each person
    • Demonstrate exceptional Emotional Intelligence
    • Increase effectiveness and productivity
    • Be future focused & agile
    • Communicate effectively in all situations
    • Initiate meaningful change
    • Influence your organisation at all levels

    To enroll or find out more about the program:

  • 19-Sep-2023 13:11 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    This year, Metallum was the proud sponsor of the Construction and Steelwork trade for WorldSkills Australia. WorldSkills Australia’s purpose is to identify, demonstrate, promote and grow the excellence of Australia’s skills development.

    For the last 40 years, WorldSkills Australia have been conducting skills competitions, allowing young students to benchmark their capability levels against their peers at regional, anational and international levels. Our Welding Supervisor, Mitchell Jackson, competed in the 2018 Nationals, and placed second - a huge achievement! This year, Mitchell was asked to return to the Melbourne National Competition as Deputy Chief Judge. Metallum was proud to support Mitchell and sponsor the Construction and Steelwork trade by donating and laser cutting the materials which were used by the competitors and built the prototype used for the competition itself.



    Here at Metallum, we too believe that it is important for young people to build their skill sets and excel in their trades, to become great members of the workforce, who can offer outstanding contributions and essential services to our economy.

  • 18-Sep-2023 17:32 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    Every year thousands of Australians take part in the Great Cycle Challenge to raise vital funds for cancer research but this year it has taken a very personal turn – as five-year-old ambassador Emily recently died just six months after her cancer diagnosis.

    The Great Cycle Challenge is a major fundraiser for the work done at Children’s Medical Research Institute in Westmead. Since 2013 riders have raised more than $38 million to help scientists work on a personalised approach to cancer diagnosis and treatment.

    Earlier this year Emily was announced as an official ambassador after being diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma only six months ago. Her diagnosis came after recurring stomach pain, appetite loss, and a sudden limp that developed overnight. Emily’s parents pushed for a scan of her abdomen, which showed a large tumour the size of a grapefruit, on her kidney.

    GCC manager Rachel Tanner said that Emily’s parents, Emma and Brodie, were honoured when Emily was chosen as an ambassador.

    “The general public is completely unaware how cruel and gruelling childhood cancer treatment is,” Ms Tanner said. “In sharing their stories, our brave ambassadors play a vital role in highlighting the need for better treatments.”

    Emily’s Mum, Emma, said that “Emily was the picture of childhood happiness, yet she endured a nightmare beyond comprehension. She fought so hard, and she beat stage 4 metastatic cancer. That’s the hardest part to accept: it wasn’t the cancer that took her life; it was the treatment.”

    Emily subsequently underwent major surgery, preceded by multiple rounds of chemotherapy and countless tests, scans, and painful procedures. She was declared cancer-free before her bone marrow transplant.  

    Unfortunately, the high dose chemotherapy that Emily received completely destroyed her immune system. During her transplant, Emily developed a rare infection that travelled to her brain and caused multiple aneurysms. After three days in ICU, she died in her parents’ arms in the hospital garden.

    Ms Tanner said Emily’s parents were adamant that Emily remained an ambassador as an important part of her legacy.

    Despite everything Emily endured, she maintained her sass and her sense of humour. In her short time with us, she taught us more about life and love, and resilience and strength, than we would have ever learned without her,” said Emily’s Dad, Brodie.

    “That’s why we support GCC—to honour Emily’s memory and to help improve the lives of all Australian children living with this terrible disease.”

    This year we are calling on Australians to sign up, choose how many kilometres they’d like to do throughout the month of October and ride in honour of Emily.

    Find out more here:

  • 18-Sep-2023 17:25 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    Corporate Hospitality for the Western Sydney Wanderers 2023/24 season at Commbank Stadium is now available for purchase. Witness the Wanderers face off against a variety opponents in the highly anticipated Isuzu Ute A-League Men season.

    Our Corporate Hospitality packages cater to a wide range of occasions, whether you're looking to impress clients, host a memorable party, or enjoy a match with your family. We have the ideal package to suit your needs.

    Don't miss out on this opportunity.
    Secure your tickets now and be part of the action.

    For more information, click here

  • 18-Sep-2023 16:57 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)


    Important changes relating to paid family and domestic violence leave took effect on 1 August 2023 for small business employers, and for all other employers on 1 February 2023.

    A small business employer is one that employs less than 15 employees (including most casuals) both within its own enterprise and the enterprise of any ‘associated entities’.

    What are the changes?

    The changes mean that all employees (including casuals) are entitled to 10 days’ of paid family and domestic violence leave each year.

    Unlike annual leave, however, family and domestic violence leave does not accumulate from year to year, and any unused family and domestic violence leave is not paid out on cessation of employment.

    What is family and domestic violence?

    In essence, “family and domestic violence” means any violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour that seeks to coerce or control the employee and causes them harm or fear.

    It covers any such behaviour towards an employee by a family member, as well as close relatives, current or former intimate partners, or a member of the employee’s household.

    Are there any other requirements?

    Strict record keeping, eligibility and evidentiary requirements apply when taking such leave including:

    • the employee must demonstrate they need to do something to deal with family and domestic violence which is impractical to do outside their hours of work (including attending medical or legal appointments)
    • an employer can request proof from an employee about the necessity for the family and domestic violence leave
    • the requirement to record the leave as ordinary hours of work on the employee’s payslip while maintaining appropriate internal records regarding leave balances and taken leave


    Employers MUST take reasonable steps to keep confidential any sensitive information received from an employee relating to family and domestic violence leave.

    In addition, employers MUST only use such information to satisfy themselves that the employee is entitled to family and domestic violence leave, except where required by law, where the employee consents, or where it is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of the employee or another person.


    Employers and individuals may be subject to penalties for non-compliance with the new changes.

    Recommended Actions

    In light of these changes, we recommend that employers:

    • update employment agreements and company policies to cater for this new form of leave
    • train management staff in how to deal with leave requests (noting the sensitive nature of such requests)
    • ensure their leave procedures and payroll records meet the record keeping and evidentiary requirements
    • review record-keeping procedures so as to ensure that all sensitive information relating to leave requests is obtained, stored, accessed and used securely and confidentially


    If you have any questions in respect of the above or would like any other employment related assistance, please contact a member of our Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions team

    DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.

    Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

  • 18-Sep-2023 16:53 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    The recent Protecting Worker Entitlements reforms introduce several changes affecting superannuation, protections for migrant workers, access to unpaid parental leave, and the circumstances in which an employee can authorise their employer to make permitted deductions from their remuneration.

    Superannuation Contributions

    Principal to the new reforms is the introduction of a right to superannuation contributions within the National Employment Standards (NES), effective from 1 January 2024.

    Although employers were previously obliged to pay contributions under superannuation legislation, the incorporation of superannuation obligations into the NES means that:

    • unpaid superannuation contributions can be recovered by a greater number of employees, the Fair Work Ombudsman or employee organisations such as unions (and employees will no longer need to rely solely on the ATO)
    • employers who fail to make superannuation contributions to employees may now also be liable for compensation and/or financial penalties under the Fair Work Act for non-compliance with their superannuation obligations

    The planned changes requiring employers to pay superannuation at the same time as remuneration from 1 July 2026 complement these changes and increase the importance of compliance.

    The ATO though will continue to be primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with superannuation guarantee laws, and employees will not be able to rely on their NES right to pursue the same unpaid superannuation contributions if the ATO has already begun doing so.

    Unpaid Parental Leave

    Under the Fair Work Act, all employees (including certain casuals) are entitled to 12 months (or 24 months, if agreed to by their employer) of unpaid parental leave.

    However, the new reforms also provide that from 1 July 2023 relevant employees are entitled to:

    • take up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave at any time within 24 months of their child’s birth or adoption
    • take up to 100 days of their unpaid parental leave flexibly
    • if pregnant, access their flexible unpaid parental leave up to 6 weeks prior to the expected birth date of their child
    • take unpaid parental leave at the same time as their partner (previously this was limited to 8 weeks of concurrent leave)

    Employee Deductions

    Currently, the Fair Work Act severely limits the ability of an employer to make deductions from an employee’s remuneration.

    From 30 December 2023, an employee will be able to authorise their employer to make beneficial deductions from their remuneration which are recurring and vary from time to time. A common example of this would be union membership fees which are subject to change from time to time.

    Migrant Workers

    From 1 July 2023 all migrant workers have the same rights and entitlements as other employees under workplace laws and regardless of any breach of the Migration Act.

    The reforms make clear that a migrant worker’s migration status, their right to be or work in Australia, or breach of a condition of their visa will not affect their continuing entitlement to rights and protections under Australian workplace laws.

    The reforms also make clear that an independent contractor’s migration status or breach of a condition of their visa will not affect the validity or enforceability of any contract of services they are a party to.

    Action Items

    We recommend employers adopt a proactive approach to address the reforms now including by:

    • reviewing and updating policies and procedures, employment agreements and other documents relating to parental leave (both paid and unpaid) and authorised deductions from remuneration
    • ensuring that all employees (particularly managers and other key decision-makers) are aware that migrant workers enjoy the same rights and entitlements under Australian workplace laws regardless of any non-compliance with migration laws
    • ensuring superannuation contributions are accurate and paid on time

    More Information

    If you have any questions in respect of the above or would like any other employment related assistance, please contact a member of our Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions team

    DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.

    Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

  • 18-Sep-2023 15:13 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)

    It is common for associates and shareholders of companies in Australia to withdraw company funds through a loan account. There are lots of tax reasons why this is a popular way to access profits from a corporate vehicle. Of course, the ATO knows this, and so if the loan is not properly documented and does not satisfy the criteria to be a Division 7A loan, the amount will be deemed to have been paid out as a dividend, and taxed in the hands of the shareholder, usually unfranked.

    But there is another danger from Division 7A loans which shareholders need to consider, and which arises when a company is placed into external administration. When a company goes into liquidation, the liquidator has the responsibility to recover the assets of the company, including all outstanding loans. What started as a sensible tax planning strategy can sometimes end up as an asset protection nightmare.

    What is a Division 7A loan?

    Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) (“the Act”) sets out the parameters for private companies providing loans to their shareholders or entities. Division 7A aims to prevent profits or assets being provided to shareholders or their associates tax free. Division 7A does not just cover monetary repayments but any loan, provision of credit or advancement of money.

    The elements of Division 7A

    Division 7A defines associates of shareholders broadly, which includes relatives, partners, trustees and any other related companies.

    Therefore, Division 7A will apply if:

    1. The loan is made between the company and the shareholder or associate
    2. If the loan has not fully been repaid within the given financial year the loan was made
    3. If any part of the debt was forgiven

    What are the conditions of a Division 7A loan?

    Under Division 7A of the Act the loan must comply with the strict requirements in order for the loan to be qualifying. The following conditions include:

    • A written loan agreement must be in place which identifies the parties to the loan, sets out essential terms and which is signed and dated by the parties
    • The loan interest rate must be equal to the benchmark interest rate
    • The terms of the loan must not exceed
      • 25 years if the loan is secured by a registered mortgage over real property
      • 7 years for any other loans
    • Minimum yearly repayments and ensure repayments of the loan is made annually

    If the conditions are not satisfied, the Australian Taxation Office can determine that the loan is a deemed assessable dividend of the shareholder creating a tax liability for the shareholder or associate.

    What happens to a Division 7A loan during liquidation?

    In the liquidation process, and subject to the terms of the loan, a Division 7A loan can be called up by a liquidator. When a company is placed in liquidation, Division 7A loans are considered as an asset on the balance sheet. If the loan remains unpaid, the liquidator may take legal proceedings against the shareholder which could lead to bankruptcy or winding up.

    Directors and associates should carefully consider the implications of a Division 7A loan in the face of any possible external administration. There may be steps which are possible to either repay the loan over time or to negotiate terms with the liquidator. Shareholders should also be conscious that loans may be scrutinised and examined by the liquidator as possible voidable transactions, for instance as unreasonable director-related transactions in accordance with section 588FDA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

    If you would like more information or advice in relation to insolvency, restructuring or debt recovery law, contact a Principal of the Matthews Folbigg Insolvency, Restructuring & Debt Recovery Group:

    Jeffrey Brown on (02) 9806 7446 or

    Stephen Mullette on (02) 9806 7459 or

    DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.

    Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

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