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Member News

  • 19-Feb-2019 17:31 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    According to a government press release issued recently, all three levels of government will be co-funding the Western Sydney Liveability Program, which is an initiative aimed at rejuvenating and developing new public spaces and facilities in Western Sydney. Local councils will be contributing $50 million whilst the Federal and NSW governments will be both providing $60 million.

    As part of the first stage of the program, funding will be provided to eight councils in support of projects that will improve key local infrastructure. Apparently, round two of the program will commence towards the second half of 2019.

    Alan Tudge, the Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population commented that the “Funding will support new and redeveloped parks, sport and recreation facilities, rejuvenating town centres and creating spaces for arts and cultural events.”

    Stuart Ayres, the NSW Minister for Western Sydney, remarked that the implementation of the Western Sydney Liveability Program was a vital milestone for the progression of the Western Sydney City Deal in creating sustainable communities.

    The latest reports indicate that the Western City Deal will be an agreement that will run for 20 years between the eight councils of the Western Parkland City and the Australian and NSW government. The Deal hopes to capitalize on the new Western Sydney Airport and to stimulate opportunities for growth and development within Western Sydney.

    Matthews Folbigg Lawyers are specialists in all aspects of Local Government and we look forward to assisting local councils grow and develop with all the dynamic changes underway for Western Sydney.

  • 19-Feb-2019 11:14 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Sign up for the inaugural RunWest fun run, Western Sydney's largest community festival. This new event is family-friendly, packed with sports stars, and as you tackle the 4km or 12km course you can also fundraise for Ronald McDonald House Charities Greater Western Sydney in support of families with a seriously ill child.

    When: Sunday 31 March, 2019

    Where: Your finish line will be at the massive finish line festival at WestHQ in Rooty Hill

    How long: Choose between the 4km or 12km courses

    Registrations: Click here for further details and how to register

    Staff, families and supporters from RMHC Greater Western Sydney will be taking on the 4km course as part of the Ronald McDonald House Family wave ... including a few celebrity ambassadors! So why not sign up and walk, run or roll alongside us? Our "wave" is both pram and wheelchair friendly and everyone is welcome.

    How to register to run with us

    • Click here and register for RunWest today
    • Registrations are available now from just $25 so get in quick!
    • Then you can create an online fundraising page to raise vital funds to keep the doors to Ronald McDonald House open!
    • As you fundraise for the race, you’ll also receive special incentives and surprises from us on your journey!
    • Lastly … get training!


  • 19-Feb-2019 11:03 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    The Business of Racing Lunch, hosted by the Australian Turf Club in partnership with the Western Sydney Business Chamber, brings together leaders in Australian Racing, Western Sydney & NSW business in an event not to be missed.

    Held on Friday 15 March 2019 at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, the ATC invites guests to enjoy pre-lunch drinks and a three course sit down lunch and beverage package.

    The MC will lead a celebrity panel and interviews with insights into the economic benefits to Western Sydney of racing’s $3.5 billion industry. Guests will have a photo opportunity with the Longines Slipper trophy and enter a business card draw.

    Click here for further information or to book

  • 19-Feb-2019 10:37 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) scientists from Westmead have just returned from the launch of an international collaboration with nine European countries and the US to create personalised treatment plans for children with cancer.

    The project known as individualisedPaediatricCure (iPC) will be led by IBM in Switzerland and private research company Technikon in Austria. It was kicked off at a meeting with the members held in Zurich in January.

    ProCan’s Co-Director Professor Phil Robinson attended the meeting to discuss CMRI’s role in the partnership.

    In this € 15 million, four-year project funded by a European Commission grant, 21 partners will work together with the goal of giving clinicians the tools and knowledge to create individualised treatment plans to children with cancer.

    CMRI Director Professor Roger Reddel, who is also Co-Director of ProCan explained the importance of the collaboration. “Although great advances have been made in the treatment of childhood cancers, too many children still die from these diseases,’’ Professor Reddel said.

    “Of those that are cured, a substantial proportion suffer long-term serious health consequences from the intensive treatments that are currently required. A major reason for cancer being so difficult to treat effectively is that cancer cells undergo many random changes, which means that each cancer has an essentially unique combination of molecular characteristics.

    “To address this problem, it is important to develop ways of specifically tailoring treatment combinations for the molecular profile of each individual cancer, to maximize cures and to minimize short- and long-term treatment side-effects."

    The project team will focus on identifying effective personalised medicine for paediatric cancers and will address a multitude of challenges. The goal of the iPC project is to collect and standardise existing clinical knowledge and medical data and, with the help of artificial intelligence, create treatment models for each patient.

    A comprehensive computational effort to combine knowledge-base, machine-learning, and mechanistic models to predict optimal standard and experimental therapies for each child will be proposed.

    Armed with these treatment models, scientists will then test them on virtual patients to evaluate treatment efficacy and toxicity, thus improving both patient survival and their quality of life.

    ProCan was established in 2016 thanks to a grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. It aims to analyse thousands of cancer samples from around the world to develop a database of information to advance scientific discovery and enhance clinical treatment.

  • 18-Feb-2019 16:56 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Want to support one of the Western Sydney’s oldest and most trusted charities and experience the thrill and beauty of country Australia?

    Northcott is a dynamic and innovative not-for-profit organisation that provides support and services to more than 14,000 people with disability, their families and carers across NSW and the ACT. This year marks Northcott’s 90th year supporting children and adults with disability to realise their potential and achieve their goals.

    For over 10 years Drive 4 Life, a non-profit fundraising organisation, has supported Northcott through its scenic “tag-along” 4 wheel drive event, which has raised over $800,000. Now, we want you to come and join the adventure.

    Participate in the "tag-along" four wheel drive tour and see parts of Australia that are off the beaten track and not on the "shopping list" of many peoples four wheel drive itineraries.

    Tours are open to both novice and experienced 4WD enthusiasts and are tailored to those who have either not had the opportunity to be expertly guided when driving off-road, or who do not have the experience to navigate the areas that Drive 4 Life visits.

    In 2019 there are two tours that you can join:

    Victorian High Country – April 28 to May 3 2019

    This tour is open to 4WD vehicles. Please click here for full requirements.

    There will be two groups of up to ten vehicles. Each group will have experienced four wheel drivers in lead and tail-end support vehicles.

    The tour will start and finish in Harrietville, Victoria. The tour will commence with registration, introductions and pre-trip briefing at 3.30 pm on Sunday 28 April 2019 and end on the afternoon of Friday 3 May 2019. Drive 4 Life will host a dinner for all participants at the Snowline Hotel in Harrietville on the Friday evening.

    We will be touring in an area bordered by the Dargo High Plains Road to the east, Licola to the south, Mt Buffalo to the west and the Great Alpine Road to the north.

    Broken Hill to Broken Hill, via Flinders Ranges, Corner Country and Tibooburra –September 1 to September 8 2019

    This tour is open to both 4WD and AWD vehicles. Please click here for full requirements.

    The tour will start and finish in Broken Hill. The tour will commence with registration, introductions and pre-trip briefing at 3.30 pm on Sunday 1 September 2019 and end on the afternoon of Sunday 8 September 2019. Drive 4 Life will host a dinner for all participants in Broken Hill on the Sunday evening.

    We will be touring in the Flinders Ranges area, doing “Skytrek”, Blinman, Arkaroola, Leigh Creek, “Talc Alf”, Lyndhurst, Maree, Strezlecki Track, Cameron’s Corner and Tibooburra, before returning back to Broken Hill.

    Please visit the Drive 4 Life website: for full tour information and booking forms, or contact Annette Sneyd, Community Fundraising and Projects Co-ordinator:


    P: 1300 378 243

    Click here for more information about Northcott.

  • 15-Feb-2019 17:12 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Following the huge success of the Sydney 7s 2019 at Spotless Stadium 1-3 February, Rugby Australia are taking the tournament back to Western Sydney in 2020.

    Hospitality packages will be the first to go on sale, with General Admission to be released later in year.

    To get on the waiting list to secure the best hospitality packages on the moment they are released email

  • 15-Feb-2019 09:17 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) is providing much needed ammunition to those fighting for more affordable housing in Australia.

    NHFIC is an independent corporation established by the Commonwealth on 1 July 2018. It provides low-cost funding to Community Housing Providers (CHP) and other eligible entities for critical infrastructure projects and affordable housing developments.

    NHFIC distributes funding through two schemes:

    The National House Infrastructure Facility (NHIF), which is a $1 billion facility funded by the government for infrastructure projects such as transport links and utilities infrastructure. CHPs and various government entities are eligible to apply for funding in the form of concessional loans, grants and equity investments.

    The Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA), which provides concessional loans to CHPs for the acquisition, construction or maintenance of existing housing stock, as well as to assist with refinancing and working capital requirements. AHBA loans are funded by Commonwealth borrowings and out of finance raised by bonds issued in the capital markets.

    The schemes were implemented following the recommendations of a report delivered to Australian Treasury in 2017, which noted that the affordable housing sector in Australia lacked access to suitable finance options.

    The report found that the length and terms of loans were an issue. In Australia, CHPs tended to be offered loans of a three- to five-year term, which create refinancing risk and a mismatch with asset lifespans. Refinancing is further complicated by differences in rules surrounding security debt in each of the states and territories. This means that CHPs are faced with periodic headaches in renegotiating loan terms.

    Also noted as an issue were asset valuations. CHPs reported that their assets are undervalued as a result of offering sub-market rents. This limits the security available for future loans, and inhibits their growth potential.

    NHIF and AHBA are designed to address these concerns. While borrowers are required to provide appropriate security, they can expect favourable lending terms, such as extended terms and concessional interest rates.

    NHFIC’s first finance project was announced last week, with a $35 million loan offered to Hume Community Housing. The funding will assist with the management of approximately 2000 community homes in Western Sydney, and support the development of a further 2200 homes in the Hunter region.

    For many Australians, improved access to affordable housing cannot come soon enough. The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2019 indicated that, in 2015-16, over 50 per cent of Australian low income households experienced rental stress, meaning more than 30 per cent of gross household income was spent on rent. Moreover, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report that the supply of social housing in Australia is failing to keep up with household growth, with social housing stocks dropping from 5.1 per 100 householders in 2007-08, to 4.6 in 2016-17.

    While NHFIC alone cannot address this issue, it is certainly a step in the right direction. Hall & Wilcox is already advising CHPs on proposed NHFIC financings along with other social housing projects such as the NSW Social and Affordable Housing Fund and looks forward to seeing growth in Australia’s community housing sector, particularly as NHFIC expands its pipeline of projects.

    For further information please contact:

    Nick Slack


    T: +61 2 8267 3896


    Katrina Reye


    T: +61 2 4908 8862


  • 14-Feb-2019 12:00 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Many people think of disruption as something to avoid. But in today’s competitive business environment, disruption can be a real positive - if you are embracing it and capitalising on the opportunities it creates. Across the world, that’s the reality for many private companies.

    The new report from Deloitte Private - Private Company Issues and Opportunity - dives into the areas of leveraging technology, improving infrastructure and expanding business horizons, for a look at how private companies are uniquely placed to face disruption. Hear from global experts on how leading private companies have turned these challenges into growth opportunities.

    Learn more about the upside of disruption and download a copy of the report.

  • 11-Feb-2019 15:57 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Perth-based Zenith Insurance protects its aged care and community and disability services clients from risks, so they can focus on their important work: protecting vulnerable Australians.

    CEO Kim Gilbert takes his responsibilities seriously. “We want our clients to use their limited finances to best serve their clients,” he explains. “But beyond that, I believe we are all members of the same community and need to help one another.”

    A family culture

    “At Zenith, we all look after one another as a team, and the natural extension of this is that we also look to help other members of our community where possible,” says Gilbert of the supportive, inclusive environment his firm stands for.

    Click here to read the full article.

    Macquarie has been providing Business Banking solutions for over 30 years and provides SME clients with tools and strategies to grow and develop their business. You can get regular updates by subscribing to the monthly newsletter, Strictly Business by visiting If you would like to find out more about how Macquarie can support you to take your business further, call Sam McCarthy at our Parramatta office on 0417 518 724 and be connected with one of our banking specialists.

    This information has been prepared by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502 (“Macquarie”) for general information purposes only. This information does not constitute advice. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. No member of Macquarie accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect, consequential or other loss arising from any use of this information.

  • 11-Feb-2019 10:55 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Stay ahead of your competitors - Latest insights from the Making Western Sydney Greater Report now available

    Most B2B buyers perform 8-12 online searches before interacting with a vendor’s website and are already 57% of the way through the buying process before they speak to a sales representative. So how does your brand perform online?

    The latest Making Western Sydney Greater report explores the different ways businesses are using digital and social media to drive value. With 86% of the world’s population using the internet for an average of six hours per day, connectivity has become part of everyday life. Our latest survey results uncover what you can do to leverage your brand’s online presence to have an advantage.

    In today’s digital world, being able to access information on a business or brand influences how someone feels about your services or products. Your business’ online existence is just as important as its physical existence.

    The latest results told us that many businesses are using digital media without a clear strategy to guide them. Businesses that indicated that they are actively tracking and measuring their ROI (return on investment) are using the data to drive higher conversions. They have a general idea of the value of each customer based on a campaign (lead conversion rate) along with non-revenue conversions (specific call to actions i.e. mailing sign up). Businesses that calculate ROI are 72% more likely to have an effective marketing strategy (Blue Corona).

    There are big opportunities for businesses that use their analytics to understand their client base and tailor their digital marketing to reach their ideal audience using the right channels and language. Compared to traditional marketing, it costs significantly less to put together a digital marketing strategy and with the presence of a global audience online, it makes it easier to interact with existing and potential buyers.

    Before you consider your digital marketing plans, it’s crucial to know which platforms are best for you and your industry along with having an in-depth understanding of how your business currently performs online.

    Know your brand’s social performance

    It’s impossible to know if your efforts are having the right impact on your target market if you’re not measuring the right metrics. Understanding your core KPIs helps to adapt your campaigns to suit your goals. Take the time to audit your digital media performance over the past year and assess the metrics for each channel. Look and where and how you have generated leads, driven traffic to your website, pushed social follows, and increased conversions. Ensure these results align with your goals.

    A high number of likes and shares for a campaign can be encouraging but it’s important that every activity is achieving its pre-defined objective. The most important areas you can measure are reach (how many people see/hear your brand), engagement (shares, likes, comments), conversions (leads/sales) and advocacy (reviews and repeat interactions/referrals).

    A few essential metrics that can be used to evaluate your online performance are:

    • Reach – Look at your follower count, impressions and web traffic. Followers tell you how broad your reach is while impressions show many people could connect with your brand (this measures the number of times your post appeared). Web traffic from social media campaigns is a good indication of potential customers and if your ‘call to action’ is working.
    • Engagement – This is your clicks, likes, shares and comments. These metrics start to show how many people are interested in your product or service and would recommend you to others. If your content is interesting and relevant, it will spark a conversation.
    • Conversions – Your goals will determine these measurements (i.e. increase readership times, generate sales lead etc) but not all visitors complete a conversion on their first visit. Checking out Google Analytics is the easiest way to get an insight into your lead conversion rate, website traffic improvements or you can refer to your CRM for new leads and sources.
    • Advocacy – Brand loyalty and referrals can be measured through various ways. You can look at cost per lead (cost per campaign divided by your qualified leads), the number of reviews and endorsements and understanding the customer lifetime value (revenue earnt from a customer minus money spent on acquiring and serving them).

    After you have audited your brand’s online performance, you’ll be able to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns and which channels are the most successful.

    Focus on what people need and want

    73% of B2B buyers say they want a personalised, B2C-like customer experience (Accenture, 2017). Every part of your digital journey and content creation should be carefully designed around your audience’s interests and needs.

    The Making Western Sydney Greater report showed that industries are relying on digital media to achieve various goals:

    • Manufacturers – using newsletters and their website to promote content (i.e. articles, videos, case studies) & improve search engine optimization (SEO)
    • Property / Construction – sharing content with networks (via LinkedIn, Facebook) to reach shared connections and drive referrals
    • Professional Services – integrating website with social media channels to share content quickly, drive brand awareness and identify key decision makers

    The key to getting the balance right is making sure you don’t focus on what the technology can do but instead look at how you can create mutual value at every opportunity. Every piece of content you create – eNews, blogs, white papers, case studies – is a chance to increase your reach and generate leads.

    The 2016 Demand Gen Report highlighted that 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. With the online world flooded with information, influencer marketing has become one of the most powerful ways to market a business and build trust with your networks. B2C have been using ‘influencers’ to promote products and services for years and now B2B organisations are catching on. By collaborating with an industry influencer or using a brand ambassador you get exposure to a meaningful demographic.

    Social media platforms are major contributors to buying decisions. Leading businesses are using analytics to know customer behaviours and target their online marketing efforts to suit their audience. Sharing content across the right social media platforms can add scale to you campaigns and help to drive higher search engine rankings. Take out the guesswork and look at tools such as Google Trends and SEO programs that can help you discover the most searched, valuable terms for your location and industry.

    In the next edition of Making Western Sydney Greater, we’ll delve deeper into the real benefits of social platforms and how to assess which will be the best fit and value for your brand.

    Making Western Sydney Greater (MWSG) is a collaborative project between William Buck, St. George, Western Sydney University and Western Sydney Business Connection, and forms part of our long-term commitment to drive positive change in the region.

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