Today is…Check your Batteries Day

If you can’t remember the last time you checked the batteries in your smoke alarm, then today is the day! It only takes a few seconds and could save the lives of you and your family.

While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to:

1. Check batteries in other appliances such as clocks, toys, remote controls, torches, etc.
2. Stock up on more batteries in the sizes you use the most.
3. Set a reminder with an alert in your phone to check your smoke alarm next time.

What’s on in August

3 August: Book launch of Nicky Johnston’s latest book, Actually, I Can, Frankston Library, Frankston, VIC

Nicky Johnston’s latest children’s book, Actually, I Can is due to launch this Saturday at 2pm. This is Nicky’s third book, after her previous titles, Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! and Happythoughts are Everywhere, which were all written to help children deal with anxiety.

After observing that her young son demonstrated signs of anxiety, Nicky struggled to find resources suitable for children with similar experiences to her son, which is what inspired this experienced primary school teacher to write her first book, Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts! (published in 2008). Actually, I Can is the story of two friends – Amelia (free-spirited and carefree) and Connor (who always worries) and how their outlook influences their lives. “Actually, I Can shows little worriers how they can work through their anxieties and learn to just be a kid having fun. Many parents tell me they struggle just like I did to find practical support to help their children. My books are written to help children open up about their worries and give them and their parents the tools to help deal with anxiety and worries,” says Nicky.

Tim Costello, Chief Executive of World Vision Australia, will be the guest speaker at this wonderful event. RELEASE DATE: 3 August 2013RRP: $16.95ISBN: 978-0-9870926-7-0 Available in all good bookshops. Check out for more information or Nicky’s Facebook Page.  

August: Get Active August, WA

This one’s for anyone who’s been hiding away inside all winter. Get Active August was an initiative developed by mother of two and business owner Lauren Angove to help busy people (parents in particular) get out and get active. Her youngest son turns three in August, and this has motivated her to work towards her pre-pregnancy weight and energy levels. Lauren is the first to recognise that we’re all busy and constantly juggling and trying to find balance in our lives. “Yet being active is so important for our health, self-esteem, state of mind and energy levels – which in turn helps us deal with the daily stresses of family life,” she says. The key, says Lauren, is identifying that “being more active doesn’t necessarily mean you need more time…There are some great ways to work more activity into our day-to-day life and be more active as a family together.” August is a great time to start an initiative like this, as the days are getting longer and warmer. “Families usually find it more difficult to be active in winter too, so with spring around the corner it’s time to start thinking about how to get the family more active and stay active no matter what the weather outside,” says Lauren.

Get Active August challenges parent to get active for 15-30 mins each day with their kids, and the program offers ideas on how families can do this – indoors and out.

To get involved:
– Visit
– ‘Like’ the Kids Around Perth Facebook page and to keep up to date with Lauren’s 15-30min family activity suggestions, as well as activities from family-friendly businesses in Perth.
– Register to attend the Kids Around Perth Get Active Family Meetup, August 18th, at Jackadder Lake Reserve, Woodlands. Bring a ball, skipping rope and frisbee, or any other items that you can use to get active. There will also be other organised activities on the day. Spots are limited, so make sure you register to avoid disappointment.

11 August: The Australian Hotel and Brewery annual Brewery Birthday Bash, Rouse Hill, N.S.W

The Australian Hotel and Brewery Rouse Hill are getting ready for their third Brewery Birthday Bash this month.

They’ll be fire trucks, farm animals and fast cars. The Brewery Birthday Bash is a family affair that’s run in conjunction with The Variety Bash charity and cars participating in this year’s Bankstown to Ballarat Bash will also be on display. With an award winning bistro, the Brewery is looking forward to doing what they do best – “Families, Food and Fun”.

Key attractions on the day include:
– Jumping castle
– The Red Lea ‘Chicken to the Rescue’ Fire Truck
– Players from the GWS Giants
-‘Nuts in Balls’ – the kids can climb into a clear ball and experience walking on water.
– Brewery Open Day Tastings and Tours
– Competitions and giveaways
– Melt-in-your mouth meats from the new Meat Smoker
“Birthdays are always a special occasion at the Brewery, ours is no different! So bring the family out in force and help us celebrate,” says Anne Robbie, Licensee. 

17 August: The Wellness Summit, featuring The Wellness Guys

As a long-time listener and fan of The Wellness Guys (Australia’s #1 health podcast), I was excited to see that the guys will be appearing at The Wellness Summit at Crown Melbourne this month. “Ten of Australia’s most dynamic health warriors will team up” for The Wellness Summit and focus on promoting better health and wellbeing by identifying and kicking bad habits. 

Some of these inspiring health advocates include:
– Hosts of The Wellness Guys: Dr Laurence Tham, Dr Damian Kristof and Dr Brett Hill
– Internationally renowned nutritionist Cyndi O’Meara
– Bali bombing survivor Carren Smith
– World record holder Kim Morrison

Dr Laurence Tham, Dr Damian Kristof and Dr Brett Hill 

Other topics covered throughout The Summit include:
• Exercise
• Nutrition
• Mindset/Goal Setting/Life Purpose
• Mental Health/Wellbeing
• Depression
• Dental Health

If you’re working towards a specific health or wellness goal, this might just be the bit of inspiration and motivation you need to get there.

24 August: Gourmet Living Market Day, Templestowe, VIC

Pop into Templestowe’s Gourmet Living store from 9am on Sat 24 August and enjoy a selection of free tastings from some of their suppliers, including: King Valley Fine Foods, Unforgettable Products, and Rozas Gourmet Sauces. Whilst each producer specialises in something different, the one commonality is that their goods are all completely irresistible! Visitors can look forward to an assortment of pestos, marmalades and relishes (King Valley Fine Foods), melt in your mouth meringues, lemon or passionfruit tarts and petite pavlovas (Unforgettable Products) and gluten free dips, aioli’s and sauces (Rozas Gourmet Sauces). We reckon you’d be pressed to leave without stocking up on some local goodies.

30 August: Bluestone Restaurant 13th Birthday Special Thanksgiving Dinner, Melbourne

Bluestone Restaurant Bar on Flinders Lane has established itself as one of Melbourne’s favourite CBD eateries. Bluestone is ‘giving thanks’ for their 13 years in business with a Thanksgiving Dinner celebration. USA-born Executive Chef Cody Cunningham is drawing on his heritage to create an American-style feast including: roast turkey, corn on the cob, and of course, pumpkin pie. “I cannot wait to bring a bit of my homeland to Bluestone’s guests on the night,” says Cody.

What can patrons expect on the night? “The theme will be very much like a Thanksgiving dinner at my home – guests sharing and interacting – seated on long tables, free flowing drinks and of course a bit of thanksgiving fun – with making of traditional Indian headdresses, pilgrim hats and games,” explains Cody. $85 gets you a comprehensive two course menu, plus free flowing drinks (beer, wine and soft drinks) between 7-10pm. If you’re up for a fun night, make a booking on 03 9620-4060 or visit

10 August: BrisStyle Indie Markets at Brisbane City Hall
23 August: BrisStyle Indie Twilight Markets

BrisStyle is a Brisbane-based non-profit organisation founded in 2008 “through a shared love of creating beautiful things”. Most members sell their gorgeous creations on online handmade superstore,, but occasionally they showcase their work at the BrisStyle Indie Markets. BrisStyle has organised two great markets in August: BrisStyle Indie Markets at Brisbane City Hall and BrisStyle Indie Twilight Markets.
The BrisStyle Indie Markets at Brisbane City Hall will run from 9am-2pm. Lovers of unique, handmade products will adore the new-look BrisStyle Markets, located on the ground floor of the beautiful, historic Brisbane City Hall.  Come and meet over 80 local makers at the BrisStyle Indie Twilight Markets from 5pm to 9pm.

Image Courtesy of Yan Chen

13 August: Monks Millionaires and Money, Part 2 – ‘The Calling’: stories of courage

The second part of the three-part Monks Millionaires and Money series is set to take place at the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney this month.

Shine presents a group of inspiring speakers and performers who will offer “stories of courage” as they discuss the topic: “99% of how the world works is invisible” – Buckminster Fuller

Speakers include:
• Dr Avnesh Ratnanesan – Founder of Energesse, social change agent, entrepreneur, visionary, success magnet. Dr Ratnanesan (or “Avi”) comes from a traditional medical model until, one day, his whole life shifted. He’ll speak about how he discovered his purpose.
• Robert Kirby – Founder of Robert Kirby International, facilitator, healer, therapist, change agent
• Getrude Matshe – speaker, author, activist, serial entrepreneur, initiator, change agent, creator
• Luke Dixon – Divine Union, musician, thinker, philosopher, intuitive.
• Lindsay Drummond – Divine Union, musician, provocateur, creator.
• Julian Noel – Founder of Shine. Hear from Julian’s story and why Shine!

Tickets: $50 +GST
First 70 bookings online will receive a giftpack for both men and women, valued at more than $40 from Natio Skincare, a supporter of Shine
Book online at

17 August: FREE SEMINAR – How to publish a book at no cost to you and bring in 6 figures per annum, 99 on York – 99 York St, Sydney
Writing a book is on my lifetime ‘List of Goals’. The problem with this goal is that I just wouldn’t know where to start getting my book published once it was completed. Publishing Queen, Kylee Legge believes that part of the success of publishing in a book lies in starting your marketing process before you even start writing. Clearly focusing on your end market will reduce your publishing costs by creating momentum before your book even hits the shelves. “Remember to also start your publishing process with the end in mind by marketing before you even put pen to paper so you can use the pre-sales of your book to fund the costs of the publishing process so you don’t need to spend any of your own money to get the ball rolling,” advises Kylee.

In her FREE one-day seminar on 17 August, Kylee elaborates on this strategy further, whilst sharing other publishing gems that will help you create your publishing plan. Book your spot today at: or check out for more info.

25 August: Parkinson’s NSW 6th Anniversary Unity Walk & Run, Sydney Olympic Park

The Parkinson’s NSW Unity Walk and Run is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy Sydney’s beautiful Olympic Park, whilst staying active by participating in a 4km or 8km run, or a 4km walk. Money raised from this event will go towards raising awareness and finding a cure for Parkinson’s, whilst also supporting people living with this disabling disease. Participants can also look forward to group exercise activities such as Zumba, yoga and tai chi, as well as the chance to win a six night holiday to Hawaii. The first 1500 walkers and the first 500 runners to register will also receive a 6th anniversary Unity Walk t-shirt. Visit or for more information and to register.

25 August: Parkinson’s A Walk in the Park, Federation Square, Melbourne

Victorians can also get involved in this great event. If you’re in Melbourne on Sunday 25 August, head down to Federation Square and join in A Walk in the Park for Parkinson’s – Parkinson’s Victoria’s biggest annual fundraising event. This scenic walk consists of 4km along the Yarra at 11am. What better way to spend a Sunday – come into the city and grab some breaky before walking it off. You can even bring your dog! To register to walk and fundraise go to

29 August: The Wedding Arcade, Spring Restaurant, Brisbane

If you’re in the process of organising a wedding, check out this contemporary version of a wedding expo. Couples can look forward to an interactive wedding planning experience by playing games and participating in fun activities. This is one of four seasonal Wedding Arcade events to be held this year, and this one is themed “The 4 Seasons”. There’s also a chance for guests to win over $7000 in flyers.
Tickets: $10. Visit or The Wedding Arcade on Facebook

What’s On in July 2013

29 June – 14 July: Kids in the Park, Sydney Olympic Park

School holidays are just around the corner, so if you’ve got one kidlet, or a whole tribe you need to keep entertained for a couple of weeks, check out the Kids in the Park school holiday program at Sydney Olympic Park. The program includes more than 50 activities (including 12 new activities), many of which are free, or reasonably priced. Key activities include:

-Lodge ‘Sailing the High Seas’ Holiday Camp – a school holiday alternative to day-care, with a Residential Camp option for children aged 8-12 years and a Day Camp for 5-12 years. Activities include treasure hunts, pirate crafts, colour wars, cooking, archery, games and more.

– Mega Circus – A new event including a two-hour Flying Trapeze and Circus Skills class. Kids aged 4-14 can learn how to fly through the air on the 10 metre high trapeze rig and make a ‘catch’, as well as walk the tightwire, juggle, hula-hoop, acrobalance and twirl.

– AusCycle’s ‘Get Riding’ Program – Cycling skills are something your kids will use for life. This is a fun new program spilt into two age groups: Bike Control for 5-9 year-olds and Road Safety for 10-12 years.

– Mangroves…More than Just Mud – Offers 5-12 year-olds the opportunity to explore Bicentennial Park with a Park Ranger. Kids will discover bird and marine life that they never knew existed in the wetlands, whilst monitoring the weather with a hygrometer and taking a water sample.

– Fizzics – Gross and Gory Science – Make fake snot and wounds, vomit bombs, exploding pimples, and more in this gross science workshop. Kids ages 7-13 years with learn about the human body whilst having fun grossing each other out! There’s also a Fizzics Education – Chemical Concoctions Workshop on the same day.

– Painting Unleashed in the Park – This fun painting session allows kids to express their inner creativity and have fun with paints on a large scale, outdoors. Materials and protective wear will be provided.

– Kids on Canvas – Christmas in July Workshop – 6-15 year olds will love the opportunity to draw and paint their own masterpiece canvas to hang up at home.

– Kids who love being active can look forward to Rugby League and AFL Clinics, Gymnastics, Badminton, Table Tennis, and more.

– Kids who love reading and writing will also love The Writing Workshops: Future Fiction and Poetry: Images and Forms.

There’s something for everyone, so check out the full program at

6-7 July: Gold Coast Airport Marathon

I could think of worse places to run than the Gold Coast. This marathon offers the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and get a bit of winter sun. This event is now in its 11th year, and has grown from 11,063 competitors in 2003 to an expected 30,000-plus this year. If your training isn’t sufficient for a marathon, there are plenty of other events for all ages and abilities, including: 5.7km Dash, 10km, Half Marathon, Wheelchair Marathon, Wheelchair 15km and Junior Dash. The courses try to make the most of the Gold Coast’s gorgeous water views. Register at

One marathon participant, Michael, intends to take his running experience to the next level. Michael will run from Sydney to Surfers Paradise over two weeks, covering 860km to raise money for neuroscience research into diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, spinal cord and child injury, Motor Neurone Disease, stroke, falls, autism, sleep apnoea and chronic pain. Touched by these illnesses in his own family (Michael’s uncle had Parkinson’s disease and his grandmother has dementia), Michael is passionate about raising funds and awareness to help fight the battle against these diseases. Follow Michael’s journey at

13 July: 25th Anniversary of the Kookaburra Queen, Brisbane

Can you believe it’s been 25 years since World Expo ’88? It’s also the 25th anniversary of one of Brisbane’s iconic vessels, the Kookaburra River Queens. Folks of Brisbane, you can get involved in the celebrations by submitting photos (and videos) of your experiences with the Kookaburra River Queens. Photos could be from your wedding, formals, Christmas parties, birthdays, etc. on the Kookaburra Queen, or other images of vessels on the Brisbane River. Any other Kookaburra Queen related memorabilia or stories are also welcome. There will be a special lunchtime cruise on Saturday 13 July which members of the public are invited to join. Check out the website for more details: or connect on Facebook.


13 – 19 July: The Big Summer Juice Master Detox

If winter has left you feeling a bit sluggish, then maybe a good detox is in order. Jason Vale has developed a successful juicing program that promises to help you lose 7lbs (3.2kgs) in 7 days, whilst giving you better energy levels and clearer skin. Jason developed this program to combat his own health issues: he had no energy, smoked, drank too much alcohol, was overweight from eating too much junk food and had asthma, eczema, mild acne, bad hay fever, and very, very, severe Psoriasis. Jason no longer smokes, drinks or binges on junk food. “My Asthma has vanished, my eczema and acne have gone, my Psoriasis has cleared by over 90% and I am no longer overweight. In fact, on the health front I’m one happy camper! I am now also lucky to be able to help people who find themselves in a similar position to the one I was in,” says Jason. The program consists of diet, exercise and inspiration to kick start the changes you need to make for a healthier lifestyle.

Find out more about The Big Summer Juice Master Detox at and learn more about Jason’s The Juice Master Diet 7lbs in 7 Days here

21 July: Run Melbourne

The countdown to Run Melbourne 2013 has begun! Whatever your goal – supporting a charity, beating a PB or trying out a new distance – the event has something for everyone with 5km, 10km and the Brooks half-marathon distances. “In six short years Run Melbourne has become one of Melbourne’s most loved and participated-in events. Having raised over $1.9 million last year for a variety of charities throughout Australia, we hope people will again rise to the challenge in 2013 and help us achieve our fundraising target of $2.5 million,” says Fairfax Media Marketing Director Briony Amey. I speak from personal experience when I say that Run Melbourne is a great way to enjoy the sights of Melbourne. And with an endless selection of cafes you can look forward to a delicious breakfast afterwards!


23 July: KneeDeep Keynote Presentation: Derrick McManus, Adelaide

This is an unmissable talk from an inspiring man who has overcome adversity to carry on with his life and work. On 3 May 1994, Snr. Constable Derrick McManus was shot 14 times and lay bleeding to death for three hours before he could be assisted in South Australia’s most renowned police siege. In this keynote presentation, Derrick reveals his journey to recovery – not just physically, but so he could also return to his work with the elite Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Group. “Being shot 14 times with a high powered rifle isn’t something I asked for but I now believe it to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. I now know that it’s not what happens to us but how we deal with it that determines our future,” says Derrick. This is a captivating presentation that will leave you feeling moved and motivated. Tickets can be purchased here for $55.

Derrick McManus, Keynote speaker at KneeDeep presentation on 23 July

KneeDeep is a training organisation and business consultancy that specialise in leadership, team development and project management.


27 July: Corporate Freedom Startup Bootcamp, Sydney

If you’re keen to start your own business, you’ll be in good hands (and company) at the Corporate Freedom Startup Bootcamp in Sydney at the end of July. Corporate Freedom is a startup inculbator program that “empowers corporate employees to start their dream business before quitting their day jobs, making the process of starting a business massively de-risked”. The Startup Bootcamp is an intensive day with seven of Australia’s top startup experts who will work with over 500 aspiring entrepreneurs.  They will be running a one-day Startup Bootcamp in Sydney on 27 July 2013, where seven of Australia’s top startup experts will show over 500 aspiring entrepreneurs how to get started.

What will be covered?

  •  Workshops on solutions to the key obstacles faced when starting a business.
  • Speakers including: best-selling international author Brian Sher, Peter Davison (seed investor in Paypal with $1.5bn exit) and Sarah Riegelhuth (founder Wealth Enhancers, youngest ever board member to Association of Financial Advisors).
  • Who is this for? Startup Bootcamp is an essential stepping stone for anyone who is keen to do their own thing, but not sure where to start.

Corporate to Freedom also offer a 12 month enabler program, to guide budding entrepreneurs through the process of building their startup, step by step.

Tickets from $97. Visit for tickets and further details.


27 July: Mountain Design Adventure Race, Canberra, ACT

If you missed last month’s Mountain Design Adventure Race in VIC (or if you’re an

Adventure Race junkie), head to Canberra for another action-packed day of racing. It doesn’t matter if you’re not an expert with a map and compass because the series now includes a Magellan Explore course where participants can use a GPS.

What is Mountain Design Adventure Racing?
• A new concept in adventure racing that caters for individuals and teams, from beginner level through to experienced racers.
• A varied course that includes compulsory legs of mountain biking, trail running and trekking, then a choice of adventure legs which can include anything from kayaking, swimming, canoeing, rock climbing, canyoning, tubing, white water rafting, coasteering, abseiling or archery.
• Races include three levels of difficulty:

 1. HARDCORE: A longer race for more experienced participants
 2. RAW: A shorter event for beginners and those new to map reading
 3. MAGELLAN EXPLORE: An event for beginners with GPS navigation

Don’t worry if you miss this race – Mountain Design Adventure Races take place in most states, so check out and for further details.

28 July: National Tree Day

This year Planet Ark and Toyota Australia (sponsor of National Tree Day) are working towards planting the 20-millionth seedling since National Tree Day began in 1996. There is also a Schools Tree Day on 26 July. The scale of National Tree Day is impressive – each year over 200,000 people participate in the event at 3000 locations around Australia.

How can you get involved? Site coordinators can select a public site such as a school, workplace, park, sporting field, nature reserve or Scout/Guide hall. This year, individuals can also organise a personal activity and invite friends and family to help work on smaller areas such as backyards or balconies, or even a nature strip. Or you can simply register to join a local group. Visit Planet Ark’s National Tree Day website for more info on how to set up a group or join a group in your local area.


What’s on in June 2013

Winter has arrived, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s hibernating inside. Check out this month’s exciting round up of events for young and old. There are some tempting events to get you outside and fill your lungs with the brisk winter air, but even if you want to hibernate inside, you can do it in style with a nice glass of wine and a delicious plate of food – enjoy!


1 June – Mountain Design Adventure Race, Creswick, VIC
If you’ve got a passion for the great outdoors and fitness, check out Mountain Design Adventure Races. It doesn’t matter if you’re not an expert with a map and compass because the series now includes a Magellan Explore course where participants can use a GPS.

What is Mountain Design Adventure Racing?

• A new concept in adventure racing that caters for individuals and teams, from beginner level through to experienced racers.
• A varied course that includes compulsory legs of mountain biking, trail running and trekking, then a choice of adventure legs which can include anything from kayaking, swimming, canoeing, rock climbing, canyoning, tubing, white water rafting, coasteering, abseiling or archery.
• Races include three levels of difficulty:

1. HARDCORE: A longer race for more experienced participants
2. RAW: A shorter event for beginners and those new to map reading
3. MAGELLAN EXPLORE: An event for beginners with GPS navigation

Don’t worry if you miss this race – Mountain Design Adventure Races take place in most states, so check out and for further details.

8 June – Little Kickers “Kick for Gold” Tote Park, Zetland
Little Kickers is raising funds for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Gold Telethon by hosting a community event focused on soccer activities. Both adults and children will be encouraged to give a gold coin donation to “Kick for Gold” into the Little Kickers goals. There will also face painting and a variety of food on offer – a great event for the family.
Check out the Little Kickers event page on Facebook.

16 June – MCG Stadium Stomp
Stair walking is one of the best ways to improve your fitness. If you’ve ever walked up a few more flights of stairs than you’re used to, then you’d understand how sore your legs can get! The MCG Stadium Stomp is not for the faint-hearted. It’s Australia’s longest consecutive stair climb challenge – the first event of its kind in Australia. “It is not a competition or a race, but a personal test of stamina and concentration.”

How it works
There are two courses:
Course 1 (half course):
• A complete circuit of the MCG’s Level 1 seating bowl, walking up or down every flight of stairs between the seats on that level until back to the start.
• 1,890 steps (20 minutes to complete).

Course 2 (full course):
• Entrants walk up to Level 4 to complete a second circuit of the MCG; again walking up or down every flight of stairs between the seats on that level until back to the start.
• 7,343 steps (from 45 minutes to more than two hours to complete, depending on fitness levels).

Staggered start times from 8am to 3pm will ensure the stairs won’t become too congested.

Did you know: Climbing a flight of stairs (10 steps) is the equivalent calorie burn of taking 38 steps on level ground, so it’s almost four times as beneficial to take the stairs.
Visit for entry details.

16 June – Stockland Caloundra Foreshore Fun Run, Qld
Kick-start your Sunday with a picturesque run past some of Queensland’s gorgeous beaches, such as Golden, Bulcock, Kings and Shelly beaches before reaching the finish line by climbing over the Moffat Headland. There’s a 3km and 10km course to cater for all ages and fitness levels – everyone is encouraged to enter. There’s also a prize pool of $500 for first prize, $200 for second and $100 for third, as well as other fun prizes to be won. Check out for entries and more details.


22 June – 5 Lands Walk, Central Coast, NSW

Italy’s Cinque Terra is the inspiration behind the 5 Lands Walk. The festival runs for a day and highlights 10km of picturesque coastline of the central coast. Visitors can look forward to:

  • A FREE 10km walk that connects five different festivals taking place at each of the Surf Clubs of the 5 Lands
  • Stunning beach, bush and headland vistas
  • Aboriginal ceremony and culture
  • Music
  • Food
  • Artworks
  • Gigantic kites
  • Whales
  • Dance
  • Sculptures on the beach
  • Craft workshops and much, much more.

This is an unmissable celebration of the culture of five different ethnic communities thriving in this incredible part of Australia.

Find out more at


29-30 June – NSW Tough Bloke Challenge, Appin, NSW
Could you climb a 50 metre rope? With a course that sounds like a Steve ‘Commando’ Willis training session, the NSW Tough Bloke Challenge promises a world of pain. The 8km cross-country course features obstacles such as: mud pits, zip-lines, trenches covered with barbed wire, swings, tyre towers, dark concrete tunnels, ice-cold water crossings and many more endurance challenges. The highlight of the event is the 50 metre rope climb – a first in obstacle course race history. There’s $1000 up for grabs for the person who makes it up the rope in the quickest time. The event is open to men and women over 12 years-old, as well as beginners and veterans. Everyone that completes the course will receive a finishers medal. Money raised from the event will go to the McGrath Foundation. Check out
 for more info and to enter, or watch a video on the event here.

1-30 June – The Great Calorie Drive, Zumba Fitness
This month you can use your Zumba workouts to not only burn calories, but also donate them. Zumba Fitness (the largest dance-fitness company in the world) has committed to “donate the equivalent of the average amount of calories burned per class (750 calories, for up to three classes) to Feeding America and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)…Zumba Fitness is challenging the world to donate 2.6 billion calories that will equate to 3.5 million meals (based on the typical meal size) toward hunger-relief efforts”. Get involved today by visiting


8 June – Rekorderlig Cider ‘Efter Ski’, Thredbo
If you’re heading off to Thredbo for the long weekend, keep an eye out for Rekorderlig Cider’s brand new winter experience, ‘Efter Ski’ at Thredbo Alpine Village. Efter Ski commences on 8 June and runs until 8 September at Thredbo Alpine Hotel. The Alpine Hotel Pool will be heated (just like a Scandinavian natural spring) and will be the main location for Beautifully Swedish Hot Pool Parties with DJ’s throughout the weekend. Bring your swimmers and Rekorderlig will supply the towels, and of course, the cider. Make sure you try Rekorderlig’s Winter Cider, which is a blend of fresh apples infused with warming cinnamon spice and vanilla – perfect with the warm cinnamon scrolls that will also be on offer. We could think of worse ways to relax after a day on the slopes… Check out for more info.

9-10 June – McLaren Vale BankSA Sea and Vines Food & Wine Festival with De Lisio Wines, Visitor Information Centre
If you’re in South Australia over the June long weekend, don’t miss the McLaren Vale BankSA Sea and Vines Food & Wine Festival. De Lisio Wines will be hosting several food and wine sessions for breakfast, lunch and afternoon meals, accompanied with their wines. Local Adelaide band, Harry and the Hitmen will also by playing as you relax and enjoy your food and wine experience. Specialty dishes include: Fruit salad – with fresh seasonal fruits in a vanilla bean syrup served with blueberry yogurt $7.00 (breakfast), spiced salt & pepper squid with steak fries & fresh chive aioli $11.00, wagyu Beef & stout pies with a creamy skordalia mash $11.00 and sticky date pudding with caramel sauce, brandy custard and double cream $7.00. If you can’t make the Sunday sessions or you want to do it all again on Monday, head back to the visitor centre for more food, wine and fun. Adelaide rock ‘n roll band, The Blue Comets will be your musical entertainment on Monday, from 11am-4pm.
Check out http: and De Lisio’s Facebook page.

14 June – Winter Wonderland at Zuri, Brisbane
Zuri’s signature cocktails featuring Tequila Patron or Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey will keep you feeling toasty and warm this winter. Order a winter cocktail with these signature spirits and you go into the draw to win a Chemical Storm Snowboard worth $650. Get cosy on Zuri’s leather coaches and enjoy free entry all night from 5pm or warm yourself up on the dance floor with live DJs until late. Check out for more.

16 June – 60 Years of Italian Flavour @ Enoteca Sileno, Lygon St, Melbourne
Melbourne’s iconic Italian institution, Enoteca Sileno is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. To mark this special occasion, they invite you to join them at their Lygon Street store for an Italian-style culinary extravaganza. There will be product tastings and demonstrations from 10am-4pm and best of all, it’s FREE! Probably best not to make dinner plans that day. Check out for venue details.

22 June – Central Coast Craft Beer & Cider Festival, Kincumber, Central Coast NSW
Not many people could pass up a good old-fashioned craft beer and cider festival, especially when they have 18 brewers offering 84 beers and ciders. Visitors can look forward to local favourites such as Six String’s brews. Live entertainment, raffles and giveaways will all kick off at 11am. Get the low-down here:

 The Six String guys


21 June – City Evolutions, Newcastle
City Evolutions is a contemporary art project that will see “heritage listed buildings, historic townhouses and colonial terraces along Newcastle’s oldest street brought to life through colourful cinematography, lavish light ups and interactive installations”. Visitors can enjoy the magical ambience of interactive projections on ten sites around Watt Street from sunset until 10pm each evening. City Evolutions will initially run for twelve months and installations will be updated on a regular basis. The official launch of City Evolutions will take place from 5pm Friday 21 June 2013 at Watt Street, Newcastle East and will include a ceremony, music, food, street performances and more. Check out for more details.


15 June – Around the World in 80 Questions Trivia Night Challenge, Terrey Hills, Sydney
f you’re a Trivia Guru, don’t miss the German International School’s Around the World in 80 Questions Trivia Night Challenge. Participants can expect questions such as:
• What is the only word in the English language that is spelled with three consecutive sets of double letters?
• Where would you find the sea of tranquility?
Brush up on your general knowledge – it’s for a good cause as the school is trying to raise funds to upgrade their sporting equipment. Bookings are essential at

28 June – Children’s Promise End of Tax Year Party, Byron Bay
Join the Children’s Promise team as they see out this FY2012/2013 in style with a fun evening that will include an auction and more to raise money for this very worthy cause. Visit for more details.


8-10 June – The Toy and Game Expo, Sydney Olympic Park
It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 105 – you’re going to love The Toy and Game Expo this Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Highlights include:
• The world’s largest ball of Play-Doh (weighing around 250kg) that the kids can help create
• Nerf N-Strike Elite Battle Arena
• Lego or Play-Doh pits
• The Australian Boardgaming Championships
• The world’s largest jigsaw that you can help put together
There will be toys for girls and boys and kids of all ages – from latest releases to classic favourites.

Money raised from the event will go towards the Spinal Injury Support Program at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Buy tickets online and find out more at

Left to right: Charlotte Dale age 6yrs, Emily Dale 4yrs at the Toy and Game Expo

13-16 June – Sydney Fair
Art Deco, Art Modern, 20th Century and Retro are some of the gorgeous eras that will be showcased at the Sydney Fair this month. If you love high-quality vintage products, including: furniture, art and posters, sculpture, glass and ceramics, jewellery and vintage couture, then get yourself over to Byron Kennedy Hall at Moore Park. In addition to the treasure-trove of rare and collectable pieces for sale, there will also be a fashion parade and a jazz party. The Sydney Fair offers a rare opportunity to access lots of specialty exhibitors that don’t usually appear at fairs. Check out

for more details.


Examples of some of the gorgeous pieces that will be available at The Sydney Fair


7-10 June – MindBodySpirit Festival, Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre
If your mind, body or spirit needs a bit of TLC, head to the MindBodySpirit festival in Melbourne this coming long weekend. Visitors can look forward to speakers, performers, seminars and workshops as well as a bunch of really cool stands and an abundance of inspiring people. Barbara Gabogrecan, author of new book, Thank God I Had a Stroke is an aforementioned inspiring person. Following a stroke, further tests revealed that Barbara had a brain tumour. Following surgery, Barbara was told to expect an extensive recovery in hospital – up to 3 months. Barbara was home on day 7. The state of Barbara’s mind was the reason behind her quick recovery, suggested the medical team working with her.

Barbara’s road to recovery was not an entirely smooth one. She now has Alexia without Agraphia, which means that she can’t read – although she can still write. This new challenge presented Barbara with the opportunity “to boost my spirit and to show myself that I can do whatever I want to, regardless of my disabilities – I just had to figure out ‘how’”.

Writing a book certainly stretched Barbara and she recalls, “It was more difficult than I expected as every page I wrote my husband had to read it back to me so that I was sure that I had actually said what I intended to”. Determination and perseverance paid off in the end and Barbara has now published her book. She will be signing copies at the festival, so make sure you stop by Stand A48 and say hi. Visit
for more festival information.

22 June – Shine Sydney’s Monks, Millionaires and Money, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Shine Sydney’s Monks, Millionaires and Money event might just change your life. This event promises to “change the way you think about creating money, wealth and abundance in your life”. A group of inspiring entrepreneurs will share their stories and cover topics such as:
● How to avoid the common traps that stop the flow of money
● How to create a new relationship with money
● Experiencing the innate connection between love and money
● How to become an attractor field for money
● Engaging in empowering conversations
Check out for tickets and more info.

What’s on in Canberra this October

Canberra has really turned it on this month. The arrival of spring and school holidays has prompted a great selection of garden-focused events, such as Floriade and Tulip Top Gardens Festival, as well as numerous festivals and exhibitions throughout the city.

Here are our top five Canberra events for the week ahead. Even if you don’t live in Canberra these events are definitely worth the drive:

1. Floriade
One of Canberra’s biggest drawcard events. The explosion of colour from an array of over 1 million flowers makes the cold Canberra winters worthwhile. The spectacular gardens are located in the heart of Canberra at Commonwealth Park, and this year is extra special as it’s the 25th anniversary of Floriade. To mark this anniversary, 24 images have been selected from a competition where Australians were encouraged to submit an image to represent each of Floriade’s previous 24 years. In addition to the captivating garden beds, there are also demonstrations, markets, and other fun activities for the whole family. Best of all, entry is free. Don’t miss this one before it closes on 14 October.

The striking spring colours at Floriade are spectacular

2. Tulip Top Gardens Festival
If you enjoy Floriade, then don’t miss Tulip Top Gardens. Located in a hidden valley along the Federal Highway, visitors can enjoy 10 acres of breathtaking gardens comprised of tulips and other magnificent spring flowers, as well as blossom trees and a waterfall. There are plenty of beautiful photo opportunities for families, as well as other family-friendly events such as stalls, live music and other special activities – you can even bring your dog! There is also a nursery if these gorgeous gardens inspire you to get out in your garden. Runs until 14 October.

Get lost in the 10 acres of garden at Tulip Top Gardens

3. The Living Green Festival
Committed to “bringing green and sustainable events and choices to Canberra”, the Living Green Festival is a celebration all things that care for and celebrate our environment.  Visitors can enjoy workshops on topics such as organic gardening, massage and energy use, food demonstrations, free yoga for adults and kids, as well as music on the big stage and market stalls. The Living Green Festival is on Sunday 14 October from 10am-4pm at Albert Hall.

4. Taste It – Canberra’s Food and Wine Festival
As the days grow longer and warmer, we become tempted to leave the cosy comfort of our house. If it’s the prospect of a tasty meal out, then look no further than Taste It, Canberra’s Food and Wine Festival running throughout October and November. Many of Canberra’s bars and restaurants will showcase their culinary delights with special dinners and events. There’s something for everyone; from local produce to tapas with wine and cocktail tastings, or a perhaps five course meal with matching wines tickles your fancy. Check out the Taste It website for the full listing of events.

Treat your tastebuds to Canberra’s culinary delights this October and November

5. Canberra International Riesling Challenge Public Tasting
Consider yourself a Riesling aficionado? Put your nose and tastebuds to the test with Canberra’s International Riesling Challenge Public Tasting this Saturday 13 October. The Tasting (now in its thirteenth year) will include a wide selection of Riesling wines from around the world and is the largest event of its type in the southern hemisphere. In addition to the tasting, there will also be a seminar on Riesling Excellence, hosted by Charles Sturt University on Friday 12 October, followed by a Riesling Masterclass. Visit for further details.

What’s on: Sunshine Coast Ladies Oaks Day

My first horse racing experience was at Royal Ascot in the UK a few years ago. I was a women’s accessories product developer at the time, and one of our biggest suppliers was a millenary manufacturer. Since hats and horse racing go hand-in-hand, our supplier had booked a corporate tent and my team were their guests for the day. It was a magical experience – a fully catered lunch and snacks throughout the day, as well as an endless flow of champagne – every girl’s dream!

Image source:

When we returned to Melbourne and booked tickets for the Melbourne Cup, I hoped my second racing experience would be just as good as my first. I am pleased to say that the Melbourne races didn’t disappoint. In fact, the level of enthusiasm and effort that women demonstrated to look the part for Fashions on the Field was impressive. There is an infectious passion and spirit behind Aussie horseracing that is present at every race meet – from the Melbourne Cup to every country racecourse in between.

The Sunshine Coast Daily’s Ladies Oaks Day is no exception. If you know someone who loves the horses or getting dressed up for the races, why not treat them to a fun day out at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club to celebrate Ladies Oaks Day tomorrow.

As well as live racing, there will be a live band, Fashions on the Field and a big screen TV on the course (so you won’t miss any of the action).
Tickets are only $20 for adults (with $2 from every adult ticket donated to the Hear and Say Centre).

Tickets can be purchased:
1. Online
2. At the oncourse office prior to the event (during business hours)
3. On the day

Gates open at 10am and there will also be FREE buses to and from the track from Noosa, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba and Kawana.

Keep an eye out for Mr Gift – we are one of the proud prize sponsors and are excited to be part of this fantastic event.

For more info, visit the Sunshine Coast Turf Club website.