ECX Issue 2




From the Editors

Amanda Yau

Tony Zhang

Welcome to Issue 2 of ECX. Woohoo!

First of all, I am grateful to be part of

such a supportive and loving team of people. Big

thanks to Eric and Tony for always being there

to give me your opinions and guide me towards

constant improvement. Also a huge thank you to

all our partners – Issue 2 wouldn’t be what it is

without your stories and contributions.

This magazine is for the curious readers who

are ready to try new things within the Sydney

community and are looking to be inspired. ECX

will always be foremost about positive influence,

about building each other up, about encouraging

hard work and creativity in all areas. Whether

it’s advice from professionals who really care, or

a personal story about a lifelong dream, we are

here to uncover these passions and bring out

what those in our community have to share.

I am so delighted with this opportunity to grow

as an editor, and sincerely hope that we have

done our readers and contributors justice. Happy

reading, and please let us know if there are any

topics you’d like to see us cover in the future!

From the beginning, when I first started at

ECX, I knew I was going to embark on an

unique journey. I want to first thank the

founder of this magazine Eric Wong for giving

me this amazing opportunity and my co-editor

Amanda for doing such a brilliant job. I was at

crossroads before I came to ECX, but after getting

started, I realised I truly wanted to be a journalist.

Thank you to all the contributors in this issue

for supporting and working together with us to

make a great issue. I hope that it can continually

provide inspiration and positivity to every reader.

The journey has been amazing so far -- planning

and researching which features to produce for

our next issue, going out for interviews, meeting

so many different people and getting to know

their stories.

Everyone has a story and there is tremendous

potential to be unearthed around North Shore but

also Sydney itself. ECX can make this change and

truly make a difference in the community with

stories that empower and inspire us all. I strive

to make that difference with ECX and with such

an amazing team I am grateful to be part of, I am

confident we can achieve it.

I hope you enjoy reading our current issue. If you

would like to be a part of issue 3, don’t hesitate to

contact the team, We would be more than happy

to meet you and know your story.

From the Founder

Eric Wong

Let me take this opportunity to thank Amanda and Tony for

their hardwork and dedication to make Issue 2 a reality.

For anyone who is familiar with Issue 1, you will no doubt

notice the improvements that have been made after they have

joined ECX. I could not have asked for a better team.

Furthermore, this issue would not be possible without the

interviewees who kindly gave us their time and shared their

valuable insights with us. So please, let me thank all of you

from the bottom of my heart.

Without everyone’s help and support, none of this would

have been possible. Many have said that my goal to promote

positivity within the community was unrealistic and that it

would end up wasting time and resources. But I truly believe

that if this issue inspires one reader, if it encourages just one

person to pursue a passion in fencing or start a small business

or attend a fitness Bootcamp, then that in itself is worth all the


For this issue, I wrote an article about how success, by

definition, is more ambigious than it is fixed. I hope that my

words can help you find joy in knowing that your successes are

relative and not dependent on other people’s achievements.

Finally, I really hope that you enjoy reading Issue 2. If you would

like to be part of issue 3, please get in touch with the team! We

are always on the look out for new information and fresh stories

of hardworking individuals pursuing their passions.


issue 2


Ann Milch

Artist Ann Milch paints watercolours, miniatures, and

even children’s books. In our interview, she was nice

enough to tell us all about her life and her projects.

Huge thanks to Ann and the Ku-ring-gai Art Centre for

making this issue so special.



Looking for a picnic spot or a place to take the kids?

We go on the hunt to check out and review four parks in



Storybook Photography

Attention new parents: Rachael Attard captures the

precious memories of your newborn bub with much

professionalism and creativity.


Royal Stacks

One of Australia’s most loved burger stores has hit

Sydney by storm. Who doesn’t love double patties and

frozen custard? Check out the story behind the name

‘Royal Stacks’, and see what Terri Tep has to say about

finding passion.


Colouring In Competition

A childhood pastime, and latest anti-stress trend for

adults. Sharpen those pencils, and colour away for your

chance to be featured on the cover of our next issue!

Designs for all ages.


Original Bootcamp

If you’re a fan of getting the heart pumping and chasing

the sunrise (literally), take a peek at what Sergeant

Paul McGeachie has to say about the fitness bootcamp.


Vault Interiors

Summer has come and gone, and now it’s midautumn

and almost winter. So how do we make sure

our furnishings and decor reflect that? The experts at

Vault Interior offer styling tips to make your home feel

brighter and more colourful.


Rethink Success

Everything is relative, and you should make sure that

your goals reflect your lifestyle. Eric Wong writes about

why it’s important to take a step back and not compare

your achievements to others’.

Ann Milch

Very rarely in life do you get a chance to sit down with a 78 year old

artist over coffee and talk about the things that matter – her travels, her

watercolours, and her past. She showed us the journals that she kept while

overseas, and every page was saturated with history.

Here was someone who really believed in what she did; someone who appreciated

art for art’s sake. We looked at her works and saw so much passion, that we

just had to speak to her about it and find out more about her story.

about ann.

When I was at school, I used to draw

and doodle all over my books and stare

out the window. The only subjects I

liked were art, geography and biology

because they all had something to do

with drawing. I can’t ever remember

studying. All I wanted to do was go to

art school.

I was 14 when I left school and that was

back in 1953. Girls then just grew up,

got married and had children. It didn’t

matter whether you went to University

or not. I just did what I wanted to do and

I was lucky I was able to do this.

I went to East Sydney Tech and did a

design course. Then I was going to

travel overseas and make my name as

a famous designer — instead, I met my

future husband. I was 19 when I met

him, and we got married when I was 20.

We bought a delicatessen together and

I worked in the deli for 20 years, but I

always painted one day a week. After

we sold the delicatessen, my husband

went on to study law and I came back

to focus on art. I’ve been painting ever

since. That was when I started taking it

seriously. I started teaching art which I

love and have been teaching now for 30


We were happily married for nearly 50

years. Since he died I have travelled all

over the globe.

I go to art galleries everywhere. I’m

going to Cuba and Miami this year

with the Art Gallery of NSW which is

great because they take you to all the

interesting places with like-minded


When we were in Japan, we went to

some fabulous galleries and I saw how

they did lacquer work and gold inlay. In

China on the Silk Road I saw amazing

frescos in the Mogao Art Grottos, the

Gobi Desert and the beautiful mountains

coming out of the water along Li River

in Guilin. We went to many modern art

museums and I always came home full

of enthusiasm after seeing how other

people are working, my little travel

journals filled to the brim with sketches.

Even in Woollahra, I’m always inspired.

I go walking every morning along the

beautiful gardens. I love flowers, as

you can see from the exhibition. I love

painting flowers and I love painting still


As much as I like abstract paintings,

I would rather have something that

looks realistic. I’m a traditional painter

and I love the work of the Australian

Impressionists, and Impressionists in


I love the Dutch masters and their still

life and I love Rembrandt’s paintings

and sculptures by Michelangelo. I’m

very much a traditional Australian


I went on a tour to France, “In the

Footsteps of Cézanne”, and we went to

the Louvre and all the places Cézanne

painted - his studio, the little cabin in

the quarry and walked along the road

to Mont Saint Victoire which is featured

in so many of his paintings.

I think a painting has got to give you

joy. I don’t paint gruesome, miserable

things that make a statement like a lot

of people do when they feel passionate

about something. I feel passionate

about colour, beauty and design, and

that’s more important to me than

the horrors of this world. I think the

world is full of horror. We need to get

away from all that and see something

beautiful on our walls. That’s why I’ve

always got my eyes open for something


I stand for good design, beauty and

colour - things that give you joy. I did

sculpture for five years and I loved

it but I just missed the colour. Now,

I like doing paintings that are quick,

colourful creative and joyous.


ann’s works.

I was hesitant when they first offered me this

exhibition. I haven’t had one since my husband died

because it was just too hard. To set up, to cart the

paintings, to organise an opening, to send out the

invitations – it was all just too hard. But then I thought

to myself, “This is too good an opportunity to miss.”

People ask me every day if I’m still painting and this is

my answer: “Yes, I am still painting!” I paint as often

as I can. I’ve been painting since I was 14 and I’m 78

now. It just gives me joy to paint. And it gives me joy to

teach. I have a great passion for teaching.

I’ve found that with art, you are transported into

another world.

I was commissioned to do a portrait of Sir David

Martin, the Governor of NSW in 1998. When it was

finished, an article was put in the back of the painting

about me. I remember thinking at the time that I could

die now having done something really worthwhile. I

continued painting and doing different things.

After my husband died, 12 years ago, I had to sell

my house with my big studio and downsize to a

much smaller flat. That put me on a different path,

and I started painting miniatures. I found I could sit

comfortably at my dining room table and paint.

I’ve also been writing books. My first one is called

“My Spy”. It’s a technique where you put a splash of

red, blue and yellow on a watercolour page, then you

crumple up some wax paper and put a brick on top.

When it’s dry, you peel it off and it’s got all sorts of

patterns from the wax paper and you look into it to see

what you can find, I then tease out images and create

a story.

I tried to get it published and they said it didn’t fall into

any category. It wasn’t a teaching book and it wasn’t

an art book and it wasn’t a children’s book, so I selfpublished.

I decided to do children’s books next and I have two

published, “I’m Going to Be a Pilot” and “I’m Going

to Be a Dancer”. Each one has 10 miniatures and a

little verse describing each painting. I wanted to do a

series like “Mr. Men” - that’s what I had in mind when

I started. I want to do a whole series on that but I

haven’t got past two or three.

Life gets in the way.


the future.

I’d like to write some more books. I will continue with

my miniatures since I’m not doing as many portraits

as before. I find that it’s stressful — it’s lovely to do a

painting and if someone likes it, they might buy it. But if

you are painting a portrait, you’ve not only got to make

yourself happy first, you’ve also got to make the person in

the painting happy and all their family members have got

to be happy. It’s so stressful. I’ve done so many portraits

in my time I don’t think I have to do that anymore. I don’t

have to push myself. I’d rather do something that I can

play around with and enjoy.

artists today.

I think that artists have always been undervalued. I

wouldn’t be able to make a living as an artist today, even

though I’ve done all this work. Thankfully, my husband

worked hard and provided me with a good life and a good

living. I couldn’t live the lifestyle I do on the proceeds of

my art, even though I’m teaching two days a week.

But I don’t look at it from that point of view.

I do it because I like doing it and because I’ve got to do it.

It’s my life.



Japan’s quirky and innovative performance group SIRO-A spread

their magic to The Concourse, Chatswood, in January this year —

combining light, technology, and sound to bring their audience

an evening of delight and entertainment. This techno group of

eleven (six, after having split up to tour simultaneously) has

performed all over Asia and Europe.

The editors at ECX, of course, did not miss the chance to speak

with them about their act and their current world tour.

Combining dynamic choreography with the latest videomapping

technology, SIRO-A brought their visual spectacle

to Sydney by projecting a complex series of live-feed clips,

animation and laser units onto reflective screens. These

thrilling effects were paired with a live soundtrack that was

carefully implemented by the DJ and the VJ, both of whom

remained at the back of the stage.

From transforming into a rock band with projected electric

guitars and drum sets, to characters from various popular

films, the group strategically merged their bodies with digital

imagery. Even managing to turn into a vintage video game,

SIRO-A manifested themselves not only as the performers

of their show but also as the canvases, their faces painted

white like mimes.

Indeed, the group’s name is derived from shiroi ( 白 い),

meaning “white” and “colourless”, while the A represents

“anonymous”. Together, it translates to “belonging to no

group, impossible to define as anybody”, meaning that they

are without genre or category. One can hardly label them as

purely dance or comedy, as they manage to sink their teeth

into multiple departments, even magic.

Critics have described them as “Japan’s answer to the

Blue Man Group”, and though SIRO-A is pleased with

this comparison, they admit that both groups have their

differences. The Blue Man Group, they say, are talented at

playing musical instruments whereas they specialise in

more physical, high-energy performances.

Featuring seamless choreography where members of the

group appear to enlarge in size, or multiply before your very

eyes, SIRO-A’s shows have been described as mesmerising

and “optical wizardry”. When asked how they would describe

their own performances, the group came up with a few

words they believed would sum it up: “technology, technomusic,

visual illusions, and human power.”

SIRO-A’s tagline includes the phrase techno-circus which,

they explain, is the amalgamation of technology and highenergy

music. The incorporation of pulsing, bright lights and

electric beats within the Australian show allow audiences

to experience the performance from various angles, always

keeping us on the edge of our seat.

Formed in 2002, the group was first initiated by five friends

who met in junior and senior high school. They had a burning

curiosity and a talent for seeking out new possibilities,

experimenting in drama class with light and projections until

one friend had an idea.

Fifteen years later, SIRO-A has eleven members, six of whom

were in Australia and the other five in Iran for the 35th Fadjr

International Theatre Festival. They have auditioned for

Season 10 of America’s Got Talent and were admitted to the

semi-finals, and have travelled around the globe to countries

such as Singapore, Taiwan, London, Germany, Brazil, and

Colombia, amongst others. They have won multiple awards

since 2005, including the Edinburgh Festival “Spirit of the

Fringe” Award in 2011, and have even participated in TED x

Tokyo 2012 “Where Art Meets”.

Influenced by their travels, the group has observed that

American and British audiences react more positively to

active participation, demanding more contact and humour

than audiences in Japan. For their show in Sydney, the

group made sure to add more comedy routines, including an

impromptu voice sampling segment that directly encouraged

audience interaction. Their ability to stay flexible and adapt

accordingly has allowed them to perform across the globe,

appealing to a range of audiences of all ages.

Talking about their processes, they revealed that each

performance takes around two to three months of

preparation: from creating graphic image videos to

choreographing to the compilation of techno music, the

group is constantly looking for new, exciting ways to improve.

As of now, the members disclosed that their latest idea is to

project a hole onto the floor, encouraging further interactivity

with the audience with a – literally – “ground-breaking” idea.

In terms of what they have in store for us in the future,

SIRO-A is also busy with grand plans, taking their talents

back to Japan for two new shows. One, they told ECX, is

a near futuristic show which incorporates cutting edge

technology like 3-D video mappings mixed with techno

music and magic. The other performance, called “That’s

ZENtertainment!”, blends traditional Japanese culture with

acrobatics and dancing.

Saying that they are willing to try America’s Got Talent again,

SIRO-A seems confident that they can get further into the

rounds than the last time. They also revealed that they are

hoping to audition for Australian talent shows and television

programs one day, and that they are excited to grow on an

international scale.





Lloyd Rees Drive, Lane Cove West NSW 2066

Towards the west of North Shore is Blackman Park, which is

considered one of the best parks in the area. With a reputation

like that, we just couldn’t resist checking it out for ourselves.

What makes this park stand out is the fact that it lies next to

the Lane Cover River, allowing for really scenic river foreshore

bushwalks. They’ve got trails for joggers, dog walkers, and people

who are looking for that #natural Instagram aesthetic.

Whether you’re craving family time on Sunday, a day out with

the kids, or a place to kick a ball around, Blackman Park can

facilitate all that and more. The place is open and it’s got all

sorts of facilities like picnic spots, play equipment, and sporting

grounds. This park also has outdoor workouts, and basketball

and tennis courts.

Clearly, this one’s for all the athletic ones in the family who are

looking to break a sweat and chase the sunset.



Australia Avenue, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

This is hands down our favourite park thus far. If you take a bit

of time to explore and walk or cycle along the shared pathways,

you’ll find private little flower gardens, perfect for small picnics

and get-togethers. There are free electric barbecues and

shaded areas next to the grassy banks of Lake Belvedere –

should you ever have to plan a community or corporate event,

make sure you reserve a site at Bicentennial Park!

For those who want to have a little adventure, the winding

timber boardwalk will lead you to riverside wetlands, which

is complete with the Badu Mangroves from Parramatta River.

You’ll also be able to climb up to the highest point in the park,

which is the Treillage Viewing Platform, and see Homebush Bay

along with the city skyline.

It’s a great place to be social and put your explorer hats on! We

can sing its praises for pages, but you’ll have to check it out for

yourself to find out how lovely it is.



Coonanbarra Road, Wahroonga NSW 2076

If you’re after a park that’s rich with history and has that classic

feel to it, then stop right there and look no further. We were

surprised at how modern this park was and loved that it was

scenic and private – the perfect place to be on a weekend.

The park really embraces its history by integrating it with the

architecture, combining flower beds with memorial statues.

The Sir Lionel Lindsay monument in particular overlooks the

manicured gardens, acting as a centrepiece for the entire park.

Their newly revamped equipment and large sports field makes

this all the better – it’s a playground jackpot for all ages.

Take the person you like here on a first date. Take your mum

on Mother’s Day. Definitely take your kids! With all its bright

colours and beautiful scenery, Wahroonga Park is the place to

go if you want a fun day out.

The floral life here is like something straight out of a Disney

movie. The main gardens have blooms at every corner and it’s

structured through classic architecture, boasting both quality

and quantity.



Nicholson Street, Chatswood NSW 2067

Your ECX editors snooped around Beauchamp Park too, which

is in the upper park of the Scott’s Creek sub-catchment and

is part of the Willoughby Council. The park itself has beautiful

flora and fauna sightings, home to possums and lizards and an

array of birds. (They say you might even be able to spot a flying

fox, if you’re lucky.)

Beauchamp Park is known for its vegetation, and you’ll find

that a lot of the trees actually date back to the original Blue

Gum High Forest. It has a beautiful rose garden and thanks to

the community effort of residents who lived next to the park,

the council decided to restore the Spring Gardens. The new

range of flowers have been carefully selected to not only match

the theme of the park, but also be weather tolerant.

This one’s definitely family friendly, so if you’re looking for a

beautiful, local park where you can let your dogs run to their

hearts’ content – look no further. It’s only a 10-15 minute walk

from Chatswood CBD too, so you can take a nice stroll here

along the spring gardens before checking out the mall markets

by the train station which are open every Thursday and Friday.

A beau-champion of parks.


Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Photographer: Sam Monseur


first in, best dressed

young’s best, tailoring since 1975

the story

Mr. Young found his passion for tailoring at the age of

18, at a time where tailoring was mainstream within

the fashion industry in Shanghai. He discovered the

basics of tailoring in China, before coming to Australia

to further refine his skills and learn about different

cultural trends. Due to miscommunication and

language barriers, he was restricted to only working

at tailoring factories.

Fortunately, all this was within a zeitgeist

where Australian clothing manufacturers were

flourishing. Young gradually built up his aptitude

and professionalism during his years working in the

factory, going on to apply those skills to further his

own career. In 1995, when the manufacturing sector

began to see an overall decline, Young took the first

step of his career: starting a clothing store of his own

right in the heart of Sydney’s Town Hall.

Knowing that clothing played a significant role in how

we saw not just ourselves but others too, the objective

was clear to Young: to draw on his studies from over

the years, and create the most stylistic and best fitting

clothing for his clients.

Young found his passion

at age of 18 in Shanghai

and travelled all the

way to Australia to

learn about the market.

the difficulties

Personal tailoring is common within the clothing

industry, as all clothing manufactured in the earliest

production period could be regarded as custom

and handmade. This was because the means for

mass-production were limited, and it was not

until the industrial revolution that we began to see

an unprecedented amount of productivity. More

conservative production methods had to be changed in

order to meet rising demands.

People sought a higher quality of life in the face

of consumerism, and personal tailoring services

especially were deemed exclusive and high-end.

At Young’s Best, they make sure that everyone can

enjoy being treated to a tasteful and sophisticated

tailoring experience.


the tailoring process

The making process for a complete set of garments

begins with drafting an outline with the client’s

sizing details, before cutting the fabric and

working separately on more complex designs. They

combine the parts together, iron them, and then

proceed with final corrections.

A suit usually takes six weeks to complete. We

use the fabric suppliers ‘Dormeuil Holland’

and ‘Sherry’ exclusively, making sure that our

clients receive the highest quality of clothing.

These fabrics take around two weeks to deliver.

The time it takes to make a dress depends heavily

on the design.

the inspiration

Inspiration for Young comes from dedicated hard work

– by reading more and watching more videos about

the industry, by thoroughly researching each design,

and by understanding clients’ needs better through

experience. It takes much time and effort to nuance

such techniques.

Young tells us that some tailors, for instance, might

rescale bigger shirt sleeves for a client that finds

small cuff shirt sleeves uncomfortable. Experienced

tailors, however, will understand that such sleeves

are best fitted for certain articles of clothing, and will

encourage the client to wear it again.

He finds that these customers will always return and

thank them gratefully for not rescaling, since it was

already the best fit.

Being skilled at tailoring means that you have to

manage all kinds of details, which is overwhelming

but telling of how much experience one has.

To be a good tailor, you need to understand the needs

of different demographics and be comfortable with all

stylistic designs.

advice for summer

As summer is a season of hot weather, it is essential

that the right fabric is selected to ensure that people

are comfortable, even during the more humid

days. Young’s Best recommends thin, smooth, and

breathable fabrics. Natural fibres such as silk, cotton,

and linen, and improved new fibres usually have all

the aforementioned characteristics.

Summer fashion should remain simple and

minimalist, avoiding multilayers and complicated

designs. Young also suggests looser clothing as it

helps to prevent sweat stains. Their advice is to avoid

excessive layers, and to stay away from restrictive,

tight clothing during summer.

final message

Young believes that we live now in a century where people

can easily learn about fashion trends after just a few

clicks on the Internet. Clothes can be bought online and

delivered within days.

One of the most important aspects of tailoring, however,

is the measuring itself. For a suit, a tailor needs the

right measurements for the collar, bust, waist, hip,

leg root circumference, crotch, and so on, with about

twenty dimensions in total. Shirts and tops need around

ten more upper body measurements before the job is


Direct communication between the tailor and the client

is one of the key traditions within the industry. The tailor

is the one person who oversees the clothing from the

scraps of fabric, to the final product, understanding the

client’s needs so that they can produce exactly what they

want. Several of the most well-known tailor shops in

Savile Row, Mayfair, London upkeep this tradition.

Young always recommends that clients visit his store in

person so that he can measure them accordingly and

provide the best results.

For more information,

contact Young’s Best:

(02) 8283 9420

Shop 26A, 438 Victoria Ave.

Chatswood, NSW 2067


storybook photography

by rachael attard

the background

Welcoming a baby into the world is a precious moment

for new parents; a period that marks the birth of a new

chapter in life. No doubt, it is a time filled with joy where

people are free to explore responsibilities and discover

new traditions for their family, all while forming a lifelong


The possibilities are endless – and though it is also a

time of change and anxiety and overwhelming

protectiveness, these are the unrivalled

moments of tenderness that Rachael

Attard believes should be cherished

and captured in its full essence.

For Rachael, these memories

revealed a beauty that she

wanted Storybook Photography

to embody. A newborn marks

the beginning of a new story,

the first few pages of a book yet

to be written. Rachael captures

the start of this journey with much

intimacy and love, encapsulating

the bond within families, through

Storybook Photography. Rachael, who

has experienced this extraordinary change

twice when she welcomed first a baby girl into

her life, then twin girls, understands this process on a

personal level. Upon changing the course of her career in

order to pursue something dear to her heart, Rachael has

not looked back and continues to inspire and be inspired. A

newborn child is one of life’s greatest blessings and for the

people behind Storybook, it is precisely that: a story worth

telling, a narrative of sentimental value worth capturing in

every detail.

“It is so special

watching a mum and dad

gaze at their newborn with a

sense of awe and contentment.

I will never, ever get sick of being

able to witness moments of

pure love and joy.”

the beginning

A loving mother to three beautiful girls, one aged five

and twins who are almost three years old, Rachael has

always been in touch with her imagination, constantly

looking to create something new and innovative. It was

shortly after her twins turned one that she decided it

was time to return to the workforce. Uninspired

and at a loss for what to do in the future,

she contemplated going back to what

she knew and finding another office

management role.

She knew, however, that she

was passionate about one thing:

creativity through photography.

Rachael desired nothing more

than being offered a creative

challenge, though the fear of

following this passion meant that

she was uncertain and anxious of the

consequences. Things were always

easier said than done.

Knowing that she had always been interested

in photography, Rachael decided to do her research.

“I looked into photography a little further as it was

something I was always interested in and had enjoyed

playing around with own projects at home,” said Rachael.


After photographing her cousin’s baby as a newborn in

April 2015, Rachael was struck with an epiphany. The

photograph had given her such inspiration that it became

the single, unique moment when she knew exactly what

she wanted to do.

Three months later, in September 2015, she launched the

business that we have grown to know and love – Storybook

Photography by Rachael. The name was an idea that came

naturally to her, she told ECX.

“I am blessed that my job allows me to capture incredible

moments in people’s lives,” said Rachael. “These moments

when added together form a part of someone’s personal

story, and the images I take help create that story.”

It was clear, however, that the pursuit of a creative career

meant that her works and photography required a much

higher standard of professionalism. Attard dedicated

herself to attending various workshops with well-known

photographers such as Erin Elizabeth Photography and

Rebecca Connolly whilst also attending one-on-one

mentoring sessions with Beth Fernley Photography and

Natalie Howe Photography.

“I have watched countless YouTube presentations and

online based workshops to continually increase my

knowledge about photography and work on my skills in

the art of posing babies,” said Rachael, “to not only create

unique pieces of art, but also to do it safely.”

happiest moments

As a photographer who specialises in creating masterpieces

for happy parents, we asked Rachael what her most

memorable experience was in such a creative field of work.

She admitted that she thoroughly enjoyed interacting with

children, telling ECX: “They often say and do the funniest

things. Any session that involves children is usually full of

belly laughs!”

She considered, however, that the best part of her job was

being able to witness the unadulterated love between parent

and child.

“It is so special watching a mum and dad gaze at their

newborn with a sense of awe and contentment. I will never,

ever get sick of being able to witness moments of pure love

and joy.”

Such feelings are undoubtedly strong and we can see the

special connection that Rachael captures so effectively.

Ultimately, the beauty of Rachael’s photography is not only

found in the structural elements of the picture itself, but the

way she makes explicit that intimate bond between parent

and baby.

For more information, contact Rachael at:

0417 120 281


achael’s tips:

how to photograph a baby


Keep the background clutter-free.

Placing babies on a white bedsheet is perfect for making the baby the

focus of the image. Parents can try using a toy that makes a little noise

to grab the baby’s attention.


Place the baby on his/her back.

If baby is old enough to hold his/her head up without support, place

him/her on their tummy for some added variety.


Be eye-level.

When taking tummy photos, get down on the floor so that your camera

is at baby’s eye level. The same goes for outdoor photos.


Safety comes first.

Never hold a camera over the top of a baby unless you have the camera

strapped around your neck first. Don’t leave a baby unattended in an

environment where they could fall or roll off a surface. For images

such as babies posed inside buckets, baskets, etc., use a professional

photographer who is trained in baby safety.


If outdoors, look for shade.

Make sure to avoid harsh shadows in your images.


Most importantly, have fun.

Take images of your kids playing and doing the things they love!


a bite of success

the burger craze that hit

melbourne and sydney by storm


We sat down at the ever-crowded Royal Stacks, Chatswood,

and had the honour of talking to Terri about Royal

Stacks and her story.

her job.

My role as Executive Chef is very exciting, it combines my

passion for food and training/developing individuals. What

makes it exciting for me is that I get to work in different

locations and along the way making lots of new friends. It’s

been very satisfying to inspire others to share our dream of

delivering quality food and excellent

customer service.

her passion.

I look for passion, it’s the one thing

that can’t be taught. I could teach

anyone how to flip patties or cook

fries but I cannot teach someone to

put in the love and care in something

they don’t believe in. I hope to be a

leader to many people who share the

same passion as me.

My passion for food goes way back to when I was young,

my mum is a very good cook and she will forever be my

inspiration but it wasn’t until 15 years ago when I started

working in hospitality that I started to become really

passionate about food. I’m obsessed with wanting to learn

more about food and reaching as many people as possible

with my creations.

My passion for burgers started around 3 years ago when we

were looking into the food trends in America, at that stage,

it was burgers and they were doing it well! Turning the

humble hamburger into a trend in Australia was something

we wanted to be a part of, so we got to work.

the focus.

“I look for passion, it’s the one thing

that can’t be taught.

I could teach anyone how to flip

patties or cook fries but I cannot teach

someone to put in the love and care in

something they don’t believe in.”


In the 12 months since we have opened, we have had an

overwhelmingly positive response in both Melbourne and

Sydney. Our main focus is to consistently deliver amazing

food by sourcing fresh, local produce, upholding the highest

standards of customer service,

accompanied by a nostalgic interior.

her advice.

My advice would be whatever type of

business you want to venture into,

make sure you know and understand

all aspects of the business, for

example it wouldn’t make sense to

open a cafe if you didn’t know how to

make coffee.

Surround yourself with like-minded individuals, through all

the hardship, the long days and lack of sleep, just to have the

support from people that are going/have gone through the

same experiences as you, will help keep you strong and will be

a constant reminder of why you started your business in the

first place.

I’m very fortunate to have Dani as my mentor, he is by far

the smartest businessman I know and evidently his current

success is enough to verify that. The thing about Dani is that

he’s never content, he strives to constantly better himself and

he is humble, a very well respected man to anyone who works

with him or for him.

the name.

Mastermind and owner of Royal Stacks, Dani Zeini, came

up with the name. This was his thought process - “The

word Stacks came from the idea of using a terminology

that was common in the Australian food scene, people

would refer to towers of pancakes as a stack or a huge

burger with stacks of patties. We also wanted something

that could correlate into the menu e.g Single Stack, Double

Stack so that no matter which Royal Stacks you went to,

they would be the same. The word Royal is a premium

touch to the name, adding some sophistication which is

how we feel about our products.”

the upcoming plans.

Our plans for Royal Stacks are big! Our goal is to have a

few more up here in Sydney (in future), we would love to

venture out into other states as well and eventually out

internationally. My personal goal is to be in New York.

New York played such a big role in influencing our style of

burgers that it would just mean the world to me to be given

a chance to take our food over there.

For more information,

contact Royal Stacks:

(02) 9419 2354

Westfield Chatswood, 357/1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067




Show us your colouring in skills for your chance to win a great prize and

be FEATURED in our next issue!

Simply cut out your preferred ECX design and post it to:

ECX Colouring In Competition

Suite 201, 11 Spring Street, Chatswood NSW 2067.

You can also scan and email it to

Open to all ages. Entries close on Friday, 4 August 2017.

Good luck!


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Address: _________________________________________________

Phone: __________________________________________________

Email: __________________________________________________

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Address: _________________________________________________

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We post details on our upcoming magazine issues,

new articles on our website, and keep you informed on

community events happening around Sydney.


Your weekly doses of art, flatlays, interview photos and

video snippets. #DontMissOut

Where our online articles and issues come to party!

Want to know what we’re about? Want to contact us and

tell us about your business? Head here.






For more information,

contact Coach Feng:

0422 645 939

Carlingford Village, Shopping Centre

Shop 10, Level 3,372 Pennant Hills Road,

Carlingford, NSW 2118


from the founder of feng fencing studios

Time has flown by so quickly.

I founded Feng Fencing Studio in early 2016 and already, it’s

been one year since the grand opening. Since that time, I’ve

been able to train a number of new students in one of the

things I’m most passionate about: foil fencing.

All new students begin training the same way – their

eyes are bright with enthusiasm, and there’s a genuine

eagerness to learn the technical skills. Over time, though

the spark never dies, it becomes clear that they’re still at

the beginning of their journey. The time it takes to master

fencing may turn some people off – but like any sport or

hobby or field of practice, you only ever get out what you put


When it comes down to it, we’re all still learning. Even with

22 years of competitive experience under my belt, I still find

myself discovering new skills while training, and having to

learn to adapt. That’s what everything comes down to, isn’t

it? Trying new things and embracing this learning curve

that shouldn’t turn you off but rather, motivate you to work

harder and be better.

Foil fencing has a special place in my heart, and I know that

I’ll be chasing it for as long as I can.

It’s the perfect blend of movement and strategy, of mind

and body, of attacking while defending. You can choose to

use active strategies against your opponent or decide that

passive tactics are more suitable for you. Either way, there

is always elegance; no excessive force or aggression, since

that would be over-expenditure of negative energy. Instead,

we encourage courtesy between opponents and cultivate an

environment where there is always mutual respect.

I know that there are certain sports now which appear to

promote gladiatorial and violent aggression. And though

that may appeal to some, foil fencing culture is about

conflict resolution. It’s about controlling your emotions and

making sure that each set of action is channelled through

careful and striking movements. Despite being classified

as a combat sport, every point is scored with well-trained

finesse, timing, and distance. There is no hostility between

fencers, only sportsmanship and a motivation to improve.

See, I believe in this. I really do.

And I also know that in order to see real growth in my

students, I have to help cultivate their passion. I see

the spark in their eyes, the little ember of interest, and

I know that it has potential to grow into a flame. The

most important thing to me is that my students are there

because they want to be.

Too often, we are blindsided by external factors – pressured

into activities that our friends are doing, or pushed into

undertaking things purely for the results and not the

process. My career in fencing comes from the heart, and

not because I think that it’s prestigious or because I want

scholarships and medals.

This is genuine and authentic interest, and I want to help

you find yours.

I won’t sit here and tell you that foil fencing is the perfect

sport for you, because I know that people are not shaped by

cookie cutters. We all have our own preferences, just as we

have our own beliefs.

But here is what I can promise you:

I can promise that at Feng Fencing Studios, we develop

character and cultivate good, wholesome values in all

our students. You can learn how to become self-reliant in

one-on-one foil fencing, identifying your own strengths /

weaknesses and assessing your own performance so there

is room for constant improvement. I can promise that I

will make it a priority to bring out your potential. And I can

promise that I’ll always be open, and let you teach me how

to grow as a leader in this sport.

Falling in love with foil fencing isn’t something that can

happen overnight. More than likely, it’ll take time and

commitment. But this discipline, this confidence, this

capacity to reflect and self-motivate; these are all strengths

in character that will have long-term consequences. These

are skills that can be translated to multiple areas of your

life, whether it be school or work or relationships.

I have seen and experienced real passion before, and I know

that it has changed me for the better.

Now it’s just your turn.


yoghurt and oats

adam wilkinson, from selling chocolate bars at

school to award-winning yoghurt

YOATS is a clever portmanteau of yoghurt and oats. How

did this name come to be?

As many businesses discover, deciding on a name can

be really challenging as it’s so important to get it right.

Especially for a retail product and brand. In our infancy

YOATS was actually called ‘Fuel’. At the time we liked the

reference it made to food being an energy source but we

found it to be a little too masculine and sounded more like

an ‘energy drink’. When we first started brainstorming

names, YOATS had been on our list from the beginning.

It had been staring us in the face the whole time and we

think it’s the perfect fit for the product. We like things

uncomplicated so with our two star ingredients being

Yoghurt and Oats, YOATS was a complete no brainer.

This simple approach is at the heart of everything we do

especially our products. It’s also a bit of fun, we don’t take

ourselves too seriously. It’s memorable and people always

respond well to it.

Tell us the story – from chocolate bars to yoghurts.

This was technically my first business. I started selling

chocolate bars at school when I was 15. We didn’t have

vending machines or a canteen so I saw a gap in the market

and went for it. I saved all the money I made and used it to

buy my first car which was a great outcome. As with many

teenagers the health element wasn’t a high priority at the

time, but this is definitely changing nowadays.

People are making the transition to healthier foods earlier and

many of our customers are young people. They’re choosing

YOATS for its nutritional quality, they want all natural products

and a lower amount of unrefined sugar. We supply to a number

of schools who provide YOATS for breakfast, they’re also the

perfect snack option for fast growing, hungry students after


Why YOATS and not other “Grab & Go Breakfast” products?

We created YOATS to offer everything you need to start your

morning in one complete pot. The shelves are full of products

that promote themselves as “Grab & Go Breakfast” options

but really are far from that. We seem to have forgotten

what we really need out of breakfast and that’s to feel full

and nourished and these products don’t offer this. “Liquid

Breakfasts” are simply water with many flavours and additives

and “Breakfast Biscuits and Bars” are commonly high in sugar

and lack substance leaving you feeling hungry. The benefits

from eating oats are no secret, and each YOATS contains

50grams of premium quality oats. We’re not aware of any

other product on the market that offers more per serving,

not to mention 12.5grams of protein from our yoghurt. You

can taste the difference from the quality ingredients we use,

since all our products are top notch. All you need is YOATS and

you’re on your way to a great day.


Apple & Raspberry YOATS

Wildberry YOATS

Banana YOATS

Apple & Cinnamon YOATS

The Apple and Raspberry

YOATS has a signature

flavour, making it an obvious

choice for all those pursuing

healthy eating. Its distinctive

blend of fresh apples and

raspberries along with the

added mix of natural yogurt,

organic oats and agave

nectar make it a perfect

embodiment of what YOATS

is all about: healthy and


The vivid purple colour of

the Wildberry YOATS makes

sure we don’t forget that we

eat with our eyes. It was a

joy to find our little tub full

of berries, as it gave each

bite a sour tang and got

us wishing we had more!

We recommend this one

served chilled as a nutritious

breakfast or a refreshing


It’s no secret that we

Australians love our bananas

and seeing that we produce

some of the best bunches

in the world, it’s not hard to

see why! The introduction of

bananas into YOATS packs

it with nutrients, and is just

the right thing to sustain

your blood sugar before a

strenuous workout.

This one is like Apple

Crumble but without the

guilt, and definitely keeps

you going back for more.

Can be enjoyed chilled or

gently warmed in winter. The

cinnamon packs a punch in

terms of flavour, and creates

a sweet aftertaste which

blends well with the yoghurt.

Satisfying and tasty – what

more can we ask for?


YOATS is involved with several charities and even has a

‘Karma Director’, Nina. Tell us about that.

Nina is a close friend that’s had a keen interest in the

business since the start. It’s very easy to be focused on

sales and the bottom line and forget about the values

and real community engagement the business can have.

She raised this with me very early in the piece so I’m

proud to say we’ve been committed to supporting these

organisations for a number of years now. The Wayside

Chapel offers support to disadvantaged people in Kings

Cross and CBD. We give them a weekly delivery of YOATS

which is then distributed to people who really need it. If

we happen to have any excess ingredients like yoghurt, we

make sure nothing is wasted by donating to Oz Harvest. It’s

a win-win for all.

Words of advice for the people looking to venture their

own businesses?

Know your competition back to front, try to understand

every detail of what they’re offering and why your product

or service is better. Look for the positives of being small.

Major brands can spend a huge amount of time and money

on R&D and takes years to launch products due to red tape

and complicated process.

Small businesses are far more nimble and can react to

the market and customers’ needs in far less time and this

is a big advantage. Limited funds can be an advantage

during startup, it forces you to be efficient and find creative

solutions to problems rather than simply throwing money at

them. We have passion and a real story about how we came

to be, the big brands can never fabricate this.

Tips for building a more nutritional and balanced diet?

Understand how to read the ingredients list and the

nutritional panels on products. The market is saturated

with products that are marketed as healthy options but

really aren’t. We want to change this perception, at YOATS

we’re committed to making our product information as

easy to read and understand as possible. We don’t have

anything to hide and we are proud to show not only what’s

gone into our products but also what’s been left out! Like

preservatives and refined sugars. You will find all our

ingredients in your own kitchen pantry not science books.

For more information,

contact YOATS:


It’s very easy

to be focused on sales

and the bottom line, and

forget about the values

and real community

engagement the

business can have.






sgt paul mcgeachie, founder of the dee

why and chatswood original bootcamp, on

why you should work out

What is the ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP, and how is it different

to other workouts?

I think there are a number of key elements that make us


How did you get started developing your passion for

fitness and exercise?

I have always been an active person; playing all sports,

running, enjoying the gym. It was a big part of my life

but certainly wasn’t a passion yet. A friend of mine was

attending ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP (OBC) in the city and got

me along to a trial. I immediately loved it!

After training with the founders of OBC – Chief Brabon and

Emilie Brabon-Hames – for a couple of years, I started

achieving all of my fitness goals.

The amazing thing was that this was also having a positive

impact on my personal and professional life. After seeing

how much it had changed my life, I wanted to do the same

for others. I made the decision to leave a 12-year career in

Superannuation and start my own ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP

license in Dee Why. Since then, I have not looked back.

We have a big focus on discipline at training. A lot of people

think military-inspired means that it involves yelling and

belittling people, but it’s not that at all. We just expect that

when our recruits turn up to a session, they are ready to

work with maximum effort every time.

We also put a high value on team work, which is very unique

in our industry. Not only do you have multiple trainers

pushing you to achieve your goals each session, but you

also have up to 47 other “teammates” who are all there to

motivate and support you too.

There are a number of other programs that claim to “never

repeat the same training session twice”. We actually

deliver on that, but without sacrificing the science based

methodology that has helped us achieve unmatched

results. Nothing is done without a specific psychological or

physiological outcome in mind.

Another unique element is that we train outdoors – rain,

hail or shine. A major benefit is that it builds resilience.

It teaches you that no matter what the conditions are,

you have the mental strength to move beyond your


“We train outdoors - rain,

hail or shine ... you have the

mental strength to move

beyond your environment.

What are the benefits?

The key to achieving many health

and fitness goals is combining

intensity with proven techniques. The

harder you work while maintaining

a specialised program, the greater

the results you will achieve, and the

sooner you will get there.

It’s no coincidence that elite military

units have consistently been able

to produce large numbers of

exceptionally fit, driven individuals by

combining discipline, team work and

results based programming.

OBC’s founders have worked with

some of the world’s most elite

Special Forces, Special Operations,

and Tactical teams, and have been

able to translate their motivational

and training techniques to suit

civilians of all fitness levels.

What do you think about the

integration of science into exercise?

The gap between sports science

and the general fitness industry

is definitely narrowing. OBC has

always been more closely related

to the science-based strength

and conditioning, and nutritional

programs utilised by elite sporting

teams than other fitness programs in

the market.

It is exciting to see that the rest of the

industry is now moving in the same

direction, as millions of dollars a year

are invested into sports science, and

now the average person can benefit

from that.

Any aspirations for 2017?

My goal is to have both our Dee Why

and Chatswood programs running at

capacity all year round, and to help

push as many people as possible to

achieve their health and fitness goals.

I would also like to work with

employers more to get their staff out

of the office at lunch times. There are

huge health benefits for their staff

but also increased productivity in the


A word of advice?

My response to this goes for

everything in life: don’t make up your

mind on something until you have

done it. There is no reason not to try it.

We run free trial sessions every


all fitness levels so there is no excuse

not to try.

For more information,

contact Original Bootcamp:

(02) 9019 0759


ecx editor, tony zhang, caught his

breath for long enough to write about

his experiences of the bootcamp.

he attended the chatswood and dee why

OBC sessions.

Did it occur to me that I had just committed to participating

in a Bootcamp that runs in the early mornings at Hallstrom

Park? What about doing an hour of intense, military graded

exercise. Yeah … I should be fine. I’m pretty fit – or at least

alright for my age.

I got up at 5am, did my morning routine, and made my way

to the 5:45am session for the Original Bootcamp Chatswood

& Dee Why. What I expected to be a “hey mate” from

Sergeant Paul awaiting me was more like a carpark with

no one there. Like a typical shady journalist, I came around

3 minutes late to see nobody waiting at the designated


As I got there, I do admit it, seeing the sheer intensity in

the look of the fellow recruits’ faces had gotten me very

anxious. But there was a sense of friendship I saw a mile

away when I heard the classic “C’mon, you can do it” that

echoed around the field and it gradually dispelled my


Sergeant Paul McGeachie, the lead instructor of the

Bootcamp, gave me a warm welcome and introduction to

the recruits and off we went. Being late, the recruits I saw

had already finished the first round of training sets.

I was instructed to run two laps of the 400m around the

circuit as a small warmup to avoid injury. Afterwards,

Sergeant Paul called me over, looked me straight in the eye

and said, “Alright Tony, what we’re going to get started with

is a benchmark test.”

Admittedly, I had no idea what that entailed except that it

was some kind of test. The first set of the test was running

2 laps around a 400m track as quick as I could which was

then followed by 10 push ups, 10 crunches and 15 sit ups

that was repeated 4 times without rest. What was notable

was the group that had just finished would pair with us and

become our buddies to guide us through the process, both

physically and mentally.

Whilst trying to get my breath back after the first session,

Sergeant Paul soon came and gave me some motivation.

“Every month, these guys go flat out because they know

this benchmark measures if they’ve been changing through

Bootcamp,” said Paul, “you’ve already done really well

seeing you run with the fastest group.” Well, that indeed

made me feel a bit better, knowing I was with the fastest

group but I knew it didn’t end there.

The next set was running eight laps of the 400m track as

fast as we could. The first group already started to begin

while our group took our break. Sergeant Paul and the rest

of the recruits continued to motivate me as I sprinted past

them. It was painful to keep going, but it was even more

painful to stop. I don’t know if it was the mindset to not

fail, simple pride, or the limitless amount of inspirational

energy I received from every member of the boot camp that

allowed me to finish strong on my final set of laps. Relief

but also a sense of achievement rushed into me as I started

getting my breath back.

My photographer had even started to feel guilty seeing

all of us do rigorous exercises. I could feel the sense of

achievement when I saw the look of my fellow recruits. For

them, the benchmark is not only a day where they see their

progress but it’s a day where their unity is the strongest.

“What we get is this mateship in Original Bootcamp and

this is what drives them to achieve,” said Sergeant Paul. It

was a great team effort as we finished up with some final

stretches. I proceeded to have a lovely chat with the rest of

the fellow recruits and even went for coffee with the team.

My first experience of OBC was certainly tough at the

beginning but the feeling you get at the end exceeded all

the hard moments. With my feet, throbbing, lips parched

and our clothes muddied with dirt, we all had this sense of

satisfaction as we bid farewell to one another.

* * *

On my second session, I arrived early and had the

regular chat with the recruits. I guess it was a sense of

camaraderie but I noticed everyone talked like they had

known each other for years. Sergeant Paul, the man that

held us together, was uplifting as usual as he got ready to

take us to our next session.

The session held today was one of the regular sessions

of OBC. Sergeant Paul proceeded to describe that “there

are thousands of variations in the exercise which Original

Bootcamp runs”. The regular session was a combination of

conditioning and strength exercises.

The need for teamwork was even more emphasised in the

conditioning exercises as we paired up with one another.

The aim of the game was to feel the workout but to also

consistently push it by not letting your partner down.

The benchmark may have been intense, but the regular

sessions gives you the right amount of exercise that

coordinates team work and persistence.

At the start, I noted that there were so many conceptions

of OBC being too brutal or something that scares people

off mentally. I asked Sergeant Paul on his thoughts on this

and he gave me a really perceptive answer. “I think that the

Original Bootcamp philosophy, its military style and the way

we emphasise unity and mateship is a thing that defines

what we do,” remarked Sergeant Paul. “I think that the

Bootcamp is an honest approach where going to Bootcamp

is not about yourself, I guess it is physically, but mentally

it’s the team philosophy that keeps us going.”

I have to admit, he gave me a completely new perspective

on Bootcamp. In attending Bootcamp you attend for

yourself, but the mentality of your approach is a team

mindset. For me it was a sense of positive energy and a

feeling of not letting your fellow recruits down that gave me

an inspiration that kept me going.

As a journalist, I continually seek something inspirational

in stories and I was glad that I attended these sessions as

I could capture these inspiring moments of each recruit in

OBC. Am I glad I did it? Definitely. Would I recommend it? If

vigorous exercise and camaraderie is your thing, then yes,



Mt. Rainier, Washington, USA






kpo member andrew rothfield reveals

his most memorable moments and

why he loves the orchestra.

Who are you? Andrew Rothfield. I have been

playing with the KPO violins for almost 20 years

and I am proud to say that I have hardly missed

a concert.

What’s your story? Over these 20 years, my wife

Christine and I have had three kids (now aged

11, 9 and 8). I have also studied part-time for a

degree and subsequently changed careers, as

well as taken up some other hobbies such as

adult gymnastics and singing tenor in a local

acapella choir. I would say that gymnastics is my

other main passion aside from music – there are

so many skills and levels to gradually conquer,

and you can progress at your own pace.

With my kids being very busy with their

commitments, just having the time to be in

the KPO is such an act of generosity from my

wife and family, as is the same for many of our


With all three of our kids now in the school

string ensemble (which we harassed the school

to create a few years ago), hopefully we have

bred at least one eventual replacement for me

at the KPO. Two of the kids also are playing

trumpet, but we’re keeping that quiet from the

general public …

Favourite pieces? For me, the pieces that

gave me ‘goose bumps’ were Beethoven 6

(particularly the “bubbling brook” movement),

the recently performed Rachmaninov 2, and

Brahms 4. It’s amazing how some of the pieces

grow on you only as you rehearse them and you

have to later wonder why you ever questioned

their choice.

Best moment? It was so perfect when a certain

conductor re-started a slow movement after an

audience member’s mobile went off more than

once. I am always amazed at how effortlessly

many of our conductors can ad lib to the

audience like seasoned comedians.

Any struggles? With violins, just when you think

you know a piece really well, you’re assigned

another part, and it becomes a whole new


What’s it like to be in the KPO? Playing with the KPO at the

Concourse for the first time recently – with its fantastic acoustics

– felt like driving a luxury car when you’ve been used to driving a

normal car for a long time. Many of the more recent members of the

orchestra haven’t had the great pleasure of playing at the Ku-ring-gai

Town Hall itself! Some of those concerts were brilliant though, such

as having Catherine Hewgill and Donald Hazlewood from the SSO

play Brahms’ Double concerto.

Greatest thing about the KPO? I think it’s wonderful how some of our

players come back after long breaks and they fit back into the KPO

immediately. And sometimes, I hear many classical works on the

radio and know them really well because I have actually played them.

It’s always interesting to hear the differences in interpretation.

Final words? I couldn’t imagine not being in the KPO with all the

warmth of its members and the great music, not to mention the

instant coffee. Let’s raise our glasses to many more years ahead in

the KPO for all of us!


This also has the added advantage for me in that on

my regular trips to Amsterdam to see family and play

‘Gramps’ for a while, they’ve been a crucial shopping

trip to get the scores for my KPO gigs!

How did you get involved in the KPO? I was first asked

to conduct KPO in a major concert at quite short notice

in 2014 and something obviously ‘ticked’ because I

have been invited back to do their March concert every

year since, this being the fourth. Actually my first ‘gig’

with KPO was in 1984 when I played in the percussion

section to help make up the numbers in Shostakovich’s

Festival Overture. My great friend and colleague Max

McBride was the conductor of that concert and I was

only too willing to come in and help both him and KPO


kpo guest conductor colin piper on

family, symphonies, and camaraderie.

Favourite pieces? It is interesting that just as I had

retired from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, KPO

has given me the opportunity to do some repertoire

that I had never had the chance, or the orchestral

forces, to conduct in the past. All large-scale pieces;

Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony, Rachmaninov’s

2nd Symphony, Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, and

this year, Rachmaninov’s fabulous Symphonic Dances.

Who are you? Colin Piper. I was a percussionist in the

Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 1968 until the end

of 2013, and in 1974 I was a founding member of the

internationally acclaimed percussion ensemble SYNERGY.

For many years I have had a long relationship with both

community orchestras and youth orchestras.

What’s your story? I met my

wife Jan in the SSO; she was a

violinist, but left when our family

arrived in 1978. In those days,

unlike today, it was not so easy

to maintain a career and raise a

family. We have 2 daughters and

4 grandchildren.

Both our girls, Sally and Jane learned instruments, and

both had great ability and both played in various youth

orchestras. Our eldest Sally, studied piano, violin and viola

but decided that a career as a performer was not for her.

That said, she has worked in the music industry both here

and in Europe. Jan and I were very careful NOT to push

either of them into the profession.

Our youngest daughter Jane studied piano and violin

and did follow a musical career … after a fellowship

with the SSO, she played and toured extensively with the

Australian Chamber Orchestra and since 2005 has lived

in Amsterdam where, after a stint in the Netherlands

Chamber Orchestra, she is now a member of the Royal

Concertgebouw Orchestra.

“Retirement was

never meant to be

this much fun.

You see, no other community or youth orchestra that

I have worked with over the years could have tackled

repertoire such as this, and I feel terribly lucky to

have the chance to do some of these pieces now. All

pieces I have played plenty of times in the SSO, pieces

I love, and pieces I hope KPO enjoys playing. They

are challenging, both for

the orchestra and for me

so it is a journey we have

embarked on together and

I’ve loved every minute of it!

Retirement was never meant

to be this much fun.

Greatest thing about the

KPO? I have always regarded

the KPO as one of the very best of the community

orchestras in Sydney. This became obvious from my

experience in playing with them in the Shostakovich,

and certainly since working with them in a conducting

role. The wonderful thing I have always found in

orchestras like these is the camaraderie within the

playing group; these wonderful musicians come and

make music, not because they are paid to do so, but

because they love it.

For more information,

contact KPO:





Vault Interiors specialises in not only preparing homes for sales

campaigns, but we also work with homeowners to beautify their

existing space. These are some tried and true tips that can help you

get your home looking vibrant and fresh!














Arrange your existing items and reassess how to

get the most of your space.

Decluttering is the first step in creating a fresh and

clean platform to work off. Start by focusing on the

living zones – these areas are the hardest to tackle, so if

they are out of the way, the rest is less daunting.

Try moving around items like sofas and armchairs to

get better flow or make the most of a view. Limit photo

frames and heavy scented candles, and introduce bright

flowers, light scents and fun magazines coupled with

brightly coloured accessories instead.

Separate your personal belongings into three piles:

keep, store, donate. Keep the essentials, store away

daily items like paperwork and laundry so that you can

minimise clutter, and donate the rest!

Try to keep all surfaces clear for the most impact.



Take out heavy carpet for light weave / natural


The days of thick and heavy rugs are over! Consider

swapping them out with natural earthy materials

like cow hide rugs or sisal matts which are lighter

underfoot. As you will be in the throes of decluttering

and moving around furniture, it’s a good time to

consider re-carpeting your property if a steam clean

won’t do the trick. Nylon blends have a nice sheen

look and are very forgiving with stains. Sisal carpets

are perfect for achieving a relaxed Hamptons / coastal

feeling in your home.


Bring in some flowers and succulents to

freshen up the place.

A dash of greenery here and there will draw the eye

and create a focal point in any room. Fresh flowers

transform interior spaces because they instantly make

a room feel inviting and lively, and will complement any

colour scheme. Small potted plants work well also, if

you want to spice up your home.

Hanging plants like large ferns can make beautiful

installations and floor standing indoor plants are a

great way to fill empty spaces. Ficus or finger palms are

perfect for this.

Plants can help improve well-being by purifying the air

quality and adding ventilation into the room.



Swap heavy window treatments for autumnal curtains,

blinds or shutters.

Use the elements to breath new air into your home. Embrace the

warm sun and longer hours by letting the light filter into your

environment. Swap out heavy thick curtains for sheer fabrics,

linens, light cotton and synthetic curtains – which will allow the

light to flood in and the breeze to air out the odours.

Neutrals for blinds are a good choice because they are less visually

heavy and will sit well in any home. Remember that colour can

always be introduced via art, accessories and cushions instead.

Light greys, taupe’s tones, white and cream can make your room

look brighter, and more spacious.

The recent trends have seen a move from block out rollers and

timber shutters to white plantation shutters and semi sheer/

sunscreen blinds, which maximize and help you control the levels

of light. Soft textured semi sheer roller blinds in colours like wheat,

sand and beige are a great pick for a clean palette.

4Colour & Texture

Introduce splashes of colour and personality through soft


Fresh and bright covers provide an instant visual change. Layering

simple linen tone cushions can make your home look elegant and

sophisticated, or go for bold tones like pastels, neons and citrus


Prints are perfect if you want to be creative, and play around with

solid colours and patterns for the most impact. Artworks can also

be swapped out or relocated to change the dynamic of the space.

You can also reframe existing prints or photos for a different wall



Keep your base neutral, but add colour through feature


Keeping the base colour palette of your interiors neutral is

important to keep your home looking classy and timeless. It allows

you to work in new features and change around soft furnishing

without any clashes.

If you want some colour to keep your place looking vibrant, you

can introduce feature walls to add a more dramatic, visual effect.

Consider selecting a darker tone from your main wall colour, such

as a light grey or a taupe, so that it looks tailored. If you prefer

daring statement pieces, go for something bold by using funky

wallpaper or metallic colours.


For more information,

contact Justine Stedman

of Vault Interiors:

(02) 9460 0022

4/28 Vore Street,

Silverwater NSW 2128



Warning: This article is not a guide on how to be successful. It’s not

about how to make an easy million bucks or how to get that promotion you’ve

always wanted. Rather, it’s about taking a step back, understanding our own

privileges, and re-evaluating the way we perceive success.

What is success?

Is it defined by …

• good relationships (spending time with family, a happy


• wealth (economic security, financial freedoms)?

• prestige and reputation (leaving a legacy, fame, being

honoured on a large scale)?

• results (losing X amount of weight, scoring 100% in an

exam, publishing a book)?

• experiences (flying first class, staying in 6 star hotels)?

Or is it a combination of some, if not all, of them?

It’s important to acknowledge that we define our

achievements in different ways, and that it’s essentially

because we all have different roles in the world. Nothing can

ever be standardised and universal, because we ourselves

are multi-faceted and diverse.

I find that a lot of people set their goals based on what

others are doing, rather than on a personal basis. And what

this usually means, unfortunately, is that we feel a profound

sense of failure whenever these goals aren’t reached.

Your goals, thus, should reflect this difference. Continually

striving towards something is natural because it means

we’re being motivated to do better and be better, but the

objectives you set in attempt to reach success need to be

tailored to you and you alone.

Keeping things in perspective

On the one hand, being at the top of your game means you

get to reap the rewards. You can have wealth, prestige, and

fly business class on every flight.

On the other hand, it requires being an active go-getter. You

have to seek out opportunities instead of sitting back and

allowing them to find you, and your rigorous discipline and

patience means that while other people have given up, you

have to stay driven and motivated enough to get back up

and keep trying. This hard work and relentless commitment

often comes at the cost of quality time with loved ones, and

forgoing your own personal interests.

For me, although I’m already working from 7am to 11pm, 6

days a week, I know that I do have the capacity to work even

harder by waking up earlier every day and coming home

later, but I remain equally aware of my other priorities in

life – namely my wife and two kids. Hence, I choose to make

sacrifices in business to keep my family first. It also means

that I get to focus my time on fewer clients – allowing me to

provide a more personalised service that’d be impossible if I

pursued quantity over quality.

Ultimately, my successes are not just rooted in my career

but also in the amount of time I get to watch my kids grow,

and the mutually beneficial relationships that I foster with

my clients.

The same would apply to you.

If you want the positives, you have to make it happen. And if

you’re unable to make such sacrifices, then it’s crucial that

you re-evaluate the way you perceive success.


“Don’t compare your

success to somebody


Being aware

Take a step back. Forget how much money your friends are

making, or what your child’s best mate achieve in the HSC,

or what kind of car your co-worker drives.

While it’s common to compare and look at others for

improvement, I find that the best way to be motivated is

to actually spend time reflecting and being grateful for

what you’ve already achieved. Sometimes, you might feel

as though you are at the bottom of the ladder – but often,

you’re already halfway there.

This is something that I had to learn myself and in

retrospect, maybe I wouldn’t have given myself such a hard

time trying to study. Back in high school, I pushed myself

to get the highest possible ATAR because I believed that

as a student, I couldn’t be successful without good grades

and good references. I had little idea that my chance at

education alone was a privilege and that it would open up

opportunities for me that are, in a way, already on the path

to success.

Don’t compare yourself to people who make three times

as much as you, or you’ll find that it quickly turns into a

downhill spiral of envy and impatience and despair. Find

your place in the world and realise that many live on $2 a

day, and that their idea of happiness and success is exactly

where you might be now.

Final word

While some of us are aiming to earn just above the average

Australian income, others are looking at $1 million a year.

And others still are going beyond, with moguls like James

Packer worth billions.

I have learned over the years that success, like most things,

is subjective and highly dependent on context. To put it

shortly: it’s all relative!

The finish line is different for everybody. Success is what you

make of it.









Disclaimer: Please be reminded that this article does not constitute as

financial advice and that you need to speak to the relevant professionals

who can provide advice based on your individual circumstances.

Article by Eric Wong.

Contact him on +61 405 629 338 or


You, on a gondola in the middle of the Grand Canal in Venice, taking a holiday with

your family for the first time in years.

You, returning home to a house that is recently renovated, with brand new

floorboards and the deck that you have always wanted.

You, laughing all the way to the bank when it is time to sell your house.

Like the sound of that?

Of course you do.







People invest to make money. A company puts money into R&D

to gain a competitive edge in the future, or invests in branding

to create customer loyalty. These are expenses that are fully tax

deductible and while it does carry great risk, there is always the

potential for substantial return.

So then, why are people taking advantage of negative gearing?

And more importantly, is it really better to invest in property than

not at all?

My recommendation may seem to be at odds with my career as

a real estate agent, but I have always believed in telling the truth

and giving my honest opinion; and the truth is that most people are

better off investing in something other than property.

That’s right. I said it.

Negative gearing, in a nutshell, allows investors to claim losses

experienced by their assets as a tax deduction. When the net

rental income (after deducting expenses) is less than the interest

on borrowed funds, it means that investors are effectively

earning less income which means they will have less tax to pay.





My question remains:

Is property investment worth it?

Is the potential of a windfall from capital gain worth losing

money every year?

For me, there are far better options.

Property investment is fickle and very unpredictable, capable

of subjecting investors to abrupt changes. As human beings,

we like to think that we know more than we actually do, but

the housing market is not something that can be foretold.

While an interesting strategy to lock in profit for shares is

to sell half of them when it doubles (so that the shares are

essentially free), you can’t exactly sell half a property. You

might be able to refinance, but with leverage, the holding cost

will just escalate.





The thing is, I have nothing against property investment. I

have just seen too many investors trying to time it perfectly by

buying low and selling high – and it doesn’t work. It has often

got more to do with luck than with skill and perception, and

you run the risk of over-leveraging and investing poorly. In

short, there is no perfect moment.


I am a firm advocate for ignoring what is out of your hands, and

focusing on things you can control.

Stop stressing about which area is the next hot spot as it is out

of your control, and start doing something about the things you

can – namely, by investing in your own home.

If you do this now ...

Use the 10-20% deposit you would pay when

purchasing a property to improve your house.

Spend your money on renovation instead

and you can wake up every day in a house

that feels like home. You get the study and

ensuite bathroom that you have pictured

for years now, a brand new kitchen, and a

playroom for the kids.

Even if you’re cash poor but still working,

you can refinance due to paper capital gains

over the years and go on a holiday using the

cash, then let the builders do their job while

you walk the Great Wall, or take photos with

the family under the Eiffel Tower.

You will avoid ...

Losing money every single year

in the hopes of a windfall.

Qualms about your property

being trashed by tenants.

Financial stress for when the

property is vacant.

Final Word

This is not at all to say that learning about property development and

investment is always a negative – with much experience, research, and

risk, it can be done right and turn out to be very financially rewarding.

When you sell ...

Your renovated home will stand out on the

market against nearby houses that have yet to

be touched up (since their owners have been

too busy investing in other properties), giving

you ammunition to smash the suburb record.

Investing in your home, however, is the only sensible way to me when

it comes to those who do not have as much property experience or

economic freedom to take such risks.

It has minimal financial stress, and it can give rise to tax free return in

the future. Above all, whatever the cost is, you get to enjoy it until you

deem it the right time to sell.

When the time comes to sell, give me a call on 0405 629 338.

My name is Eric Wong and I really do care about your future.



Life tends to throw unexpected curves.

It’s never too early to plan ahead.

“He was running on the platform,

trying to catch a train, and then –

heart attack.

ivan hung, legal practitioner, reveals why asset

registries are so important but often overlooked.

This time last year, I had a close friend whose father

passed away suddenly. He was fifty years old, and

it was the day after Mother’s Day. He was running

on the platform, trying to catch a train, and then –

heart attack. It was a huge shock to his loved ones.

Everyone was still having a great time remembering

Mother’s Day the night before and all of a sudden, he

was gone.

It was unexpected, and his wife didn’t know where

to start. She didn’t know whether her husband had

a will at all, and so she had to start trawling through

mountains and mountains of paperwork, trying to

find bits and pieces of paper to work out exactly

what her husband owned, what his super was, and

basically try to uncover all his assets.

A will is a mechanism for distributing all your assets

but it doesn’t exactly tell you where they are.

As a lawyer, I realised that I had the capacity to make

things easier for people in these situations. In a time

of mourning, I knew that the last thing they wanted

was to be burdened with paperwork and legal fees

and uncertainty.

If my friend’s father had organised things with a

lawyer beforehand, his wife wouldn’t have needed

to go through the mountains of paperwork to try

and reconstruct it. The lawyer would have a will

and an asset registry, and he would‘ve been able to

tell them which bank or executive they needed to

speak to, which share brokerage to visit, and where

all his estate were located. Perhaps even which

superannuation company to look into, since most

people have several jobs throughout their working

life and some of them may not have rolled over,

which means he may have had a lot of super funds

that were left unattended.

All of these assets can be consolidated and listed,

and not enough lawyers do this for their clients. It’s

not a compulsory part of the will, but it ensures that

your loved ones won’t be wasting time on locating

your estate and/or money on unnecessary legal fees.

At TY Lawyers, we not only keep your will, but also

store all the details of your assets. And we follow

up with you periodically to make sure the list stays



No matter how old you are or where you might be in

life, it is never too early to prepare for your loved ones.

Make sure that when you die, your money, possessions

and property all go to the people you care about the most,

whether it be your immediate family, or a charity or church.

If you don’t write a will, the law decides how everything you

own will be passed on, which may not be in line with what

you want. This is especially important if you have children

or other family who are financially dependent on you, or

if you want your assets distributed to people outside your

immediate family.

I don’t have a lot of assets,

so I don’t need a will!


No assets = no need for a will.

FACT: A will is more than just a transfer

of assets.

A well-prepared will can include:

• Who recieves belongings and assets

• Who will look after children under 18

• How funeral is to be conducted

• Choosing your executor

• Charities and other organsations

If you have children

under 18, you can:

- nominate guardians for


- make arrangements for

their education and

protection, and

- control what decisions

their guardians can make,

such as medical treatment

or where they live.


• your assets

• the beneficiaries

• appointing


• meet your

lawyer; or

• use a ‘do-ityourself’

will kit

• two witnesses

must be present

when you sign

your will

• in a safe place

that the executor

has access to


I can write one by myself,

I don’t need a lawyer!


Wills are easy to draft.

FACT: Getting your will right so that it is

legally valid is more challenging than it


It’s not a formal requirement to have a lawyer draft your

will, but you have to ensure that it is technically correct so

that the Court will accept it when the time comes.

People often use DIY kits because they are cheap and even

free, but it often results in the will not being recognised by

the Court and with beneficiaries paying unnecessary tax.

This is due to:

• Incorrect signing of will

• Use of ambigious terms

• No estate planning

If you already have a

will, check with us that:

- it is up to date,

- it is legally valid,


- it has no tax


Wills are commonly challenged by assertions that the

willmaker lacked testamentary capacity, or that a friend or

family influenced the willmaker.

An experienced lawyer can make sure your will stands

against such disputations.

Note: This article is only of general informational value and

does not constitute legal advice.


Everything you own should be

divided exactly how you want it.

Speak to a lawyer now for

professional advice.

For more information,

contact TY Lawyers:

+61 (0)2 8007 0135

Contact us today for a

complimentary will review, and

make sure you do things right.

Suite 201, Level 2, 11 Spring Street

Chatswood NSW 2067

Borrowers spent up to


on LMI policies in 2016.







1. The LMI is a policy that protects you, the borrower, if you

default on the loan.

While this seems to be a common misconception to 70% of

households, LMI in actuality is a policy that covers your lender

(or financial institution) in the event of you defaulting on your

home loan. Australian banks have made LMI a compulsory

condition for all borrowers who do not have a loan to value

ratio (LVR) which is over 80% -- or, in other words, a 20%

deposit. According to statistics from the Australian Prudential

Regulation Authority, borrowers have had to spend almost

500 million dollars on LMI policies on the first half of 2016.

It protects the bank’s money and prevents the lender from

suffering any losses if you fail to keep up with your repayments.

If you do not have sufficient deposit for a purchase, which is

20% of the purchase price, there are still three ways to avoid

LMI altogether.

1. Looking at your occupation.

Perhaps the simplest method is knowing that some

lenders will waive LMI for certain occupations. These

include: medical professionals (general practitioners,

hospital employed doctors, medical specialists, dentists,

optometrists, pharmacists, veterinary practitioners, etc.),

accounting professionals, legal professionals, mining

professionals, professional athletes, entertainment

professional, and so on. This waiver applies to purchases of

up to $5 million at a maximum LVR of 90%, meaning you only

need a 10% deposit of the purchase price. Those who have a

$150,000 per annum income are eligible.

2. By means of family guarantor.

2. The LMI premium is fixed.

LMI premium is a one-off premium payable

to the mortgage insurer, but it differs

according to each lender. The size of the

loan, the amount of your deposit and your

financial institution are all factors that

affect the cost of LMI.

Rather than being fixed, it is a percentage

of the loan amount and is cumulative to the loan to value ratio

(LVR) -- the higher the LVR, the higher the premium. Genworth

Financial and QBE Limited are the two main financial

institutions in the market, but some banks will have their own

mortgage insurance division to insure their loans.

Lenders will waive LMI for

certain occupations, such as

doctors, accountants, athletes,

and legal professionals.

A family pledge or guarantee is where a family member

becomes your guarantor, pledging part or your entire loan

so that in the event you cannot make the

repayments, they will be responsible. Your

guarantor can use their own home’s equity

as additional security for a portion of your

loan amount.

For instance, a client planning to buy a

$500,000 property must pay a 20% deposit

of $100,000 to avoid paying LMI. The client has $40,000. The

client’s parents, given that they owned their house, are able

to provide a family pledge guarantee on their home for the

remaining $60,000. This will bring the LVR down by 80%, so

that the client will not have to pay LMI.

3. The LMI is separate to the loan, and must be paid in one

lump sum.

Most lenders allow the insurance to be added onto the loan,

paid off consistently over the loan term. In most cases, you will

be allowed to make weekly payments.

For instance, a client who borrows $900,000 (90% LVR) for

a $1,000,000 purchase will have an insurance premium of

$23,400. Because this insurance can be capitalised onto the

$900,000 loan, the end amount to be repaid is $923,400.

3. Using equity in your current property, and cross


If you have a property and you have paid most, if not all, of it

off, you can use that property to draw out funds for the new

purchase – namely, 20% of the purchase price. Alternatively,

you can cross collateralise the current property with the new

purchase and get a 100% loan.

Always be aware of the risks of lenders mortgage insurance,

by making sure you know the options available to you.

For more information, contact Hao Lim at +61 449 668 989 or






Paired with the qualms of retirement, selling a small business is often a

challenging, fickle, and complicated experience. A TD Bank survey reveals that

almost half (47%) of small business owners do not have a retirement plan in


Mark Sing of Wealth and Success Financial Planning offers critical advice on

how to minimise uncertainty and get the most out of it.

Contact him on +61 422 403 687 or

Plan early

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to

success.” – Alexander Graham Bell.

Set a goal, and work towards it. The earlier you plan

for the sale of your business, the more value you will

gain. Trying to juggle the tasks of selling a business,

addressing the day-to-day demands of running it,

and retiring from it, can mean that none of these

responsibilities are managed properly.

By keeping your work spread out, you can ensure

that you stay organised and prevent priorities from

building up over time.

With assistance of your accountant or solicitor, try to

address these tasks early on:

• ensuring that your financial accounts are in order,

• obtaining a valuation of the business,

• determining the potential tax implications if the

business is sold,

• considering whether the business should be

restructured before the offer for sale, and

• preparing or amending the legal and/or other

documentation to facilitate the sale.

Maximise super contributions

If you are like many small business owners, you

have probably used most of the profits from your

business to service debt and/or fund the next

growth stage, which means you may not have been

able to make further contributions to your super.

Fortunately, following from the sale of your

business, there are strategies that you may be able

to use to get some or all of the sale proceeds into

super and generate a tax-effective income to meet

your living expenses in retirement.

A financial adviser is the best person to help you

maximise your super contributions using your sale

proceeds. They can liaise with your accountant to

ascertain which small business CGT concessions

will be claimed and help formulate a contribution

plan that takes advantage of the available

contribution caps.

Manage capital gains tax

Know the benefits that are available to you.

Selling your business may mean that you are eligible

to claim certain capital gains tax (CGT) concessions.

These concessions reduce or eliminate any taxable

capital gain on the sale of your business.

You may be able to disregard or defer 100% of a

capital gain made on the sale of your business if you:

• have owned the assets for a continuous period of

15 years or more,

• are at least 55 years of age, and/or

• are disposing of the asset for retirement purposes

or are permanently incapacitated.

This list is not exhaustive, and you should consult

with a registered tax agent to determine the CGT

implications, and the small business concessions

that may be available to you.

Address other advice issues

While boosting your super would be a top priority,

there are a number of other issues you may need to

address when it comes to selling your business and

planning for retirement. For instance, you may need


• decide where to invest sale proceeds that can’t (or

shouldn’t) be put in super

• unwind or reassign business insurance policies,

such as those used to fund a Buy Sell agreement

• pay-off business loans and release guarantees

• deal with business property that may (or may not)

have been held in a self-managed super fund

• review your personal insurance needs to ensure

you are suitably covered, and

• facilitate, with legal advice from your solicitor, any

changes that may need to be made to your estate


A financial adviser can provide or facilitate

advice regarding all these and other issues you

may encounter. They can also work with other

professionals to ensure all areas are covered in an

integrated and seamless manner.











Sing advises that the first rule in forex risk management is

calculating whether the odds of your trade is successful by

undertaking fundamental and technical research.

Fundamental research involves the study of news and information

that reflects the macroeconomic and political fortunes of the

countries whose currencies are traded. According to Sing, most

of the time you hear someone talking about the fundamentals of

a currency, he or she is referring to the economic fundamentals.

Economic fundamentals are based on economic data reports,

interest rate levels, monetary policy and international trade and

investment flows.

Technical research is research on price charts and in particular

trend-line analysis as well as complex mathematical studies of

price behaviour. Technical analysis is a common trading tool used

by currency traders however Sing’s main advice is combining both

fundamental and technical together to achieve results.

Mark Sing, the director and founder of

Wealth Success, is a financial advisor with

a versatile range of experience over ten

years in dealing with financial planning. He

believes that financial planning requires

ongoing service and management, as it is

adjusted according to one’s needs, goals

and financial environment over time.

For anyone looking to invest in Foreign

Exchange, we spoke with Mark Sing and

was able to gain tried and tested tips to

keep in mind before entering the market of

Forex investment.

“Like all investments, investing in the

foreign exchange market involves risk. It is

the management of risk that determines

your success in Forex,” says Sing.




Liquidity means that there is a sufficient number of buyers

and sellers at current prices who will easily and efficiently

accept your trade. Sing says that “in the case of Forex

markets, liquidity, at least in the major currencies, is never a

problem.” This liquidity is known as market liquidity, and as

mentioned previously, for the forex market, it is an average of

US$5 trillion a day.

However, this liquidity is not necessarily available to all

brokers and is not the same in all currency pairs. ”Therefore

it is important to choose a broker with sufficient liquidity to

accept your trades. We represent ILQ Australia and they in

turn secure their price feeds or liquidity directly from the

largest Forex dealing banks, and thereby ensuring that there

will be sufficient liquidity to execute your trades accordingly,”

says Sing.

Another major risk consideration, according to Sing,

is leverage. Leverage is the multiplier allowing you to

participate in a trade larger than the actual capital that you

stake or deposit in a trade. In other words, leverage will

magnify your capital.

One of the big benefits of forex markets is the availability

of high leverage due to having a strong market liquidity.

“However, high leverage is a double edged sword,” says Sing.

“If you are leveraged and you make a profit, your returns are

magnified very quickly. Conversely, losses will be magnified

the same way too!”




It is also important to consider the amount of trading capital

you have available. This means that for every trade being a

risk, it should only account for a small proportion of your

total capital. “A reasonable amount often used among

beginners is about 2% of your available trading capital,”

explains Sing. “So, for example, if you have $10,000 in your

account, the maximum loss allowable should be no more

than $200. A 2% loss per trade would mean you can be wrong

50 times in a row before your account is eroded to zero. This

is unlikely if other risk management measures are in place.”




Sing concludes that it is human behavioural

weakness that actually causes us to lose

more than we win. In order to prepare for this

Sing believes that the key to success in Forex

trading is developing a disciplined trading plan,

applying sound risk management techniques

and to sticking to this plan. “It is as simple as

that,” says Sing.

The following are key components of any

trading plan:

• Determination of what to trade and in which

direction. This could be currency pairs - for

example, Buy EUR/USD, USD/JPY, etc.

• Determination of position size and level

of entry. This is based on your leveraged

investment - for example 100,000 EUR/USD at


• Determination of where to exit the trade. This

is based on your decision of how much you

take as profit (take profit), and conversely how

much your risk per trade is (stop loss) - please

see section on capital management.

For example, Sell EUR/USD at 1.1888 (take

profit) or Sell EUR/USD at 1.1828 (stop loss).

The above are the only steps you need to take

in forming a trading plan. It is surprising

that despite its simplicity most traders,

experienced and beginner alike, open positions

without ever having fully thought through

exactly what their game plan is.


“Human emotions very

often get in the way

of a well-intentioned

trading plan.



Although risk management and financial planning are

extremely rational and practical approaches, a level

of emotion and subjectivity can disorganise the plan

which Sing cites in leading towards increased risks and

consequences. Obviously, you still need to think and apply

the risk management techniques in arriving at the trading

plan, but Sing says that that at Universal Bridge they

always use a thought process that compares to a flight trip.

“For now, we just want to drive home the point that trading

without an organized plan is like flying an airplane without

a flight plan — you may be able to get off the ground, but

needless to say, that flight will not have a happy ending,” he


According to Sing, no matter how good your trading plan is,

it will not work if you do not stick to it. “Human emotions

very often get in the way of a well-intentioned trading

plan. Very often, an unexpected event such as Brexit or

the US Election, trading news or price movements can

cause traders to abandon their trading strategy. When this

happens, it is as if you never had a trade plan in the first

place,” he says.

Discipline becomes crucial in the process where developing

a trade plan and sticking to it are the two main ingredients

of trading discipline.

For Sing, it is not the intricacy of your technical research,

or the strength of your grasp on fundamental knowledge.

It is the discipline and the ability to manage your emotions

that separates all other Forex trading skills apart. “Traders

who follow a disciplined approach are the ones who will be

successful, no matter what happens in the world around

us. Trades with discipline can be wrong more often than

being right but they still make money because they follow a

disciplined approach,” acknowledges Sing.

In speaking about discipline in trading, Sing gave us some

tips in managing subjective decisions. “The best way

to manage our emotions in trading is to objectify your

trading,” says Sing. “This is normally done by keeping

a trading journal, recording each trade, and noting the

reasons for entry and exit and keeping score of how

effective your system is. In other words, how confident are

you that your system provides a reliable method in giving

you a positive edge in your trades, with more profitable

trade opportunities than potential losses.”



We strongly encourage our clients to have gained at least a basic

understanding of the forex market before they trade actively. Please let me

know if you want to book a phone call with one of our forex specialists for a

chat. We are always happy to receive enquiries from our valued clients.

Feel free to contact us on the telephone number and / or email which are

listed on our website.

For more information:

contact Mark Sing:

+61 422 403 687






If a company is incorporated in Australia, then naturally, it is

classified as a resident of Australia for tax purposes.

So what happens when the company has been incorporated overseas?


Four companies, all incorporated overseas, namely in the

UK, Bahamas, and Samoa. The majority of their directors

are non-resident and board meetings occur outside of


Assumption: Since their central management and control

are outside of Australia, they would not be classified as

residents of Australia.

Reality: Each case is different, and dependent on its

own facts and circumstance. In this particular study, the

taxpayer had documentation indicating:

In summary, the Court decided that these companies were

simply pretending to have their main operations overseas in

order to avoid being taxed as Australian residents.

This decision by the High Court is not surprising, but serves

as an important reminder for companies with the similar

overseas arrangements to review their current state of


Last updated January 2017. This factsheet is provided for

information purposes only and is correct at the time of publishing.

It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant.

• the directors’ meetings were held overseas (and not in


• the shareholding of each company, and

• the transaction records.

The Federal Court, however, found that the key witness

lacked credibility. All other evidence presented by additional

witnesses were not accepted.

As a result, the High Court concluded that the boards were

merely rubber-stamping their decisions, and that these

decisions were in fact made in Australia.

For more information, contact Bates Cosgrave:

+61 2 9957 4033

Ground Floor, 123 Walker Street,

North Sydney, NSW, 2060.


Celano, Italy

Photographer: Luca Montanari


(By that, we mean keep an eye out for Issue 3.)

Stay tuned!

Publisher: Zikira Properties

Address: Suite 201, Level 2, 11 Spring Street, Chatswood NSW 2067


ECX ISSUE 2 - AU$8.99

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