10 January 2023

2022 Year in Review: Taking care of business

| Kim Treasure
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As lockdowns lifted and life returned to some sort of new normal, businesses around the region began finding their feet again in 2022.

Here About Regional takes a look at a dozen businesses that made their mark in a tough economic environment.

12. Solar, electric and simulators – transport operator looks outside the box for fuel and staff shortage relief
by John Thistleton

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway and owner of Divall's Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage Andy Divall in front of a truck

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway and Goulburn transport operator Andy Divall at an industry conference. Photo: Divall’s Earthmoving & Bulk Haulage.

When Goulburn transport operator Andy Divall’s bill for diesel fuel doubled to $10 million he began thinking of all the sunlight energy around him – and electric trucks.

Mr Divall’s transport, bulk haulage, cement, sand and gravel businesses burn through 100,000 litres of diesel a week. When the price soared by $1.13 a litre over 12 months, Mr Divall and his team began crunching the numbers.

“We have to react fast to changing costs,” he said.

11. When it comes to business, Meredith West is one smart cookie
by Sally Hopman

Meredith West

Owner of Dough Re Mi Bakery at Wagga, Meredith West. Photo: Jackie Cooper, Jack of Heart Photography.

Meredith West reckons she has the recipe for success: go with your gut feeling, literally, when it comes to good business – and treat those who work with you as if they’re family. And if you make something everyone loves, you’re clearly a woman of taste.

Meredith, who grew up on a farm outside Wagga, runs Dough Re Mi, a bakery in that city that not only provides individually made cookies for all occasions, but also provides a “home” for its staff.

10. The Wagga inventor conquering the world with a can-do attitude
by Chris Roe

Man and a digger

Sam Turnbull and the invention that changed the screening game. Photo: Chris Roe.

You don’t look at something and say “that can’t be done” – you say, “it can be done; it just hasn’t been done yet”.

This attitude saw “Flip Screen” inventor Sam Turnbull take a literal back-of-the-napkin idea and transform it into a global business.

9. Virtually no problems for smart rural women who want to work from home
by Sally Hopman

Seed Virtual Assistants founder Amy Dawe on phone

Amy Dawe created Seed Virtual Assistants to help rural women find their place in the business world – and stay connected. Photo: Supplied.

Amy Dawe says it doesn’t matter where you live in the regions, the only limit for skilled women wanting to work from home is their internet connection.

8. Former ABC News head Gaven Morris to join Region Media’s advisory board
by Genevieve Jacobs

man in television studio

Former ABC News head Gaven Morris brings extensive industry experience to the Region Media advisory board. Photo: Supplied.

Former ABC News director Gaven Morris has joined the board of Region Media, the local company behind About Regional, saying its model is the way forward for Australian media.

7. Bermagui’s top real estate agent Julie Rutherford retires
by Aiden Rothnie

Bermagui real estate agent Julie Rutherford has announced she is selling her business and retiring in October this year. Photo: Supplied.

Bermagui’s top real estate agent Julie Rutherford has announced that she plans to leave real estate and retire.

Ms Rutherford has been the head honcho at Julie Rutherford Real Estate for just under 18 years and will be handing the reins over to her long-time colleague Mick Butterfield and his wife Kristy Butterfield.

6. Jake rolls his mobile law service home to Batemans Bay
by Katrina Condie

Jake Cartwright

Jake Cartwright Legal is on the road providing mobile legal advice on the South Coast. Photo: Kim Treasure.

Jake Cartwright saw the need for flexible, mobile legal expertise on the South Coast, so he returned home to Batemans Bay and started his own law firm offering an after-hours and weekend service.

With years of city experience under his belt, Jake returned to the South Coast to be closer to family and friends and the regional lifestyle he grew up with just months before the devastating Black Summer bushfires.

It was a life-altering experience. Like many who lost their homes in the disaster, Jake reassessed what he was doing and how he was doing it.

5. Celebrity chefs Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge celebrate Club Malua’s rise from the ashes
by Kim Treasure

Club Malua operations manager Manuela Littek has a fireside chat with celebrity chefs Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge.

Club Malua operations manager Manuela Littek has a fireside chat with celebrity chefs Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge at the newly reopened Club Malua. Photo: Kim Treasure.

Almost three years after a small South Coast club was razed to the ground in the Black Summer bushfires, it has reopened to much community fanfare – including the surprise appearance of celebrity chefs Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge.

After amalgamating with Club Malua, the Cabra Bowls Group spent $1.2 million refurbishing the much-loved Eurobodalla club and was just weeks from a relaunch when it was lost in the New Year’s Eve blaze that traumatised a whole community in 2019/20.

4. Cooma solicitor announced as President of the Law Society of NSW
by Max O’Driscoll

Joanne van der Plaat

President of the Law Society of NSW, Cooma’s Joanne van der Plaat. Photo: Supplied.

The Law Society of NSW has unveiled its new president, Cooma’s Joanne van der Plaat.

Originally a Monaro High School student, Ms van der Plaat began her career at a small firm in Sydney before moving to Baker McKenzie, a large international firm.

3. Gunning mum and daughter team honoured in rural business awards
by Sally Hopman

Two women at railway station.

Mother and daughter team behind Bandicute, Ellen Bennett and Jess Dyne, run their business from their farm just outside the rural village of Gunning. Photo: Camilla Duffy.

Opting to stay, employ and produce locally – and remain true to their rural roots – has paid dividends for Jess Dyne and her mother Ellen Bennett: their business Bandicute was honoured this year, making the finals of the inaugural Australian Rural Business Awards.

Bandicute, which the women run from their farm outside Gunning, about an hour’s drive north of Canberra, makes children’s wear, homewares and jewellery all boasting a unique Aussie flavour.

2. Bungendore butcher Sandy Tenkate snags his dream business in Cooma
by Katrina Condie

Sandy Tenkate

Formerly from Bungendore, Sandy Tenkate is the new face of Monaro Meats. Photo: Monaro Meats.

Sandy Tenkate’s career has taken him from the coast to Canberra and now Cooma, where he’s finally realised the dream of owning his own business.

1. Batemans Bay’s Corrigans Cove dishing up the drama on Kitchen Nightmares Australia
by Zoe Cartwright

Celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge with Andrew Johns

Celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge with Andrew Johns at Corrigans Cove. Photo: Seven Network.

Inviting a camera crew into your kitchen after the “one-two punch” of Black Summer bushfires and COVID-19 might seem crazy, but Batemans Bay business owner Andrew Johns didn’t think twice.

His restaurant, Ccooks at Corrigans, will feature in this season of Kitchen Nightmares Australia.

The show is hosted by award-winning chef and TV presenter Colin Fassnidge, and is based on the UK show made famous by chef Gordon Ramsay.

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