Friday, October 23, 2009

Mr Fix All builds business base from bay

THE term, "island lifestyle", may evoke images of escape from society's mainstreams but it had a key role in Stiven Jakovich's business plan when in 2005 he moved from Western Australia to take advantage of south-east Queensland's growing demand for service industries.
Stiven and his senior business partner, Dr Charles Neophytou, saw the potential in the region's population growth to further develop their service-based concept, after more than a decade of providing home maintenance services and associated project management in Perth.
A painter and certified interior and exterior designer, Stiven now has clients from Redland City to the Gold Coast as he builds the business from a Karragarra Island base.

THE business slogan, "We maintain", now applies to boats and cars as well as homes.
Stiven says Dr Neophytou has a background in management for major construction companies and has brought these skills to their partnership.
The partners have formed a team of tradespeople ready to take on big and small projects, while giving clients the security of Stiven's personal management of the work -- from simple clean-ups to major repairs and renovations such as room additions and wall removal.
The expansion to boat maintenance has again offered not only relatively straightforward services -- this time including pressure cleaning, anti fouling and detailing -- but also the more complex, such as interior timberwork and solar panel installation. Mechanical and electrical work is contracted out to qualified trades people.

ON the marine services, Stiven says: "We can fit and supply blinds and curtains to measure, supply signage and striping, fit and supply custom cedar doors and cabinets, and fit and supply toilets, pressured or chemical."
He says he has "been around boats most of my life" and he tells owners, "I would love to work on your baby."
The firm offers a contract schedule for ongoing and regular maintence, as well as one-off support.
Stage three in its development has put car maintenance, including dent and scratch repairs, on its service list, which will soon get longer.

IN 2010, the Neophytou and Jakovich Group's Mr Fix All services will include gardening.
"We are a 'one-stop shop' for maintenance of the home, boat and car, and establishing a gardening division will complete the perfect package," he says. "It's an exciting time for us."
Stiven says the business has found a niche in sprucing up homes, cars and boats before they are offered for sale.

(Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Queensland, Australia).

Social housing uses Public Notice

MOVEMENTS in property prices and the multitude of associated waves and ripples through our society always prompt a gush of analyses.
Issues of home ownership, such as changes in mortage rates, invariably ride the first wave but, on another level in the continuing ebb and flow of influences on the housing sector, escalating rents are putting families under increasing financial pressure. Property and housing-related investment has long been a rewarding province for private sector entrepreneurship but, understandably, profit is the driver, so it is comforting to know that rental earnings and capital gains are not the only motivators in housing provision.
Substantial public-sector mindpower is focusing on the broad social needs for housing security, so those in need can have the dignity of affordable accommodation.

THE term, 'public housing', has made way for a new description, 'social housing', but a Public Notice – rather than a 'social notice' – appeared in the Classifieds as the State Government proclaimed its commitment to provide 4000 new social housing dwellings in Queensland over the next three years.
Family and Homelessness Services, under the Department of Communities in the restructured State administration, announced the proposed development of eight two-bedroom apartments and 27 studio units on a 3103 square metre site in Napier Street, Birkdale.
Just last week, Housing Minister Karen Struthers said that by June next year almost 500 new social housing dwellings would be built in the first stage of the Nation Building and Economic Stimulus Plan.

A DEPARTMENT spokeswoman said the Napier Street project was not part of that total but was subject to the department's core social housing funding, separate from the Nation Building package.
Ms Struthers said thousands more homes were due for completion by December 2010.
She said the $1.2 billion investment in social housing infrastructure was on top of $500 million from the Bligh Government’s Future Growth Fund to boost social housing in homelessness hot spots.
“We’ve got 60,000 dwellings in our social housing stock across the State,” she said. “Less than 1.5 percent are vacant, compared with a vacancy rate of 4.6pc in the private residential sector at the end of June.
“A number of vacant properties are being spruced up for new tenants to move in, others have been newly purchased by the department, and some properties are being modified for tenants with a disability.”
Ms Struthers said the housing program created jobs for local builders and “we’re building homes for people who need a roof over their head”.

(Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Queensland, Australia. Image from

Singer kicks habit and kick-starts career

Image: Danny Mayers' new album. Visit and

ONE of the golden voices in the legendary Australian band The Delltones revealed a secret during a recent visit to Macleay Island.
Lead singer Danny Mayers, relaxing with his partner Christina Mayor during a break from his busy concert schedule, told barbecue guests at the home of a jazz-singer friend, Carol Sefton, he had breathed new life into his musical career by kicking the nicotine habit.
"What giving up smoking has done for me is simply amazing," Danny said. "I no longer get tired like before; I can taste food; my clothes don't smell; I don't cough anymore; and my [voice] range was always high but now it's higher."
He said he would always marvel that the improvements started the minute he walked out a hypnotist's door after just one short session.
DANNY's story was enough to send one guest scurrying for Redland City information about hypnosis. Redland Bay hypnotist Angela Griffin, who advertises in our 'Massages/Therapeutic' column, said Danny was one of many fortunate smokers.
"As well as those who stop smoking after one session there are others who are not ready to deal with the causes and may require several sessions," Angela said.
"There is a misconception that you only have to go to a hypnotist once and a miracle will occur but the mind is very complex and work may be needed for the results that are required."
She said the hypnosis success rate was also good with gamblers and drug addicts.

ANGELA is among hypnotherapists anticipating a rush on such treatments. She said the July 1 introduction of health fund benefits for hypnotherapy had prompted her to complete her membership with the Australian Hypnosis Association; she believed the membership was only weeks away.
The honour will come about two decades after she received hypnotherapy for anxiety and anger. "My mum encouraged me to see a hypnotist and as a result I became a lot more positive," she said.
Angela and her husband Kent, who is a remedial massage therapist, practise their therapies from their Auster Street home.
They have found the combination of their skills has been valuable in helping those who suffer a wide range of conditions.

THE combination had achieved "a very positive effect" for a man after a car accident; it had improved his state of mind and attitude to life, Angela said.
She said her techniques include analytic hypnosis to help people deal with the emotions that relate to memories of past issues but she also incorporated other counselling systems.

(Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Queensland, Australia).

Grins and grimaces of garage sales

AS the spring cleaning gains pace, garage sales abound in The Redland Times' Classifieds. It's timely to warn vendors – don't lose your useful, treasured and valuable objects.
Think carefully about what you need to sell and resist the urge to slap a tag on everything you think you can spare.
Ask yourself how many times you have sold something at a garage sale only to pay top dollar for a replacement, sooner or later?
This sort of 'sell then buy' madness probably has happened to all of us sometime; we may blame stress from rising in the pre-dawn as cars pull up, even though we have advertised a 7am start.
Then there's often the frenzy of carrying and pricing items, and generally getting ready for the rush.

HARDENED bargainers, including dealers, usually are the first wave, undoubtedly knowing the value in negotiating with someone who is weary from a hard week's work, has been deprived of sleep and is likely to make errors of judgment.
A mate sold two gas bottles for a fraction of their value, then late in the day bought some fillet steak with the sale cash, only to realise he had just sold the fuel for his barbecue.
The solution was a trip to the hardware store to buy a new bottle for more than he earnt from the sale of two.
A few years ago and preparing to move house, I rose early, taking all the sale items to the front lawn. I carried out a lounge chair without realising it contained hidden treasure.

AT the time, I habitually put my wallet under the cushion at night.
After two men, without haggling, immediately handed me the $15 price and hastily loaded their trailer, I realised something was wrong and managed to snatch back my wallet just as they were about to drive off.
A 'must' for vendors may be double-strength coffee but the golden rule is to prepare early, thoroughly inspect everything, minimise sale-day stress and always have someone on duty against theft.

FROM the smaller polfolio of buyers' loss case studies: The day after a sale in the 1990s an elderly woman arrived at my house: "Have you by any chance seen the stone from my ring? It's a ruby. The ring was my grandmother's. I went to 15 garage sales yesterday and along the way, somewhere, the ruby has fallen out. I am retracing my visits."
The gap in the old rose gold was huge. This was a tragedy. I could only wish her luck – and the same to all the buyers and sellers who will fight it out tomorrow.

(Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. Image from

Host talks of rugby, business and Moreton Bay

FEW can match the cheerful nature of Lamb Island's Col McInnes.
Affable Col seems to always wear a broad smile and be genuinely pleased to shake another hand in greeting.
His personality certainly suits his role as host at the bed and breakfast he and wife Kay set up in 2002.
At the time, the southern bay islands badly needed guest accommodation and the couple blazed a pioneering trail, gaining recognition with a Redlands Tourism Award for hosted accommodation in 2005.
The McInneses, who have notched up three more credits as award finalists in subsequent years, are great believers in the power of the Classifieds in their local paper, advertising Lamb Island Bed & Breakfast on our Find Us First page.

SYDNEY-born Col has long known the benefits of such promotion. He says he started his first business at age 17 and for some years he sold advertising for community newspapers.
But Col is not the sort of business mind that sacrifices the 'scent of roses' for the cold facts of the balance sheet. He certainly aims to get out there and enjoy life to the full, even if the effort sometimes leads back to a business element.
A love of rugby, for example, lined him up Col for a stint as treasurer of the Queensland XXXX Golden Oldies Rugby Club.
B&B guests with even a passing interest in the great game have undoubtedly heard of the club's trip last September to an international carnival in Scotland, where Col wore the centre's jersey and, of course, revelled in his Sccottish heritage.

COL and Kay are longtime supporters of the Redland Gathering of the Clans. Col often catches eyes of passengers on the bay ferries when wearing his kilt to official functions.
Such functions include his masonic meetings. Col, a past master of Redlands Masonic Lodge, carries a weighty title with the Scottish lodge that meets at Kedron.
Grab a cup of coffee to help you get through this … he's a Most Excellent and Perfect Companion of the Order of Rose Croix.
Phew. That probably reflects the complexity that exists behind that affable smile.
Col has just taken a new title after his election as Karragarra Yacht Club treasurer, adding to his commumnity involvement in the island group he loves.
Col and Kay are gearing up for a busy summer trade at their fully self-contained two-bedroom B&B, which has everything guests need for a luxurious weekend – including a private six-person spa.

AFTER a day on the bay guests can enjoy a drink at the bar and, of course, chat with Col about anything from the fortunes of the Wallabies to the joys of sailing.

(Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times. Image from

Stamp interest sticks no more

THE dreams that generations of hopeful children have carried into their adulthood have ground to an agonising end, if the experience of retired engineer and teacher Norm Taylor is any indication.
Norm, 75, looks back on decades of stamp collecting, peruses his four albums and sadly admits: "You always hope you will find something that is really valuable but nobody is interested in stamps anymore.
"These are really of very little value."
Lancashire-born Norm took up stamp collecting during the dark days of World War II while growing up in Manchester, where his dad Abraham was doing war service working on the Rolls-Royce Merlin V8 engines that powered the Spitfire fighter and Lancaster bomber aircraft.

NORM's earliest prized acqusitions included a 6 million deutsche mark stamp he says shows the inflation in Germany under Hitler.
But even that trophy and Norm's treasured 19th century stamps are part of the collection he is offering for sale. He has been considering a price about $200 but says, "I think I'llk be lucky to get even that."
Norm says he came from a lost culture of stamp collecting, an era when kids's stamp clubs met in school libraries and the fervent members bartered, traded -- and picked up some knowledge of the world.
At 10 years old, during the wartime shortages, he made hinges out of Drum papers and the scrounged-up sticky edging from the post-office stamp pages.

SIXTY-five years later, the hopes of striking riches have disintegrated like a mouldy first-day cover but news was not all bad after Norm recently advertised seven mint-condition Australia Post albums, issued between 1997 and 2003, for $300 – more than $100 less than face value.
He says the elderly woman buyer said she lived in hope her grandchildren might eventually catch a stamp bug if such an pandemic ever were to reoccur, but his son and grandchildren have no interest in stamps he kept for them.
Norm knows people who bought commemorative coin issues rather than stamps and had significant rewards, with values rising up to 300 per cent in less than a decade, while stamps have gone backwards.

LUCKILY, Norm has had a lot more areas of interest in his life. He qualified as an science and technology engineer in England before coming to Australia to work on the space tracking stations.
He moved into teaching in the early 1970s and ended his "second career" in Townsville.
Nevertheless, he admits that the sale of the stamp collection will mark the end of an interest that petered out over the past 20 years.

(Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times. Image from

Clutter gives headspin

BEFORE you journey with me on another fascinating browse through the marvellous community of the Classifieds, take a few seconds to look around you, wherever you may be.
No matter who or where you are, that quick 360-degree headspin would undoubtedly have put at least one item of clutter into your field of vision.
Negative words like "confusion", "disorder", "jumble" and "heap" feature in the Maquarie Dictionary's definition of clutter.
Nobody wants something like that hanging around their life. The problem always seems to get worse in winter,.
However, once the Ekka extravaganza breaths its last gasp each year and the autumn wind blows away the winter blues, a genetic alarm stirs instinctive impulses deep within the soul of the 'average' Redlander.

A MESSAGE from the DNA says it's time for a good old-fashioned spring clean to exterminate clutter. As we march into another battle in a never-ending war, it's nice to know help is available.
Important alliances are no further than the Cleaning Services section of the Trade Services pages.
A notice headed, "Clean de Clutter", put me in touch with a partnership of two women who share my dream of a clutter-free world.
They have already been advertising "spring cleans".
Sheryl Galbraith and Sheryl Daley, both of Victoria Point, met about 10 years ago but started the cleaning service only last year.
"We're a bit like the two Ronnies, only we're the two Sheryls," Sheryl G said. "We're both from New Zealand – I came from Dunedin and Sheryl came from Christchurch -- and we met because our husbands both work in the meat industry.
"We decided to do something for ourselves and started the cleaning service."

SHERYL G said Clean de Clutter had not done a lot of recent decluttering but has been busy setting up some new kitchens and with move-out and move-in cleans.
The pair works through several real estate agencies.
This week, the Sheryls did a move-in clean for a property buyer who ordered a thorough job to eliminate all traces of the former owners.
Sheryl G said an option for people who did not want a full cleaning job was to focus on one or two areas, such as the kitchen and bathroom, for professional attention.
"Things have been humming along very well," Sheryl G said.
She said she and husband Peter have never regretted settling in the Redlands. "We spent about six months on the Gold Coast before we came here and it felt like about 10 years – it wasn't for us," she said.
"Our daughters were 12 and 14 when we came, and they have grown up here.
"The Redlands is an easy place to live and love."

(Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified adverstising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Queensland, Australia. Image from

The Classifieds: A colourful new world

(This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Queensland, Australia).

THE doomsday brigade, chanting that newspapers are out of fashion in an internet-savvy world, has a shuttered existence, peering through computer screens into a brave new world and becoming blind to other blossoming beauty.
Just glance around the bright, modern and interesting information package surrounding this column. If you look for opportunities of any sort, the next may be here, whether in a blaze of colours and images – courtesy of the high-tech press at the Fairfax Media Ormiston plant – or simply through one word in small print.
The Classifieds represents a wide range of interests, not only offering a marketplace but creating a special community of sellers, buyers, dedicated readers and browsers.
Yes, folks, you just read a derivative of that 'b' word, 'browse' – straight from the media 'old guard' of publishing on paper.

THE concept of the "browse" did not come from Bill Gates or any other computer techno, or geek, call them what you like.
Many generations have delighted in browsing through their local papers. The way of life existed long before the internet explosion of Windows 95 and will continue probably until the Second Coming (not the name of the next operating system).
The 'onliners' claimed "browse" but no one sought my permission. I can get over the affront with 'one-liners' because the marvellous community of classified advertising in my local paper has never looked better.
My talks with buyers, sellers, employers and service providers indicate strong satisfaction with the results from their notices.

OUR consultants are available to look at instances where the desired outcome has not been achieved, working through relevant factors such as position, pricing, categorisation and general presentation to suggest an action plan to sell or get a message "out there".
You may want to target browsers. The Classifieds' Find Us First page is always a great browse.

FIND Us First 'Accommodation' just put me in touch with Wendy Gardner, proprietor of the Bay Retreat Motel, Redland Bay.
Wendy says a lot of the motel's clientele comes from the local market for family/guest accommodation on special occasions such as weddings and 21st birthdays.
She says the pace of trade is picking up after seasonal factors and the general economic shock. It was interesting to hear the motel hosts a lot of New Zealanders shopping for Redland property.
But Wendy's most important message: "It is amazing how many of the people who come here immediately ask for the local paper."
Well, that's my browse for this week. Thanks for joining me in this marvellous community.

Transplant patient leads gym class

(This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Queensland, Australia.)

A SPECIAL class is under way at a Victoria Point gymnasium. Newly qualified instructor Amy Dakin celebrated her 24th birthday by conducting her first fitness group at One Life Health and Fitness Centre.
Amy soon had another special occasion. Monday, July 27, 2009, was the anniversary of her double kidney transplant at Princess Alexandra Hospital.
The past four years since the 15-hour-long transplant operation have been tough for Amy, who studied nursing for three years but had to seek a different career because the immuno-suppressant drugs that stop her body rejecting her new kidneys make her vulnerable to catching infections.

“EVERY time I went out looking after sick people I ended up very ill,” Amy says. “The last time, I almost lost my life.
“It started like the flu but then all of a sudden spread through my body and I almost lost my transplanted kidneys.
“I was in hospital for 12 weeks.”
Two years after the transplant, Amy needed a second operation to remove her native kidneys, which were causing infection in the new ones.
But, after suffering neurogenic bladder disorder and reflux since she was eight years old – with four years on dialysis and several heart attacks linked to the kidney condition -- Amy has taken all the knocks in her stride.
“It has been a bit of a struggle,” she says. “But I guess it just makes you stronger.”
She says she developed a strong interest in fitness over the years and formerly has instructed in bellydancing at One Life.

NOW, she sees all the threads coming together, with her assistant nursing qualification and her new Certificate III in fitness playing complementary roles.
She has kept her most up-to-date medical text books but offered the rest of her collection – including medical encyclopedias – free through the Classifieds.
About 15 callers responded to the ad.
Amy says she lived all her life in the Brisbane suburbs, mainly Coorparoo, before moving to the Redlands about four years ago.
She is excited about qualifying as a group fitness instructor using pre-choreographed techniques for strength and endurance training, and she is really enjoying life.
“Even when I was sick I tried to keep driving myself into sport,” she says. “Now I feel healthy enough to do it.”

(Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times).