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BusinessCelebrating Aussie Youth
National Youth Week, which runs until the 7th of May, is an annual event which focuses on celebrating the talents of young Australians aged between 12 and 25 years. And there’s plenty to cheer about with young entrepreneurs making impressive inroads into the business community in a range of very different areas. Jack Bloomfield, 19 from Brisbane is probably the most famous and started businesses while still at school. His first venture was a company called Next Gifts, in which he sold pre-made and custom greeting cards with a one-day turnaround. Bloomfield now mentors, train and support people looking to create their own ventures in e-commerce industry. Then there’s Jackson Meyer, 25, who was recently featured in Business News Australia. His operation, Verus Global was established in 2019 to "disrupt the freight forwarding industry” and is estimated to have turned around $42 million in its first financial year of operation. There’s also plenty of young women entrepreneurs including Ally Watson - the Scottish-born, Melbourne based CEO of Code Like a Girl – a social enterprise that empowers and supports girls to enter and flourish in the world of `tech’. Perhaps one of the most commendable, female-led ventures is anti-bullying network, Project Rockit, which was launched by two sisters Rosie and Lucy Thomas, when they were fresh out of school, as a way of helping youths to stand up for themselves. Project Rockit has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of young people and now serves as the go-to youth cyber-safety partner of Google, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Rosie Thomas now serves on the Global Safety Advisory Boards of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to ensure young people’s voices are heard. Some people just have a talent for hard work including Sydney entrepreneur Richie Harkham, one of nine children, which may explain why he’s always been have hungry for success. He was a "bagel boy" at the age of 12, helping to make bagels at Rose Bay bakery on Sunday mornings. Harkham’s first start up at the age of 16 was supplying vending machines. His second start up at 18 involved buying up books from deceased estates, finding valuable titles including first editions and selling them in a new and second hand bookstore with his grandpa. At the age of 21, after he finished his Commerce Degree at University, he took over a derelict building in the city and turned it into Noah’s City Central Backpackers. And when he realised there were no laundrettes nearby, he opened his fourth start up, Wash & Go Laundrette. "That’s the thing about entrepreneurs,” he explains. "We see an opportunity that other people don’t see, have the guts to go for it and then make it happen.” At the 25 he opened Harkham Wines in the Hunter Valley by taking over an existing winery with a couple of family members. And of course, he has several more businesses on the side and a philanthropic arm, which has seen him setting up schools in Asia. He’s also involved in Will To Live which feeds up to 1,000 people on the streets each week. Harkham also mentors several young go getters and says that the most important thing is to have a tight financial business plan. "It’s also about working hard, having something unique about your business and learning from your failures. "I’m not particularly gifted at anything," he insists, "except that I’m gifted at never giving up."ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media.
BusinessAussie Ugg Brand Fights For It's Name Against Americans
A USA court has put the boot into one of Australia’s proudest items - the Ugg Boot. Aussie Ugg boot maker, Eddie Oygur has suffered a $643,000 loss against a major US footwear and apparel company, California based Deckers Outdoor by selling ugg boots online to customers in the USA. A Chicago jury found that Oygur’s Sydney based business, wilfully infringed a trademark of the Californian brand. Oygur was ordered to pay damages of US $ 450,000 and stands to lose millions more in legal costs. He has said quite simply that he will finish him. Meanwhile Deckers ticks over around $1 billion in its sales of the Ugg boots, which are thought to have originated in Australia as part of the surfing community in Australia. Buy Aussie Now is the home of Ugg boots in Australia and CEO, Chris White backs Oygur all the way. “This really is a call to arms to all Aussies to support our own. It's almost impossible to belive that this is actually happening in the USA,” he says. “We all have the power in our own fingers to hit click on Aussie-made first every time we buy. Let's keep jobs here.” Chris White believes there’s been far too many Aussie brands taken over by foreign entities and this is one way for the money to stay in the country by supporting local brands. Eddie Oygur has appealed the verdict and is being supported by lawyer and former Australian senator, Nick Xenophon in Chicago. Photo Credit: ABC News ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media.
My Australian LifeMy Australian Life: Liz Ellis
The inspirational Liz Ellis, AO has scaled new heights in netball to be regarded as one of the greatest defenders to play the game. She has three World titles, two Commonwealth Games Gold Medals, four National League Titles and MVP Awards with the Australian Swifts. Honestly, her `trophy room’ must be as big as a netball court. Ellis became the National Captain in 2004 and remains the most capped player in Australian Netball History. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Australian Women’s Health Sport Awards in 2019. And in recognition of her outstanding career, since 2008 the highest individual accolade award is the Liz Ellis Diamond. The multi-media personality and Law graduate, is married to NSW farmer, Matthew Stocks with two children, Evelyn, 9 and Austin, 5. When she’s not commentating the Suncorp Super Netball on the Nine Network or appearing on Sports Sunday, she can be found “shovelling things” on the farm which is situated in the lush hinterland between Byron Bay and Lismore.I’m very excited about Super Netball The first week has been unreal. We had a game with extra time last Sunday and it was terrific to be able to commentate that. I just think that every year, the athletes get bigger, better and stronger, while the games get faster. There’s some great players to watch Tippah Dwan, who plays for the Queensland Firebirds and Kiera Austin for the Giants are just a couple of players with a big future. Australia is producing the next lot of stars through Super Netball. It’s a joy to call it and it’s a joy to work on it. I wish I was 20 years younger so I could be part of it myself. Sydney hosting the Netball World Cup in 2027 will benefit so many young players. It’s going to fuel their dreams of playing for Australia at the highest level. My little girl, Evelyn is 9 years old and she’s starting to get into netball, so it would be incredible for her to go and watch the games live. It also shows just how strong Australian netball is that we’ve won the rights to hold the World Cup again so soon. My favourite place to holiday in Australia’s is in our caravan with the family. We bought a caravan a couple of years ago and we like to go anywhere where there’s no power and no civilisation. We went to the Warrambungles on a recent holiday and that was spectacular. My kids also know the value of how to play with a couple of sticks to amuse themselves. I prefer to buy products Made In Australia especially my Ugg Boots. We each have a pair in a different colour. Mine are black and I wear them constantly when I’m at home. Footwear this warm and comfortable could only have been invented by an Australian. They’re like a pouch for your feet.ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media.