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Fresh Ideas for Work and Family Grants Program Stimulus Package

If you are like me you are probably completely unaware of the current offer by the Australia Federal government to help out small businesses. The Australian Government has introduced the Fresh Ideas for Work and Family Grants Program to support Australian small businesses to implement practices that help employees balance their work and family obligations as well as improve employee retention and productivity. The Program provides grants of up to $15,000 (GST exclusive) to small businesses to help meet the set-up costs of family friendly arrangements that suit the individual needs of the business. This is a great opportunity for small businesses. Go to http://www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelations/FreshIdeas/ to find out more. If you ring their help line on 13 13 94, select option 4 (I selected option 2 for employers to start off with – which is the wrong option).

The Heron State Titles and Navigatum Cup Teams Trophy

I have been fortunate enough to finish off January by racing in the Heron State Titles and Navigatum Cup Teams Trophy. The Heron State Titles were run on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of January, and Australia Day (26th of January). These days were chosen so that anyone entering in the competition was not disadvantaged if they were unable to get the Monday off as a holiday. Those of us who were lucky enough to be able to have the Monday as a holiday were able to race in the Navigatum Cup Teams Racing Competition. Ordinarily sailing competitions are an individual boat event. However, it is possible to race as a team. These events have a few changes to the standard racing rules that can make them quite fun. How much fun really depends on those competing. In ordinary racing, you are required to sail as quickly as possible around the course, from buoy to buoy. Some deviation is allowed from the shortest possible path, but not too much, and you would be penalised if you deliberately deviated from your course to simply impede another boat. In Teams racing this changes. You are allowed to deviate form the shortest path around the course and to deliberately sail a course that will impede another boat.

Heron Nationals Round Up

The Heron Nationals are completed and the results are all in. We sailed well, particularly considering the foreign conditions, and finished 19th out of 58 boats. I had set myself the target of finishing in place 19 or better, so we just scraped in. I normally sail at Dobroyd where the water is flat, there is no swell and little or no passing traffic. Largs Bay has a significant swell and plenty of chop – so this made the conditions quite different to my normal experience.

Off to the Heron and Optimist Nationals

The big adventure has started. We have put Pippin in the Blue Mountains Retreat for Unloved Dogs (AKA Mama’s house) and headed west to Adelaide. Two weeks of sun and sailing. I will be racing in the Heron Nationals with my son Matthew as Crew. Kate will be sailing with John Nobbs and my eldest daughter, Jaime, will be sitting on the beach watching and chafing because she is not on the water. Her time will shortly come when she starts the training clinic and nationals for the Optimists (the class of dinghy she sails). The Nationals are due to start on the 28th with what is called the ‘invitational’ race. This is a bit of a hang over from when sailing regatta’s were so popular that you had to qualify to enter. The invitational race was open to everyone, even those that did not qualify to race in the nationals. We left Sydney on Boxing Day and stayed overnight at Hay. We then travelled to Adelaide and delivered White Pointer to Largs Bay Sailing Club prior to going to the caravan park we had booked in to. We arrived at the park to check in and were told we were not expected until the next day. Fortunately Elissa had printed out the confirmation email and was able to present it. We were squeezed in to a vacant bit of grass with the promise of being able to get early access to our site. This will make the morning very busy.

Professional Advice Sought

After waking up and having to look in the mirror again I thought I had really better do something about this Mo. I have sought professional advice. I have known Peter Day, of Days Mens Hairdressing for some time now. He has a shop in the Circa Shopping centre at Bella Vista . I have asked Peter for some assistance in obtaining the Mo that was voted for. Alas, Peter advised me that the current situation of my face will need to remain as is until much later in the month. At which time he will be able to work wonders and rescue me from this terrible plight that I am suffering.

Movember Results Are Now In

The results for the “Pick my Mo for Movember voting are now” in. See if you can guess what Mo I am growing. Or you can view the results here: Movember 2009 Results Don’t forget to Sponsor me at: http://au.movember.com/mospace/48837 See my Mo growing – up to day 10:

Sponsor Stephen for Movember

The big day has finally arrived and Movember is here! Please help me raise money for Men’s health, specifically for The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue – the national depression initiative You can donate directly to Movember here: http://au.movember.com/mospace/48837 You can Vote for my Mo here: Vote for my Mo Please do both. If you can’t donate, at least vote – it’s free. I have started my video of my Mo Growing, you can see up to day 6 below!