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Adapters: Third Perth Festival of Healing to Promote Alternative Treatments for Wellbeing on May 26

Ann Joel and Michele Vos Castle

Ann Joel and Michele Vos Castle

Wellbeing experts, Ann Joel and Michele Vos Castle, will hold the third Perth Festival of Healing this weekend in which psychic and spiritual healers, sound and colour therapists and energy healers of various disciplines take centre stage.

A free-to-enter festival, it will showcase various alternative methods of addressing illness. For those attending, the event will be an introduction to new ways to treat bothersome ailments and bring comfort in the face of terminal disease.

It is the third festival that Michele Vos Castle (of Complete Feng Shui), a Feng Shui Master and past owner of a wellness centre, has organised with Ann Joel, an international healing medium. Thousands of people flocked to their popular first two offerings held last year.

Independently, the two women had reached one conclusion – small business owners in Perth’s alternative healing industry lacked funds or expertise to market their skills.

Without a showcase, the public were ignorant of available treatments, known as modalities. And so, the idea of a festival of healing was borne, to help businesses and educate the public.

“Over 2000 people came through the door at our first festival in City West Function Centre in March last year,” Ms Vos Castle said.

Some weeks later, she was in conversation with a woman who recalled the 'amazing' festival, unaware that Ms Vos Castle was an instigator. The episode showed the festival was a winner.

It was no surprise when the second festival repeated success of the first, leading to this third event.

Ms Vos Castle recognised the need for a festival when running her wellness centre. Adept at networking, she has been a strong advocate for small business and organised small healing fairs before launch of the festival.

Most festivalgoers want to address personal misfortunes, ailments and illnesses of varying degrees of seriousness. Others seek knowledge about achieving peace and happiness. Both groups are exposed only to Western Australian healers and products.

For Ann Joel, who organises the festival with Ms Vos Castle, the event gives meaning to her remarkable journey of self-discovery that took her around the world.

Domiciled in Perth from 14, the young woman was forging a career in public relations when, in 1978, she was in a car crash that left her in a neck brace with a paralysed left arm.

She continues: “When the doctor said after a year that they could do no more for me, and I was still in a neck brace, I was taken to a spiritual healer in Perth who I saw every week for two years.”

When improvements arrived slowly, she quickly rebooted her PR career, rising to Myer divisional manager and an executive in Dallas Dempster’s Burswood casino project and other high-profile posts.

She built a PR firm with nine staff but burnt out by 1993 and moved to Sydney, seeking greater tolerance of spiritual healing. There she met an indigenous healer who profoundly affected her.

Soon she opened a spiritual energy clinic and in New York she was ordained an interfaith minister. She worked in China, the US, Canada and the UK.

Three years ago, she relocated to Perth to be with family and built a nationwide clientele as a non-religious spiritual healer. The festival is a pet project. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since returning to Perth.”

This year’s event offers more space than before and it is tipped to be the biggest festival yet.

The Perth Festival of Healing will be at the Cannington Exhibition Centre and Showgrounds on the corner of Albany Highway and Station Street, Cannington on Sunday 26 May 2019.

This article is one of many which have featured in 'Adapters', a series exclusively for Perth Media clients, profiling news of innovative small businesses, startups and not-for-profits in WA Business News.

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Adapters: Balcatta Panel & Paint on Fixing Hi-tech Cars and Car Craft Crash-repair Quality

Andrew Jaques inspects a quality repair.

Andrew Jaques inspects a quality repair.

A Perth panelbeater has found that life-saving technology featured in modern cars and SUVs can greatly increase the cost of repairing these vehicles to manufacturers’ standards.

Andrew Jaques, owner of Balcatta Panel and Paint, says modern cars act like computers on four wheels and keep drivers and passengers safe with advanced sensor technology.

But a bingle in a vehicle with hi-tech safety features can cost much more to fix than a minor collision in a car not so well equipped.

“For example, blind-spot sensors fitted behind bumpers of new cars are actually a little radar,” Mr Jaques said. “As soon as you replace one you have to have the car recalibrated by the dealer.”

Recalibration increases the repair bill. He said replacing a sensor on a Kia Stinger, a luxury sports sedan that starts at $52,000, was costly.

“You think, Kia – inexpensive brand, but the sensor is $1700 plus GST,” he said. “After that we have to bring it to the Kia dealer to have it recalibrated, so you’re talking about more than $2000.”

Reversal into a roadside pole can incur a new sensor. “And that amount doesn’t include the cost of the bumper and paintwork repairs,” he said. “We always try to offer competitive pricing for private repairs, but we highly recommend getting insurance that will cover these types of expenses.”

Mr Jaques is an exemplar in the car repair business, after buying into it six years ago. His background in aviation led him to focus on high quality work that he insists on overseeing personally.

“The owner of the business has skin in the game,” Mr Jaques said. That approach helps safeguard the business in an evolving marketplace. “There’s always room for us as a niche repairer.”

Balcatta Panel and Paint is in the nationwide Car Craft crash-repair network that originated in WA in 1987 to improve industry standards. Mr Jaques and staff undergo tutorials to maintain quality.

He arrived from his native Sweden 30 years ago, having started working life as a pastry cook and chef who owned an American-made V8 Valiant at 16 when still too young for a driving licence.

In Perth he indulges a lifelong passion for cars from a spick and span workshop in Balcatta’s business community. “Our team is highly qualified, and we deal with local customers and businesses. We love to help getting fleet cars back on the road, and we offer priority services for local businesses.”

Away from work, it’s more cars. Mr Jaques is a member of the American Car Club of WA. “It’s a great way to connect to other passionate car lovers and sometimes I even bring the family along,” he said. For more information please visit www.balcattapanelandpaint.com.au.

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Adapters: Journeys of the Spirit's April Bhutan Tour Will Help Business People to be Happier

Owner of Perth-based Journeys of the Spirit, Julie Baker, Runs Extraordinary Tours

Owner of Perth-based Journeys of the Spirit, Julie Baker, Runs Extraordinary Tours

Perth entrepreneur Julie Baker is tapping into demand from a growing number of people who are seeking relief from stress.

Her WA company, Journeys of the Spirit, guides business owners and professionals on two-week sojourns of self-discovery in mystical locations that include Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon.

She hit on the wellness formula by packaging her two passions – spiritual health and wellbeing, and travel. These she markets in journeys and retreats aimed at rebalancing stressed individuals.

“I am a business person,” Ms Baker says. “I love business, I love creating businesses and I love creating different business models.”

Stressed souls experience spiritual awakenings in Bhutan, Spain, Italy, India, Japan, Scandinavia, Peru, France, Hawaii or some other destination.

Ms Baker describes her ideal client as a successful person who is still not feeling happy. “They realise their version of success doesn’t necessarily make them happy,” she says.

It took her more than three decades and three travel-related businesses to produce Journeys of the Spirit, motivated in part by a devastating childhood experience at 15.

“My mum was misdiagnosed with menopause at 48 and had a mental breakdown,” Ms Baker says. The teenager stopped eating meat and gained a juvenile understanding of there being more to life.

It helps explain her captivation with Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom the size and population of Tasmania landlocked in the Himalayas between superpowers China and India.

“Bhutan is the only place in the world that is 100 per cent certified organic,” Ms Baker says. “And wealth is not measured by GDP – it’s measured by Gross National Happiness.”

The scenery is an awe-inspiring panorama of rivers, mountains and verdant slopes. Journeyers, as Ms Baker calls them, are housed in three to four-star accommodation with private bathrooms.

They are immersed in Bhutanese community life, consuming some of the freshest produce on Earth and seeing how simple living and family values are central to happiness.

The experience aims to redefine their understanding of success.

One journey follows the trail of 8th century Indian sage, Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. It ends at breathtaking Paro Taktsang monastery, perched perilously on a cliffside.

Guides are all business owners. Prospective journeyers must first discuss their expectations, and are supported in their physical, emotional and mental preparations.

Ms Baker is proud of one seasoned traveller who had owned several businesses before going on one of her journeys to Bhutan. He said afterwards: “I learned to measure success in a different way.”

The next Bhutan journey runs from April 15 to 28. For more info go to: Journeys of the Spirit website.

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Adapters: Perth Complete Feng Shui Master Tells How Houses Win and Lose Money

Complete Feng Shui's Michele Vos Castle

Complete Feng Shui's Michele Vos Castle

People buying new homes in Perth’s sprawling outer suburbs may be putting their relationships, health and wealth at risk, according to businesswoman Michele Vos Castle.

“The newer the home and the further the suburb is in distance from the City of Perth, the weaker the luck seems to be from a relationship,  health and cashflow point of view,” she says.

Ms Vos Castle is a Master of Feng Shui, the art of harmonising buildings with environment and natural elements. Her business, Complete Feng Shui, fuses that knowledge with Chinese astrology.

Many new homes in Perth are long and thin with rear laneways and small front yards, she says. Such properties have trouble capturing and holding Feng Shui energy.

“If a home cannot capture and hold its energy then it can’t tap into its health or relationship luck and it also can’t hold its money luck,” she says. Those homeowners must work harder to make money and hold relationships.

Better home design and town planning fixes the problem, she says. People building a new home should consult Feng Shui when the block is still bare.

Ms Vos Castle advises corporate clients on locations for business premises and how to create and improve existing environments, which includes designs for business cards.

Residential clients learn how to create harmonious homes and improve the chances of selling them. Behavioural issues in children are addressed as well as clients’ health, wealth and happiness.

Ms Vos Castle talks from experience. Years ago, she hired a consultant “to Feng Shui” her then home as well as her dream house under construction.

Happiness was abundant in her old home but her marriage failed in the luxurious new one. She intensified her interest in Feng Shui by studying under several Masters and travelling overseas.

Fifteen years ago, she combined her newfound knowledge with pre-existing studies on interior design to launch a career teaching and advising on Feng Shui, Chinese astrology and metaphysics.

“My style is to simplify it and deal with what actions people really need to take and what they really need not worry about,” she said.

Four times a year Ms Vos Castle takes clients to Bali for five-day retreats on Feng Shui basics. “I find it’s more powerful if you take people away – there are no interruptions,” she says.

Feng Shui is a mathematical art about colour and placement, she says. “Whether you believe in it or not, you are still affected by it.”

www.completefengshui.com

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Adapters: Perth Business Captivate Connect Keeps Customers Calling Globally

Captivate Connect Mark Horwood

Captivate Connect Mark Horwood

Perth-based company has revolutionised the dreaded 'on hold' experience by developing new technology that transforms call wait times into payday time.

Mark Horwood, chief executive officer of Captivate Connect, compares being on hold as akin to waiting for luggage at an airport. “There’s nothing you can do but stand and wait.”

His company, now run from modest offices in Burswood, stunned the corporate world in 2002 by offering daily news, sport and weather information to callers on hold.

“Commercially, it was very successful for us. The technology was internet-based to help accommodate the immediacy of updating the daily news and sport,” Mr Horwood said.

Captivate Connect is now inspired by internet multimedia technology and once again is refining the “on hold” experience; this time for mutual enrichment of callers and businesses.

The company sponsored a website called Horrible on Hold to determine exactly what people disliked about waiting on hold. There was an overwhelming response that it’s generic, repetitive and boring.

“This wasn’t anything new to me,” Mr Horwood said, “but how can we play audio everyone will be happy with? We give them the choice.”

Music not your thing? Perhaps a quiz or a podcast may be more up your alley. Globally, this interactive-on-hold has never been done before and there’s no-one else who can do it, he says.

Callers become immersed in the business, causing these callers to become loyal brand ambassadors, relaying their experiences to friends and associates – in turn, boosting sales.

“The only way to win word-of-mouth referrals is by delivering an experience that exceeds expectations,” Mr Horwood says.

Interactive-on-hold collects caller data. A caller being directed to the sales department can be offered a brochure on any new/best-selling products. The Caller opts to receive the brochure by entering their number, it is then sent via text and, in return, the sales team effectively gathers the caller’s details to follow-up.

After two minutes, callers are invited to leave their name, number and reason for calling to receive a call back. This costs as little as $1. Mr Horwood believes businesses employing more than 20 people would readily pay $1 to retain a customer.

Statistics suggest that, within five years, 68% of all business transactions will involve the human voice – down from today’s 72% – but the importance of these transactions will become more valuable.

“Fax is virtually redundant, snail mail doesn’t work, and trying to get anybody to respond to emails is like pulling teeth, which is why we’re seeing a shift back to phones,” Mr Horwood says.

Visit www.captivateconnect.com to find out more.

This column is part of the Adapters series produced by Perth Media. It profiles Perth Media small business and not-for-profit clients exclusively.

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Adapters: Perth Naturopath Amanda Hobley's Retreats Help Lead Business People to Better Health

Perth naturopath Amanda Hobley

Perth naturopath Amanda Hobley

Perth naturopath Amanda Hobley is leading business people to better mental and physical health through personally-guided retreats to Kerala in India and, locally, to Chittering, north of Perth, at two upcoming exceptional retreats.

Mrs Hobley’s next Indian retreat, a revitalising two-week health trip to an Ayurvedan resort in  Kerala, runs from August 10-24, 2019, while the Chittering Spirit of the Land retreat is next month, May 17-19, 2019.

In India, the party will eat vegetarian food in a lush paradise and receive Indian herbalist consultations and various relaxation treatments. She also guides weekend retreats closer to home in Chittering where clients can relax in a beautiful Australian bush setting.

“It’s about getting out of routine and into the rhythm of nature,” Ms Hobley says.

“In our culture, success means working extremely hard, often in environments that are quite toxic, so people can be going to work and experiencing huge amounts of stress. For example, they may feel like they’re being chased by a lion every day and this will trigger a massive stress response that is hugely detrimental. However, immersing yourself in nature can rebalance your emotions and be enormously beneficial.”

In her popular clinic, she has helped dozens of Perth clients, over the past decade, recognise that stresses as well as old traumas or belief systems maybe be adversely affecting their current health and wellbeing.

Mrs Hobley is also an expert in BodyTalk therapy. For this, muscles are posed a series of painless yes/no prompts and the response is gauged to determine bodily imbalances. She then taps the subject’s head, chest or navel to stimulate or accelerate its natural ability to balance itself.

“My passion is to help people who are very stressed understand that their stress is impacting on their physical, emotional and mental health,” Ms Hobley says. Among many aims, she focuses on improving their energy, clarity and stamina as well as helping clients feel calmer and uplifted.

“There are so many beautiful herbs and nutrients that help support your ability to cope with stress by giving you energy and stamina,” she says. “Many herbs calm the nervous system, so really do bring down anxiety.”

Amanda has been inspired by her personal experience, and the women she works with, to create a four-week online course to reduce the triggers of stress and increase ways to care, love and nurture yourself. Amanda will support you every step of the way and share new meditations and techniques that are simple and effective, creating a new way of responding to the stresses in your life. 

She is also an expert in iridology.

Amanda Hobley Reconnect & Restore

This article is one of many featured in 'Adapters', a series in WABN exclusively for Perth Media clients, profiling news of innovative small businesses, start-ups and not for profits.

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Adapters: Perth Businesswoman Tanya Finnie Launches Cultural Intelligence Magazine

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Awkward working relationships that can destroy careers or damage productivity are the subject of a new magazine, Cultural Times, published by Perth businesswoman Tanya Finnie.

She identifies the causes of interpersonal blunders in places of work and measures their unwanted consequences for individuals and company bottom lines.

“The old golden rule is to do unto others how we would like to be done to ourselves – but that’s absolute rubbish,” Ms Finnie says. “The platinum rule should be to do unto others as they would like to be done to themselves.”

Put simply, it is illogical for a tea-drinker to assume that another person will also like tea. Logically, a tea-drinker should first discover the other person’s preference.

Yet that misjudgement, no matter how well-intentioned, can be the first in a series of errors that accentuate divisions between people who are meant to collaborate.

Brilliant careers in leadership can stall if aspirants ignore the demands of an increasingly diverse population pulled together by immigration.

Ms Finnie’s company, RedHead Communications, specialises in cultural intelligence (CQ), a new field of study dealing with our capability to deal effectively across different cultures. A culturally intelligent person is aware of others’ backgrounds but, more importantly, adjusts their behaviour in multicultural situations.

“Australia has the world’s highest proportion of migrant settlers in a developed nation,” Ms Finnie says. “A quarter of Australians (27 per cent) was born overseas, and almost half of Australian households (46 per cent) had at least one parent born overseas.”

In February, Australia’s top trading partners were China, Japan and South Korea. “It will therefore be great for our economy if we learn to adapt our cultural behaviour,” Ms Finnie says. Better collaboration and a happy workforce are associated with increased productivity.

Minority status is not confined to ethnicity. Generational, organisational and LGBTQI factors are relevant, too. Sometimes different professions in the same firm can clash because of opposing cultures.

Ms Finnie’s new magazine, Cultural Times, addresses all these issues. It is published online, and a hard copy version is planned for a gala launch next month – May.

The first issue tells how a woman became Australia’s youngest engineering executive. There’s a moving story about how one man overcame adversity, and advice on building cultural intelligence.

Ms Finnie is a keynote speaker and is starting a doctorate at the University of WA that aims to gauge the impact on the workforce if the cultural intelligence of engineers is increased.

She worked in several countries – including South Africa, Mauritius, Germany, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Swaziland – before settling in Australia 15 years ago. She advocates blind CVs, where a person’s name is erased from a job application so that selection is based mainly on merit.

“It’s too easy to chuck out names you can’t pronounce,” Ms Finnie says.

See: Cultural Times Visit: RedHead Communications

This article is one of many which have featured in 'Adapters', a series exclusively for Perth Media clients, profiling news of innovative small businesses, start-ups and not for profits in WA Business News.

Blogging Tips: Media Training with Denmark Chamber of Commerce

Last week, we spent several days in Denmark in the remote south coast of Western Australia - one of the state's most beautiful spots. More than 20 came along to a Perth Media training session (facilitated by the Denmark Chamber of Commerce), and here are some of the tips we shared. Happy blogging!


1.     Go with your strengths: vlog, pics, individuals in the team strengths, photos, writing.

2.     The power of great writing is immense, to draw followers/customers.

3.     Positivity important.

4.     Sell your experiences.

5.     Promote events. Events generate news/customers/drives economic development.

6.     Design your blogs with your preferred social media in mind: instagram; twitter; facebook; linkedin..They all have different needs and different audiences, you can't tell/force your customers which social media to use.

7.     Work out how to share your content.

8.     Create content/blog calendar with deadline. Includes testimonials (3rd party endorsements); FAQs (frequency asked questions); video; long and short blogs. Blogs do not mean long columns. There maybe only one long blog each year, but make it a good well-written one.

9.     Content strategy has to be responsive; constantly changing; has to be flexible, and needs to respond to audience.

10.  Content strategy, needs to be seasonal. IE Christmas/Easter/Winter (bonfire themes; bushwalking); writers festival; Denmark Experience; Long table lunches; poetry/music festival, are examples. Festivals provide multiple ideas for content IE performer profiles; acts; reviews; insights of different skills for experiences, IE botanist walks; indigenous experts; cooks; films. Film tours/content on the back of Tim Winton’s Breath. Holiday packages around Breath tours.

11.  Look into possibility of outsourcing editing. Don't be delusional about your own copy/editing skills. It will impact on your brand.

12.  Quirky stories, are gold. ‘For outsiders everything is interesting,' says Creative and Digital consultant Andal Shreedaran at Perth Media. What is wonderful of Denmark and your own individual businesses?

13.  Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. For blog distribution and sharing the load for events.

14.  Always check facts.

15.  Understand copyright.

16.  Build your own collection of images.

17.  Use press release/presspack stories as blogs.

18.  Read, read, read. Seek out good writing, understand the difference between good, mediocre and bad.

19.  Read your own writing aloud. Make every word count. Be strict cutting, and work on making writing clear. Be descriptive but not flowery and over the top.

20.  Volunteer for charity to get experience as a blogger. You can write the stories of those that need assistance, while you polish your craft.

21.  Identify your passions, your strengths, your interests.

22.  Tell only best stories, and start with the very best one first. Focus also on the opening para.

23.  Understand google rankings and the reason blogs impact on business sales.

24.  Develop relationships with other companies/bloggers/publications.

25.  Understand importance of themes in content creation and promotions.

26.  Do something every day, as part of your BD.

27.  Appeal to different target markets of your products. IE kid friendly; backpackers.

28.  Content strategy: incorporate key words, such as ‘Denmark’ ‘tourism’.

29.  The only thing stopping you writing and promoting your business is you.

Or too busy, call Perth Media now. We can help with a content package right now! cate@perthmedia.com.au

Perth Media Blogging with Denmark Chamber of Commerce Next Week

Perth Media blogging workshop next week is on track, organised by Denmark Chamber of Commerce, 22 have booked. Thanks to Liz Jack, Anna Boaden and Claudia Simpson at the Denmark Chamber of Commerce and Jody Ovenden at Celestine Retreat for her encouraging support.

Looking forward to assisting writing skills and developing grassroots expertise.

Perth Media creative and digital consultant, Andal Shreedaran, is also presenting her 'Future of Content' Research, remotely.