Pink Waves

A chance email from the Cancer Council which asked the question “What are YOU doing to help raise funds and awareness?” that Courtney had her “ah-ha” moment and knew she what she could do.

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It was a magical day down at Dixon Park Beach today – friendly crowds, artisan markets and men wearing bright pink bras, while competing with each other for the best ridden wave.
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Orchestrating all this is Courtney Bower, calmly keeping the day running smoothly all with a big smile and a cheerful hello.

Courtney is a regular at surfing competitions – her partner Marlenn Guihot is a keen longboarder. While they love attending competitions they always found themselves imagining the things they would do differently if they were to run an event.

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Courtney and Marlenn

Courtney’s mother, at 47, was diagnosed with breast cancer and this motivated Courtney to get involved.

But it wasn’t until one day, while reading an email from the Cancer Council that asked the question What are YOU doing to help raise funds and awareness? that Courtney had her “ah-ha” moment and knew what she could do to help.

Courtney and Marlenn have created an annual surfing event to raise awareness about breast cancer and generate funds and support for Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon.
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They were actually on their way back from that same long boarding competition in 2015 when they came up with the name of the event – Tubes 4 Boobs!

“Its a fun name, but not in away to be taken as a joke,” Courtney tells us. “It’s all about raising awareness and starting the conversation.”

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Volunteer Ann and Courtney

The event runs for two days, with short board comp on Saturday and the Long Board comp on Sunday. A fun crowd favorite is the lunchtime session where all competitors have to wear bras whilst surfing.

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Tubes 4 Boobs target fundraising goal for 2015 was $10,000 – but incredibly that target was doubled with the event raising just over $20,000.

The target for 2016 was $20,000 and Courtney is hoping this target will be met today as well.

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The boys all in their gear!


Ted Bassingthwaighte is the Toobs 4 Boobs top fundraiser and also the Digital Media Manager for the event, but he tells us, “Courtney is the spear head of everything for the day!” Courtney laughs, “Well you’re the feathers. Can’t shoot straight without feathers!”

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Courtney and Ted before the presentation today.


“Its such a great day to bring the community together. All while raising funds and having a laugh,” Courtney tells us.

“And how is your mother doing these days?” We ask.

“She’s fine… She kicked Cancer’s butt!” Courtney happily replies.

This fun, popular and successful event is such an inspirational feat and the Newcastle couple are hoping to form a committee for 2017 to make the event even “bigger and better.”

Villager Property – Community, Style, Local, Real Estate – Home Begins Here

Going once, Going twice…

Leon turns work into fun and entertainment; bringing a smile to the crowd and a sold sticker to the signboard.

During his previous career as an agent in commercial real estate, Leon Axford attended his first auction. Watching the excitement build and the energy circulate around the crowd – Leon knew he had found his calling and pursed his dream.

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Leon is now the director of his own company Axford Auctions and calls up to 500 Auctions a year; covering residential, commercial, industrial and retail real estate.

“Calling auctions is my only calling.” Leon testifies.

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Asking Leon what he brings to the Auction scene, he replies enthusiastically with a big grin “I’m a creative person, and I like to bring my own flair to the auctions I call, a little joke here, a story there…”

Leon turns work into fun and entertainment; bringing a smile to the crowd and a sold sticker to the signboard.

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Fun is not only vibrantly running through his auction style, but his personal style as well.

A snappy dresser, we are yet to see Leon wear the same pair of socks – spreading smiles with an array of happy accessories.

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Leon is working exclusively with Villager Property, complementing our marketing campaigns to deliver beautiful style with exceptional and consistent results.

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For example, last Sunday Villager Property held 3 Auction properties in succession and all three were successfully sold; a testament to an exceptional team!

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“There are two types of bidders I see a lot, those that test the water with their toe and slowly wade into the water… and those that jump right in straight away! Its all good fun though!” Leon tells us as we wander down Darby Street.

But if the water is as nice as a Newcastle Beach then all that matters is that you go wet, really!

Home begins with Villager Property – Buying or Selling? Give us a call. Click here for details. 

 

The Elements at Hillcrest

Nature never goes out of fashion; so earthy slate was chosen for the kitchen and bathrooms, while exposed timber beams connect you to the surrounding bushland.

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30 years ago, an architect had finished drawing up a large formal design for 1 Raymond Street, Speers Point when the owners started researching pole homes.

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They began exploring the idea of incorporating exposed beams, texture and and layered living; much like the surrounding hillside – and they knew that this is what the home should reflect.

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Nature never goes out of fashion; so earthy slate was chosen for the kitchen and bathrooms, while exposed timber beams connect you to the surrounding bushland.

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The front balcony and cleverly placed windows ensure a view of the blue shimmering lake sparkling below.

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Like the branches of a tree, there are 4 levels that layer warm family living areas with quiet nooks.

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From the welcoming formal entry hall to private areas like the rear sunroom and ground floor rumpus room.

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Wide open spaces with beautiful views over the suburbs and lake; no matter your mood – you’ll find your space here.

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Sounds of laugher and games from the in-ground pool float up to the northerly al-fresco balcony;

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while the song of whip birds, rosellas and lorikeets rings out from the treetops beside the windows.

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Inside, a fireplace in the living room invites you to sit beside it in the colder months listening to records, while keeping the dining loft warm for entertaining.

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The kitchen will never be bare when there is a productive vegetable garden downstairs, fresh pumpkins, herbs and greens at always hand.

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And a view like this from the kitchen window –  yes please!

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A large room used as a study on level 2 has built in library style shelving, and views direct to the treetops.

The rear sunroom would be perfect for a studio space with direct access to the backyard and the current owners once used it as a perfect little sanctuary for their pottery sculpting.

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The landscape gardens include formal hedging of gardenias, fresh vegetable garden, shady paved garden dining area, whimsical pond, and flower gardens with winding paths – a garden for each season.

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All 3 bedrooms enjoy a view, of either the gardens or the water.

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The master bedroom features 2 walk in robes, an ensuite and exceptional lake scenery.

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A home that is full of light, music, texture and nature; a home full of life; all the elements are at play here for you to a life in your element.

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To learn more about this Raymond Street, Speers Point property: head over to Villager Property 

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Mark Hughes- A foundation of Support

There are many reasons to love the Newcastle community, but Marks story reminds us of the incredibly supportive environment in which we live.

It’s a sunny August morning in Hamilton and we’ve stopped in to catch up with Mark Hughes.

We have a chat about beanies, gratitude, the Kokoda trail and a magic ball.

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There are many reasons to love the Newcastle community, but Marks story reminds us of the incredibly supportive environment in which we live.

Mark grew up in the town of Kurri Kurri before moving to Newcastle to play for the Knights. He now resides in the beachside community of Merewether with his wife Kiralee and their 3 children.

“I love living in Newcastle,” Mark says. “It really does have that big community feel.”

Mark played for the Newcastle Knights from 1997 until 2005, and played for the NSW State of Origin team in 2001, thus making Mark a celebrated Novocastrian.

After seeing a doctor about recurring headaches, in 2013 at the age of 36, Mark was diagnosed with brain cancer. An emotional journey that brought his family and community close together, banding for support.

Mark and Kiralee subsequently began the Mark Hughes Foundation. The foundation partners with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), raising funds to help find a cure for brain cancer. In January 2016  The Foundation appointed a Brain Cancer Care Nurse within the John Hunter Hospital.

“The Brain Cancer Care Nurse is focused 100% on the brain cancer patients at John Hunter Hospital,” Mark informs us. “A great support for patients to have a nurse that is committed to their condition.”

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The Foundation has raised over $250,000 through the MHF Beanies for Brain Cancer fundraiser, hosted the Magic Ball with over 600 local participants, organised charity auctions, received donations from numerous local families and businesses and has even had Paul “The Chief” Harrigan going on the national TV program Im A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! to win $50,000 for the cause.

The response from the community is a massive source of inspiration for Mark, Kiralee and the MHF who work tirelessly to offer support for brain cancer patients and their families.

Sitting on the sunny deck of Mark’s Hamilton office, we talk about the importance of the foundation, “Our biggest goal of course is to find a cure – but we are also aiming for more awareness of brain cancer,” Mark says. “Brain cancer is the biggest killer of people under 40 – more than any other cancer – and we need more attention to this in the media and more funding for research.”

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Mark and 17 others recently completed a Kokoda Trail “Coast to Coast” challenge: riding 130kms from the Northern tip of Papua New Guinea to the track, trekking the 100km trail and then riding another 70kms to Port Moresby.

“It was physically and emotionally challenging – yeah it was hard,” said Mark, “but I was also inspired to be with those 17 others and raising $150,000 for the foundation.”

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Mark Huges on the Kokoda Trail. Picture by James Brickwood for Fairfax.

Since beginning his journey with brain cancer, the overwhelming story of support for Mark and the Foundation is what really stands out.

The Newcastle community, and national community too, reaching out with assistance and funding.

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Here at Villager Property, Mark’s foundation is very important to us, especially for our Villager Rod, who donates $500 from every sale commission (currently totalling $3,000) to MHF in honour of his nephew, a young brain cancer survivor.

“We have great support from the community,” Mark tells us, “and I do tackle every day as it comes – but I am very lucky and I am very grateful.”

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Chop, chop!

The social,  infectious energy of the salon drew Lee into the industry and the creative outlet of hairdressing inspired him… hanging out with lots of fun women, was a nice bonus too. 

Passion, education and fun.

This is the foundation of the Nesbitt Hairdressing empire.

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Add to that a commitment to organic, eco friendly hair care and genuine client engagement, this is a formula for long term growth.

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Lee Nesbitt is ambitious.

Entrepreneurial.

Dedicated.

And all of these things spring from his passion for his industry.

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Although a third generation hairdresser, Lee started his working life in the building industry. After a while, for some extra income, he started picking up a few shifts at his father’s salon.

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The social, infectious energy of the salon drew Lee into the industry and the creative outlet of hairdressing inspired him (Hanging out with lots of fun women was a nice bonus too).

He laughs, “I just love this atmosphere – its alive, fun and energetic.”.

In his teens, he sold raffle tickets so that his young team could hire a bus to go to Brisbane and participate in hairdressing competitions. Learning from mentors in the industry and having a ball at the same time.

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Lee is now one of these mentors. He judges at national competitions and two hours every week is dedicated to training staff in the Darby Street Salon, Nesbitt.

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“I love this place, I love this job. I could easily work seven days a week and love every moment of it,” Lee tells us.

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After running many other salons, Nesbitt was opened in 2008.

A business Lee opened with wife and fellow local hairdresser Mikhali.

They have nurtured the growing business into a beautiful success story.

Awards, staff that are more like family and returning clients – both local and international.

“We have a client who moved to Europe. She always books in when she visits Newcastle each year.”

Nesbitt values it’s clients business, their experience and their health. That also goes for his staff – which is why Lee insists on organic products in stores and flexible rosters for staff to ensure everyone is cared for.

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While the boutique Darby Street salon may be their baby, the growing business of Chops Hair Bar has been an exciting new venture for the pair.

Pop-up hair bars – convenient no appointment salons with quality and spunk. And a free cappuccino: winning!

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Villager’s Ben Tindall and Lee are lifelong friends, growing up locally and sharing the journey together.

“Lee would cut hair at parties when we were young, hair flying everywhere!” Ben reveals.

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From boutique Salons to boutique Real Estate, Ben and Lee both create success through their passion for their work, while having a lot of fun. Now owning businesses across the road from each other in Darby street, there is more fun than ever.

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When not in the salon – or judging competitions interstate – Lee has a hobby farm in the Hunter Valley to retreat to.

“I like to get out on the tractor,” he tells us that he enjoys the wide open space and fresh air, “but I’m always eager to get back into the salon.”

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With two small children to share their life with, Lee and Mikhali enjoy a work-life blend between the salons, family time and their hobby farm.

Their children are being raised in an environment where their parents are doing what they love and loving what they do.

Recently Lee’s daughter mused,  “I wonder where I will work when I am grown up?”

His advice, “Don’t work.

You find something you love to do and create a life around that passion.”

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Find Lee at Nesbitt and Ben at Villager

 

A Culture to Create In…

“There are no guarantees – with art, life, business – none. But that consistently pushes me to get to the next step”

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It’s no secret that Newcastle is a hyper-creative community: take a walk around our own Darby Street from our eagle’s nest at the Newcastle Art Gallery to the public art installations along the street (including the giant headphone sculpture), all the way to the Community Garden across the road from Villager Property A scene full of painting and design.

Villager caught up with local artist Jess Kellar to talk all things Newcastle art scene.

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Jess runs Jess Kellar Art from studio  754 in Hunter Street. A large warehouse where a community of Newcastle creatives can each work their respective magic.

“The best thing about our studio,” says Jess, “is the view from the rooftop, where I am most of the time, working on my latest projects.”

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Local girl Jess has always had a passion for creating and feels lucky to be a Novocastrian where such a passion could be nurtured.

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She has had shows at Cooks Hill Gallery, exhibited at Lane Cove Gallery, The Royal, Muswellbrook Art Prize and recently performed and collaborated with Hannah Bertram at Newcastle Art Gallery for the 2016 Dust Project.

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“Newcastle is a vibrant community for artists,” Jess tells us. “There are a lot of creatives here: from musicians to designers, architects and artists. We are all in a very supportive and understanding space where we all just give it a go.”

Through writing for the Newcastle Herald, Jess has been able to work closely with many musicians in Newcastle. She is also the resident “live artist” for Groovin’ The Moo.

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Jess has worked with Arts Health for MS patients holding workshops and has also branched into “bio-art”, spending time with scientists at HMRI and producing collections from this experience which hung in the hallways of John Hunter Hospital.

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Jess’s style is high energy. When painting she uses strong rich colour and high contrast. In her sketches of Newcastle, the deep charcoals contrast with pure whites.

“Neutral isn’t my specialty,” she laughs.

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While already quite accomplished, Jess is finishing her Bachelor of Fine Art at Newcastle University and was recently the recipient of the 2016 William Fletcher Foundation Scholarship.

And in the true spirit of a Villager in our community she pays this forward by mentoring High School students in many of Newcastle’s public schools.

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“There are no guarantees with art, life, business. None. But that consistently pushes me to get to the next step.”

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The next step for Jess, working from her studio at 754, is to follow her passion in sketching and interpreting the city of Newcastle. The Rooftop Series is a timely project for the city and we are super excited to see the completed works.

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To learn more about living in the creative community of Newcastle – contact Villager Property

 

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Little Cravings

Eric feels Carrington is a destination. Just outside the city – its edgy – in more ways than one.

As you wander down Young Street in Carrington, the funky sounds and irresistible smells coming from the colourful restaurant at Antojitos almost levitate your body and carry you over to the menu. Homemade tortillas and salsa, tasty simple food.
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Eric Flores had always thought about starting his own business, and he knew it would somehow involve food.

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With a background in commercial real estate, he has helped numerous others begin their own journey as business owners, and his own is now flourishing.
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Eric grew up in California where he was emerged in Mexican street food culture. Mexican food is simple food. It’s not fancy, just good.
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It was at the California Polytechnic State University where Eric met Newcastle girl, Kristy.
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Kristy had moved to California on a Basketball scholarship. She would soon become his wife.
The pair came back to Australia and have since made Newcastle their home, with their growing family in tow.
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Its here that the dream of owning their own establishment has become a reality – With Antojitos.
Antojitos literally means “little cravings” and is Mexican slang for street food.
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Why Carrington?
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Eric feels Carrington is a destination. Just outside the city – its edgy – in more ways than one.
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Antojitos clients always so they feel so relaxed, and thats what Eric wants here.

A simple, casual , non-pretentious vibe and its this atmosphere struck a chord with the locals.

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There is a place for cafes here in Newcastle and surrounds to stretch the boundaries.
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But the all important Question for the Villagers was this; how do we pronounce it?!

Eric laughs “An-To-He-Toes”
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However you want to pronounce it, this funky little place in Young street is a wonderful addition to the Carrinton landscape.
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Eric thanks the community which has been so supportive, The locals really want to see people succeed here.
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And just a hot tip… next time your in town – do yourself a favour and order the Mexican Hot Chocolate.  DELICIOSO!
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