penrith Archives - The Westies

Sharon Levy – The Haven

The Haven Nepean Women's Shelter

Sometimes in life you get that lightbulb moment, that strike of lightning that says ‘Now is the time’. The Westies are thrilled to speak to Sharon Levy from The Haven, a women’s refuge located in Penrith, who received her lightbulb moment thanks to Yvonne Keane from The Hills Women’s Shelter. With only 50% of domestic violence sufferers being able to find a home – and that’s a conservative estimate considering a huge number of incidents go unreported , Sharon was left asking the question – where do the other 50% go and what could she do to help?  Continue Reading

Paul James – Nepean Men’s Shed


To say The Nepean’s Men Shed is saving lives is not exaggerating. Retired men in their 60’s is not exactly an age group that is spoilt for choice with activities to do; and with grown families, no job, a lifetime of bottled-up emotions and bad health creeping in, things can start to go downhill pretty quickly.

The Nepean Men’s Shed started life as the Lower Mountains Men’s Shed in 2010 in a 12 meter square space in Mount Riverview. After several years of looking for a more suitable location and then a few more years making that location suitable to council regulations, they officially opened earlier this year in Orchard Hills in a giant 900 square meter shed – making it the largest Men’s Shed out of over 1000 in Australia.  

The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) started in 2007 as a way to address the issues men face such a loneliness, depression and other preventable diseases that can arise from isolation. The Men’s Shed movement has now become one of the most powerful tools in addressing health and wellbeing and helping men to once again become valued and productive members of our community.

This interview is pretty personal as the guy I chatted to is my Dad and I’ve witnessed first hand the power of The Men’s Shed and the importance of connection and belonging after having given your whole life to working and supporting your family (who are now grown but still act like spoilt brats and tell you to make your own cup of tea). 
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Peggy and Sean Wilcox – Mooney Real Estate

Mooney Real Estate

After several years in a less-than-fulfilling job, Peggy Wilcox decided it was time for a change and to finally follow that little voice that had always wanted to try working in Real Estate. Not to spoil the ending but things worked out well and now, three years down the track, she owns her own agency – Mooney Real Estate – along with husband Sean. Katrina chatted to both of them about starting the agency and what it’s like working with your spouse.  Continue Reading

Bank of Queensland – Penrith


Why is it that the most important things in life are almost always seen as the most boring? Like banking – none of us get together over a drink to discuss home loans and interest rates (well some of us might but only to whinge about it). Banking is important, it’s part of our everyday lives yet it’s something most of us would rather not speak of. Checking your balance can cause more anxiety than that well overdue trip to the dentist.

 So we decided to rip the bandaid off and have a chat with Drew Clegg who has been with Bank of Queensland Penrith for 10 years now which is just about as long as they have been open.

 Drew is a lovely guy, generous with his time and has a great way of making you feel comfortable instantly; however when he suggested that the best way to know about the banking experience with BOQ Penrith is to speak to a customer – that is exactly what we did. The customer, Robert, has also been with BOQ Penrith for 10 years. Robert runs his own business and has purchased two houses at actions with the support of BOQ, here is what he told us about his experience. Continue Reading

Bradley Eastman – BEASTMAN


Back in August the students at Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High in Emu Plains played host to a pretty special artist in residence, Bradley Eastman better know as Beastman. Over the course of a week and though sunshine and rain Brad turned a once boring concrete wall into a huge piece of artwork in the unmistakable style Beastman is know for. Brad grew up in the north west of Sydney and now travels all over the world working on commercial projects, transforming public spaces and infusing the world with colour and geometric shapes you can stare out for hours, taking a new meaning out of each time the piece is viewed. We managed to track Brad down in between projects and were lucky enough to have him answer a few questions for The Westies.  Continue Reading

Jolan Rice Tassone – OM Yoga



You know those people you meet who you just want to be around? Jolan Rice Tassone is one of those people. I’ve known her for a couple of years as my yoga teacher – the best one I have ever had and not because she can do all the poses with grace and what seems like ease but because she creates a space that makes you feel like you can do all of them too, without judgment or fear of failure. To her just trying is the success.

Jolan has just embarked on a new challenge having just opened her own yoga studio in Emu Plains. To mark this new beginning we sat down had a chat about where her yoga journey began.  Continue Reading

Illumination – A taste of Penrith


Last Friday The Westies attended the Illumination dinner, which was presented by Penrith CBD corporation as part of Good Food Month. Seven restaurants from Penrith’s CBD came together to each serve a dish. We were treated to a wide range of cuisines from Sushi to Ribs. The night shined a light on the great dining options we have here in Penrith. Each dish was paired with a Lindemens wine and we were served two desserts! Win. Thanks to Club Paceway, Akira Teppanyaki, Trevi, Skiptons Café, Hog’s Breath, High St. Depot and Belle Saveur for providing such delicious food! And to PAWS studio who students surprised us with their fantastic performances.  Continue Reading

Cafe Fred – Michelle Galloway


Penrith has had some great great cafes open up in the past couple of years, we are now spoilt for choice of great coffee. I was honoured when athlete and award winning cafe owner Michelle Galloway agreed to chat with me at her cafe, Cafe Fred on High Street. We chatted about how she came to be in hospitality, what it’s like not being a local and just who Fred is.  Continue Reading

High Street Depot

High Street Depot Food

I was delighted to see High Street Depot open up on High Street in Penrith and even more pleased when I visited them on their second day of trading. Not only does the place look gorgeous, the coffee is spot on and the food, THE FOOD is outstanding! I visited owners Noreen and Tim again last week to chat about how they came to open the Depot and  to sample some more of their delicious food that appeals not only to the stomach but is visually stunning. The pair met when they started their careers as Chefs at Matt Moran’s ARIA. At the start of the year they put their house on the line and decided to open their own place and Penrith is reaping the rewards of their hard work.

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The Westies Fringe Markets – September 2015



The second edition of  The Westies Fringe Markets was held last weekend at The Creative Fringe in Penrith. It was another fantastic day with visitors flowing through the door all day. This time we added workshops where you could learn how to make a super food breakfast, create a mood board for interior design inspiration and discover that you can sing after all.  The place was an absolute buzz with a warm feeling of a great community coming together to discover their creative side.  Continue Reading