Top five interviews of 2017
Happy 2018! We hope your New Year has got off to a great start. The Westies had a wonderful 2017 interviewing 26 talented, diverse, wonderful Westies. In July we launched The Westies Markets – Emu Plains which grew from 53 to 66 stall holders and saw an average of 1500 people through the gates. 2018 will bring more interviews, the markets will be back in March and we will be launching a couple of new events. For now we thought it would be great to take a look back at the 5 most read interviews of 2017, taking a quick glance back before we spring into 2018!
I first stumbled across WeAve a few years ago when Liam Benson was running a beading workshop. The instant I walked into the room I felt welcomed and though the skill level of many of the group were well above my own, I never for a moment felt intimidated. WeAve is an initiative of Parramatta Artist Studios, it is a group of women who get together monthly to share textile skills and produce stunning works of art but the real beauty is what is woven into the group, a strong sense of inclusion, openness and support. Textile skills are not the only things shared; language, cultural traditions and mutual respect make up the strong fabric that is WeAve. I chatted with group co-ordinator and the thread that holds everything together, Kiri Morcombe to find out more about WeAve.
One of the most overused and damaging narratives about Western Sydney is the “You’ve come a long way, you’ve do well to get yourself out of there”. Success often means leaving the West and dropping any association with it as quickly as your ex-boyfriend. The most effective way to prove our worth is to get out, move away and join in the finger-pointing at those people who live “out there.” None of us chose where we were born, some of us just make the best of it and it’s actually pretty bloody good. Footy legend, breakfast radio host and all round great guy Mark Geyer is one man who proves that success can come because of growing up in Western Sydney, not in spite of it.
Meraki Merchants cafe has quickly become a favourite of The Westies, serving up Parramatta’s best coffee – yep, we called it- and good quality simple food that never disappoints. Owner, cook and barista Toufick Chami is constantly experimenting and developing new additions to the menu, proving space is not something you need to make a delicious meal. In this small cafe a strong sense of wonder, a cup of ambition and a serving of friendly hospitality are the ingredients that make for a great cafe experience – that and the cakes (home baked by Toufick’s mum – YUM!)
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.
One of Australia’s best hairstylists – Natalie Anne has strong Western Sydney roots growing up in Punchbowl before moving to Moorebank and now living in Croydon where she can walk to work at her beautiful salon, where she employs 13 staff. We chatted about leaving school at a young age, working for free and where she see’s herself, five years from now.