Growing valley’s full of skilled experts

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This week “CityNews” speaks to just some of the many businesses located in Woden Valley. This is a sponsored post.

LOCATED 10 minutes from the centre of Canberra, the development of Woden Valley began in 1962, a year before its first residents arrived in 1963.

Planned as a series of 10 suburbs (there’s now 12), Hughes, Curtin, Chifley and Lyons were among the first built.

At the time it was estimated that 90,000 people would eventually live in the area but by 2016 the population had only reached 34,760, according to the census. 

Separate from Civic, Woden Valley was planned as a satellite city, with its own shopping centre, employment opportunities and suburbs located around the town centre in Woden. 

But that doesn’t stop residents from outside of the Woden Valley coming to explore the many experts spread across the region. 

Studio nurtures art enthusiasts

SINCE Lavender Art Studios opened in Phillip 20 years ago, it’s built a non-competitive and relaxing environment for people wanting to learn creative art techniques in a caring space, says art studio manager Elita Mackay. 

“The stable, reliable and relaxing environment is a safe place for all artists who wish to learn creative art techniques in a peaceful, supported and caring setting,” Elita says.

Located above the Hansel and Gretel Coffee Shop on Townshend Street, the studio has class programs for adults, young people and children. 

In theses programs, Elita says students are able to explore a variety of art mediums such as charcoal, soft chalk pastels, pencils, oils, acrylic painting, mixed media and watercolour mediums. 

“The art studio is completely resourced and presents a wide range of subject matter such as portraiture, still life arrangements, reproduction work and landscape painting,” she says. 

“Owner Greg Devenny-Mackay gives an extensive art demonstration at the beginning of each art class/art workshop and also extends one-on-one support to all students. 

“Greg is assisted by a team of very skilled art class assistants. These accomplished studio aids have been trained for at least five years by Greg’s art program.”

Lavender Art Studios also offers specialised art workshops such as its “Adult High Country Art Retreat Program” and its children’s fun thematic holiday art workshops. 

Lavender Art Studios, first floor, 42 Townshend Street, Phillip. Call 6292 6339, email or visit 

Lea uses movement as medicine

CAPITAL Rehabilitation Professionals are passionate about the positive effects of using exercise as medicine, says the owner, Lea McKaskill. 

“We believe that exercise is the most underutilised and highly effective treatment that can make an extraordinarily positive impact on both our physical and mental health,” Lea says.

Located in the Stellar Canberra building, Lea says they pride themselves on their safe and non-intimidating environment, which houses state of the art facilities for exercise prescription.

“We design, implement and monitor each program specific to the client’s fitness level, medical conditions, injuries and goals,” she says.

With a team of accredited exercise physiologists, the expert health service provides support in areas such as hydrotherapy, pre and post rehabilitation of all medical and orthopaedic surgeries, ante and post-natal fitness, cardiac rehabilitation and management of chronic conditions.

Capital Rehabilitation Professionals are proud of being the preferred providers for Defence and Department of Veteran Affairs’ injured or unwell clientele, and their affiliation with the national FearLess conversation on post-traumatic stress disorder.

Capital Rehabilitation Professionals, Stellar, Health and Wellness Building, 50 Launceston Street, Phillip. Call Lea on 0418 811156 or Hayley on 0421 759844 or visit 

Orthopaedists ‘fast track’ trauma patients

ORTHOPAEDICS ACT is the single largest group of orthopaedic surgeons in the ACT, covering all orthopaedic subspecialty areas including management of trauma, says practice manager Deborah Henry. 

Located opposite Westfield Woden, Deborah says Woden is a central hub in Canberra and a convenient location for patients. 

Bringing together the expertise of seven orthopaedic surgeons at the practice, as well as sports and exercise physician Dr Lari Trease, Deborah says they’re committed to providing surgical excellence and care. 

“We treat every part of the body, head to toe. We deal with sports injuries, trauma and joint replacements,” she says.  

Due to the unpredictable timing of trauma and fractures and the need to treat with some expediency, Deborah says Orthopaedics ACT offers a “Fast Track Fracture and Trauma Clinic”. And, their trauma phone line is open between 9am to 5pm every day of the week to manage trauma injuries that don’t require a visit to the emergency department. 

Orthopaedics ACT, Woden Specialist Medical Centre, Level 2, 90 Corinna Street, Woden. Call 6221 9320 or visit 

Plant and paint sale celebrates spring

HOME Timber and Hardware in Phillip is celebrating spring by holding a charity fundraising barbecue and discounting 20 per cent off all plants and paints on Saturday (September 28), says store manager Sandy George. 

The fundraising barbecue, which Sandy hopes will be the start of many more community fundraising events, will support the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

“We want to be involved in our local community and help where we can,” she says.

“[We also want to] help support our customers as they support us.”

As for Home Timber and Hardware’s sale on paints and plants, Sandy says they’ve been popular with customers since the arrival of spring.

She says the store has been busy with customers keen to get jobs done in their homes and gardens. 

“We specialise in paints and have a large nursery in addition to basic general hardware and tools,” she says. 

Staff members Darren and Michael look after the nursery and stock fruit trees, natives, roses and indoor plants, as well as the popular “potted colour”. 

Carrying Wattyl and Dulux paints, Sandy says that on September 28, a Wattyl representative will be in store all day giving demonstrations and answering questions. 

Home Timber and Hardware Phillip, 101-103 Hindmarsh Drive, Phillip. Call 6281 1744 or visit

New home for ‘clowning around’ 

SETTLED into a new location in Phillip, Just Clowning Around’s co-owners Brendan and Alison are excited to be launching a bigger, brighter and refreshed store to mark 24 years in operation.

What started out as a “gorilla-gram” business in the early days, now sees Just Clowning Around offering about 20,000 unique products such as party supplies, decorations and dress ups.

“We carry a large range of fancy dress costumes and accessories,” Brendan says.

“If a customer has something in mind and we don’t have it in stock, we can work with our supplier to get what they need, with some advance notice.”

With Halloween coming up next month, Just Clowning Around has a wide selection of dress ups, decorations, face paint and prosthetics to transform people into their favourite witch, ghoul or vampire, says Brendan. 

He says balloons are also a popular item and the friendly team can arrange customised bouquets or table decorations, starting from $12 with hundreds of designs to choose from. 

“We are also increasing our offering of party supplies,” says Brendan.  

“Our customers are important to us and what sets us apart is our customer service and availability to let people see and touch their costume rather than purchasing it on the internet.”

Just Clowning Around, 19 Altree Court, Phillip. Call 6286 7100 or visit

Hi-fi equipment that stands out

IN an ever-changing industry, Duratone Hi-Fi has survived more than 50 years by treating each customer as an individual with different priorities, says owner Fay Cull.

“When people shop at most major hi-fi stores they leave with the same system as their neighbour,” says Fay, who believes their service gives unique results to their customers. 

Located in Phillip, Duratone Hi-Fi brings high-end audio systems and equipment, surround-sound systems and televisions to the Canberra region. 

And, with a wide array of skills and expertise from staff coming from technical and electronic backgrounds, Fay says customers are assisted by a team with a strong passion for sound.

As well as fitting homes with hi-fi needs, Fay says they offer trade-ins for older equipment and refurbishment services, too.

While new technologies generally appeal to the public, Fay says those after retro items such as turntables, amplifiers, speakers and a great assortment of vinyls can find it all at Duratone Hi-Fi.

“We have the best part of 100,000 vinyls, with everything from nursery rhymes to Russian melodia,” Fay says.

Even international records that may not be available in other countries can be found among the abundance on offer, she says. 

Duratone Hi-Fi, on the corner of Botany Street and Altree Court, Phillip. Call 6282 1333 or visit

Optometrists go an extra step for clients

Curtin Optical owner Corey Nicholls.

FOR more than 20 years, the independently owned business Curtin Optical has differed from large chain stores by giving the Canberra community a personalised service, says owner Corey Nicholls.

“We go that extra step to be helpful and provide excellent product knowledge,” Corey says. 

From Tuesday to Saturday, Corey says the team of three experienced optometrists cater to all optometry needs, from general optometry services to express spectacle services and optical dispensing.

And, he says they offer a mobile optical dispensing service providing selection and delivery to those who are unable to get to the store due to age or disability.

This also includes spectacle repairs and adjustments and an after-hours service.

As a full workshop facility, Corey says Curtin Optical has a same-day turnaround for in-store services and a 24-hour turnaround for mobile jobs.

Stocking a wide assortment of eyewear, contact lenses and accessories, Corey says they cater to all tastes, offering affordable brands and well-known, more expensive brands, too. 

And, as providers to the ACT pension scheme and the Department of Veteran Affairs, Corey says Curtin Optical can help a broad range of Canberrans.

Curtin Optical. Shop 1B, Curtin Place, Curtin. Call 6281 1220 or email

Arthritis ACT hydrotherapy session.

Helping people in pain live better

ARTHRITIS ACT is Canberra’s leader in helping with musculoskeletal and chronic pain conditions, says CEO Rebecca Davey.

“We are a key provider of affordable hydrotherapy in the ACT and in particular, we have a huge focus on the Woden area with our key pool being at the Canberra Hospital,” she says.

With a current local government debacle on the closure of the pool at the Canberra Hospital, Rebecca says Arthritis ACT is pushing to keep facilities available there, while also running classes out of its second home at the University of Canberra hospital pool.

Taking a holistic approach to treating pain, Rebecca says Arthritis ACT has a range of programs available such as hydrotherapy, tai chi, yoga, and strength and balance classes, to assist in an easier and worthwhile journey to living better with chronic conditions.

Rebecca says they’re also concerned about the mental health impacts of people living with these conditions.

“We have support available through our peer mentors and our trained allied health staff,” says Rebecca, who invites anyone from the community to drop in to the Bruce or Pearce office during the week to discuss how a more comfortable life with chronic conditions can be achieved.

And, in Woden and Weston, the most rapidly ageing regions of Canberra, Arthritis ACT has joined forces with Nordic Stride for Life, a community group aiming to utilise the benefits of Nordic walking to enhance quality of life, functional mobility and balance.

Arthritis ACT, SHOUT Offices, Collett Place, Pearce. Call 1800 011041, email or visit

Greg’s holistic approach to physiotherapy

WITH two practices at Woden and Manuka, physiotherapist Greg Nash is bringing a holistic approach to as many Canberrans as possible. 

His experience goes back 35 years and as the principal of Manuka Woden Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, Greg’s special interest areas are in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports injuries and occupational health and safety. 

The Woden practice is located in the heart of Woden, alongside neighbouring specialists and health professionals that Greg says he regularly consults with to ensure patients receive holistic care.    

“When I see a need I can cross refer and consult with others to treat the patient’s whole needs,” says Greg. 

“We see clients who injure themselves through sport, work and car accidents, too.

“My job is to help people get back to normal and increase their exercise tolerance.”

To help support as many people as possible through physiotherapy, Greg says the Manuka Woden Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic is open long hours, from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, and by appointment on weekends and public holidays, to accommodate workers and students.

“We have a 24-hour number people can call for urgent requests or if they need to change an appointment,” he says. 

Manuka Woden Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, 3/48 Corinna Street, Woden. Call 6281 1382 or visit

Lawyers take discomfort out of wills

Lawyer Ashilpa Khanna of Capon & Hubert Lawyers & Mediators.

WHILE death can be hard to think about, Capon & Hubert Lawyers & Mediators help take the discomfort out of making a will, says wills and estate planning lawyer Ashilpa Khanna. 

When death occurs, a common misconception, according to Ashilpa, is the spouse takes control of the estate and its assets, which is not generally the case. 

“If you don’t make a will, the state’s law effectively does it for you,” says Ashilpa, who urges people to create a will to secure a plan for the future. 

“For families, a relative dying without a will causes significant strife, since a will names the legal guardians of the person’s children.

“The last thing you want to have if you die is a fight over who’s going to raise your children.” 

But to better cushion any sudden tragedies, Ashilpa firmly believes everyone should have an estate plan and it all starts with a will. 

At Capon & Hubert Lawyers & Mediators, Ashilpa says great care is taken into providing expert and honest advice, ensuring each client is aware of the legal process and disclosing any upfront fees.

“Our staff are experienced in their fields and we take pride in knowing our clients,” she says. 

“We will always use common sense, respect, courtesy and good judgement when dealing with clients.”

Capon & Hubert Lawyers & Mediators, First Floor, 32-38 Townshend Street, Phillip. Email, call 6152 9203 or visit

Sisters thread a space for creation

WANTING to bring something new and different to Canberra, sisters Emma Mason and Clare Lovell established The Stitching Room, a boutique sewing, knitting, crochet and quilting retail shop, with a dedicated space for classes. 

Clare, The Stitching Room’s sewer and knitter, sees sewing as an opportunity to be creative and spend time with like-minded souls.

Emma agrees with Clare and says they want to inspire their customers with their classes, whether it’s in giving people assistance who have already started a project, or whether it’s one of their specialist classes, which teaches people new skills.

“We want them to know that when they come into the store, they are our focus,” Emma says. 

“We look after the little things so [our customers] can enjoy the time they spend with us.”

Emma says that The Stitching Room’s bright, inviting classrooms, combined with the hand-blended teas and gourmet snacks, reflect the care they take to ensure the boutique offers the creative escape Clare strives for.

“There are spaces to sit and sew or knit, and spaces to spread out and lay fabrics together and gather together,” Emma says. 

The Stitching Room, 53 Colbee Court, Phillip. Call 6282 4880, email or visit their Facebook page @thestitchingroomcanberra.

‘Revolutionary’ training keeps riders safe

LEADING road safety training company Ascent Training Services, based in Phillip, has recently launched “Revolution Rider Training”, a new motorcycle training provider in the ACT, says CEO Stephen Lake. 

“Priding ourselves on respectful and quality training, our ultimate goal is for riders to enjoy their motorbikes and be safe,” Stephen says. 

“All our instructors hold a certificate IV in riding instruction and bring a high level of knowledge, quality and service.” 

Stephen says people seeking to get their motorcycle licence can attend the eight-hour pre-learners and pre-provisional licence course and sit their written tests either on a weekday or weekend. 

He says Revolution Rider Training also offers a practice course for those wanting extra help to prepare for their provisional licence test. Revolution Rider Training. Call 6109 0154, email or visit

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