Macquarie’s full of firsts for Belconnen

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MACQUARIE, a residential suburb in the Belconnen district of Canberra, was gazetted on June 22, 1967, in recognition of Maj-Gen Lachlan Macquarie, a former governor of NSW. 

Three years later, the first commercial hub in the Belconnen district, Jamison Centre, was built in Macquarie in 1969. Named after Thomas Jamison, a First Fleet surgeon and government official, the centre preceded the Belconnen Town Centre by almost a decade. 

But the centre isn’t the only first for the Belconnen area, and not far from it, on Bennelong Crescent is Macquarie Primary School, the first government-run public school in the area. It was established in 1968. 

June’s always up to date with all things hair

Bentley’s Hair of Canberra owner, June Irving.

SINCE opening Bentleys Hair of Canberra about 44 years ago, owner June Irving still loves sending people away looking the best they possibly can.

Offering cuts, styling, colouring and hair treatments for all ages, June says the team at Bentleys Hair of Canberra are highly trained so they can provide the best and most efficient service possible. 

“We are very customer-focused,” she says. 

“We’re really good with cuts and colours, including ombres, tints, foils and perms.

“We listen to customers’ values, we’re respectful [and] we keep up to date with all types of hairdressing.”

Leading the team, June has also kept up to date throughout her career and has attained multiple qualifications including two certificates in hairdressing, a diploma in hairdressing, a certificate in hospitality and a Training and Education (TAE) certificate.

She brings these skills with her when working with the 21 trained stylists in the Jamison location but says the team at the Red Hill location, called Bentleys at Red Hill, are also backed with up to date experience. 

As for the products, June says the salon mainly uses Schwarzkopf hair products but it’s also one of two salons in Canberra offering Alterna haircare and the new GHD Oracle. 

And, in August, June says Bentleys Hair of Canberra will be excited to welcome new specialist William Patterson, who has around 15 years of experience in styling and educating.

Bentleys Hair of Canberra, 3/9 Jamison Centre, Macquarie. Call 6251 2681, email or visit

Canberra Vocal Development student, Maddy.

Elisha helps students achieve their singing goals

WHETHER people want to sing for fun or professionally, Canberra Vocal Development, a school that only focuses on singing, has been helping people with their singing techniques since 2013, says owner Elisha Holley. 

Elisha, who’s been singing from a young age, says she started Canberra Vocal Development because she found that a lot of music schools tended to focus on multiple instruments and there wasn’t high-quality teaching available for singing.

“We are a school that focuses only on singing,” she says.

Canberra Vocal Development offers beginner and advanced classes, which Elisha says are taught in a like-minded and collaborative environment, benefitting both the teachers and their students. 

“We focus on a holistic approach to draw on each experience and use our expertise in order to achieve the best outcome for our students,” Elisha says. 

Often, Elisha says people come to her school with individual goals and the teachers, with their extensive knowledge of how the voice works and their understanding of each person’s capability, are able to help them achieve them.

Canberra Vocal Development, Suite 5, 25 Macquarie Place, Macquarie. Call 0403 707761, email or visit

Centre celebrates 45 years of early learning

LATER this year, the YMCA-run Jenny McCombe Early Learning Centre is looking forward to celebrating 45 years of delivering children’s programs to the community, says director Alison Fitzsimmons.

The centre was established in 1971 to offer children’s programs to the community, before it extended its services in 1974, which then saw it providing care and school holiday programs as well. 

Now, Alison says the centre can cater for a maximum of 63 children from the age of six-weeks-old up to children of school age.

She says the Jenny McCombe Early Learning Centre fosters a great community feeling with strong relationships between the children, educators and staff.

“We have a great team of highly educated and dedicated educators and we make sure that we support the children and their families through any change,” Alison says. 

“The centre [also] boasts a large, natural outdoor space as well as a fabulous indoor gym space where the children are allowed to explore and play to their heart’s content regardless of the weather conditions.”

But, on days when the weather is good, Alison says staff enjoy taking the children out for local walks and they also enjoy taking the children on educational excursions.

Overall, she says the Jenny McCombe Early Learning Centre prides itself on being a respectful, inclusive environment for all children and their families. 

The YMCA Jenny McCombe Early Learning Centre, corner of Bowman Street, Macquarie. Call 6251 5735, email or visit

Cassidys has clothes that’ll stand out

CUSTOMERS are less likely to run into someone wearing the same outfit when they shop at the family-owned and operated men and women’s clothing store, Cassidys Department Store, says one of its owners Paul Sheedy.

Located in Jamison Centre, Paul says the welcoming store offers a friendly, personalised service, tailored to each customer. 

“We offer unique and fabulous fashion for women and men in classic styles and spectacular colours,” he says. 

According to Paul, Cassidys Department Store has a wide variety of labels such as Yarra Trail, Orientique, Jillian, Corfu, Equinox, Foil, Marco Polo and Breakaway.

He says they also offer a variety of styles and colours which are of great quality and good value for money. 

While Cassidys has been operating since the ‘70s, the store has been run by its current management successfully for about 25 years.

“With many multinationals closing down and online shopping threatening many stores, we offer an individual, personalised shopping experience where you can touch and feel the clothing and talk to friendly staff,” Paul says.

“We know many of our customers by name too.”

Cassidys Department Store, Jamison Plaza, Bowman Street, Macquarie. Call 6251 1911 or email

Bank guides first home buyers through changes

FOLLOWING the changes to the first home owners grant on July 1, the staff at Bendigo Bank are on hand to explain these changes and what they might mean, says mobile relationship manager Jacob Krog.

“We have the experience to guide buyers through all the steps and tell them about the pitfalls to look out for,” says Jacob who, combined with mobile relationship manager Estelle Whitby, has more than 25 years’ experience in finance. 

Both Jacob and Estelle offer an easy and friendly service which can be brought straight to the client, according to Jacob, saying they can come out to any interested customer, or people can come in to the branch and meet the customer-focused, Macquarie branch team. 

“We can help guide first-home buyers through the process of buying their new home,” Jacob says.

“We will help with everything and show the difference between buying a house, or a unit, or an apartment.”

And, he says the best thing about using Bendigo Bank is the customers’ money will go back into the community because it’s a bank run for the community. 

Bendigo Bank, Jamison Plaza, Bowman Street, Macquarie. Call Jacob on 0418 329087, email or visit




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