Professionals share a love for historic inner south

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In this sponsored post “CityNews” meets professionals based in the inner south who love their work as much as the area.

LOCATED south of Canberra’s city centre, the inner south is one of the oldest parts of the ACT.

Today, its age and historic charm has found its way into the hearts of residents and businesses alike, with many businesses passionate about the inner south suburbs they work in.

Here are some of them…

Gail’s got business strategies for tough times

Gail Freeman of Gail Freeman & Co.

WHILE the Canberra economy has faced problems over the past few months, with smoke, hail, fires, and now the coronavirus, accountant Gail Freeman of Gail Freeman & Co, says she’s well placed to support businesses who may need to look at their strategies.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty and it’s a volatile time,” says Gail, who has been based in Kingston since starting her business in 1987.

“Businesses may need to take stock and consider their practices, profitability, staff mix, how to save money and do better with less. It’s possibly going to be a tough time.”

Business can be subdued in the run up to an election too, Gail says, so there may be additional issues that she can help with.

“Now is the perfect time to look at business plans and strategies and see what may need to change,” she says.

“Getting businesses in order will be good practice moving forward, and we can all start 2021 in a better place.”

Gail Freeman & Co, 9/71 Leichhardt Street, Kingston. Call 6295 2844, email or visit

Passionate physio clinic’s moving… but not far

MANUKA Woden Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic will soon be relocating its Manuka premises, but owner and physiotherapist Greg Nash says they won’t be going far.

“Although we will be moving, we plan to stay in Manuka,” he says.

“By doing so we’re continuing the service the practice has provided to the local community for 39 years.”

Greg says he has a passion for working in a caring profession, and specialises in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, covering the areas of sports physio, orthopaedics and occupational health and safety.

But he also sees patients who are experiencing pain from past and recent operations, such as orthopaedic procedures.

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

“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 clinic is open long hours, from 8am-6pm on Monday to Friday, and by appointment after hours on weekends and public holidays, to accommodate workers and students.

Manuka Woden Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, 26 Bougainville Street, Manuka. Call 6295 6896, email or visit

Dedicated centre gets kids outdoors

DEDICATED to early learning, development and wellbeing for children from six weeks to school age, MOCCA is an active part of the Manuka community, according to director Rowena Muir.

“We have a focus on outdoor learning, taking the children on local walks and we strive to be connected to our community,” she says.

“We believe that children learn to take care of the natural environment by being outside, and we teach them about bees, worm farms and growing fruit and vegetables.

“We also encourage a connection to country and a respect for the first Australians and the traditional owners of the land.”

MOCCA has five rooms, a nursery for little ones, two rooms for children aged two to three, and two rooms for three to five year olds. It also offers a full preschool program.

Rowena says the centre’s philosophy is to be as natural as possible, with timber furniture and lots of plants in a biophilic design.

“We have a significant focus on relationships too, between the children themselves and also building rich and meaningful relationships with families, so we can all work together to look after the children,” she says.

MOCCA, 30 Flinders Way, Griffith. Call 6295 6503 or visit

Maria makes it happen with property

Maria Selleck of Maria Selleck Properties.

AN unpleasant experience with a real estate agent about 18 years ago sent Maria Selleck on a journey to open a boutique real estate agency that focuses on its clients.

Now, backed with more than 16 years’ experience, Maria has been running Maria Selleck Properties in Manuka for over 10 years.

“We wanted to ensure that each of our clients receive a personalised service and attention to detail,” says Maria, who’s received the Real Estate Institute ACT (REIA) Small Residential Agency Award of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016 as well as the national REIA title in 2013.

“We believe that this is essential for achieving outstanding results for our clients.”

To this day, Maria is still energetic and passionate about real estate and says Maria Selleck Properties provides a one-stop-shop for any real estate needs.

“[We do it all], from presenting homes for the market including styling, project management for repairs and maintenance, garden makeovers, to high-quality marketing and photography,” she says.

“We have our own exclusive tradesperson, stylist and photographer readily available and we can organise to have a property placed on the market within a week to two weeks.

“In addition to sales, we also have a property management department, taking away the stress of owning an investment property.”

Maria Selleck Properties, 30 Bougainville Street, Manuka. Call 6162 1234 or visit

Lanette helps build strength with Pilates

PILATES Canberra was established 25 years ago by owner Lanette Gavran, who says that Pilates training can help improve strength, flexibility and balance.

“Pilates is a very different way of moving your body, and can help it to move organically, creating new habits that prevent injury,” she says.

“The focus is on core strength and it can help to correct people’s movement when doing other activities, giving them a better understanding of their body.”

Pilates Canberra, which is now located in Barton as part of Hale Health, was one of the original Pilates studios in the ACT, with Lanette saying there was only one other.

At that time, she was a personal trainer, and says she quickly realised that lots of people she trained were limited by an injury.

“I realised Pilates was an avenue to rehabilitate people to a good level of strength and mobility,” she says.

“We do a lot of general strength and conditioning as well as rehabilitation from injuries and specific conditions.”

Lanette says that movement in Pilates can reduce stress, tension and pain, along with boosting energy levels.

She has a team of 12 teachers who are all passionate about Pilates and is a registered training organisation (RTO) for training other instructors.

Pilates Canberra, 14 Macquarie Street, Barton. Call 0412 022917, email or visit

Bottle shop stocks the ‘impossible’

Owners Michelle and Paul Cains.

KNOWN for stocking and sourcing unusual or “impossible to get” alcohol, Prohibition: The Bottle Shop also has a huge range of local wines, craft beers and premium spirits, say owners Paul and Michelle Cains.

“We carry Sullivans Cove whisky from Tasmania, popular Japanese whisky, and 110 different varieties of gin,” says Paul, who has been in the liquor industry for 19 years.

“We also make a point to support the region’s local wine makers, brewers and distillers.”

Paul says he offers exceptional customer service, and was named the Liquor Store Owner of the Year in 2018 at the the Liquor Stores Association NSW and ACT Retail Liquor Industry Awards for Excellence.

The bottle shop is pet friendly, accessible and also offers whisky and bourbon tasting and wine and cheese nights, he says.

The couple also own the Kingston Corner Store across the street, which sells “all the things you need and want”, says Paul.

“We sell smallgoods from Pialligo Estate and Poachers Pantry, bread from Three Mills Bakery and kombucha,” he says.

Prohibition: The Bottle Shop, 39/148 Eastlake Parade, call 6295 0864. Kingston Corner Store, 6/81 Giles Street, call 6262 8102.

Boutique agency has homes worth loving

Nick Purnell.

WITH a passion for introducing buyers to homes they love, real estate agent Nick Purnell says he enjoys working within the Kingston community.

As head of sales at the boutique real estate agency, Purnell Citywide, Nick works alongside his sister Brie in the family business, which was started in 1987 by their parents Genette and Kevin Purnell.

The family grew up in Griffith and knows the area inside out, says Nick.

“As Purnell’s has been based here for more than 35 years, we have extensive local knowledge of the Canberra market and prices,” he says.

“We specialise in the sale and management of established residential property across the inner south, mainly Barton, Narrabundah, Forrest, Red Hill, Deakin and Yarralumla.”

Brie is the head of property management at Purnell’s, with a long-term team of managers that have worked at Purnell’s for almost 20 years. She says Purnell’s values tenants as much as landlords.

“Tenants are respected clients of ours, too, and happy tenants stay longer,” she says.

“The biggest compliment is when tenants turn into buyers, because they appreciate the exceptional service we provide.”

Purnell Citywide, 44 Giles Street, Kingston. Call 6295 2011 or visit

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