When Fyshwick was an internment camp

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With an enormous range of different businesses that call Fyshwick home, the busy commercial hub has been a suburb in Canberra since the 1920s. This is a sponsored post.

WITH an enormous range of different businesses that call Fyshwick home, the busy commercial hub has been a suburb in Canberra since the 1920s. 

But a couple of years earlier it was destined for something else. And, in early 1918, an internment camp was built between the railway line and Canberra Avenue. 

It was known as the Molonglo Internment Camp, although it was also referred to as a concentration camp. The site was intended to accommodate 3500 German and Austrian nationals being expelled from China, but once the camp was established in May 1918 the internees were no longer destined for Molonglo.

Instead, the camp housed 150 detainees transferred from the NSW Bourke Camp. It closed in late 1919 after the internees were deported to Germany. 

After its closure most of the camp’s buildings were sold off, with the remaining buildings being converted for use by house construction workers, some of whom were unemployed returned servicemen. 

Gradually the camp buildings were moved to other camp sites around Canberra and the roads used to service the camp became the first streets of Fyshwick.

These days it’s a busy commercial hub well known for the enormous range of different businesses that call Fyshwick home. Here are some of the leading ones…

Leading workwear store doubles in size

FIRMLY established as Canberra’s leading workwear store, Seears Workwear has seen rapid growth in recent times, says owner Pat Seears.

Pat, who runs the business with his son Shane, says this has given them the opportunity for significant expansion and they have doubled the size of their Barrier Street store – meaning they can offer even more stock to customers.

“We’re very grateful for the support of the local building and associated industries,” says Pat.

“This support has allowed us to invest in an even bigger range of stock to cater for all clothing, footwear and safety gear requirements.”

Walking into the expanded Seears Workwear store, Pat says customers can see the huge range from all leading brands in a huge variety of sizes and styles.

Seears Workwear can also assist companies through its “corporate” uniform services, which provides customised embroidery services for promotional clothing and business uniforms.

“Businesses need to get the right corporate look for staff, and Seears corporate can now help with all corporate branding, whether a sole trader, or the purchasing officer of a company requiring hundreds of uniforms,” he says.

“Our service includes embroidery or screen printing of garments, too.”

Pat is offering a 10 per cent discount offer to all MBA members with any purchase from Seears Workwear.

Seears Workwear also operates stores in NSW and QLD. 

Seears Workwear, 60 Barrier Street. Call 6280 4111 or visit seearsworkwear.com.au


Ex-Government Furniture owners James Fullerton, left, and Taylor Radnell.

Office items that double as home furniture

OFFICE furniture that’s both stylish and ergonomic is great for the home, says Ex-Government Furniture owner James Fullerton.

“No one wants to feel their home looks too much like a workplace and we have some great items that can do double duty,” he says.

For example, James says they have “ToDo” armchairs by American design company Haworth in stock, which feature a removable table option on each arm that can swing out when needed and is ideal for a laptop.

The armchair also has storage space under the seat, castors at the front and a handy rail at the back, making it easy to move around, he says.

“Basically it means you can conduct Zoom meetings or conference calls from home while chilling in an armchair,” James says.

“We have the ToDo chair available in grey, and with its clean design and executive look, fits in well to any environment, whether collaborating in an office or working from home.”

Ex-Government Furniture also has a large range of office chairs in stock, from Okamura and Haworth.

“Both these brands are in a lot of government departments and are among the best mesh-back chairs available, with excellent lumbar support,” James says.

Ex-Government Furniture, 6 Yallourn Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 6490 or visit exgovfurniture.com or facebook.com/exgovfurniture


Stonemasonry business has a lot to offer

Bono’s Marble and Granite owners Domenic and Carmelina Bono.

BONO’S Marble and Granite owners Carmelina and Domenic Bono say they’re carving out a name for themselves as Canberra’s young and passionate new force in stonemasonry.

The husband and wife team specialise in engineered stone and have different examples on display in their showroom, including marble, granite and engineered stone benchtops and kitchen spaces, as well as personalised headstones and memorials, Carmelina says. 

“Our showroom really demonstrates our passion,” she says.

“We want to be well-known for [offering] quality, flawless, unique and high-end [products and] we strive to go above and beyond our customers’ expectations [and] strive to be the best and produce the best based on years of experience and knowledge.” 

As for knowledge, Carmelina says Domenic’s got about 16 years’ experience in the stonemasonry industry after he began working alongside his father at 13.

And while Carmelina says he’s younger than other stonemasons in the industry, she says their family-orientated business has a lot to offer. 

“The stonemasons in Canberra are a bit old and set in their ways [but] we’ve got a lot of spirit, we’re open to ideas and we’re not set in our ways,” she says.  

“We take pride in our work, we ensure that every job is finished at the highest quality and [make sure we get] the best outcome for our customers.”

Bono’s Marble and Granite, 17 Geelong Street. Call 6228 1238 or email hello@bonoscanberra.com.au


Artist Margaret Hadfield runs weekly art courses for students of all levels.

Experienced art tips for ‘absolute’ beginners

SHE’S painted the Canberra region in many different ways, and now the self-taught, multidisciplinary artist, Margaret Hadfield is sharing her secrets through her classes at the Margaret Hadfield Gallery.

Based in the Artists Shed, where Margaret works alongside a team of artists, she runs weekly art courses for students of all levels, including her “Absolute Beginners Course”.

This course, which she says has enabled many students to develop their own artistic pastimes and careers, teaches colour mixing, brush and palette knife techniques and the development of individual styles.

“What people often don’t understand is the true primaries, they are often hidden,” she says.

“I direct people to make their colours from the true primaries. It’s a simple thing that’s not really done elsewhere in other art schools.”

When it comes to choosing art tools, Margaret says students don’t have to pay a fortune for quality tools, but says, having the right equipment, including brushes, canvases, and palette knives, makes a huge difference. It’s something too often overlooked among beginners, but Margaret says: “Because of my years of experience of working with materials I am able to direct [students] to the right ones.”

“Some people think if I don’t know what I’m doing, I shouldn’t spend too much but that’s wrong. You’ll get discouraged by substandard paint that doesn’t perform because you won’t get the results you want,” she says.

Margaret Hadfield Gallery, at the Artists Shed, unit 1-3, 88 Wollongong Street. Call 0418 237766, email hadfieldgallery@gmail.com or visit artistsshed.com.au

Offering the largest range of quality flooring

ENDEAVOUR Carpets Canberra offers the largest range of top quality floor coverings in Canberra and Queanbeyan, says co-owner Taylor O’Brien.

Established in 1970, Taylor says the business has maintained its original objective of displaying exceptional choices of carpet, bamboo, timber, laminate, cork floating floors, vinyl, vinyl planks and rugs.

Taylor describes their Fyshwick-based showroom as Canberra’s “greatest floor show” with thousands of samples on display, and an experienced team of flooring specialists to make the customer’s experience as easy as possible.

“Our showroom is so great other retailers send their customers to view our huge range of top quality floor coverings,” she says.

As a member of the Independent Carpets group, Taylor says it means Endeavour Carpets can offer customers greater choice and the best available prices.

“As a family business, Endeavour Carpets appreciates that customers are spoilt for choice in a competitive market place, and so maintain an objective to offer the best service and products available and for the best possible price,” she says.   

When customers visit Endeavour Carpets, Taylor says they experience a good old fashioned service from a long-standing, local family business.

“This is what really sets Endeavour Carpets apart from any regular carpet store,” she says.

“At Endeavour Carpets, we don’t just endeavour, we do.”

Endeavour Carpets, 33 Isa Street. Call 6280 6132, email info@endeavourcarpets.com.au or visit endeavourcarpets.com.au


The importance of password management

PASSWORD management and security is hugely important, yet many people use the same password across multiple accounts, says OmniIT partner Michael Warnock.

“We’ve seen passwords stuck on a pin board or monitor, and some that haven’t changed since they were assigned – it’s not secure,” he says.

“Many people tell me they use the same password on everything because they can’t remember 50, 100 different ones.

“However if they get hacked, it makes them so much more vulnerable.”

Michael recommends creating a unique, complex password for each application, using a combination of upper and lower case, numbers and symbols, and suggests using a password manager to keep track of them all.

“A password manager means that people only have to remember one, complex password and the password manager will autofill whatever password is required,” he says. 

“We use one called LastPass, but there are many others out there.

“There’s also a corporate version, which allows shared logins, while the office administration can control who has access.”

OmniIT has multiple clients in Fyshwick and across Canberra and Queanbeyan, and provides managed IT services and support to businesses, with services including cloud computing, data backup, security, IT infrastructure and planning, and project management. 

OmniIT, unit 8, 12 Sandford Street, Mitchell. Call 6230 3839, email support@omniit.com.au or visit omniit.com.au

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