The thriving district of Belconnen has so much to offer residents and visitors. This is a sponsored post.
BELCONNEN is the most populous district in the ACT, according to the 2016 census, which recorded a population of 96,049 people.
Its suburbs are named after some of Australia’s most iconic figures.
There’s Melba, eponymous with the ambitious opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, Lawson, coined from the eloquent bush poet, Henry Lawson, and Cook, inspired by the now contentious 18th century explorer, Captain James Cook.
Belconnen itself, which was established in 1966, was officially titled after one of the earliest land grants during colonial times.
But now, decades later, the name is known to represent a thriving hub for north Canberrans, with so much to offer residents and visitors.
Taking an holistic approach to pain
NOT only does Arthritis ACT have a team of specialists helping people manage arthritis, it also offers a huge range of activities and services in Belconnen that aim to improve the lives of people in the community, says CEO Rebecca Davey.
“At our Belconnen office in Bruce we have a fully functional gym that anyone from the community can utilise,” she says.
“The gym has times of the day set aside for quiet, so [it’s] perfect for people wanting a more relaxed atmosphere to exercise.
“We also have specialised classes for people from the LGBTQI+ community, which you can also go to if you’re connected to an LGBTQI+ person in some way, like a friend or family member.”
That’s only the start of what Arthritis ACT has to offer though, Rebecca says.
“We run tai chi classes, which can be done in smaller sessions with only a few people if they prefer, or they can join in our large groups,” she says.
“There’s also our art therapy sessions, which can be done one-on-one, and we have a craft chat group on a Wednesday afternoon, where for a small fee people can bring their own craft or learn a new one.”
Rebecca says all the activities are a part of Arthritis ACT’s holistic approach to improving health and treating pain.
Teaching kids to love learning
BRIGHT Minds Academy Belconnen gives children the opportunity to develop and grow a love of learning, says educational leader Annette Davis.
“We have a school readiness focus where we look at the important skills like literacy and numeracy and approach them in a dynamic way,” she says.
“We try to give kids the chance to find where they’re most confident in learning. For example, some learn better outdoors, some learn better indoors so we try to provide a fluid connection between those environments.”
The academy’s flexible hours are also a “game changer” for many parents trying to find a balance between care for their children and work hours, Annette says.
“We run from 6.30am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday,” she says.
“We’ve had people say that’s taken away the struggle of finding that balance between work hours and care for their kids. We really try to create an environment that’s suited to the needs of families.”
The academy also takes a keen focus on the kids’ creative side, she says.
“We try to build creative activities into our literacy and numeracy teaching,” she says.
“I think for children to learn and grow creatively it helps give them the sense that learning is something they can achieve and gives them confidence moving forward.”
How glass can improve the home
PROUDLY family-owned since 1986, Discount Glass is the only glazing business in Belconnen providing Canberrans all their responsive and planned glass needs, says co-owner Olivia Rogan.
“If you’ve been broken into or the whipper snipper has thrown a rock through the sliding door we can come and fix that with our 24/7 service,” she says.
“But we also do planned work like upgrading for double glazed units, installing energy-efficient glass, or putting in the new mirror in the bathroom.”
Olivia says Discount Glass also installs pet doors, which allow easy access for cats or dogs without compromising the home’s security, a particularly popular service at the moment given the new pet laws in the ACT.
“Glass can make a big difference to the house in many ways people might not at first think,” says Olivia.
“Your glass is the final layer of insulating your house so if you can do everything you can to make it energy efficient it can go a long way.
“We can install glass that helps with that, safety, and decorative purposes.”
Olivia says the team also pride themselves on being approachable and friendly and they offer a no obligation, free quote and assessment to give people options that work for them and their home.
“Our team is like a little family in themselves,” she says.
Discount Glass, 4 Purdue Street, Belconnen. Call 6253 1099 or visit discountglass.com.au
Imaging practice where patients take priority
AT Kippax Medical Imaging, customers don’t have to worry about waiting times for X-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans, says radiologist Dr Ben Emechete.
“For most of our examinations, people can just walk in or call us at any time,” says Dr Emechete.
“We strive to ensure that every patient leaves confident that their high-quality scans will be examined by expert radiologists, with results sent promptly to their referring physician.”
An independently-owned company with an experienced team, Dr Emechete says the welfare and comfort of patients is a priority at their practice.
“We are Quality Innovation Performance (QIP) certified so you can trust that through every step of your journey with us you are receiving the highest quality of care,” he says.
“Our team understands that your visit to us may be due to an injury, illness, or for supervision of an existing medical condition [so we] provide a positive atmosphere to minimise any stress you may be feeling.”
Kippax Medical Imaging director Anbu Jeremiah says that they’re a bulk-billing practice, which means they accept the relevant Medicare benefit as full payment for the service.
“Our motto is ‘not to be served unto but to serve’. We are committed to ensuring that our services are accessible and affordable,” he says.
Kippax Medical Imaging, unit 7, 76-80 Hardwick Crescent, Holt. Call 6254 0271 or visit kippaxmedicalimaging.com.au
Volunteers that won’t need any prior experience
PEGASUS ACT, a charity that delivers therapeutic horse-facilitated programs to people living with disability, is always looking for new volunteers to join their team, says executive general manager Matthew Watson.
“The volunteers, staff and participants all work together to connect with the Canberra and region community vision is commitment, respect, quality and connection,” says Matt.
Matt says experience with horses isn’t necessary for volunteers at the charity either.
All training, Matt says, is provided on-site, whether it’s horse-leading or stable care, and includes how to work with those with special needs.
“[Volunteers] assist the child while they’re riding or learning to ride. They help to communicate the instructions from the coach, giving them guidance, making sure they are sitting on the horse properly,” Matt says.
Other volunteers help out on the “idyllic”, 100 acre farm which is located around 10 minutes from Belconnen centre.
“But you wouldn’t know it when you’re on the farm,” Matt says.
He calls it Canberra’s best kept secret.
Always on the lookout for new volunteers, Matt says they are particularly in need of help on weekdays. While currently on staff, he says there is a wide range of age groups, from teens to seniors.
“People realise they feel good about helping someone achieve something like riding a horse, as well as the physical benefits,” he says.
“It is also a good social environment for [volunteers] as well.”
Rustic restaurant feels like home
AS soon as people walk through the door of Olive at Hawker, it feels like they’re eating at mum’s house, says restaurant co-owner Dimitri Yianoulakis.
“We’re a family owned business with a family atmosphere,” he says.
“Together we’ve been running Olive at Hawker for four years now, but we’ve had a presence in the Canberra hospitality scene for over 30 years.”
A Mediterranean cuisine with strong Greek and Italian influence, Dimitri says some of their most popular dishes include the lamb shoulder and the seafood pasta, but they’ve also got a wide variety of choices as well.
“There’s a range of slow cooked meals, pizza, pasta, seafood and we have changing specials every day,” he says.
Customer service is also a big part of the experience at Olive at Hawker, he says.
“Mum’s always taking orders, helping with recommendations and starting families with bread and dips,” he says.
“It’s a warm space, with a light, rustic feel and one with a homely atmosphere.”
Olive at Hawker, shop 2, 78 Hawker Place, Hawker. Call 6255 2858 or visit oliveathawker.com.au
Bottle shop offers unique and local tastes
PAGE Bottler provides a home in Canberra to the smaller, local and more unique breweries and distilleries, says owner Tim Rasheed.
“In our store you’ll find lots of local craft beer, lots of Australian-made wines, gins, whiskies — really the stuff you won’t find in the big chains,” he says.
“Being family-owned and operated, we try to give shelf space to the smaller producers to support them and give Canberrans different tasting experiences.”
With more than 30 years of industry experience between them, Tim says he and his brother Harry are offering Canberrans a huge range of unique beers with their “16 can subscription cube”.
“Through our online shop you choose a few styles you like, whether that’s pale ales, IPA’s, sours, red ales, brown ales, or whatever it may be,” he says.
“We then make your box, which comes with 16 unique beers monthly or bi-monthly depending on how you want it, and you’ll never get the same thing twice.
“You can also change that to be seasonal, so you can have dark beers in winter if that’s what you enjoy and then you can change it up to sours and pale ales in summer.”
And best of all, Tim says the boxes are delivered right to the customer’s door.
Page Bottler, 2/4 Page Place, Page. Call 6254 7969 or visit pagebottler.com.au
Salon offers sale on microblading
BEAUTIFY Hair and Beauty Salon owner Nathalie Lang says it makes her feel special to make her clients feel special.
“I believe it’s not just about the final outcome for the client, it’s about how they feel during and how they feel about you,” she says.
Having operated in Belconnen for more than seven years, Nathalie says the salon has everything in beauty under one roof for both women and men: hair cutting and styling, makeup, facials and, particularly famous is their cosmetic tattooing service.
“We are currently offering 50 per cent off on eyebrow microblading,” says Nathalie.
“It’s a semi-permanent hair stroke technique that creates a natural hair direction.
“The process can be used where people have gaps in their eyebrows (perhaps due to scarring), have only half an eyebrow, would like dark or more defined eyebrows or brows that appear thicker.”
Nathalie says the feedback she’s received from clients after microblading has been amazing.
“I’ve seen it completely transform the way a client feels about themselves,” she says.
“I’m blessed that I love my work and that I get to help people feel beautiful.”
Beautify Hair and Beauty Salon, unit 5, 66-74 Josephson Street, Belconnen. Call 6162 2148 or visit beautifyhairandbeautysalon.com