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Busy commercial hub has something for everyone

CityNews speaks to some of Fyshwick’s successful business owners who thrive on sharing their skills and services with the region.

Fyshwick not only represents one of the biggest and busiest business hubs in the capital, but it’s also one of the most diverse, offering art, gastronomy, shopping and more.

This week CityNews speaks to some of Fyshwick’s successful business owners who thrive on sharing their skills and services with the region.

Canberra Music Tuition founder Nick Pearson.

Free-lesson week at Canberra Music Tuition

Canberra’s largest independent music educator, Canberra Music Tuition, has been committed to music education for more than 27 years and has expanded across three locations, with centres in Fyshwick, Belconnen and Weston Creek. 

Founder Nick Pearson says each Canberra Music Tuition centre is located centrally so parents and carers can run errands while children are being taught, with Belconnen located on Walder Street, Weston next to Cooleman Court and Fyshwick across from Canberra Outlet Centre.

Canberra Music Tuition emphasises the importance of music appreciation, which Nick says brings an understanding of the arts and an understanding of expression in life and emotion.

“Most people don’t want to be professional musicians, they want to enjoy the music and love it, and that’s what we want to foster.”

Canberra Music Tuition specialises in one-on-one tuition, allowing lessons to progress based on the needs of any individual. 

To celebrate new-starters in the music world, all three locations will open their doors for a “free-lesson week”, where anyone thinking about taking that step into music can try instruments from February 26 to March 2.

Canberra Music Tuition, Unit 1/24 Iron Knob Street, Fyshwick. Call 6299 9154 or visit

James Fullerton, left, and Taylor Radnell… “We know what we are talking about, we have been around a long time and understand what sells,” says Taylor.

Quality office furniture at an affordable price

Co-owner of Ex-Government furniture James Fullerton says now’s a great time to get designer-brand furniture at a fraction of the retail price.

“We offer a wide range of quality and designer second-hand products, meaning that customers get the top Australian and global brands without breaking the bank,” he says. 

With new stock arriving every week, Ex-Government Furniture, a leading dealer in surplus office furniture, always has new items coming through the door such as chairs, tables, bookcases and desks, James says. 

And, to help businesses from sending surplus office supplies to the tip, James and the team take on any furniture from offices that are upgrading, downsizing or moving.

“If you’ve got office stuff that needs to go, we can get it done,” he says.

The service helps businesses recycle unwanted furniture but also allows customers to come in and buy affordable second-hand or repurposed items, he says. 

“Make a stop on your day in Fyshwick and come see our wide range of furniture,” says James.

James says they have recently received second-hand sit-stand desks in stock, and new designer chairs from Italy, perfect for building up a home office now that flexible work arrangements are increasing in popularity.

“And with it all being second-hand, you can help the environment and you can save cash,” he says.

If the second-hand sit-stand desks aren’t suitable, James says not to worry, they also make new custom ones in house.

Ex-Government Furniture, 6 Yallourn Street. Call 6280 6490 or visit or

BluePackets managing director Andrew Donehue.

Strengthen security in software systems

Andrew Donehue, managing director of Canberra IT support company BluePackets, says investing properly into IT infrastructure security can save time, money and professional reputation. 

“When you’re dealing with IT and security… if you do nothing, you will eventually get bitten and that’s expensive.

“If you have a hacked or compromised account, that person can’t work while the situation is being rectified, so there is an indirect cost of losing productivity for days, weeks or even longer.

“The other cost is reputation, if an email account is compromised and sending spam email out to your clients, it is embarrassing.

“The third cost is that you have to pay your IT people or someone to clean up the mess after the fact. 

“All up, it can be quite an expensive exercise.”

Andrew says that over more recent years, many of BluePackets’ clients have gone on the journey of substantially improving their IT security. 

“What we’ve noticed is that for a lot of these clients, their reactive work has dropped significantly,” says Andrew.

“That means direct savings for our clients.”

In strengthening IT systems, Andrew says BluePackets can review what’s in place and offer clients technical advice on what needs to be implemented, as well as providing general user security help.

It also offers end-user training and product-specific training, he says.

BluePackets. Call 1300 664262, or visit

Principal artist Margaret Hadfield.

Margaret shares her passion for art

The Artists Shed is a privately run creative enterprise that’s a gallery, art school, art store and studio, says principal artist Margaret Hadfield. 

Margaret has been a working artist in the Canberra/Queanbeyan area since 1990. 

Although not formally trained, Margaret says she honed her skills and became a self-supporting artist. 

She is an inaugural winner of the Gallipoli Art Prize and finalist in major art prizes, as well as completing many significant commissions. 

Margaret says she developed her art practice through versatility and following her passion, which she loves to share with others. 

“The Art School caters for most mediums and is a very relaxed environment to ‘play’ with paint for teens and adults,” says Margaret.

“The Artists Shed is currently undergoing expansion, which will include two new artists to have their studio and gallery as a part of the space.” 

The gallery includes Margaret’s nature and history inspired paintings as well as a space for “Friends of The Shed” to exhibit.

“The Art Store has quality art materials and hampers of art materials for art gifts,” says Margaret.

Margaret Hadfield Gallery, the Artists Shed, unit 1-3, 88 Wollongong Street. Call 0418 237766, or visit

European brands in a convenient location

Alan Arab, co-owner and creative director at Things of Desire, has been in the fashion game for a long time.

Alan says he and Angela Nichol, co-owner and art director at Things of Desire, had a store in Manuka for 25 years. 

After a brief attempt at retiring, Alan says he and Angela decided to turn their warehouse space in Fyshwick into the new Things of Desire retail space. 

“The new Things of Desire warehouse is in this unassuming Fyshwick area where it’s such a surprise, one comes through those doors to find an oasis in the desert of fashion in Canberra where everything is looking the same and uninteresting,” says Alan.

“We do very exclusive, bespoke items, items that no one else in Canberra, as far as I can tell, carries.”

Alan says there’s ample parking and without the worry of parking fines, customers can shop stress free.

“About 80 per cent of our stock is European imports,” he says.

“We’ve been to 13 countries attending fashion trade fairs, for instance, Paris, Milan, New York, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Korea.

“So we compose a lot of buying experiences, and we bring it back to Canberra.”

Alan says that Things of Desire also has a constant 50 per cent off rack in store, so customers will always be able to buy an exclusive, bespoke item for a bargain price.

Things of Desire, 23/8 Gladstone Street, Fyshwick. Call 6260 8844 or visit

Seears Workwear owners Pat Seears, right, with son Shane.

Father-son team stock the ‘best quality’ workwear

With more than 30 years of providing quality work clothes to the Canberra region, locally-run Seears Workwear knows what working people are after, says owner Pat Seears.

Stocking work apparel such as high-vis workwear, jackets, jeans, shoes and hats, Pat says: “Everything is the best quality from the best manufacturers”.

Located on Barrier Street, he says their stock includes safety work boots, leather shoes and steel-toed canvas shoes, from brands including Puma, Rockport and Dunlop.

It also has workwear for chefs, paramedics and firefighters, says Pat, who runs the business with his son Shane, and says they know the needs of local businesses and supply many Fyshwick businesses with their work uniforms.

They can also assist companies through their corporate uniform services, which provide customised embroidery services for promotional clothing and business uniforms.

Seears Workwear also has stores in NSW and Queensland, and Pat says they deliver all over the country.

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

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