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Canberra Today 2°/6° | Monday, May 20, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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Local expertise that can help in all sorts of ways

“CityNews” speaks with a variety of experts, passionate about sharing their skills and services.

There’s no shortage of experts in Canberra. In every suburb, there are businesses with years of experience. Their skills encompass everything, from finance, jewellery, travel or home improvements.

Expert knowledge on aquatic exercise

With winter on its way, it is the perfect time to join a group exercise class, as group classes discourage the drop in motivation common in the colder months, says Kirra Rankin, owner of Capital Hydrotherapy and creator of Hydrolates.

“The physical benefit happens because you’re being consistent, it’s not what you’re doing that is making you fitter and stronger, it’s the fact that you’re doing it regularly,” says Kirra.

For those looking to engage in a new activity or improve their wellness overall, Kirra says Deep Water Running Interval Training (DWR-IT) and Hydrolates (Aquatic Pilates) are great options, because they target a range of fitness components in one routine.

Before joining a class, Kirra says everyone receives an initial assessment, allowing the team of exercise physiologists and physiotherapists who run the classes to know functional abilities on an individual basis. 

“A lot of the reasons why people drop out of groups is because they feel they are not being well looked after, they’re either not being challenged, or they’re being challenged too much,” she says.

Everyone is placed in a group that matches their abilities, Kirra says, and they don’t have any more than four to eight people in a group class. This way, everyone can feel comfortable and looked after.

“It is specific, small, group training,” says Kirra.

Capital Hydrotherapy, 8/2 King Street, Deakin. Call 6156 2223 or visit

Left: Welcome to Integrated Dental Canberra… nurses Brooke, left and Gypsy. Right: Practice principal Dr Henriette Macri-Etienne… “We aim to create a dental spa feel.”

A holistic approach to dentistry

Dentist Dr Henriette Macri-Etienne is a multi-award winning dentist, recognised in the industry for her special expertise in treating patients with dental anxiety and dental phobia.

She says Integrated Dental Canberra has both state-of-the-art equipment, such as the ability to produce same-day, high-quality crowns in-house, and a unique “comfort menu” designed to relax patients and provide a “spa-like” experience. 

The practice has a team of dentists skilled in the latest, high-end treatments and cosmetic dentistry, such as veneers, as well as general dentistry and links to allied health practitioners to assist with related treatments and therapies. 

“Our team takes a holistic view, which allows us to consider the whole person, not just their teeth and mouths,” she says. 

“This means we consider a whole range of factors such as anxieties, fears, shame and avoidance. These are things we all experience at different times in our lives around a range of issues and there is no judgement attached to them. But with care, we can tailor treatment plans to people’s needs.

“Our passion is to change the old paradigm that dentistry has to be painful and unpleasant. We aim to create a dental spa feel to our practice and space.”

In addition to simple empathy, compassion and human kindness, Integrated Dental Canberra has a broad menu of “comfort” options, including warm pillows, weighted blankets, noise-cancelling headphones, a full range of pain management options, a range of relaxation therapies and alliances with allied health practitioners. 

Integrated Dental Canberra, 5/16 Moore Street, Canberra. Call 6249 8551 or visit

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

Chairs in every style, for every budget

Ex-Government Furniture owners James Fullerton and Taylor Radnell have 50 years of experience between them in working with secondhand furniture, says James, and the business itself has been operating for more than three decades.

Well recognised in Canberra, James says the Ex-Government Furniture team can help navigate the increasingly complex world of office furniture for those starting to work from home.

“Say, for example, you’re in the public service, depending on what department you’re from, your chair could range from $500 to $2500 each,” James says.

“Chairs aren’t just chairs any more, there’s a whole bunch of particular mechanisms, they’re ergonomic, and it can be pretty complicated.”

James says they have chairs for every budget, with their cheapest chair being $1 and their most expensive $3500. 

James says he and Taylor can point out why there is such a gap in price, and assist with finding a chair that matches the aesthetic for a much cheaper option.  

He says they also have sit-stand desks, storage units and safes, anything needed to set up a home office, James says.

“If people have started to work from home, we’ll talk you through it,” says James.

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

Car Mechanical Services owners Raffy and Charlie Sgroi.

More than just mechanics

Car Mechanical Services co-owners Raffy and Charlie Sgroi have been in business for 15 years, with Charlie having more than 40 years of mechanical experience.

But, Raffy says their services extend beyond providing expert mechanical help to Canberra drivers.

“In the last five years we have really focused on being a profit-for-purpose business, which is for us to create a legacy, and not just make money but do something good,” says Raffy.

In order to give back to the community, Raffy says the Car Mechanical Services team is committed to improving the sustainability of their workshop, providing mentorship programs for young people, and creating an inclusive environment.

“In the last couple of years we had a few girls come in and do work experience and hopefully they will pick up an apprenticeship,” she says. 

“We also do work experience and a little bit of career coaching for neurodiverse kids.

“As we know it can be difficult for them to find a path in the industry, it might sound very noisy, very disruptive, so we try to create positions for them to thrive and do whatever they can. 

“When you see these kids come in and show their passion, it’s a big joy.”

Last year, Car Mechanical Services was also the winner of the sustainable small business of the year award, one of the first automobile companies in Canberra to do so, says Raffy.

Car Mechanical Services, 82 Kalgoorlie Crescent, Fisher. Call 6162 4111 or visit

The many ways that hemp can help

South Pacific Hemp store manager Sue Booth says at South Pacific Hemp they go to great lengths to source only the best hemp products.

“We get to know the story and origin behind each wholesaler, we pride ourselves on knowing these individual companies’ stories and telling our customers exactly where the products originated,” she says.

“The global market for hemp is predicted to nearly quadruple in value between 2020 and 2027.

“This is because of hemp’s hardiness across a wide range of climates, its ability to grow in and improve poor soil, as well as absorb more carbon dioxide than any other crop, and that every part of the plant is useful.”

Sue says she also takes pride in having vast knowledge about the different hemp products and uses.

“We have a green hemp healing balm that is good for arthritis, psoriasis, bruising, nerve pain and eczema,” she says.

“Or, we have a popular hemp and cherry balm or black sheep, which can help with nappy rash, inflammation, bites and stings.

“The store also has a range of clothing and linen, fabrics, bedding and cushions all made to promote wellbeing.

“Hemp protects your skin by naturally filtering UV light. It also resists bacterial growth and breathes excellently, preventing odours and has four times the strength of cotton and it won’t weaken when washed.”

Sue says hemp gives years of wear, while its breathing ability, antibacterial and antiviral properties help promote good sleep.

South Pacific Hemp, 84 Wollongong Street, Fyshwick. Call 0431 318898 or visit

Dale’s Balloom owner Dale Harris, centre, with daughters Brooke, left, and Grace.

Dance a way to fitness and fun

It’s important to break up the regular weekly routine of just going to work and going home again, says Dale Harris, owner of Dale’s Ballroom, and for those looking for an exciting evening out, Dale’s Ballroom hosts a social dance class every Monday evening, except public holidays.

“The social dance is for absolutely anyone and everyone,” she says. 

“One of the great things about it is the fitness. You don’t realise how much exercise you’re doing, you’re constantly on the move.”

While there is limited tuition at the social dance, Dale says she is happy to chat with anyone who wants to learn more about organised classes.

Dale is an expert in many styles of dance including tango, foxtrot, quickstep, Viennese waltz, and cha cha, samba, jive, rumba and paso doble. 

Dale, who has more than 25 years’ experience teaching dance, started dancing at the age of six, when she developed an interest in ballroom dancing. 

She’s since received many qualifications in ballroom dancing and is also a championship adjudicator who travels interstate to judge ballroom competitions.

Dale says she encourages anyone to come and learn regardless of age or experience.

“We have people of all ages coming in for the classes,” she says, with adult classes on Wednesdays, starting at 7pm, and junior classes every Thursday from 5pm.

She says classes cover Latin, New Vogue and standard dances.

Dale’s Ballroom Dancing, 6/38 Reed Street North, Greenway. Call 0407 066110 or visit

Floor heating for any surface

Specialising in floor heating products and services, P.A.P. Heating Solutions says it has the experience and expertise to provide the floor-heating system for any application.

From commercial to domestic buildings, the company offers a full design, quotation and installation service for in-slab heating and under-tile heating.

“No other heating system provides the all-round benefits of floor heating,” says a P.A.P. Heating Solutions spokesman. 

“It is efficient to install and run and is generally maintenance free as it doesn’t require cleaning or replacement of filters. 

“Floor heating is absolutely silent and is also versatile, it can be incorporated into almost any building product.

“There are floor-heating systems perfect for carpeted, tiled and polished concrete floors and many timber floors.”

P.A.P. Heating Solutions is the Australian importer, distributor and designer for ELEKTRA Heating Cables. 

The ELEKTRA DM20 Twin In-Screed Heating Cable is an “in-floor heating cable” that is installed on top of an existing floor in a cement screed or self-levelling compound of about 6-8mm thick and can be installed under many different floor surfaces that radiate heat easily, such as tiles, slate, stone, low-pile carpet and some wooden floor panels.

“The ELEKTRA DM20 is a ‘quick response’ heating system and if the room has effective thermal insulation it may be used as the primary heating system,” the spokesman says.

“It’s especially popular in bathrooms and toilets where it provides warmth underfoot and keeps towels and floors dry and free of mould.”

He says ELEKTRA DM20 is silent and invisible, has no ducts or vents, no maintenance or cleaning, is efficient and cost effective, and has individual room thermostat controls.

P.A.P. Heating Solutions, 23 Winchcombe Court, Mitchell. Call 6242 9310 or visit

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