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The Best Things In Life Are Free

They say that the best things in life are free, and although I agree with that about 91.2% of the time,  I did indeed get a wonderful reminder of that over the Easter break.  I guess the 9.8% of me believes that yes getting out into nature and spending time with family is indeed free,  but you need to fill the car (which costs you $) with fuel (which also costs $$) to be able to get to them in the first place,  or get deep into said nature.

One of life's joys is being able to go out in a boat (which cost $) fishing with my son Dwayne and 2 grand sons â€" Jet aged 7 and Mitch aged 4. Not only is this a brilliant time of the year to indulge in a little fishing and camping,  but the weather has been fantastic and so taking young gentlemen outdoors is a lot easier when you're not having to contend with the elements like wind and rain!

In the Swan Hill region we're incredibly lucky to live in the midst of 5 rivers, and on one of the longest rivers in the world - the Mighty Murray River,  which has had, and continues to have it's share of environmental struggles like black water, salinity, European carp etc.  These are truly magnificent natural resources we have here,  which allows the production of some of the finest foods in the world in our fruit & vegetable domestic and export markets and our growing nut exports further downstream.  I do believe it's important to teach our young people the importance of such brilliant rivers and how to look after themselves when around it,  and how to nurture the longevity of the river itself.  So taking my boys out on the river is such an important exercise in so many ways.  For the grandson's it was all about fun and fishing. Result of 1 hour fishing = 16 e European carp and loads of smiles and fun had by all.


The best thing about it was of course the passing on of my knowledge.  It's almost like it was the first time I realized I was the elder in the group,  and passing on my stories, teachings and rules about the river.  But if we can all pass on the knowledge we have acquired about respect for the river, the rules and enjoying the outdoors, well we might just have passed on something more valuable than we can ever imagine to future generations,  and that, my friends is truly one of life's greatest, free gifts.


Team Bonding

Being a new year Justin thought this year we should do some team bonding sessions. A good way to get us away from our desks, become closer as a team and in the end result in more productivity. What a great idea, we could go out for lunch together, go to a seminar together…

Noooo we all did a boot camp session together!

Justin asked me to run a boot camp for our team, I thought great a chance to yell at my bosses and tell them what to do. As young energetic accountants we accepted the challenge, even some of the mature accountants joined in for the fun.

On Tuesday morning 5th March I took Justin's team for a team bonding boot camp class. Bright and early (pardon the pun, it was actually pretty dark) Justin, Daniel, Ash, Andy, Bev and Rosalie joined me down at Riverside park for their first boot camp. I was immediately impressed that everyone actually turned up.

I told everyone that was not a class to see who was the fittest/best it was more about encouraging each other and having fun. We stated off with a short warm up run/walk. Well the boys all took off quickly out in front to show off who was the best. While Bev and Rosalie paced them selves and when the boys turned to come back the girls ran to the finish line and beat the boys! After stretching (getting their breaths back) for 5 minutes we moved onto the torture of 10 steps. We warmed our arms and legs up a bit more with some step ups and dips. We then paired up for the next activity, one which was meant to be a good encouraging activity. One person was in plank position while the other had to run up and down the 10 steps 3 times. The person in plank was meant to encourage the person running but as they were all out of breath for most of the activity not much encouragement was heard. It was then time to get a bit wet & dirty on the grass. I had everyone at a different station doing different exercises after so many we would swap and run to the next station. It's good to know even accountants hate burpees!!

After trying to do team encouragement activities I could see everyone was more interested in winning. So it was time to bring out some challenges… Everyone had to army crawl 100 meters the first one to the end won. I also would yell out random commands that they had to get up and do. A close finish between Andy, Ash & Daniel, however Andy was crowned the winner of that challenge. Everyone looked to be pretty exhausted so it was time to sit on our towels… and work our abs!! When everyone that wasn't asleep had warmed up their core I set another challenge. Who could hold a plank for the longest? The end came down to Andy & Ash. After 1 minute and 35 seconds Ash dropped to crown Andy the champion once again. I told Andy to keep holding and make 2 minutes but he dropped telling me that it's not about self satisfaction it's about winning!! Mmmm make us feel real good being beaten by a 60 year old! Finally the session was over and it was time to stretch. I asked everyone to give a different stretch we all had to do, not sure if just laying there was stretch?? A solid 50 minutes of boot camp and everyone was keen to get away from me.

Overall our team boot camp was a great team bonding session! A good way to do a bit of physical activity, some encouragement for each other, a few laughs and lots of sore muscles. I think it was fair to say not many were talking to me Wednesday! Although the pain was quickly forgotten, most of them are keen to do it again!

Have You Lost Your Super?

In recent changes, thousands of untouched super account balances will be handed over to the Australian Taxation Office.
The ATO is likely to receive a massive windfall if members of these lost and unclaimed accounts don't take action to recover these funds.

Previously the ATO could receive super accounts with balances of less than $200, however this amount has been increased to balances of up to $2,000. Superannuation fund providers have until May 31 to transfer these accounts across to the ATO. 

Lost super sits in funds and belongs to people who have usually changed their name, address or job and cannot be found by their fund. 

Unclaimed super is when the member meets eligibility requirements to withdraw it but the super fund cannot contact them. 

If you think you may have a lost or unclaimed super account you can do free online searches at   SuperSeeker, AUSfund or FindMySuper. 

SuperSeeker also allows you to check your current super accounts and transfer your super to the super account you want to continue using.

If you need any further information, or would like some help finding or consolidating your super please give us a call.

Australia Day


On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved together and what we can be proud of in our great nation "the land of opportunity". 

On Australia Day, almost all of Australians will attend either an organised community event, or get together with family and friends with the intention of celebrating our national day. Many more spend the public holiday relaxing with family and friends. 

What makes an Australia Day barbecue a true Aussie experience isn't just the thrill of the grill and the great Aussie produce you can put on it but everything that goes around it â€" your friends, family and the tunes the Triple J hottest 100 (kicks off around mid-day Saturday). Who will finish at number 1 this year? 2012 was Gotye and he went on to become a star around the world, will it be Perth's Tame Impala or Aussie rapper 360?.  

Who would you invite to your Aussie BBQ? 

My choices are…

  • WARNIE Maybe not the current "Pommie" version he is a bit of a toss 
  • PAUL REIFFEL: Will provide the backyard cricket umpiring
  • THE MELBOURNE VIXENS NETBALL TEAM â€"  Yeah. They are good fun...

Have a nice day and weekend. 

Everyday Hero

Herald Sun | Citylink Run for the Kids 2012

Some would say that working a 5 day week is a marathon but I say why stop on the weekends! I have recently signed myself up to do the Run for the Kids Marathon. I have 66 Days left of training before hopefully completing the run. Call me crazy, however I enjoy the challenge I will be faced with.

Last year I completed a 42km Walking/Pushing a Wheelchair Marathon which raised funds for the Swan Hill ECU bus. This year I'm upping the pace and doing my first 15km running Marathon. The Run for the Kids Marathon raises funds for the Good Friday Appeal, Royal Children's Hospital.

The Run for the Kids Marathon takes place on Sunday24th of March. I will start and end my 15km journey in the Kings Domain. During the run I will be faced with running through the Domain Tunnel, along the West Gate Freeway, over the Bolte Bridge and through the CBD.

If you would like to donate to me and help out the Royal Children's Hospital please CLICK HERE. Don't forget any donation over $2 you make is Tax deductable ;)

You Can Take The Girl Out Of The Country


Growing up in Swan Hill must have made somewhat of an impression on me as now I have made the trek back. My name is Georgia McEwan and I'm the most recent addition to the team at GMG Financial Group. I have spent the past five years in the amazing city of Melbourne studying, working and meeting lots of fabulous people. I completed my Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at La Trobe University in 2010. After working in Management Accounting for a year at a company in Melbourne, I decided I wanted to get a stronger foundation in tax. In addition to this, my CPA studies are next on the list and I'm keen to get into the first subject in a few weeks time. 

As soon as I walked through the GMG door I felt a welcoming, friendly vibe and was excited about my new prospects and opportunities here. Put straight into the 'A team' (of course) alongside Rick, Shaun, Andrew and Beth I have found my first month to be great. The Christmas Party was a perfect opportunity to get to know everyone on a more personal level and proved to be quite a night.

One of the biggest perks about coming back to Swan Hill has been moving in with Mum and Dad. With minimal expenses, food on the table and a housecleaner who knocks over the chores - life is a breeze! The sole problem I'm faced with now is deciding what car I'm going to buy myself!

I'm looking forward to being back in the community and furthering my career with GMG Financial Group.  

Banklink Notes Everywhere You Go!

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you might have seen our recent post about BankLink Notes Online.  You can use it on your desktop, on the cloud and now from mobile devices.

BankLink Notes Mobile can be accessed from your Android or Apple devices making it easier for you to complete your coding for your favourite people – us!

To get started, we simply set your BankLink account to be used online.  If you have not used BankLink Notes Online before, you will receive a username and temporary password.  You will also receive an email with a link when you have data to code.  Simply open this second email on your mobile device, save the application to your homepage (there is an option to do this down the bottom of the screen) and sign in like you would normally with Notes Online.

You can access all of your uncoded data, type narrations and send it back to us all from your mobile phone or tablet.

This application does require an internet connection and it will let you know if your connection drops out.  This is because, like BankLink Notes Online, it uses the cloud to access and send data.

If your business is utilizing mobile technology, or you have a tablet instead of a computer, this is a fantastic option for you.

If you would like further information on using BankLink Notes Mobile, please contact our office.

Merry Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Less than 3 weeks to Christmas and 4 weeks to 2013!

For kids waiting for Santa the time can't go quick enough for everyone else it may go too quick.

Christmas is a great time to catch up with family and friends, stay home and relax or go away for a well deserved holiday.  This year I am staying home after going to Melbourne for Christmas last year and then tackling the Boxing Day sales.

It is also a time of religion, decorating, parties, shopping, gifts, drinking/eating too much and backyard cricket!

As part of GMG's Christmas celebrations we have a staff Kris Kringle each year.  This involves everyone picking an envelope with a persons name inside and (anonymously) purchasing this person a gift to put under our Christmas tree.  On our last working day for the year we have a lunch together and the gifts are given out and opened.  We are then continuing our celebrations at our Christmas party.

I have passed on my wish list and hopefully there will be lots of presents under the tree – especially since I have spoilt a particular someone!!

For anyone that is working over the holiday period, especially the farmers, hopefully you can have at least Christmas day off to relax and enjoy the day.

 GMG will be closing on Friday 21st of December and reopening on Wednesday 2nd January.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year.

Mad Dogs & Old Men Go Out In The Midday Sun

Yes it is over 60's cricket . I was fortunate to team up with old friends from the University of New England and play in the Aust over 60's cricket championships in Adelaide this month.
We fielded 2 UNEX teams in divisions 3 & 4 and were competitive finishing in the top halves of each group .

The picture is of the UNEX team I played with in Division 3 ( the guy on the left in the back row was SACA umpire , it pays to keep sweet ) .  We played 4 games of 40 over's in 5 days . All games went down to the wire . Generally the batters did well, the bowlers struggled and the fielding was very average . It was a great carnival of the spirit of cricket

The skills came back and the friendships blossomed . The rehab on the knees continue


Movember the month that women dread and fans of Merv Hughes & David Boon embrace.

Movember has grown from 30 participants in 2003 to over one million in 2012 and has raised over 300 million dollars globally. The funds raised in Australia support equally the two biggest health issues men face – prostate cancer and male mental health.

This year at GMG we have a team of moustache growers and those of you who have visited the office will no doubt have seen some interesting mo's floating around. Our aim as a team is to raise $1,000 and with our total currently sitting on $150 we still have  a bit of work to do.

My own mo has been struggling to get noticed due to its bright blonde colour but I will fix that up with a bit of moustache dye this week. I will be looking rather foolish for the next two weeks so if you have some money to spare please follow the links below to donate to me or the GMG Team and make all the heckling worthwhile

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