Nursing broken hearts over loss

CARING: Enid Scott at Lake Macquarie Private Hospital in 2008. ENID was born one very hot New Year’s Day in the back bedroom of her parent’s cottage at East Maitland and died on March 12, 2017, at home. We can’t tell you the exact date of her birth because this was Enid’s closely guarded secret and we aren’t about to share it.
Nanjing Night Net

Enid was our employer, our colleague, our mentor and our friend. Collectively we have known her for 80 years.

Enid trained as a registered nurse at the Maitland Hospital and completed her midwifery certificate at Crown Street Women’s Hospital. Enid’s long association with Lake Macquarie Private Hospital (LMPH) began in 1969 when she and her then husband John Scott, now deceased, were involved in the construction of the hospital. When the doors opened in 1973 Enid was the matron, complete with white uniform and starched white veil. This was a position she held for the next 32 years. For the first 15 years she worked the dual role of ward sister and matron and because she and the family lived onsite she was on 24-hour call. Stories abound of her being called in the early hours of the morning and her arriving on the ward resplendent in uniform, veil and lipstick – standards had to be maintained.

When you applied for a position at LMPH Enid would interview you. It didn’t matter what the position was, she wanted to know that you reflected her values and that you would fit into her culture of optimal patient care. She had developed a culture that was inclusive, respectful, caring, professional and friendly. Also you had to be able to walk fast as every interview was followed by a quick tour of the hospital. Unbeknownst to the applicant one of the criteria for any position was to “keep up” with Enid.

She instilled in all of us a great sense of pride in our duties and the hospital. We all felt valued and an integral part of the team, regardless of our role.

During Enid’s time at LMPH there were significant changes. The hospital grew from being a 36-bed general surgical hospital, employing 24 staff members in 1973, to a 118-bed advanced surgical hospital with over 400 staff in 2004 when Enid stepped aside from the role of Director of Nursing.

Regardless of how “high tech” the hospital became one thing remained the same – the hospital was there for the patient, the patient was not there for the hospital. Patient safety was hugely important to Enid and if a staff member identified an area where we could improve she was totally supportive of that improvement. She was also an advocate of staff development and encouraged all staff to further their careers and be the best they could be.

One of the ways that Enid kept abreast of all things at LMPH was to do a daily round. This was usually done first thing in the morning and could take up to two hours. Not only would she visit all the patients to check their progress and spend time with those who did not have regular visitors, she would also talk to all the staff. She knew everyone’s name and a little of their personal lives. It was an opportunity for her to ensure that the hospital was being presented as she wanted it to be.

When Enid stepped down as Director of Nursing, she took on the role of marketing/community relations manager. This role allowed her to elevate one of her passions – good customer service. It also enabled her to continue to contribute in her own unique way to the culture of LMPH.

Enid resigned in May 2013 – she had worked at LMPH for 40 years. Following her retirement, Enid continued her work as the chair of the Hunter Breast Cancer Education and Support Network, organising forums for those with a breast cancer diagnosis. What an achievement.

On Australia Day, 2005, Enid was recognised for her contribution to private healthcare in the Hunter, receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia. We were so excited for her and it was justly deserved.

We have been extremely fortunate to have had Enid in our lives. She interviewed and employed each of us and we learnt valuable professional and life skills from her that we will carry with us forever.

Enid is survived by her partner John, daughter Sandra, son Martin, granddaughters Isobel and Ruby, son in law Garey, sister Fay, brother Lloyd, their families, her colleagues, her many friends and us.

We miss her and will never forget such a special person.

Vale Enid.

Amanda, Brett and Therese

Rural living with enviable connections

Suburb Snapshot Rural living: Black Hill features homes of commanding presence, with residents enjoying a life of tranquility and space.
Nanjing Night Net

Black Hillis a ruralsuburbofNewcastle. Located 26 kilometres from Newcastle’scentral business district, with easy access to the New England Highway, connections toeitherthe city or the HunterValley are inside a 40 minute drive.

Black Hill is part of theCity of NewcastleandCity of Cessnocklocal government areas and has a population of approximately 656, according to the Census 2011.

With the lure of the soon to be completed Stockland Greenhills shopping centre just a 15 minute drive and Maitland and East Maitland within easy reach, families can enjoy the best of both worlds.

LifestyleBlack Hill offers the best of rural living, boasting premium properties of grand proportions, set on tranquil acreage.

This is the best it can get when it comes to offering scale and privacy with out losing the connection to everyday amenities such as schools, shopping and access to the city.

This is an animal loveror hobby farm enthusiasts dream, with many properties large enough to cater for paddocks, sheds, orchards and more.With endless views and this really is quite a special place.

From the expertThe prestigious Black Hill area has become a sought after andrespected semi rural suburb. There are manyexecutive small acre farms and renowned equestrian facilitiesin thispeaceful and secluded location thatoffersthe advantage of beingclose to the city, schools and facilities as well as easy access to the M1.

Over the years the area was well known as a fruit growing area with many generations of these original farmers remaining in the area on larger landholdings upholding the uniqueness of this tranquil haven.

Rhonda Nyquist, PRD Hunter Valley.

Vistas: 360 degree views are a characteristic of this green suburb.

Artist’s Impression: The proposed Stockland Greenhills expansion is within easy reach for Black Hill residents.

Study reveals the health cost of the Mr Fluffy crisis

Men who have lived in a house contaminated with Mr Fluffy asbestos have two and a half times the risk of mesothelioma as those who don’t, an Australian National University health study has found.
Nanjing Night Net

The study found no extra cases of mesothelioma among women.

Mesothelioma is cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdominal cavity. Studies have shown a link between asbestos and other cancers, including lung, ovarian, laryngeal, pharyngeal, stomach and colorectal.

The mass demolition of asbestos houses in Canberra. Photo: Jay Cronan

The study also found higher rates of colorectal cancer rates in men and women who have lived in a Mr Fluffy house between 1983 and 2013 -32 per cent higher than the wider population for men and 73 per cent higher for women. But the study authors say it is unclear whether the rates of colorectal cancer are connected with the Fluffy exposure.

Prostate cancer rates were also 28 per cent higher among men who had lived in Mr Fluffy houses – but again, the result was unexpected and the authors said it is uncertain whether or not itrelates to asbestos exposure.

The ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health has been studying the incidence of mesothelioma and other cancers among people who have lived in a house that contained the loose-fill asbestos used as insulation. The material was pumped into the ceilings of at least 1023 homes by a contractor known colloquially as Mr Fluffy during the 1970s.

It was removed during a commonwealth clean-up at the end of the 1990s but the ACT government is now demolishing all of the homes after it was discovered in 2013 that the clean-up had failed to remove fibres from wall cavities, sub-floors and other parts of the homes.

The study linked Medicare data, death registrations and the Australian Cancer Database to compare numbers of mesothelioma cases in people who have lived in a Mr Fluffy house with the wider population.

The final health report on asbestos exposure shows men who have lived in a Fluffy home in Canberra are two and a half times more likely to get mesothelioma. Photo: Rohan Thomson

It covered November 1983 to December 2013, with about 17,000 people having lived in a Mr Fluffy house in Canberra, or 1.7 per cent of the population.

In total, 285 ACT residents or former residents had been diagnosed with mesothelioma over the time – ofwhich seven had lived in a Mr Fluffy house.

It found four more cases of mesothelioma than expected among men who had lived in a Mr Fluffy house. There were no cases of mesothelioma among women who had lived in a Mr Fluffy house.

Chief investigator Associate Professor Martyn Kirk said the higher rates of mesothelioma among men could be due to men doing more of the repairs or renovations.

“It may be that men were more often entering the roof space of their house, where there was loose-fill asbestos, or making renovations to their house,” he said.

The higher rates of colorectal and prostate cancer might not be due to asbestos exposure.

“These results were somewhat unexpected and may be due to unavoidable limitations in the design of the study, rather than exposure to loose-fill asbestos insulation,” he said.

The study said the association between living in a Mr Fluffy house and mesothelioma was much weaker than through work exposure to asbestos.

Art of reconstruction

In the frame: Plastic surgeon Dr Gary Avery at his surgery in Newcastle, which will host an art exhibition in August. Picture: Jonathan Carroll. A swag of talented Hunter artists have found an unlikely new champion in local plastic surgeon Dr Gary Avery.
Nanjing Night Net

The Sydney-raised father of three, an experiencedplastic surgeon who has worked in the region for the past five years in the public and private health system, has set up a solo practice in the Union Steam Ship building inWatt Street.

When Dr Avery and his clinical psychologistwife Samantha refurbished the historic buildings interiors, they decided to selecta handful of local artists to exhibit their works free of charge.

At its first exhibition on August 24, Avery Plastic Surgery will have hung artworks ranging in price from $200 to $2500 and collectively valued at up to $30,000.

Artists now in residence are contemporary astract painter Donna Buck, multi-disciplinary artist Gavin Vitullo, printmaker Alison Pateman, landscape artist Shelagh Lummis, multidisciplinary artist Sandy Lee and artist and abstract artist and GP Gordon Snow.

“It fits with us and what we want the practice to be, it’s about community,” says Dr Avery, whose professional memberships include the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, of the art focus.

Dr Avery obtained a pharmacy degree and was studying medicine when he was working at Concord Hospital in the burns unit.

“I found it quite confronting and thought if it was bad for me on the ‘good’ end of things then it must have been bad for the patients,” he says of that time, which informed his decision to undertake specialist plastic training after completing his medical degree.

Dr Avery performs skin cancer removal surgery, reconstructive procedures such as breast reconstruction and hand surgery, alongside a host of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.

He and staff aim to create a warm, comfortable and safe environment for clients who often feel vulnerable upon stepping into a surgery.

“It’s one of the reasons I don’t have desk, I consult at a round table and we make decisions together, because it’s not my decision, it’s ours,” Dr Avery says.

Making a new name for herself

MASK OFF: Newcastle’s Demi Mitchell feels her new indie rock direction better represents the artist she has become. Picture: Lazy Bones THERE’S been a wealth of changes happening lately in the career of Maitland-raised songstress Demi Mitchell.
Nanjing Night Net

For starters Mitchell hasstepped outfrom behind her well-established moniker De’May to perform under her real name.

Stylistically, the changes are even greater. She’s swapped her acoustic guitar for amplification, her flowing bohemian dresses for a leather jacket, her alt-country Americana sound for indie rock.

It’s all about getting closer to the woman and the artist Mitchell is right now.

“I put the last recordout in 2014 and I just feel my style has changed a bit since then,” Mitchell says.

“We were doing the more alt-country Americana folk thing then and I feel like it’s gotten a bit rockier and more of aPJ Harvey vibe.

“I wanted to move away from the alt-country scene.

“Before I didn’t use my name because I wasn’t totally sure on what I wanted my sound to be and now I feel comfortablewith it.It felt normal to use my name.”

Beach Street 6 on Saturday at the Lass O’Gowrie will be Mitchell’s first public performance using her own name and her new backing band of Brennan Fell (bass), Jason Lowe (slide guitar) andAlex Quayle (drums).

Mitchell admits ditching De’May is like removing a mask.

De’May has established a strong following in the alt-country scene and she has supported the likes of Ella Hooper, Dustin Tebbutt, Bob Evans and Nadia Reid.

De’May – Dancing In The Sand“It was a difficult decision,” she says.“I asked a lot of friends about it and they’ve said,‘you’ve been using that name for a while, so why would you change it?’

“I guess I’m a little compulsive about that and I wanted to change it and I’m hoping it works out. It’s all bit of a gamble.”

Demi MitchellIf We Don’t Leave Now in 2014 throughindie label Laughing Outlaw.

The mix of alt-country, folk and bluesand worldly lyrics about unsuccessfullyrunning from broken loveoverseas [Chelsea Bridge]belied her 22 years.

The long-awaited follow-up was recorded in Melbourne in April and is currently being mixed and mastered for a springtime release.

Mitchell says listeners can expect more grunt and less darkness as she steps out front of herown rock’n’roll band.

“Solo can take on the more folkie vibe and I always get self-conscious that it gets a little too dark,” she says.“I feel like playing with a band lifts it up and gives it more attitude, rather than coming off as sad.”

The band life is not completely foreign to Mitchell. She’s enjoyed the accompaniment of her partner James Thomson’s band The Strange Pilgrims at various shows.

LEATHER BOUND: Demi Mitchell performing as De’May last year at Elsewhere: The Rooftop. Picture: Perry Duffin

She has also performed with Thomson as a duet,including a moody display at last year’s Elsewhere: The Rooftop at the Watt Street multi-storey car park in Newcastle.

Yet havingher own dedicated bandmates is a new experience.

On Monday Mitchell’snew four-piece kicked off rehearsals for Saturday’s unveiling.

“It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for years and I just had to bite the bullet and do it,” Mitchell says.

Mitchell hasn’t completely shaken off her alt-country past. Next week she will perform alongside the Newcastle-raised Sydney-based Golden Guitar nomineeKatie Brianna and Melbourne’s Jemma Nicole, described as Australia’s new queen of dark country.

The showcase known as theFemme Fatale special will be Newcastle’s first edition of Sydney’s popular Ramblin’ Nights series, which regularly presents alt-country and blues acts.It’ll serve as an unofficialfarewell to De’May.

“I’ve played with Katie and Jemma a few times before and they’re both really good friends of mine I’ve met through that scene,” Mitchell says.

“We actually booked those gigs when I was still using De’May and hadn’t decided to change it, so it’s kind of the last few ones of that vibe.”

Demi Mitchell performs withKatie Brianna and Jemma Nicole atRamblin’ Nights–Femme Fataleat the Cambridge Hotel on Thursday, June 29.

Dream theatre

INSPIRED: Rob Mills hopes his latest role in the UK production of Puttin On The Ritz leads to work on London’s West End.HAVING fought for, and successfully achieved, musical credibility, Rob Mills has his sights set on conquering London’s acclaimed West End theatre scene.
Nanjing Night Net

It’s a declaration a decadeago that would have had readers choking on their morning cornflakes in disbelief at its audacity.

This is man who was oncefamous for being the “cheeky bad boy”ofthe inaugural Australian Idol and for having a flingwith Paris Hilton.

In recent years Mills, who turned 35 on Thursday, has matured and channelled his singing, dancing and acting talent into becominga star of Australian musical theatre.

He’s appeared in Grease, Hair, Wicked, Ghost The Musical and in July he will play the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar. Mills has also began preparing for perhapshis most important role yet,the UK production of Puttin On The Ritz.

Mills will be the only Australian performerin the song and dance production that features predominately stars of the West End and is produced by Englishman David King.

Puttin On The Ritz features the music ofIrving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin and takes the audience to the golden era of Hollywood where swing music and Fred Astaire loomed large.

Securing a role in Puttin On The Ritz, as well as a series of meetings with West End theatre companies, has convinced Mills to follow his dreams and potentially move to London in the near future.

“With touring with this company there might be some work for me in the UK at the end of the year or early next year,” Mills says.“I’m thinking about making the move. It’s all thoughts in my brain at the moment, but maybe. I don’t see why not.

Rob MillsRob Mills Is Surprisingly Good, full self-deprecating humour.

“I’ve tried to be a sponge and maybe it was trying to shakeoff the Idol tag and being a rapscallionboy from the burbs has made me want to work harder and prove people wrong and prove it to myself,” he says.

WILD DAYS: Rob Mills during his brief dalliance with Paris Hilton in 2003.

Mills’ acting career is also flourishing. Earlier this year he debuted on TV soap opera Neighbours as school teacher Finn Kelly. It’s a role Mills has been able to relate to as he regularly conducts workshops in schools, talking to studentsabout theatre.

“I did drama all through high school, but I didn’t do year 12 drama because I was too scared of what other people would think of me,” he says.

“If I could go back and tell that kid, little Rob, ‘everyone is going to have an opinion about you, so just do what you want to do’ and I would have definitely pursued drama through year 12, knowing what I know now.”

Luckily, says Mills, Australia has progressedsince his teenage years and it’s more socially acceptable forboys to study the dramatic arts.

“You learn so many great lessons through acting games and you learn emotional techniques and empathy and things that will make you a better person,” he says.“I know I’ve become a more well-rounded person after doing a lot more acting.”

Puttin On The Ritz comes to Wests New Lambton on September 24.

Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery is state of the artPHOTOS

Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery is state of the art | PHOTOS Fine Art: Erika Sorby with her portrait of Sonia Hornery and Ollie the greyhound.
Nanjing Night Net

Sonia Hornery with Ollie the greyhound, also known as Knight Sprite.

Erika’s portrait of Sonia Hornery in the making.

Erika’s portrait of Sonia Hornery in the making.

Erika and her injured shoulder.

Erika’s art studio.

Erika Sorby with an art award she won.

TweetFacebookRockthe HouseThey said you’d never get anywhere, Well they don’t care and it’s just not fair, That you know, and I know better.

Craig “Rosie” Rosevear was The Screaming Jets’ drummer.

You’re thinking what I’m thinking, aren’t you?That those are classic lyrics from thatclassic Newcastle band,The Screaming Jets.

Craig “Rosie”Rosevear was the band’s drummer from1993 to 2000.

As Craig knows, there’s a bit of pressure when performing at a live gig.

So crossing over from the world of rock to the world of property auctions isn’t an entirelyforeign experience.

There are some differences. For example, girls don’t throw their bras at him during an auction. And the after-parties aren’t as hardcore.

Craig has dubbed his auction style “rocktioneering”.

“The auctioneer is like the orchestrator, extracting bids, drawing the most out of buyers, creating enthusiasm and keeping the energy up around the property,”he said.

“I‘ve always had a love of people and property and was fortunate enough to have invested my Screaming Jets royalties into property.”

Craigwill participate in the Real Estate of NSW’s Novice Auctioneer Competition at Charlestown Bowling Club on July 5.

The auctioneers pick an item of their choice to auction.

Craig will draw on his rockheritage by auctioning a“rock-star experience” with The Screaming Jets and a personal drum lessonwith himself.

Proceeds go tothe McGrath Foundation.

Opportunity grows from city’s ‘starfish’ projects

The Starfish and the Spider is a great book by Ori Bafram. It’s a bit old now but presents a solid argument about the strength of decentralised systems or organisations, led by people we might call catalysts, where the network has strength, small businesses have power, knowledge is shared and everyone wants to contribute.
Nanjing Night Net

SHIFTING SAND: The Hunter is seeing the power of projects where there are many thinking parts, shared roles and regular renewal.

The analogy is that if you cut off a spider’s head, it dies. But a starfish has a ‘distributed neural system’. Ifyou cut off one part, it grows a new one. More importantly, each point of the starfish can take the lead depending on what it needs to do at that time.

OK,it’s a kitsch analogy but in the Hunter we can see the power of ‘starfish’ projects where there are many thinking parts, shared roles and regular change and renewal.

We see it most clearly through the work of the Hunter Innovation Project (HIP), which has been led by committed people in Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Now and Hunter DiGiT and supported by a funding impetus from the State Government. HIP itself is focused on the Newcastle city centre with smart city infrastructure, a planned digital precinct and an innovation hub.

However, HIP has now grown some new ‘legs’, starfish style, with enthusiastic collaboration through the Hunter Innovation Ecosystem Project, the University’s I2N network of innovation hubs and new inner-city campus space. These projects have attracted involvement from over 30 regional organisations and from representatives of national and global corporations.

Another opportunity for collaboration has been announced with the state providing funding to Newcastle Now for a project that aims to install interactive creative features in night-time trouble spots. This project is a collaboration between Newcastle Now, council and Hamilton Chamber with considerable support in its planning by the NSW Police.

Newcastle Now invests in research, attempting to adapt the lessons learned elsewhere to the Newcastle context. We made a three-year investment in a university research project mapping the region’s creative industries. We then began to learn about the global ‘smart cities’ movement and the potential of new technologies to make cities more liveable and sustainable. This led to a pilot project in Darby Street. It provided a network of street sensors that has allowed us to learn about the potential of smart city technologies to help business be more efficient and profitable. It is now being absorbed into the broader smart cities strategy that council is developing.

Through these two projects we came to understand more about how modern cities are changing, and more about how we, as a Business Improvement Association, need to constantly review our priorities to leverage the big projects and their energies for the benefit of our members – as one player within a bigger team.

Like all periods of change there can be conflicting goals, but if we can work together and redirect our long-standing programs to take advantage of opportunities, the city and region can go a long way.

It’s not just that ‘many hands make light work’, it’s also that enthusiasm is greatest when people feel they are making a difference. And that happens best when by helping to meet the goals of the many, they can also achieve their own purpose.

The starfish has more going for it than you see at first glance.

Edward Duc is executive chairperson for Newcastle Now Business Improvement Association

Former Ipswich mayor charged with extortion

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale is facing three charges, including one count of extortion, after he was arrested by the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Pisasale, 65, was arrested by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission and taken to the Brisbane watchhouse on Tuesday where he was formally charged.

He willfront the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning after being remanded in custody overnight.

It follows an eventful fortnight for MrPisasale,who resigned as mayor after 13 years ata June 6 press conference held ata local hospital while he was clad in a dressing gown and red-and-white pyjamas.

He willfront the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning after being remanded in custody overnight.

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale, wearing a hospital gown and pyjamas, announces his resignation. Photo: 7 News

It follows an eventful fortnight for MrPisasale,who resigned as mayor after 13 years ata June 6 press conference held ata local hospital while he was clad in a dressing gown and red-and-white pyjamas.

MrPisasaletold reporters he had succumbed to multiple sclerosis, a disease from which he had suffered since 1998.

The next day it was revealed Mr Pisasalehad been stopped by Australian Federal Police after he was found carrying a suitcase with $50,000 in cash through Melbourne Airport in May.

Mr Pisasale has told associates that he was merely acting as a courier as a favour for his good friend Brisbane barrister Sam Di Carlo.

He told friends he was in Melbourne visiting a developer when the colourful barrister, a former police officer, asked him to collect a cash payment from a Victorian client as it was needed urgently to settle a law case being run by Mr Di Carlo in Brisbane.

Just why the federal police had Mr Pisasale under surveillance that day is not clear, but they later executed search warrants on his home and office.

The popular mayor, who has run Ipswich council since 2004, denied that the police raid had anything to do with his resignation.

“I would be astonished if it is not legit,” Mr Di Carlo previously told Fairfax Media about the $50,000 in cash.

“I regard him as a very good mayor, a true friend, and honest … the idea that he would take a bribe is ridiculous and I am so sad that he has resigned.”

“Mr Ipswich” Paul Pisasale. Photo: Chris Hyde

Following his arrest, a CCC spokesman said the charges had “nothing to do with the fifty grand” found on MrPisasaleat Melbourne Airport nor OperationBelcarra, the organisation’s investigation into the 2016 local elections.

“The 65-year-old Ipswich man charged today by the CCC has been remanded in custody and is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow [June 21],” a statement from the CCC read.

Asked whether anyone else could become the subject of CCC action, the spokesman said: “I can’t say at this stage. The investigation remains ongoing.”

Ipswich City Council learnt about the arrest on Tuesday afternoon.

Council chief executive Jim Lindsay said the charges related solely to the allegedpersonalmisconduct of Mr Pisasale.

“I’m disappointed to hear through the media of today’s developments,” he said.

“Many council staff have worked closely with Mr Pisasale over a number of years, and I can assure everyone that there are deep feelings of disappointment that their formermayor has been arrested.

“Council business, however, must operate as normal.

“I’m confident the resilience of our dedicated workforce will continue to offer quality service to the people of Ipswich.

“This has always been the case, and has continued to be the case since the resignation of theformermayor on June 6.

“This won’t change tomorrow, nor into the future.”

Mr Pisasale was known as “Mr Ipswich” after becoming one of the city’s most readily identifiable figures.

He was first elected as an Ipswich councillor in 1991 and became Ipswich’s independent mayor in 2004.

Under parliamentary privilege last week, independent state MPRob Pyne levelled serious allegations of corruption and misconductagainst Mr Pisasale and other senior Ipswich council members.

He tabled a four-page unattributed document in Queensland Parliament.

Which 10 consumer brands influence Australians the most?

If you had to list the brands with which you interacted in the past 24 hours, what would appear?
Nanjing Night Net

Google? Probably.

Facebook? Almost definitely.

And you probably used an Apple or Microsoft device to access both of the above, all while hooked up to Telstra broadband.

Sound about right?

It should, considering these brands are five of the 10 most influential in Australia.

And while it might not be sexy, it’s not surprising that Bunnings also makes it into the top 10.

The ranking comes from the Ipsos-led study into the nation’s most influential consumer brands, now in its sixth year.

Polling 2000 Australians, the study measures a brand’s influence according to five factors: leading edge, engagement, trustworthiness, citizenship and presence.

The top 10 were selected from a list of market-leading overseas and local brands.

“In the digital world of today brands have a power to perform a role above and beyond providing just one service or product,” said Gillian O’Sullivan, managing director of Ipsos marketing, Australia & New Zealand.

“Technology-focused companies are rising further and further up the rankings, with eight out of the top 10 brands in Australia being technology-focused companies … of course with a couple of exceptions.”

10: BunningsAmid the tech giants on the list, Bunnings Warehouse sticks out with its bricks and mortar presence and a business model which continues to shun the online marketplace.

“The strength of Bunnings as a brand surprises me every year,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

“It’s not a very sexy brand, but it has consistently done the same thing very well year in, year out. One of the questions we ask is, ‘Is there an attribute of this brand I would be willing to defend?’ Bunnings has always done well on that dimension. That’s a great measure of the strength of a brand.”

9: TelstraTelstra has appeared in the top 10 every year for the past four years –and for one reason.

“You can’t escape Telstra. And a brand that has strong presence like Telstra is seen to lead competitors.”

Telstra’s influence has been further cemented with the roll-out of the NBN, for which it is delivering services to around half of all connected homes.

While the telco ranked at No.7 for Gen X and Baby Boomers, it failed to rate for millennials in their own top 10.

8: YouTubeYouTube’s influence is linked to its ability to foster “emotional engagement” among Australians.

Ms O’Sullivan saidthe platform succeeds with its strong branding and dominance as the “go-to place” for everything from hard-hitting news, to entertainment and music.

7: AppleWhile brands have always been influential in their own right, globalisation has blurred the boundaries of who brands influence and how.

“From a consumer perspective we used to only see brands operating in one or two categories. Now we see brands able to extend beyond the category in which they originated,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

Ipsos defined Apple as such a brand, deeming it “the trendsetter brand”.

6: eBayeBay stood out among Australian consumers for “changing behaviour”. As the original one-to-one global trader it was through eBay that many Australians first began shopping online.

MsO’Sullivansaid it was evidence that brands creating new ways of doing things have great influence.

5: ColesOne of the three local brands to make it into the rankings, Coles leads all other Australian supermarkets in understanding consumer needs. Its success comes despite the constant threat from German discount giant Aldi.

However Coles will be keeping a close eye on the US high-end grocer Whole Foods, bought this week by Amazon, which is set to start trading in Australia from next year.

4: PayPalThis year was the first Ipsosincluded PayPal in the survey. So it came as a surprise when it landed at No.4.

“Our hunch was that PayPal was a strong brand. But to land at No.4 was a surprise.”

According to the study, PayPal is the most trusted brand in Australia.

3: MicrosoftMicrosoft has more or less maintained its position in the Ipsosstudy over the past four years.

According to the surveyed Australians, it’s considered to have “unwavering importance” in the lives of consumers.

2: FacebookOne of the biggest changes from 2016 was that Microsoft and Facebook swapped places, which Ms O’Sullivan may reflect “where things are headed”.

“Facebook has definitely moved up the ranks the last few years, that’s no surprise. We see Facebook being a really strong brand among every generation … it’s just as relevant to grandmothers as it is to millennials.”

1: GoogleA brand is surely doing something right when its very name becomes a verb.

And so for the fourth year in a row Google has been declared the most influential brand –in Australia, across the globe and among all generational groups.

According to the survey results, among Australian consumers it leads in innovation, originality and reliability.