Millennials as customers

Born between 1980 and the early 2000s, Millennials see themselves as being  tolerant, curious, positive, sharing, connected, flexible, innovative generation.

Millennials are well educated and see themselves as tolerant, curious, positive, sharing, connected, flexible and innovative.By 2025 will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce.

They are true to themselves and are the most-educated  generation. In 2011, 52 per cent of young adults (18 to 34 years) had a non-school qualification and 26 per cent held a bachelor degree or higher qualification. Go back 35 years to 1976 and only 30 per cent in the same age group had a non-school qualification and just 5 per cent held a bachelor degree or higher qualification.

Recent events, globalisation and happiness!

With experience of the world that goes back 40 years, the big trends and events that have helped shaped Millennials include the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the launch of Facebook, the dot.com bust, the 2008 global recession and Barack Obama’s election. The Black Saturday bushfires, Global Financial Crisis and Queensland floods weighed heavily on Australian Millennials.

Climate change is the top problem facing society in the next 20 years according to 300 Millennials interviewed in Australia for the Deloitte Millennial Innovation Survey.

Despite the threat of terrorism, natural disasters, economic catastrophes and climate change, 84 per cent of Australian Millennial respondents to the Viacom survey were happy (global average: 87 per cent). Nevertheless, 35 per cent were stressed (global average: 33 per cent).

Opinions on business

The Mind the Gaps Deloitte Millennial survey, which interviewed 7800 Millennials from 29 countries including Australia, showed Millennial respondents thought businesses needed to pay equal attention to people as they do to products and profits.

Seventy-five per cent thought businesses were too fixated on their own agendas and should be more focused on improving society.
The Deloitte Millennial Innovation Survey of 4800 people in 16 “markets” (covering at least 18 countries), provided more information on Australians: 70 per cent thought employee satisfaction was very important (just less than financial performance). Only 58 per cent thought their company helped society in some way or that they worked for an innovative company.

Working with Millennials

Millennials often have a broader perspective about supervisor-subordinate relationships, and want close relationships and frequent feedback from their boss. Their ideal boss is mostly a mentor (50 per cent), leader (40 per cent, confidant (30 per cent) and friend (23 per cent). The four qualities they wanted in a boss were: support (43 per cent), expertise (42 per cent), motivation (39 per cent) and fairness (38 per cent).

Millennials are optimistic and familiar with technology. They may be well placed to provide opinions on how to improve operations and marketing through technology. Like Generation X workers, they feel rewarded by work arrangements that offer more flexibility and new technology.

References

Viacom International Media Networks. ‘The next normal: an unprecedented look at Millennials worldwide’, 
http://sydney.edu.au/future-students/documents/career-advisers/events/2013/Sydney-Uni-2013-CAT-Conference-Viacom-The-Next-Normal.pdf

Rouse, M., Tech Target, “Millennials (millennial generation)” 
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/millennials-millennial-generation

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, UK, ‘Big demands and high expectations: Deloitte Millennial survey’
https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/gx-dttl-2014-millennial-survey-report.pdf#page=2, p. 2

Viacom International Media Networks. ‘The next normal: an unprecedented look at Millennials worldwide’, 
http://sydney.edu.au/future-students/documents/career-advisers/events/2013/Sydney-Uni-2013-CAT-Conference-Viacom-The-Next-Normal.pdf#page=6, p.6

Shuey, J., Business 2 Community “The digital generation: Millennials and social networking” 
http://www.business2community.com/social-media/digital-generation-millennials-social-networking-0737416

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Young adults: Then and Now
http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features40April+2013

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, UK. 2013, ‘Millennial Innovation Survey’
http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/dttl-millennial-innovation-survey.pdf#page=6, p. 6

Pew Research Center, Taylor, P. and Keeter, S. Eds. (February 2010) Millennials—A portrait of generation next pp. 140, 
http://www.apsc.gov.au/projects/resources/human-capital-matters/2013/human-capital-matters-9

Myers, K. & Sadaghiani, K., ‘Millennials in the workplace: A communication perspective on Millennials’ organizational relationships and performance’, Journal of Business and Psychology, vol. 25, no. 2, pages 225–238, 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2868990/

Thorne, P., ‘Wired and worldly: Engaging Gen Y learners’, Training and Development in Australia, Vol. 38, No. 6, page 16,  
http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=247696329140263;res=IELAPA

Klein, K., “How to keep millennials from getting bored and quitting“, Bloomberg Business,  
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-08-22/how-to-keep-millennial-employees-from-getting-bored-and-quitting

Cute and cuddly: our favourite pets on Instagram

Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world with around 63 per cent of households having a pet. Source ii.

It’s easier to get through a tough day when a photo or video of fluffy animals doing cute things appears on your social media feed.

Pets are big winners in the online viral stakes, sometimes making their owners moolah via corporate sponsorships, product placements and book deals — such as Grumpy Cat and Boo.

Cats are the undisputed champions and an exhibition entitled How cats took over the Internet in NYC’s Museum of the Moving Image analyses the importance of cat-related content.

Continue reading Cute and cuddly: our favourite pets on Instagram

Word of mouth still triumphs as most trusted way to advertise

Positive word of mouth consistently trumps as being more credible than other advertising methods such as newspaper advertising, online searches and mail/email marketing. A Nielsen Global survey of trust in advertising, conducted in 2013 of more than 29,000 people in 58 countries (including Australia), showed Asia-Pacific respondents were most willing to trust (85 per cent) and take action (88 per cent) based on recommendations from friends and family and opinions posted online.

Globally, people were most likely to trust recommendations from people they know, branded websites, and consumer opinions posted online, respectively.

In the Nielsen global survey, 56 per cent trust email messages they’d signed up for, and 48 per cent trusted advertisements generated by search engine results. Online video advertisements (48 per cent) and advertisements on social networks (48 per cent) have gained ground and won more trust.

US Small Business Trends and Verizon, a US communications technology, company conducted a survey of Philadelphia small business owners in 2014 in relation to word of mouth’s effectiveness and the results were almost identical (85 per cent) to a study it had conducted online in 2005 (83 per cent)v.

‘Super influencers’

Verizon states that social media is on the rise as a “word of mouth” medium. For example, it is common for people to request local business recommendations from their friends on Facebook.

Marketing agencies have recognised that word of mouth is a critical element in promoting their clients, so they work with “super influencers”, who are available for hire. Unlike using celebrities, whose advertisements only resonated with 12 per cent of global consumers, “super influencers” are everyday people who have large social networks, or are bloggers with thousands of readers.

For example, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service worked with Social Soup, an agency that found 750 30-54 year olds who were “well connected, online and offline and had not donated in the past five years”. They were family and community-minded, worked or lived near a blood donation centre and had a high-level of persuasion in their social and work environments. They shared their experience online via Facebook and Twitter, explaining why they made the decision to donate, and created 300 online reviews, with most giving a 4.4 star rating out of 5.

How to create positive word of mouth

Research shows that when creating online word of mouth, a company should design its information so it’s easy for consumers to forward to friends. Firstly, it must be useful, accurate and important. Secondly, it should be trustworthy, credible and reliable. Ultimately, consumers like interesting information from a credible source, which has the most chance of triggering a ripple or viral effect.

Pinterest is good for displaying visual products or services (interiors, hairdressing or nail design), whereas Yelp! is for customers to rate businesses and write reviews. LinkedIn has a search function for finding services.

Away from the online world, small business owners should focus on building rapport and exceptional interaction with customers by providing a personalised approach. Reliability and professionalism create positive experiences. Unfortunately, if things go wrong, consumers are more likely to talk about your business, irrespective of the quality of your product, and bad news spreads fast.

Window safety: locks save toddlers

The window must either have a robust screen or the window opening must be restricted to 125mm. The screen or device used must be able to 'resist an outward horizontal action of 250 N' (Source: https://www.awa.org.au/documents/item/75

Nearly one child falls out of a window every week in Australia. New regulations, guidelines and security devices can keep preschoolers out of trouble.

About 50 children fall out of windows and off balconies every year. To help prevent these incidents, NSW Health is running an education campaign, Kids don’t fly.

The problem is expected to increase as more than half of NSW’s population is expected to live in strata schemes by 2030.

Toddlers aged between one and four years-old are most at risk because they are curious and agile, but can’t understand the danger. Falls usually happen in the child’s home, during spring and summer, when families leave windows permanently open.

New buildings: Building code changes

The Australian Building Codes Board introduced new provisions to the Building Code of Australia (BCA2013). These require that all bedroom windows where the fall height is 2m or greater are with fitted safety devices ‘where the lowest level of the window opening is less than 1.7m above the floor’. In such a case the window must either have a robust screen or the window opening must be restricted to 125mm. The screen or device used must be able to ‘resist an outward horizontal action of 250 Newtons’. These are the minimum requirements, and each state and territory can legislate to include more safety measures, so refer to your state or territory authority.

What about existing buildings?

The changes to the building code will result in safer environments for Australian children as new buildings are completed. However, the changes don’t have an impact on the existing residential housing stock in Australia.

With much of the concern focussed on child window safety in multistorey strata buildings, the NSW Office of Fair Trading has amended the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 (Section 64A(1)). The changes are outlined in the NSW Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2010 (Part 9, clause 31). They require owners’ corporations to install safety devices generally on all openable windows that pose a safety risk to young children by 13 March 2018 or else fines could apply. Residents can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for orders for the owners’ corporation to take action.

If you live in a strata unit in NSW, safety devices should be retrospectively fitted to openable windows when the lowest edge is less than 1.7metres above the internal floor level, and when the drop from the internal floor level to the external surface beneath the window is two metres or more.

In NSW strata units, the windows will not have to be locked permanently in one position: for example, if there are no children present, the windows can be left wide open. If the safety device can be removed, overridden or unlocked, it must have a child-resistant release mechanism. Like the Building Code requirements, the safety device must be able to resist an outward horizontal action of 250 Newtons.

If you own or live in an apartment in a strata building in NSW, you can ask the owners’ corporation when it plans to install safety devices. If you want to install devices earlier, you must inform the owners’ corporation and make sure the devices are correctly installed and are in keeping with the building’s overall appearance. You are liable for any damage caused to common property during the installation.

If you’re not in a strata unit but you want to protect kids from window falls, you can still install safety devices as an owner-resident, landlord or tenant. Tenants need to get written permission from the landlord to install safety devices, and they must discuss and negotiate who will pay for it, and what will happen to the safety device once the tenancy ends. Landlords in NSW cannot refuse permission unless they have a good reason.

Tenants, landlords and owners’ corporations in other states and territories should refer to information provided by the relevant state or territory authority.

Window safety devices and strategies

One important window safety strategy is behaviour modification: teach children not to climb up windows or press hard against the glass.

Precautionary measures are also important. Place beds away from windows and don’t use lightweight furniture in a room where it can be stacked beneath a window when you’re not watching.

Check that older window frames can support the weight of a child leaning against them.

There are four common types of safety devices available on the market: grilles, guards and mesh; safety nets; window restrictors and window locks. In NSW, there is not a prescribed list of acceptable safety devices in the regulations due to the large variety of window designs.

  • Grilles, guards and mesh: Often metal bars or mesh attached to the window frame. These allow windows to be opened, while still providing protection. In an emergency adults can quickly remove these. Suitable for most common window types including single and double hung sash windows, sliding windows, casement windows and awning and hopper windows.
  • Safety nets: A safety net attached to the window frame. Adults can remove netting in an emergency. Suitable for single and double hung sash windows and sliding windows.
  • Window restrictors: These restrict the window being opened too far. In an emergency the restrictor can be removed by unlocking. Suitable for most common window types including single and double hung sash windows, sliding windows, casement windows and awning and hopper windows.
  • Window locks: Key operated window locks can be installed to limit the window opening. They can be unlocked for normal window operation in an emergency. Suitable for single and double hung sash windows and sliding windows.

If you’re not sure what safety device to use, contact a qualified window safety expert.

6 tips on how to hire the best removalists

Removalists do not, by law, need to provide insurance for your goods during removal.

When you’re moving home, starting off on the right foot is easier when you find a competent removalist. Here are our tips:

1. Compare services by asking around and checking customer reviews online.

Ask family and friends for recommendations and look at quote comparison websites, such as Find A Mover.com.au and Compare Quotes.

2. Try to use a removalist who has been accredited by the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA).

Removalists who are accredited by AFRA have been trained to meet the highest standards, so they should know how to use equipment, pack items correctly, and know about the latest legal and industrial changes. Australian law doesn’t require removalists to hold any type of insurance to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your belongings if they are damaged. However, AFRA members may be required to have public liability insurance, third party property and motor vehicle insurance and Carriers Legal Liability Insurance. Look at the Find A Removalist website to find any of AFRA’s 350 accredited members, from one-truck removalists to multinational companies.

3. Ask the right questions to calculate the total cost of the move.

Ask how long they think it will take to move all your belongings and whether they charge a flat rate or by the hour. Where do they count the journey as beginning and ending? Find out if there are extra costs if there are delays or storage is needed. Be clear about everything that is included in the cost.

4. Get a written quote. Be honest and itemise everything that could potentially affect the cost.

Use an inventory list to calculate how many boxes you’ll need. Let the removalist know how many stairs there are at either location, and whether there is nearby parking or whether they need to carry the goods a long distance. How far is it to the nearest elevator? Are any pieces wider than a door frame? How many large and heavy items do you have? Being clear from the beginning can help reduce the chance of incurring extra costs and it’s a good idea to get all charges in writing.

5. Check the contract and make sure it contains: the pickup and delivery address; dates and times of move; household inventory of goods being moved and details of insurance for any loss or damage.

Read the terms and conditions included in the contract carefully and look for hidden costs. Fair Trading NSW recommends avoiding pre-paying and providing credit card details beforehand in case you change your mind or decide to go with another removalist.

6. Consider getting insurance to cover household goods being damaged while in transit.

Items in transit during permanent removal from your home or which are being kept in a storage facility will not be covered by your home and contents insurance policy or removalist. While AFRA-accredited removalists must have Public Liability Insurance (and other insurances as noted above) this will not protect your property should it be damaged during the move. You should consider taking out separate transit and storage insurance to protect your belongings while being relocated and/or housed in a storage facility for any length of time.

5 cute cars you can’t help but love

They’re iconic and owners adore them.

We take a look at unusual cars that broke the mould, creating startling new choices for car buyers.

Goggomobil DART
Groovy baby! … the Goggomobil DART

1. Goggomobil DART

About 700 curvaceous Goggomobil DART sport cars were made by Bill Buckle of Buckle Motors in Sydney between 1957 and 1961. Buckle owned the Australian production licence for Bavaria’s Goggomobil line-up of the van, salon and coupé but had the sporty DART designed himself. To minimise Australian import taxes, only the chassis were imported from West Germany and the bodies of the sports car versions were made of dent-proof Australian-produced fibreglass, instead of steel bodies of the German versions. Notably, they didn’t have any doors or roofs, and were difficult to squeeze in and out of. They sold at about half the price of the basic Holden (A£622 compared with A£1110) and were much cheaper than other new cars here. A total of 5000 of all Goggomobil versions were made in Australia but few survived.

The iconic Mini.
The small but mighty Mini

2. Mini 1961

It was the Mini-Minor that spelled the death of Goggomobil in Australia as it came in at a similar price point but had twice the engine cylinder count. The British Motor Corporation’s 1960s icon was developed in response to the 1956 Suez Canal Crisis, which caused a fuel shortage and petrol rationing, and spiked demand for small, low-fuel consumption cars. Called the Morris 850, it had an 850cc engine and was made here in 1961. Later local versions had wind-up windows, which were an improvement on its contemporary UK version with sliding windows. About 200,000 Minis were made in Sydney between 1961 and 1978.

Love Bug
Herbie the Love Bug

3. Volkswagen Beetle 1938

The Love Bug was designed in response to Adolf Hitler’s requirement for a mass-produced, affordable car to transport families speedily around the new autobahn road networks in Germany. The engineering was finished by Ferdinand Porsche in 1938. There were a lot of similarities with another car, the Czech Tatra, which successfully sued in 1969 for patent infringements. It is claimed to be the most-manufactured model of a single platform ever made, with more than 21.5 million Beetles rolling off the production line. The last was made in Mexico in 2003. It was imported into Australia in 1953, with Volkswagen Australia making body panels here by 1960. The company withdrew local production in 1976.

Nissan Cube
Tonka vibes … the Nissan Cube

4. Nissan Cube 1998

Looking like a mini-Hummer, this petite multi-purpose car is sold primarily as a used-car import in Australia. The boxy design means you can throw in your golf clubs, buggy and all, without needing to collapse the cart. The doors open to nearly 90 degrees. It’s built on the platform of the Nissan Micra, which is sold here, and both have the same CR14DE motor and auto transmission, so you can easily get repair parts. Since 2014, the Cube is only being sold in Japan.

smart ForTwo
A tight squeeze … the smart Fortwo

5. smart Fortwo 1998

The smart Fortwo, made by Daimler AG, is a two-seater microcar and is the brainchild of Mercedes-Benz and Swiss watchmaker, Swatch. It is so compact, it can be parked perpendicular to the footpath. More than 1.7million have been sold worldwide up to early last year. They’ve been available in Australia since 2003 through Mercedes-Benz dealers, but importation was stopped in March 2015. The main problem here was it was the same price as a Toyota Corolla which was twice its size.

What’s on around Australia — October

Labour Day is celebrated in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT this month, so there’s a huge choice of sports grand finals, mardi gras parades and foodie festivals to enjoy.

The Tropical Mardi Gras, Cairns, with the party occurring over the weekend from 1 to 5 October, will try to reignite the heyday of Surfers Paradise's 'Glitter Strip'.

New South Wales

The biggest event in NSW on the Labour Day weekend is the Telstra NRL Grand Final, on 4 October, which  attracts a sell-out crowd at ANZ Stadium.

For something grittier, there’s the Deni Ute Muster, held in Deniliquin, from 2 to 3 October, for ute drivers and fans of Cold Chisel, Birds of Tokyo and Lee Kernaghan. Look for the ute on a pole, which commemorates the town’s holding of the Guinness World Record for the largest number of legally paraded utes.

Sculpture by the Sea is a popular free public art event at Bondi and Tamarama Beach. Uploaded by Tim Gillin, via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Mountain biking, kayaking and running are all part of the Upper Murray Challenge on 3 October. It’s a one-day multi-sport challenge held in the foothills west of Mt Kosciuszko that involves a 38km mountain bike ride, 26km kayak paddle and 25km run. For another triathlon challenge, try the Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie on 18 October, where competitors from around Australia can compete in an age category that includes a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run.

From 8-25 October, your tastebuds will love the Night Noodle Markets as part of the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month. Art appreciators will be dazzled by the 2km-long Bondi to Tamarama spectacle of Sculpture by the Sea from 22 October to 8 November, a free event with more than 100 artworks.

Other festivals include Parramasala: A spicy celebration of cultures, at Parramatta and Harris Park from 23 to 25 October that features Bollywood dancers and yoga.

Enjoy the noise and power of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, from 8 to 11 October, at Mount Panorama for a 1000km endurance race on the famous track.

Let the memory live again at the Cats revival, straight from London’s West End, at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, from 31 October to 22 November.

If you’re travelling to regional areas, savour the vinous extravagance of the Orange Wine Festival from 16 October to 1 November; the month-long harvest delights of the Taste Riverina Food Festival in Wagga Wagga from 1 to 31 October; or a long-table dinner, 12 feature films and a starry-night concert at the Dungog Festival from 22 to 25 October.

Victoria

The biggest day of the year in the Australian Football League is the AFL Grand Final, with 100,000 fans expected to be at Yarra Park on October 3. And the biggest news this year is that all Victorians will, for the first time, be able to celebrate with a public holiday on the eve of the grand final, when the parade of players and coaches weaves its way at noon through Melbourne CBD on October 2.

Muppets, Music and Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy will commemorate 25 years since the great puppeteer passed away, and his rare works will be screened at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image until October 11. He is best-known for his work on Sesame Street and the Muppet movies, but early efforts will be unearthed from the Henson Foundation vaults.

For the artistically minded, there’s irreverent and unconventional haute couture in Jean Paul Gaultier’s ‘From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria from 17 October to 8 February; and the Melbourne Festival from 18 to 25 October featuring international arts and culture, theatre, dance, music, films and free events. In central Victoria, do-si-do to the annual Maldon Folk Festival from October 30 to 2 November, with four days of folk music, workshops and lots of folk and bush dances.

Raise your heart rate at the Melbourne Marathon Festival on 18 October with the choice of various distances — the shortest is a 3km walk. All events end with a lap of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, featuring international competitors on a stunning racetrack at Phillip Island from 16 to 18 October, will also get your heart pumping.

Determined riders at Phillip Island. Photo by: Damir Ivka/Focal Vision. CC by 2.0.

Queensland

Join the Love Boat Launch Party on the Reef Magic II at the Tropical Mardi Gras, Cairns, with the party occurring over the weekend from 1 to 5 October.

The Gold Coast will host its first Glitter Festival from 28 September to 5 October with art and culture for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and pansexual communities. Its purpose is to reignite the heyday of Surfers Paradise’s “Glitter Strip”. The entertainment line-up includes the first Gold Coast screening of Holding the Man, and Trevor Ashley’s Liza (On an E) show.

Rev your engines for the V8 Supercars Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 from 23 to 25 October with the 300km enduro races on Saturday and Sunday. Other spectacles will be provided by 600-horsepower monster stadium trucks, imported from the US, which will jump ramps and fly 100m through the air at the same height as a two-storey building. Cold Chisel will perform popular hits such as Flame Trees and Khe Sanh on Saturday at Broadwater Parklands on 24 October.

If you need leafy ideas for your garden, head to the Brisbane International Garden Show from 8 to 11 October at Pine Rivers Park, Strathpine. Go to the free Plant Clinic for assistance and plant identification. There’s a Plant Cloak Room where you can check your plants in while you shop for more.

Western Australia

Three celebrity chefs from MasterChef Australia, Ben Milbourne, Georgia Barnes and Jessie Spiby, will give free demonstrations on how to cook their favourite recipes at the Perth Food & Wine Expo from 9 to 11 October. The festival, held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, offers up three days of gourmet food and wine and lots of free edible samples; take part in free classes on wine, cheese, beer and liqueur and check out more than 150 gourmet exhibits.

If good company while dining is more important, try the Breakfast with Elephants at Perth Zoo on 24 October. You’ll have scrambled eggs, bacon, muffin and sausages, while the elephants play soccer, music, do spray painting and trunk kisses.

See how the Governor of Western Australia lives when Government House Open Day is held on 18 October from 11am to 3pm. Bands and choirs will provide entertainment as you stroll through the house and gardens, exploring this grand heritage building.

It’s World Space Week from 7 to 10 October, and Gingin Observatory will hold a Dark Night in Toodyay, where you can peer through the telescopes at nebulae and star clusters. To get there, catch the train or drive about 85km north from Perth and stay at a B&B or bring a tent or caravan. There is also the Gravity Discovery Centre next door, which is open from 10am to 4pm.

WA Children’s Week will be celebrated from 24 October to 1 November with a free FunSafe Day at Whiteman Park on 25 October. Children’s Week Fairy Queen Ambassador, Caroline, will make an appearance and there will be more than 30 not-for-profit, community and government organisations in the Parent Expo area.

South Australia

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Ceduna Oysterfest, which runs over four days from 1 to 4 October. On Friday, head to the Ceduna Golf Club for Shuck’n Loud Live Music, with three bands playing and a lip-sync “Battle of all Battles”. The Oysterfest Parade will hit the streets on Saturday with several prizes for best float and best-dressed efforts. If you’re handy with a knife, you might take out the Fish Filleting competition. Don’t worry about missing the AFL Grand Final, as it’ll be screened at the McEvoy Marquee and Ceduna Foreshore Hotel bar. On Sunday, there will be more oyster eating and shucking competitions, a three-hour concert and a closing fireworks spectacular over Murat Bay.

For those who are getting better with age, there is the Australian Masters Games from 3 to 10 October, with about 60 sports to choose from and an expected 10,000 participants and up to a total of 1500 volunteers. You have to be at least 20-years-old to enter gymnastics events.

What the World Needs Now is Burt Bacharach who will begin his Australian tour at Adelaide Entertainment Centre on 24 October, along with other great acts during the month including KISS, Robbie Williams and Neil Diamond.

Tasmania

Enjoy rides on a steam train, petrol-engine train, miniature trains and tractor at the Annual Steam Spectacular Weekend at Pearn’s Steam World, from 31 October to 2 November. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. The museum has been run by volunteers since the 1980s and has more than 200 major items, which were collected by the Pearn family via their agricultural contracting business which has been operating in the area for more than 80 years.

Raise money for research into heart disease in the Run and Walk for your Heart in Launceston on October 4. It’s a 5km on-road run/walk, starting at Aurora Stadium at 10am. There’s a Kids’ 800m run from 9.30am. Enjoy a free healthy kick-start breakfast for all runners. Hobart will willkommen you to Oktoberfest on 24 October where you can “embrace your inner German” with Stein races, strong-woman battles, beard competitions, cow milking, eating bratwurst, oompah bands and beer.

Australian Capital Territory

Over the Labor Day weekend, sample a “signature dish” matched with local wines for $20 for savoury fare and $15 for desserts, at the Tradies Murrumbateman Moving Feast on 3 to 4 October. Murrumbateman is about 30 minutes’ drive from Canberra.

The annual Scott Australian 24 hour Mountain Bike Championships is on 10 to 11 October at Stromlo Forest Park, which will include a solo 24-hour championship run. Solo riders can enter an age-based section for the title of Australian national champion. Age-based team sections (the average age of all riders in your team) are calculated in a way to encourage families to take part together.

Pas de chat your way to the Canberra Theatre Centre to see Bolshoi Theatre soloist Gediminas Taranda star among 40 dancers in the Imperial Russian Ballet Company’s Swan Lake on 21 to22 October.

Northern Territory

Enjoy an intimate performance by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, led by Richard Tognetti, for 380 people at Ayers Rock Resort on 30 and 31 October. William Barton will be a special guest, playing didgeridoo.

For glorious landscape digital photography, take a look at Aboriginal artist Leon Blignaut’s exhibition, Northern Territory Landscapes, from 5 to 31 October at Eco House, George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. Leon’s photos were taken when he travelled with his brother Bob on a motorbike through the outback and desert. Admission is free from 9am to 3pm.