When former Canberra business and marketing executive Belinda Head grew tired of the twice-daily bus journey from and to Murrumbateman on the Barton Highway, she created a healthy alternative for herself – and the village.
Belinda is one of three winners from Murrumbateman of the annual Yass Valley Business Chamber awards. Her new business, Physical-Ease Recovery Clinic, was judged start-up superstar.
Four Winds Vineyard won the business excellence award and Blackwattle Alpaca Yarn and Fibre won excellence in micro business.
Four Winds principal Sarah Collingwood says good advice from lovely neighbours when the family were establishing their cellar door helped them begin on the right foot. This included installing more toilets than they thought were needed, and not planning food that needed a chef.
“We are so close to the city with the highest number of restaurants per capita it is hard to get and keep a chef,” Sarah says.
“Our neighbours have sent people our way; most visitors to the region visit three or four attractions so we rely on each other to encourage people out into the region.
“We are incredibly lucky to be on Canberra’s doorstep at a time when people are looking to purchase and consume local products,” Sarah says.
A Murrumbateman resident for almost 20 years, Belinda Head established her clinic 18 months ago. Belinda re-trained and slowly opened her new venture in a 100-metre space in a shed at her home which has been refurbished.
Offering soft-tissue therapy and as a Pilates instructor, she has a fully equipped Pilates studio and treatment section for soft-tissue therapy. Clients are people who are rehabilitating, or have chronic conditions, along with people with a typically healthy body who just wants to maintain a good quality of life.
Most clients come from Murrumbateman, some from Canberra, and a few from Queensland and Tasmania visiting family.
“We don’t have a huge choice out this way for allied health services,” Belinda says. “We have a great gym, but nothing like a Pilates studio where people can take their time for rehabilitation from more serious, chronic conditions.”
From beginning with no clients, Belinda is now reassessing her capacity to meet demand and may need another soft-tissue therapy and Pilates instructor to help manage the growing client base at Murrumbateman.
Going through the business awards was daunting, “but the process itself was absolutely empowering because it actually makes you stop and look at what your business has been doing.”
Conscious of people working in Canberra, Belinda sees her first client at 6 am and works until lunch time. After a three or four hour break, she returns and continues through until 7 pm.
“We are starting to live longer, there is no point doing that if we are not going to be mobile. This business is about making sure, even for people who don’t have chronic conditions, or who are rehabilitating from a trauma, there is an outlet here in Murrumbateman that will help you sustain a nice quality of life,” Belinda says.
- Excellence in Business: Four Winds Vineyard
- Excellence in Micro Business: Blackwattle Alpaca Yarn and Fibre
- Start Up Superstar: Physical Ease Recovery Clinic
- Excellence in Small Business: Think Technology Australia
- Outstanding Young Employee: Georgia Patmore – Yass Valley Council
- Excellence in Sustainability: Café Vieux
- Outstanding Employer of Choice: Yass Gymnastics
- Outstanding Business Leader: Andrew Douglas – Priceline Pharmacy Yass
- Employee Customer Service Award: Tiarna Kelly at My Medical Practice Yass
- People’s Choice: Yass Gymnastics.