Accidental Counsellor Heroes

With more than 1,000 members, the NSW, VIC, ACT & QLD Club Managers Support and Share Group is a Facebook forum of great significance within the Australian Registered Club industry, and never has it proved more active and valuable, than through the COVID-19 crisis currently affecting Australia.


The Support and Share Group has been doing just that, supporting managers through the sharing of information about club closures, legislation and interpretations of the restrictions that all venues have been subject to.


Just as importantly though, the Group has in recent months recognised that the support normally given to the community, has actually been needed amongst the members of the Group itself: Some managers have struggled with the challenges that club closures through COVID have brought and, in an effort to address this, the ‘Club BuddyUp’ programme was conceived, which proved to be a big success.


The Club BuddyUp programme put over 40 managers who needed some moral support, mentorship and guidance, in touch with a ‘Buddy’. The Buddies are fellow managers, going through similar experiences and, being familiar with the ongoing challenges, are able to act as a listener, advisor and mentor to those needing help.


What emerged from this initial exercise however, was a realisation by its architect and coordinator, Jenny White, of White Now, that there existed a significant need for more widespread, structured and educated counselling services within the industry.


Having recognised and assessed the need, Jenny then set about finding a suitable course for those who want to help friends and colleagues going through tough personal times. She found such a course, run by Lifeline, named the Accidental Counsellor.


Participants in the Lifeline course are not expected to literally become Counsellors, but their compassionate and appropriate response at a time when a colleague, mate or fellow manager may be in crisis and in need of support, can positively affect outcomes for the individuals involved.


Managers in the group were invited to participate, resulting in such an overwhelming response, that 6 sessions conducted via Zoom, were filled to capacity, with 40 participants in each.


A total of 240 completed the two and a half hour course, which was first put forward to them on September 3rd. The first session took place on September 8th, and all 240 participants had completed the course by October 12th.  Jenny instinctively knew that with every hour that was wasted, there could be the chance of death or falling over of one of her industry colleagues.   Jenny, who is known throughout the Club industry for ‘getting things done’ and ‘never being afraid to make a fast decision’ turned this idea around, to help the industry within 72 hours. 


The level of commitment from managers in the Club Managers Support and Share Group has been outstanding. However, going a step further and in an extraordinary display of support and assistance, no less than 20 Victorian Club Managers had their courses paid for, by their colleagues from Clubs in the ACT and New South Wales to show that cohesiveness and support of each other across the industry no matter what state or territory you are from.


It is often stated that adversity brings out the best in people, and in the case of the Club Managers Support and Share Group, there is ample evidence that COVID has done just that. The Registered Club industry has always been a tight-knit, mutually supportive body, but the assistance shown over the past weeks and months has revealed some truly outstanding ‘Accidental Counselling Heroes’.

Seriously, Who Needs New Members Anyway !


 Written By Martin Watson – ROAR MEDIA ….

A good friend of mine in the club industry said an interesting thing to me a couple of years ago; He had been talking to the manager of a large venue, promoting the benefits of the product he was representing, which would almost certainly see potential membership growth. The manager listened to his pitch and turned it down, saying that his club didn’t need any more members.

I listened to my friend’s story with a degree of disbelief – surely there must have been a further comment which explained this rather odd statement? But no, his manager had simply said that he thought the club had enough members already, and didn’t need any more. It’s a little like hearing Westpac say that they don’t want any more customers.

As an industry consultant for 25 years, I saw no logic in what my friend’s sales prospect had said, and here’s why: A good sized membership database is the first sign of a healthy club.

Two of the first questions I ask when I sit down with a prospective client, are “how many members the club has and how many poker machines“.  Over the years I’ve used an approximate rule of thumb that tells me there should be 100 members for each poker machine on the floor, so that for a club with 250 machines, you’d reasonably expect to find a membership database totaling at least 25,000.

As I said, the foregoing is an approximate measure. The smaller the poker machine installation is, the more I like to see the ratio increase, so that if your club carries 60 pokies on the floor, I’d like to see perhaps 200 members per machine, giving a well padded database of 12,000 members.

Why though? There are many reasons why membership growth is important to a venue but let’s consider a few of them: the more members you have, the more people there are out in your community, who are aware of your club – this is a good thing. Each member is an advocate or salesperson for ‘their’ club, so having ten thousand people out there, talking about your venue, is better than having two thousand, or even six thousand! Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful marketing tool there is. So if each one of those ten thousand speaks to one other person, that’s twenty thousand consumers out there, aware of how great you are!

Then there’s the demographic spread that a larger membership database brings with it. Typically a club database can be divided into gender, age group, ethnicity, work status, marital status, location and any other number of useful segments. If the economic climate is such that it hits one group hard, then you still have other bankable groups using your venue. The more members you have and the greater the diversity, the better you will survive a downturn.

Growing membership also indicates that people are actually aware of your existence. Many clubs I have consulted with over the past couple of decades, take the view that everyone knows they exist. My research with many of these venues then shows that whilst many local residents may know you exist, they don’t know what you do, what you offer, or whether they are entitled to become members – especially so in the case of trade unions clubs, specific ethnic clubs, or clubs with a perceived political affiliation.

That’s the good news, the bad news is that many residents living within your catchment area actually don’t know you exist at all! True. Consider that on average, every year in urban areas, 25% of residents change address. They move within your catchment area, they may move into it, they may move out of it. Growing your membership is all about letting people know you exist, reminding them repeatedly what you do, and ensuring that your offering will appeal to them.

And then there’s renewals. Most clubs see a substantial drop off in membership every year at renewals time. There are many reasons for this, and some are beyond the club’s control, for example, moving away, changed financial circumstances, ageing, change in mobility, change in partnership status, all of which will see these members fail to renew.

However, making an effort to retain members at renewals, makes the job of ongoing membership growth easier. If you are only losing 12% of your members at renewals, rather than 30%, then you have a good base on which to build for the coming year.

Recruiting a new member, shows that your club has engaged with someone new. It also brings the possibility of another consumer who just may turn out to be a club regular, spending a decent sum of money through the year.

About four years ago a client looked at my growth strategy and told me that he was only interested in recruiting big-spending members. I asked him whether, if I brought ten people in off the street, lined them up and asked him to pick the big spenders, he’d be able to do it. His answer was of course, a grudging ‘no’. I then argued that by bringing all ten consumers in as new members, we stood a good chance of scooping the big spenders, as well as those who may start off small, but who may also at some stage become the big spenders he was looking for! If one in every hundred is a big spender, then membership growth will statistically capture more of them, as well as seeing a busier venue, with more members to communicate with.

And that’s an important note to finish on: databases allow you communicate efficiently and directly with the people on them. That’s why every website you visit and every store you go into, wants your information, they want to market direct to you. Databases have an intrinsic value because they allow you to sell to people who are receptive to your messages, because they have already bought-in to the concept of your offering. Growing membership empowers your communications ability to a greater number of receptive consumers.

Give Martin Watson a call on  02 9402 0627 to get him to look at your club’s marketing or check out

Magic DOES HAPPEN When You REALLY Want It To.

Magic Johnson and Steve ‘Magic’ Anson


Pictured here are the only two people in the world that I know as ‘Magic’.  The one in the suit is Magic Johnson, the retired pro-basketballer for the Lakers, and the one in the Lakers Shirt is Steve ‘Magic’ Anson the Club Manager (COO for The Epping Club).    The irony of this pic is that it really should be Magic Johnson in the Lakers shirt and Steve Anson in the suit !

So what’s this blog about?  Some of you may know that I worked at The Epping Club for a few years in the early 1990’s (along with two other clubs prior to that).  My immediate Supervisor at the time was Steve Anson, and just to prove the loyalty of the team at The Epping Club, Steve has been employed there since 1991 (26 years as of 2017) and as a side note, the next boss up was Peter Saez (the now CEO) who has been at the club since 1989 (28 years).   Talk about loyalty !

Steve lived, breathed and bled basketball ??.  I knew that his blood was honestly purple and yellow, which suited me fine as they too are my favourite colours??.  His number one hero was Magic Johnson from the LA Lakers.  Since 1992 I have not ever called Steve, “Steve”.  I started calling him ‘Magic’ a few months into working together and I have respectfully called him by that name ever since (never have I called him Steve).   Late last year, I even sent one of our purple and yellow company Wiz Balls to (Steve) ‘Magic’ as I thought that it would make him smile as it was a ball and it was in Lakers colours.  I told him that he was to use his office bin as the basket and shoot goals all day.  I knew that he actually would do this.

WhiteNow WizBall in Lakers colours

So this is a story about passion, dedication and dreams coming true.  Steve’s dedication to his role and his club saw him heading across to this year’s G2E (Global Gaming Expo) in Las Vegas.   Steve was so excited to hear that the Friday’s Keynote speaker was the one and only Magic Johnson.   Steve was smart enough to bring along a Lakers shirt, but who would’ve thought he would go against all tradition and actually WEAR it to the session.  Well, lucky he did ! Magic pulled Steve out of the audience and brought him out the front for about 5 minutes.  Steve said that he was incredibly nervous and shaking, but ridiculously excited at the same time.   Little did Magic Johnson know that he was Steve’s life long idol nor did he know that Steve actually has a small tattoo on his ankle of Magic.  Steve was too shy to show Magic but Steve’s friends in the audience made sure that Magic knew.  Steve was able to ask Magic some basketball questions and have a decent chat.  Then, Magic signed his shirt.  A shirt that will surely never be washed again.

Sign away Magic ! Steve will never wash that shirt again.

I was told about this amazing meeting a couple of days after the event.  I am sure that all of you come across people, friends, colleagues and acquaintances that have idols that they are so passionate about.  I know a fair few people like this.  Those with SSTID / Rabbitohs logos tattooed to their chests alongside images of Greg Inglis.  I even know someone who was such a fan of the Disney character, Jessica Rabbit that he had her tattooed on his arm knowing full well that he would never meet this fictional idol.  Steve ‘Magic’ Anson is one of these truly passionate people.   As soon as I heard that Steve got to meet Magic, I had tears running down my cheeks.  All I could think was “Steve is so deserving of this – I am so happy for him“.   It was almost like I knew that after Steve had a family, that this was his other one desire and WOW, his dream ACTUALLY came true.

Sometimes you just have to keep on doing what your doing,  and ‘stuff just happens’.  I am sure that if Steve had tried to somehow meet Magic over the last 20 years, that it would not have been possible.   I am also sure that Steve would not have guessed that by just being in the room with Magic would lead to being next to him chatting away.  Steve’s decision to wear his Lakers shirt that day was the smartest move he could make.   Well done Steve, I am so glad that this has happened and I really do have some insight into how important this meeting has been to you.   A champion bloke meets a champion basketballer.

Magic grabbed Steve out of this audience to be the person to come up front to ask his question

It would not come as a surprise to anyone who is reading this that Steve’s Facebook Profile Pic is now Magic and him in Las Vegas.  The funny thing is that this new pic replaced his previous pic which was Steve with a bronze statue of Magic Johnson.  Life just became more real for Steve ‘Magic’ Anson !

Steve’s NEW Facebook profile pic !

Steve’s previous Facebook profile pic prior to meeting him and being his new BFF !


Jenny White, CEO and owner of White Now


The Big Panther Has Gone But Will Never Be Forgotten – VALE: Roger Cowan

Thursday 12th October 2017 saw the final farewell to Roger Cowan OAM.  Roger was CEO of Panthers for 40 years up until 2005.  I was so honoured to be at Roger’s Memorial amongst those who knew, loved and admired this great man.

Roger Cowan’s Memorial Service

Roger took Panthers from an average team operating out of a ‘shed’  to be the leading club in NSW  which Roger grew to eventually oversee 14 clubs within the group.  I learnt at the Memorial Service that Roger was Dux of his school (no surprises there) and School Vice Captain.  He was an achiever and a leader from the get-go.   It was a tribute to Roger and testimonial to his achievements that his ceremony was held on the property that he built and where he showed his core principles and values for so many years.

As I listened to incredible tributes from Greg Alexander, Barry Walsh,  Max Cowan,  Glenn Matthews (read by a representative as Glenn was overseas) and by far the most important speakers of all, his Grand kids, I reflect on some of the words that resonated with me and really showed who Roger was.

Following are some of the comments from those speaking on the day;

“Roger always told others – Learn, learn, learn, learn at every opportunity that you have”

“He recognised everyone’s values and treated everyone equally”

“Play the ball, not the man”

“He taught me to be kind and more humble”

“Roger just made things happen”.

“He always taught us to never go out to intentionally or deliberately hurt anyone”

“Roger put Penrith on the map.  He had the vision to buy the land”.

“If it was good for Penrith then it was good for Panthers”.

Roger built Panthers, the team and the club to be the largest in the State.  In 2017 Panthers employs over 1000 people and sees 2.5 million people walk through its doors annually.  What an achievement.

Up until about 2005 I knew Roger as a client but in a client/supplier sort of way.  I was always a bit hesitant of him because of who he was.  I think I was in awe of this icon, so was perhaps a bit nervous around him.  As I grew in my business and Roger watched my business grow from the outside, we grew to trust each other and assist each other in different ways.  I was so privileged to spend many hours in the car with Roger visiting clubs as we were working on projects together.  I got to know Roger ‘the person’.  I spent hours bleeding him dry of his business tips and business philosophy.  What I found amazing though was that he also spent much time asking me about my business philosophy and successes.  He used to comment on some of my ideas with “I think that is very wise.  I will use that”.  Imagine that – Roger Cowan listening to me and taking advice from me.  Trust me though,  if we were putting percentages to the advice I gave him vs the lessons and advice he gave me it would be 2%  vs 98%.  I used to bring my own lunch on our road trips to save me $10 a day (which I still do to this day).  No matter what I did though, I could not convince Roger to do that.  He used to sort of shake his head at me every time I would get my lunch bag out, well not shake, more that he would nod knowing that I was never going to change.  We had some laughs but more importantly we had great respect for each other and to me, he will always be someone that I had such admiration for.  I really did see his values and his passion.  I still see those traits in his kids Max and Steve – I call them kids as they will always be ‘Roger’s sons’ and gee they must be oozing with pride.

Thank you to all those who really cared for Roger since his stroke.  Those who visited him and gave him such comfort.  Special mention goes to his wife and family, to Barry Walsh and Glenn Matthews (affectionately nicknamed by me as the Little Panther) who often visited him and to Rhonda Bowen and her partner Michael who were tireless in their efforts to support Roger in so many ways through his past few years.

Last but not least I want to thank Roger Cowan OAM for paving the way for all those in our industry, not only the Football Club industry but all registered clubs.  He did so much across all areas of his life and he did so with humility and love for his teams and his family.  Thank you for treating every one as equal and for leaving this world a better place.  To me you will always be at the top of this Panthers Wall of Honour ….

Roger on top of the Panthers Wall of Honour

Roger’s son Max has paid tribute to Roger through images.  Please watch this YouTube Video here:

The BIG Panther with The BIG Panther !

Roger – water skiing in his suit – of course


Jenny White
CEO: White Now 




A number of years ago I had spent a year in Adelaide working for ClubsSA (which was then know under the cumbersome title of the Licensed Clubs Association of South Australia). Gaming machines were about to be introduced into pubs and clubs. It was a very scary time for club managers and publicans. I was employed to get Club Managers and staff up to speed on gaming machines and gaming management. Think about someone who has never ever seen a gaming machine. They had no idea how to open the machine let alone read meters, find a coin acceptor and un-jam it, do a pay-out, clear the machine and then….. how do you balance these things and what is this çashflow analysis’ stuff you talk about ? Let me just say that it was an exciting and rewarding 12 months that I spent in Adelaide BUT … let me tell you that in the beginning, I was not interested AT ALL in living in what I thought was going to be the most boring place in the universe. I thought it would be hell hole because, well everyone told me it was.

I was lucky enough to snag a place to live in the first week of me being there but wait for it… it was HALF the rent of the dingy little place that I left in Leichhardt and this had a view to die for. YES, I could live on the beach (and I mean ON THE BEACH – check the pics) for 50% less than I could live in a house in inner-city Sydney. This was a great start to a new job. Check out the pics below of the view from my front door, where my bedroom was and the proximity to the beach. Jealous yet ?

The beach was directly across the road

This was my front yard

This was my bedroom – bedroom with a view!


I was shocked, scared, nervous and at the same time pumped to start my new job and new year in a new city. I came home in the evening to see the sunset over the ocean – it made me smile. I wasnt married and had no kids at that point of my life so my nights and weekends were free to roam and enjoy. All I had in my mind before I left Sydney was what people werer saying; “ýou will be bored”; “there’s nothing to do there”; “you will be home in 3 months”: Oh how wrong they could be. I think I had created the idea in my mind that it was a town with no shops, no night life and not even any people. Instead, I found the most genuine bunch of people, the busiest lifestyle, the most beautiful walks, views to die for, wineries to go back to time and time again and so many one or two day trips out of the city to experience. I met friends that I am still in touch with. Remember that so many of the suppliers in the Club and Gaming industry are national if not global companies, so I still see so many of them. I learnt so much about life and I even saved enough money to get a deposit on my first house.

I only had a 12 month contract in SA and was in some ways glad to get home to see my friends and family, but I look back even today and remember the most amazing experiences that you simply don’t get in Sydney. I reflect often and think “I wish I had stayed and sought further opportunities in Adelaide”, but life throws at you what the planets are supposed to throw at you, and here I am having a successful business in Sydney with a small family and still enjoying the opportunities that are thrown at me. No regrets, just plenty of great memories of Adelaide.

The lessons I learnt from this contract in Adelaide was to not always listen to what ‘perceptions’ that other people may have about a place especially if they haven’t even lived there. I learnt to ‘give it a go’ with no fear. I learnt what it is like to start afresh knowing no-one in a new place – and I learnt that you can survive and in fact thrive on this experience. I learnt that taking opportunities that are out-of-the-box to what you thought you would be doing can actually grow your career to heights you never thought. I learnt that I love Adelaide and always will. It has a little piece of my heart to this day and I get butterflies in my tummy whenever I am about to land in Adelaide.

I write this article for multiple reasons but mainly to show that you can consider things that you have never considered before. The SA government have put out plenty of info about what it’s like to live in Adelaide – check out a great info document here:

We have a few incredibly exciting roles with Adelaide Casino at the moment – in the Marketing and Gaming areas. If you want to chat about the roles, I really welcome your call. Click on the link (or copy it to a browser) to see the roles here: and you will also find my phone number. Call if you want to chat to me and hear more about the roles or even if you want to chat about my experience in Adelaide….. actually, I am up for a chat about anything usually.  Most people say that they have an ”open door policy” but I actually have ”an open ear policy”. I look forward to chatting to you !

Jenny White, Managing Director of White Now 

“I’m Applying But Shhh, Don’t Tell The Club”

Recently I had an email from a candidate that really made me think ! The email read;

“Please find attached my resume for the position of General Manager at XXXX Club.   Please note: I do NOT give permission for White Now to provide my details to XXXX Club unless confirmed in writing prior”

Now, this puts us in an awkward situation as we have the task of assisting the club’s Board of Directors (in this instance) with the process of recruitment.  When it is time to look into the ‘shortlisting’ of all applicants for first round interview, we send the FULL list of applicants to the client (in this case to the President).  We are NOT a recruiter that takes a job on board and then ‘hides’ all the applicants from the client and recommends 2 or 3 applicants to look at.  Our clients MUST have input !  We include them from the very beginning of the process.  Why do we do this ? Well, a Board of Directors are the ones who MUST be ultimately accountable for who they employ in a governing role of a Club.  White Now and the Board MUST be transparent in every step of this process.  So, when I received this email I thought…

“What is this about ? How can I move a candidate forward in the process without the Board of Directors knowing who the candidate is?”.

I was simply unable to do anything before I called the candidate to find out why he did not want his information forwarded to the club he was applying for.

A really sad story followed:  The candidate told me how a couple of years ago he applied for a General Manager’s role.  He was called up for an interview with the Club’s Board of Directors, but prior to his interview, his current President pulled him up and asked, why he was looking for another job ?  The President of the Club he was to interview with had contacted the President of his current employer, to do a reference check on him, without his knowledge or approval !

The candidate had NOT, verbally or in writing,  given permission for any referees to be called – ESPECIALLY his current employer.  From that point on, his current employer made life very difficult for him in the workplace and he eventually resigned without a job.

When White Now deal directly with Boards, we ask for their utmost confidentiality and ask them not to speak to anyone about the candidates who have applied.  We are very serious about this and ensure that the Board understand their position of responsibility and that ultimately they could be liable for the repercussions if any breach to the confidentiality of a candidate occurred.

Sometimes, a club chooses just to use White Now to place an ad and then they run the recruitment process on their own . It is in these instances we fear that confidentiality is possibly breached. We simply hate it !

Having been doing this role for over 20 years I am SHOCKED  that this behaviour continues to happen.  For those who like to talk about ‘who is going for what job’ and sharing names around about who is ‘in for that role’, it may seem like you are ‘in the know‘ and getting kudos for being so knowledgeable, but PLEASE think about the lives and careers of those who you are talking about.  You could be compromising their jobs and they could be left unemployed.

On hearing the reasoning behind this candidate not wanting his application to go through to the Board of Directors, we thoroughly understood why.  We implore Boards to unconditionally display their confidentiality at all times.

The message we want to get out to everyone in the industry be it Directors, Managers, Suppliers, Industry Associations AND family members of candidates……. PLEASE DO NOT TALK  about who is ‘going for‘ roles or who you think may be applying.  People lose their jobs over this and clubs can be left accountable for their actions.  STOP TALKING ….. STOP GOSSIPING and PLEASE RESPECT your industry colleagues who do not take their applications lightly and commit time and effort in applying for their next dream position.


Jenny White,
CEO / Owner – WhiteNow

An ‘OMG’ moment that had me worried … for a bit !

I had an ‘OMG‘ moment last week …

As you know, we are super active on many social media platforms. We boost our client’s job vacancies to a targeted audience in the area where the job is at.  I had a very interesting response to one particular post that was targeted to outback Northern NSW that really made me think.  The gentlemen are commenting on the company name, WhiteNow.  Here is the commentary:

Outback NSW Response to an Ad !

So, what I can assume from the comments are:

  • The respondents have not heard of WhiteNow
  • The respondents are not in the industry
  • The respondents senses are heightened to things that may be discriminatory

Upon researching the respondents I discovered that:

  • Both gentleman did not seem to be employed.
  • Both gentleman had personal pages that reflected that they were constantly finding fault in their world and others’ worlds.
  • These two gentleman were friends

After I responded to the comments, they did not respond back or ask any further questions.  No-one has made comment to me on the company name “WhiteNow” in its 20  plus years of being in the market place but that doesn’t mean people haven’t wanted to say something, so I best take these comments seriously and think about it and see if there is any action I should take.

My immediate thoughts were; “well the name of the company is White Now and is named after its owner and founder, Jenny White.  So how is this a bad thing?”

The funny thing is that about 3 or 4 years into White Now trading, I thought “Oh gosh I wish I had called the company something totally different that reflected what we did”….. BUT it was too late.  Upon talking to our clients and colleagues, we realised that we had marketed the brand so damn well, with its logo, exclamation mark and wizard at the forefront, that it was too late to re-brand and change the company name.   WhiteNow had already cemented itself in the hearts of our clients and candidates and, if you look at who the brand has touched to date, it is well over 560,000 people.  That’s a lot of people to consider when you want to flip into a new brand and how many people could we lose if we did go ahead?  So, we stuck with the name WhiteNow and continued on living in the hearts of our industry family.

I have never even thought that the name could be considered racist or discriminatory in any way, after all it is my name and I have never thought that my name was discriminatory either.  My dad was a hard working medico who had a practice in Surry Hills in Sydney and he looked after so many of our indigenous population and, plenty of ‘ladies of the night’ as he called them.  I never heard anyone mention that Dr White was racist because his name suggested it!

So the comments were enlightening.  I actually understand what they are pointing out, but of course, it is not our intention to be racist in any way and our success and care of our clients and candidates proves this.  But what should I do about it ??? After lengthy thought and contemplation, I realised that sometimes I have to grin and bear the one and only incident where negative comments were made against our brand and just be sensitive to those who may think this in the future as you just cannot ever read other people’s minds!

Should we change our brand and company name? Well, as I said, WhiteNow is deeply ingrained in me, in our customers and in our industry and that is how it will remain.

The lesson learnt was to take feedback, understand the person’s perception as to where the feedback comes from, analyse it, and make the best decisions regarding the feedback for your own business.

I did think about how many other companies are named after their founders and what people may think of them AND those companies that had names or product names that may also be seen as discriminatory.  Here is my extensive list and if I were any of these companies, I would not change my name nor brand either;

  • Blackmores (racist ?)
  • Blackberry (racist ?)
  • Golden Gaytime (homophobic ?)
  • Yellow Pages (racist ?)
  • Christian Dior (perhaps just for Christians ?)
  • Silver Service Taxis (ageist ?)
  • White Kleenex (racist ?)
  • RSL Cabs (just for returned service people ?)
  • Black and Decker (Racist ?)
  • Good Nuts (ummm)
  • White King (racist ?)
  • Jamaica Blue  (racist ?)
  • The All Blacks (racist ?)
  • Allen’s Redskins (racist ?)
  • Coon Cheese  (racist ?)
  • White Magic Cloths (racist ?)
  • George Black Textiles  (racist ?)
  • White Now  (racist ?)
  • Black Leopard Skin Care  (racist ?)
  • Black and Gold  (racist ?)
  • WhiteGlo Teeth Whitening  (racist ?)

And then there are those companies named after their founders: 

  • Dick Smith (umm ?)
  • Jenny Craig
  • Christian Dior (perhaps just for Christians ?)
  • Julia Ross
  • Harvey Norman 
  • Betty Crocker
  • Hanna Barbera
  • Lamborghini 
  • Levi Strauss
  • Proctor and Gamble (maybe just for gamblers ?)
  • and so many more ………..

Thank you to everyone who offers feedback for us to think about.  We will keep on being who we are, living our values and doing the best we can for our industry.


Jenny White (yes, that is a colour as well as a last name)
Owner and Founder of WhiteNow


Meet your Suppliers: Introducing Tanya and Paul from RPT Promotions

White Now recently interviewed Tanya and Paul Gorton from ‘RPT Promotions’ to uncover their journey to where they are now along with the ups and downs of running your own business.  Here is what they had to say over a good cuppa:

WhiteNow: “So Tanya, where did the name RPT Promotions come from?”

Tanya: “RPT are Paul’s REAL bosses, Ruby,  Poppie and Tanya.  Ruby and Poppie are our two adorable daughters and I’m Paul’s wife!  Paul is constantly reminded every time he sees our company name, of the reasons why he works so hard and the real meaning of life, his family.  The company has been around for 6 years and we will be around another 60 if I have my say.  We are already training Ruby and Poppie to take over. ”

WhiteNow: “What is it that RPT actually do Paul?”

Paul: “We get bums of all kinds on seats.  Once the bums are on our clients’ seats, then we make sure that our clients get money in their bank accounts and smiles on their customers’ faces – it’s pretty simple.”

Paul: “I’m super proud that the industry knows us as the leader in this kind of business.  It shows that when you put in the hard work you get customers returning time and time again.”

WhiteNow: “So with all of what you provide, you must have large premises and offices to operate out of?”

Paul: “Are you serious? We could think of nothing worse than working out of big corporate offices. We are a very serious and professional company, but we never want to be seen as elitist or exclusive.  We have a separate building on our property that our team work out of.  It is metres from our home but far enough away to know that we are ‘going to work’.    We are a business built around good old values and genuine service. ” 

Our Office !
Our Office !

WhiteNow: “Tanya, how did you grow your business to what it is now?”

Tanya: “Well it is pretty simple.  We have a bunch of family values that we live by and realised that they could also be the values we adopt for our business as well.  We live and breathe those values.  Our girls learn these values from us as well.  In fact Poppie, Ruby and I can recite them off by heart.  Our favourite ones that ring true in the business are; to do our best, tell the truth, be happy, keep our promises and our favourite of all is to help each other.”

Paul: “We got the formula right in RPT and when we recognised that business is all about living your values, then the business just took off.  We care about our customers but we also care about our family and our team.”

WhiteNow: “What do you mean when you say you care about your team? What do you do differently?”

Tanya: “I guess it’s because we know how important kids are when growing up, We make sure that our staff take time to fit in things like school concerts, horse riding lessons, sports carnivals and even canteen duty.  We just make the business work and do you know what, we all work more efficiently when we have this incredible work/life balance. The simple things like seeing the kids happy makes for a happy team and a happy business. We are super serious about our business but not so serious about life.”

WhiteNow: “So Tanya, what IS Paul like to work with – you can be honest?”

Tanya: “Ha, honestly? He is the most passionate, corny, fun and loveable clown in the business, and he is the most amazing Dad to our girls.  Paul’s originally from Cornwell but reckons he’s an Aussie because his first job in Australia was in the Vegemite factory.  If you really want to know, he hates Vegemite!  He will do anything for his customers and prides himself on saying that you can contact him 24/7, just like the hours that our industry operates in.  He has taken calls at midnight from Club Managers needing urgent meat trays by 9.30am the next morning.  He never complains, he just makes it happen.  That is one thing everyone loves about Paul – you can count on him when you need him the most.

WhiteNow: “Tanya, thanks for being so honest – we wish you all the best ”

To hear what Paul’s daughter Poppie thinks about her dad, listen to this ‘Hughesy and Kate Podcast’ about ‘how embarrassing parents are’.  Head to the 10.00 minute position and get ready to have a laugh.  Click here:

Here’s a list of stuff RPT Promotions do for clubs and pubs:

  • Provide all sorts of prizes and promo items and giftware. They even have a huge range of white goods and appliances.
  • Design, run and report on promotions games and campaigns
  • Host bingo and housie, trivia and raffles with THE best damn promo hosts in the country
  • Provide meat trays, fruit and veggie trays, seafood trays in fact any trays that a client wants.

Basically RPT Promotions are THE  go to people for everything you need for your promotions!


CONTACT  RPT Promotions 


Phone: 02 4572 1585

Why The Hell Can’t You Find Chefs ???

Give this a go… try Googling ‘Chef Shortage Australia’ or ‘Demand for Chefs’ and these are the type of headings you get in return;

Oh Yes, there sure is a Chef shortage .....
Oh Yes, there sure is a Chef shortage …..



White Now  certainly hear your frustrations at trying to find chefs, cooks, apprentices and in fact anyone at all with a qualification relating to the kitchen ! We know the amount of job vacancies available for these roles and they increase weekly.  It is pretty true to say that the more ads there are for a position, the more evident shortage and desperation is to fill that position.

As the headlines above highlight, there are a multitude of reasons why there is a shortage of people wanting to work in our kitchens.

Here are just SOME of the reasons why WE think people don’t want to become Chefs / why we cannot find Chefs :

  1. An apprenticeship is perceived as too long – people want quick courses now
  2. The reality TV shows encourage people into the industry but then they realise it is a long journey
  3. Today’s youth are less interested ‘putting in the hard yards’ – they want to ‘be at the end NOW’
  4. Current chefs want apprentices to ‘do it the way they did it’
  5. Traditional RTO delivery is a bit ‘old hat’
  6. The salary and hours of work are simply not attractive
  7. There are more production kitchens therefore less learning for apprentices
  8. The Government put much higher restrictions on the old e457 Visas

SOME SERIOUS FACTS FOR YOU (as at October 2015) !

  • The Department of Employment survey of employers who had recently advertised for chefs found that 62 per cent of vacancies were filled.
  • In Sydney there was an average of eight applicants per vacancy, with an average of 3.5 applicants having formal qualifications and an average of 0.9 considered suitable.
  • The most frequently cited reasons for the unsuitability of applicants were, in order of frequency, applicants were not in the local region, or they did not have the required skill level for the specialised position. Other secondary reasons cited were a poor attitude, lack of general experience and the level of wages offered to applicants.
  • The number of persons completing apprenticeships for chefs and cooks in NSW averaged around 760 in the three years to 2014-15
  • The number of apprenticeship commencements fell by around 15 per cent in the three years to 2014-15 compared to the previous three years.
  • The stock of chefs working in NSW on a temporary business entry (457) visa increased by an average of about 280 per annum over the three years to March 2015. In contrast, during the five years to 2014-15, on an annual average more chefs left NSW permanently or on a long-term basis than arrived permanently or on a long-term basis.
  • (Source: Australian Department of Employment, Labour Economic Office NSW – ANZSCO3513-11 Chef – Occupational Report)



AND HOW ABOUT THIS FOR GROWTH ……. Everyone will be wanting more and more chefs !

Now THAT is growth !
Now THAT is growth !

(Source: Australian Tourism Labour Force Review 2015-2020 – Deloitte)


  • We need more people entering the trade NOW to help us in 2 to 10 years time !!!
  • We can’t change how this generation behaves
  • We are already trying our best to attract and engage our staff and develop a culture of support so we need to do things DIFFERENTLY
  • WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO WORK OUT HOW TO GET MORE PEOPLE ENTERING THE TRADE and TO STAY WITH US so we have sustainable food businesses in the coming decades

There are reports, studies, trend analyses, market research, statistics galore that show that we are currently short 38,000 people to fill job vacancy positions in the hospitality/tourism sector. The ‘Australian Tourism Labour Force Report 2015 to 2020’ for the Australian Trade Commission, Austrade conducted by Deloitte Access Economics gives a key finding that “In the absence of any change in policy or industry initiatives it is expected 123,000 new workers will need to be sourced in the tourism industry by 2020″.  Put simply, we interpret that to mean “if we do nothing now, we will not be able to find any chefs in our country at all”.

This report goes on to show that ‘These shortages are concentrated in NSW, Queensland and Victoria which have a combination of large employment and high vacancy rates’ and that ‘Businesses in the café and restaurant industries reported greater labour market difficulties relative to those in the accommodation or attraction industries’. This is also inclusive of the club sector.  ‘An inability to find workers with the right skills was the highest rated reason for difficulties in recruiting staff’. We hear this all the time at White Now, with other concerns, also supported in this report of ‘the lack of suitable experience’ and the ‘lack of access to training, a lack of quality training or a high drop-out rate from training’ leading to skills deficiencies.

The recommendation of all this research ‘Reducing these shortages will need more than just the direct employment of 38,200 workers, as increased output will be required from industries that support the tourism sector’. As we see it, that’s neither going to be a quick, cheap or easy solution.

Looking into skills training has lead to a report from the Apprenticeships Reform Advisory Group to the Minister for Education and Training that, ‘the views of industry on three vital areas of reform within the apprenticeships system (recommend) the restructuring of apprenticeship incentives; a new pre-apprenticeship programme; and piloting alternative models of apprenticeship delivery’. The list of key findings and recommended actions from this report are also neither quick, cheap or point towards any easy solution.

Where do we start to find people for jobs in the hospitality sector? The Australian Trade Commission’s ‘Tourism and Hospitality Careers’ report from Colmar Brunton, suggests promoting these careers to;

a) The future workforce of years 10/11/12 students. The findings from this group were that, “The key benefits of pursuing a career in the sector included the diversity of roles, opportunities for travel and the perception of many entry level roles across the sector (including those that require minimal training or qualifications). Key negatives of potentially working in the sector were identified by students as long and unsociable hours; having to deal with difficult/rude/demanding customers; low pay (relative to other sectors); and lack of opportunity for advancement in a reasonable timeframe. For the majority of students, career opportunities in this sector were simply not on their radar.”

b) The parents of the students in Years 10/11/12. The findings suggest that, ‘although parents would encourage their children to seek work in the sector to support them through study or other life goals, there is more reluctance to support a career in the sector given its perceived lack of sustainability and opportunity for growth and career advancement’ along with, ‘a fear that they would need to work hard at a low level for a long time to progress anywhere’, ‘perceived poor pay means that it may be difficult to support themselves’, ‘the perception that the sector can be tenuous’ and ‘that other pathways offer greater job security’ and ‘that there is often a drinking/drugs culture in the hospitality sector and wanted their children to steer clear of this’.

c) Mature age workers (unemployed and underemployed). ‘Are willing to take up roles within the sector (and undertake training or re-skilling to do so), but are very cynical that employers in the sector would be genuine in offering them roles or invest in training & developing them’.

d) Those aged 25-35 who have left the sector in the past 3 years. ‘These participants were still able to readily identify a number of positive aspects of working in the sector’ however, ‘left the sector due to unsociable hours, low pay, perceived exploitative practices by some managers, and frustration at a lack of opportunities for career progression’.

You think it’s difficult to find a chef, cook or apprentice NOW … well what about in the coming years … it ain’t getting any better!!… Who has the time, money and resources to get people into the industry and keep them in the industry for the future of our industry ?  Attracting Chefs is NOT just about creating a great workplace culture, that is a given these days.  It is FAR BIGGER than just doing that …. much more serious and the strategy has to be much more long term.

WE ALL HAVE OUR THINKING CAPS ON to see what we can do and how we can think AND act outside the square – you too need to do this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ……  If you are a hospitality leader then you will also need to think differently to combat this problem.


Where the hell are all the chefs ?
Where the hell are all the chefs ?


To chat further about this article or ask us any questions regarding the Chef shortage , please call either David Younie or Jenny White from White Now on 02 9807 1806. 

I’m having a passionate love affair ! Lessons about love !

I want to share a secret with you.   I am “in love“- totally and passionately in love.  I am proud to tell you that I am in love with our brand. The White Now brand is like a family member, a great neighbour or even a special friend who you can rely on or call on when needed.  Other people genuinely love our brand too.  What I love most though is that my team also are passionately in love with our brand as well and as a business owner, you really cannot ask for more.

The White Now brand is known throughout the industry as the most trusted brand in its field of recruitment,  job boards and so much more.  When we ask our clients what comes to mind regarding our brand, they come up with four things EVERY time:

  1. Purple and Yellow
  2. The exclamation mark
  3. The wizard: and
  4. Service that goes above and beyond.

The Mascot - Wiz !
The Mascot – Wiz !

With this in mind, we knew that we had to ensure that these four things were evident in everything we do – this is how we will live the brand.  The brand is way more than a logo or an item, it’s our heart and soul and DEFINITELY our Values  (Integrity; Respect; Innovation; Quality; and Excellence in Customer Service). Our brand is not just something we think, but it represents what our customers think of us too.

At the recent Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) in Sydney, we had a small stand.  We didn’t spend a fortune on the fit out.  We simply said … ‘It’s gotta be purple and yellow“… and so it was.  Our team worked tirelessly to make the stand warm, fun and inviting – like our brand is.  They succeeded and I genuinely love them for it.

Capturing our brand colours at the AGE !
Capturing our brand colours at the AGE !

As the owner of the WhiteNow brand for over 20 years, I had a ‘light bulb’ moment during this trade show.  This was that my team and I LOVE what our brand stands for.  My team suggested that they wear purple and yellow, they came up with the idea for purple and yellow miniature beach balls (called WizBalls) and they live and breathe the brand.   There is not one thing that I can pinpoint that makes us love the brand, but we honestly do.  It is fun, vibrant, a little bit crazy and out-there and most of all it represents who and what we are and what we deliver.

Branding that moves.
Branding that moves.

The next light bulb moment I had at the trade show was when everyone who walked past wanted one of our little purple and yellow WizBalls.  By the end of each day, everywhere you walked, you saw our brand.  We had so many customers take the WizBall back to their venues and take pics of it at their venue or out and about and send it to us to post on our social media.  Everyone else seems to love our brand too.  I had someone from The Star talk to me a couple of days after the AGE to tell me how funny it was to see so many of our balls at The Star each night after the AGE…. in the bars, on the tables, on couches and in the toilets …. everywhere. WizBalls ended up in Queensland, Melbourne, Hamilton Island and there is a WizBall in Paris as we speak.

WizBall at Hamilton Island

Our team have such a love for the brand, that they also take a WizBall wherever they go (day, night or weekend) and take pics of the it to post on our social media platforms. You don’t get staff doing this unless they are passionate about their brand.

I am privileged to deliver a session each term at the Aristocrat/Leagues Clubs Australia GMDC (Gaming Management Development Course) in front of around 75+ students.  Believe it or not, I wear a wizard outfit whilst I am presenting.  Sound a little crazy to you ? It sort of is but I can tell you that the students seem to listen to what this ‘wizard’  has to say and they sure remember the brand when they walk away.  You have to LIVE and BREATHE your brand !

"In a Wizard Outfit !"
Presenting at the GMDC – in a Wizard outfit

Do you want to love your brand too ? My advice is to make your brand have real meaning and bring it to life in any way you can.  Give it a set of values that are real and tangible.  Make your customers love your brand by doing something with it that makes them smile.  Give it a way that it can be mobile.  Let it be seen with other brands you love and respect.  Make it ‘cool’ or ‘out there’.  Make it a little fun or a little quirky.  Make it consistent.  Don’t be afraid of it.  Believe in it and never every compromise its integrity.

Put your brand with other trusted brands ! Here is WizBall with a Hennessy Coffee !

I am really not afraid to share my love and passion with you all.  It is true love and when you are truly in love, you simply want everyone to know about it.

I hope you continue to love our brand too ! Follow us on instagram to see WizBall out and about or check us out on Facebook as well !

Yours lovingly

Jenny White
Director and Owner



Sharing our passion, views & experience.