First flagship Outsourced HR Franchise Launched in Perth by Pia Engstrom

First flagship Outsourced HR Franchise Launched in Perth by Pia Engstrom

First flagship Outsourced HR Franchise Launched in Perth by Pia Engstrom

Pia Engstrom has become the first businesswoman in Australia to set up a local branch of a successful global HR franchise.  Pia has launched The HR Dept Western Suburbs Perth from home in West Leederville, offering SMEs in her territory high quality outsourced HR advice and support.  She is the first in the state to launch the brand, which currently serves more than 6,000 SMEs in the UK and Ireland after being set up the more than 15 years ago.

Pia has over 20 years’ HR experience in the areas of HR, IR Management and Consulting in both Australia and the UK.  She holds a Bachelor of Business degree with a double major in Human Resources & Management from Edith Cowan University.  Pia has worked at a senior management level gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience a number of companies of all sizes and across different industry sectors.

The HR Dept is originally a UK-based family business, which was set up by Sue Tumelty in 2002 and begun franchising in 2005. Today, it has a network of 65 Licensees operating independent HR businesses in 83 territories across the UK, Ireland and now Australia, providing more than 6,000 SMEs with a range of advice and support.

Nifnex interviewed Pia to find out more about HR Dept. and the need in the marketplace for outsourced HR.

Pia, firstly congratulations on being the first Franchisee in Australia and launching it is Perth. Please tell us about the market that you service and the need for the outsourced HR services.

SMEs are a vital and growing part of the Australian economy with around two million SMEs representing more than 99.7 per cent of actively trading businesses. SMEs employ almost three quarters of the Australian workforce with the top five employing industries in the sector being construction, professional, scientific and technical services, retail trade, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing.

SMEs are a huge focus of Government attention at this time with new initiatives and funding being announced regularly. We expect that they (and indeed employment legislation) will form a crucial part of all parties’ offerings in the run up to the election.

There are over three million SME and micro businesses in Australia. Of these, 71% are active, which equates to just over 2.1 million. A recent study by ScanCorp is projecting growth for SMEs positioned in the following industries:

✓ child care centres  ✓ general practice medical centres   ✓ food and retail  ✓ coffee shops and small restaurants   ✓ technology businesses (particularly with differentiated intellectual property)  ✓ service stations  ✓ construction

There is a need for HR support and a desire for an insurance backed offering. The market in outsourced HR is growing but our offering is not available in the market currently.

Who are your clientele and how do you help them best. 

We’re here to support local businesses with the everyday people problems that they face.  Our local and comprehensive HR service comes at a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house HR professional that larger companies often employ.  Our approach is simple, we’ll get to really know and understand your business, that way we’ll be able to find the best and most cost-effective solution for your business.  We help SME’s navigate a rapidly changing human resources landscape, ensuring that business owners can grow their companies and reach their goals through their biggest asset – their people.

Tell us a something you are proud of as a team/organization. 

Our leadership team in Australia is made up of 100% women.

Really proud of being the first outsourced HR franchise company in Australia.  I own the flagship franchise in Australia and it’s in Perth!  I am also a shareholder of the JV company and I hold the position of Franchise Development Manager.

You must come across regular HR issues faced by businesses. What are some of the most common issues?

We produce weekly blogs around any HR/IR issues and we produce an informative monthly newsletter called People Matter.  These are published on our website and on social media.

Some of the issues are:

  • Employers not paying employees the right hourly rate as employers are unsure of what Award they are operating under;
  • Employers not providing employees with employment contracts so that everyone is clear on their employment terms and conditions and expectations;
  • Employers needing help with disciplinary meetings and associated drafting of letters;
  • Employers needing help with conducting investigations into either disciplinary or misconduct by employees
  • Employers wanting help with recruitment of new employees
  • Employers generally just needing a sounding board and advice around HR issues so they sign up to our unlimited advice line with is underwritten by employer indemnity insurance.


Pia, Thank you. We wish you the very best with the franchise and no doubt you will continue growing the operation and keep your burning passion to help SMEs with their HR needs.21503_EngstromP

To contact or for more information about Pia Engstrom:


Phone number:  (08) 6246 2655 or 0423 459 843

Web address:

Small Businesses Get Involved With Oxfam Trailwalker Initiative

Small Businesses Get Involved With Oxfam Trailwalker Initiative

The small business community of Perth is very heart centered and is getting involved with Oxfam Trailwalker either as volunteers before the trailwalker event or putting a team together to walk 50/100kms and raise funds to fight against global poverty.

Below is the interview with Kerryn Lambert; Event operations Coordinator of Oxfam in WA to find out more about the trailwalker initiative.

Hi Kerryn, please tell us more about how Oxfam’s initiatives specifically Trailwalker, is benefiting Perth community and the Global well-being

Oxfam Trailwalker, is a large active, nature based team challenge which offers a fantastic way to improve one’s fitness, general well-being and connection with others. Oxfam Trailwalker, which is Oxfam’s largest fundraising event,has collectively raised more than $4,5million over the past five years from the Perth event alone; which has in turn helped Oxfam Australia progress it’s mission to tackle global Poverty!

Oxfam Trailwalker involves teams of 4 walkers or runners completing a 100km trail within 48hours or 50km trail within 24hours and through undertaking this challenge, raising funds for Oxfam. To date, the Perth event has seen more than 6,000 people participate in the past five years, resulting in many getting fitter, acquiring a new lease on life through challenging themselves and improving  work, family or friendship bonds. Not only are participants reaping the  rewards, but so are our local communities, stakeholders, suppliers and small businesses i.e. vendors. By conducting our event, all these organisations have benefited through either increased visitation, and patronage of local venues in the Perth Hills, as well as economic gains through supply to the event.

Please tell us a little about Trailwalker initiative in Perth

The Perth event is heading into its sixth year and is held around late September, early October in the Perth Hills. This year’s event is being held on the 5 -7 October 2018 with options to do either the 100km or 50km event distance. Each team is encouraged to raise a minimum of $1600 per team to participate, with funds directed towards Oxfam’s programs and initiatives. Teams of four must walk the entire trail together, making this a unique team building event. Teams are encouraged to organize a support crew which is usually made up of friends, family or colleagues- whoever is keen to roam with the team and resource them along the way. There are a number of checkpoints erected along the 100km & 50km trail, located approximately 10-18km apart which offer basic essential resources to teams, as they make their way to the finish line. Support crews can meet their teams at these checkpoints ,so whether you are walking or supporting a team, Oxfam Trailwalker truly is about working together to achieve an amazing feat!

How can the small business community get involved?

There are numerous ways to get involved with Oxfam Trailwalker besides the most obvious one of participating. As this is a very important fundraising event for Oxfam, we would love to encourage the Perth Small Business Community to round up a team and experience the magic by taking on the challenge. However, if walking 100kms is not your idea of having fun, we are always seeking support through volunteering on the event. We require up to 500 volunteers to operate our event over the weekend and have a wide selection of roles to fill. Volunteering could include anything from Trail marshalling, Trail marking or sweeping, helping at a checkpoint or getting involved with logistic support. Helping on Trailwalker is a great way to meet new people, have some fun and help support the cause.  You can find more information about volunteering on the event at

Team 1 Sunrise walkers

(That sounds exciting); Can the community create their own teams of four now and start training? I am assuming training is very much needed?

Yes absolutely! Registration is open and we encourage teams to start training a few months in advance as this is a challenging endurance event which requires preparation, fitness and planning. It truly is a journey to the finish line which starts months before, when you make the decision to take on this noteworthy, fun and memorable challenge. In fact many teams remark on how much they love the training walks and preparation as it gets them into nature and offers quality time to bond together before the big day!  All information about the event and how to register can be found on

Oxfam is the Charity partner at Perth’s Biggest Small Business Expo run by Nifnex. Please tell us what are the main driving factors that lead you to getting involved?

We are very supportive of Nifnex and the way this inspiring and heart centred business community operate. We are keen to get more small business owners and corporates out on the trail as our event offers such great well-being and team building opportunities. The values of Nifnex are strongly aligned with ours and being part of the Expo seemed like an ideal way to make the Small business community aware of our brilliant event. Oxfam Trailwalker has the potential to strengthen connection amongst small business owners and their staff or friends in the Nifnex community; all for a greater global cause which aligns perfectly with the ethos of the Nifnex business model. We are truly excited and appreciative of this partnership and are looking forward to being part of the Expo!

Please tell us what Oxfam would like to achieve from raising the funds from the Trailwalker initiative?

Oxfam Trail walker’s primary objective is to raise significant funds that can be directed into any of our primary initiatives which include:- Emergency response/Disaster aid, Advocacy and Campaigning, and conducting Sustainability programs that encourage self-sufficiency.  We hope to improve our fundraising outcomes year on year by encouraging more people to participate, and in doing so, support and help further Oxfam’s outstanding work.

For More Details visit Oxfam Perth Website

Perth Traffic Training keeping our roadwork sites safe

Perth Traffic Training keeping our roadwork sites safe

Roadwork sites in Western Australia have seen 1235 crashes over a four year period alone which could have been avoided with the correct education & training. Perth Traffic Training strive to provide the right training to traffic management workers to keep our roadwork sites safe.

Stats from the Road Safety Commission for 2010 – 2014 show: 48 people required hospitalisation, 189 needed medical attention and there were 7 fatalities

Classroom Trainiing perth trafic trainingWe interviewed Perth Traffic Training to find out why having proper training is crucial to the safety of the worksites and our roads.

So what makes Perth Traffic Training courses so essential to understanding roadworks sites and its safety?

For most people, roads are for getting from A to B. For us, they’re our A to Z ­and everything in between. Behind every road network or construction zone is a tightly engineered traffic management system that directs, controls and supervises vehicle and pedestrian traffic and we take this role seriously.

Tell us a little more about Perth Traffic Training?

We are a traffic management training and auditing company delivering Main Roads WA accreditation courses and providing roadworks audits for entities such as Main Roads WA, local government, traffic management companies and private contractors. Our passion is to educate, promote and improve behaviours on our roads particularly involving roadworks sites and the general public.

We are passionate about delivering the best training available and putting WA at the forefront of Australian traffic management.

So what makes Perth Traffic Training so essential to understanding roadworks sites and its safety?

Our on the ground experience and vast knowledge of the industry, standards, codes and regulations. We teach from the perspective of those interacting with these sites whether they be workers or the general public. Our training can adapt to suit any work scenario

What industries do your clients come from?

Our clients range from construction related businesses, civil contractors, event organisers, traffic management companies, local government, security companies, landscapers, cabling companies, government utilities, road construction companies, tree management services, communication companies, engineering and mining companies.

Are your courses accredited and what can a client also expect from Perth Traffic Training?

In partnership with Star Training and Assessing we deliver Main Roads WA accredited courses from basic to advanced and students benefit from our interactive learning and out of the box thinking

What has Perth Traffic Training been most proud of participating with or been featured in?

Have appeared in Earthmover and Civil Contractor magazine, are the highest qualified traffic management trainers in Western Australia, have background in crash investigation and are a part Aboriginal company who are members of Supply Nation. We have begun working with the Road Trauma Support group in an effort to promote awareness of Road Safety.

 Your main focus are Traffic management and Traffic Control  courses, where are they located and how regular are they run?

Our training venue is located at the Business Station, 2232b Albany Hwy, Gosnells opposite the Train Station

We run regular basic to advanced traffic management courses and construction white cards with more courses on the way. We also provide roadworks traffic management auditing services.

Perth Traffic Training reducedWho can we contact to find out more about traffic management courses and how to get a white card?

Paul Klimaitis 0427 268 882

Admin 0438 813 831

Visit Perth Traffic Training stand at the Nifnex Expo 4th May 2018. Book your free ticket now for a limited time.

There is Life After Debt – Find out More

There is Life After Debt – Find out More

There is Life After Debt – Find out More

Life After Debt –  Freedom is priceless so when we are tied down with personal or business debt, it can feel like that we have lost the will and life we envisioned for ourselves.  That we seem to have no say in where we want our life to lead and our choices once abundant are now so restricted that you see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Every year more and more people and families fall into some kind of debt and believe it to be the worst chapter in their life,  the team at Life After Debt  are not a lender or financial services broker, help assess your situation and let you see that light at the end of the tunnel.  Find out more how below.

Penny - headshot

Penny May

Kerry - headshot

Kerry Smith

We interviewed Penny & Kerry from Life After Debt who are a Gold Exhibitor at the Nifnex Business Expo this May, to find out how they can help individuals get out of their personal debt, avoid bankruptcy, how to manage their debt better and still have freedom in their life. 

How long has Life After Debt been helping small business and individuals get out of debt successfully?

Australian Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, trading as Life After Debt ® – – Our Directors have over 50 years’ experience in Insolvency, Debt Management and Restructuring and bring this knowledge and expertise to the private sector to advise and help those who find themselves overwhelmed with personal debt.  We are not a lender or financial services broker. We are proud to have offices both here in Perth and Sydney.

How does Life After Debt help people in a financial situation that can become a detrimental impact to their life or may look at bankruptcy as their only option?

Our debt solutions are specifically aimed at those who are ineligible for lending.  We assess solutions such as debt negotiation, debt settlement offers, informal arrangements, and compromised payment arrangements with unsecured creditors – called a Part IX Debt Agreement.  Our solutions provide for the interest on the debt to be frozen and legal protection from further action – and the best part is that we deal with the Creditors so our clients have real stress relief from the harassment and perceived embarrassment of contacting their lenders themselves. 

Is anyone eligible to use Life After Debt services?

Anyone with unmanageable personal debt!  Mums, Dads, Singles, Young, Middling or Mature … no one is immune from debt – it can happen when you least expect it and take a variety of forms;  Credit cards, Personal loans, Tax debts, Centrelink debts, Store cards, Legal bills, Trade creditors, Old utility or telecommunications bills …. For example, most of our clients have experienced a significant life event which has impacted their ability to repay their debts, such as a relationship breakdown, unemployment/redundancy, physical injury, business failure, lifestyle issues like gambling or other addictions.

What are the steps people need to take to get out of their debt successfully?

We assess their household budget and what they can afford to offer their Creditors as a repayment (instead of what each Creditor is demanding).  We use this amount as an offer to Creditors to roll all unsecured debts into one package!  The interest on the debt is frozen, the client has legal protection from recovery in respect of their debts, and are left with a single manageable repayment.  There are credit implications which need to be explained as this solution will be listed on your credit file for a minimum period of 5 years, however upon successful completion of the repayment agreement (usually 4-5 years) all of the debts are discharged.  The credit file listing is removed after 5 years so then the person has a ‘clean slate’ to start over and none of the longer-lasting effects of Bankruptcy. 

I have read there is a increase in insolvencies in Australia, is this a growing concern for people?

The need is growing and growing. In the 2016/17 year there were over 30,000 Insolvencies in Australia. An increase of 2.1% from the preceding year.  Household debt is at records levels and not sustainable against recorded household incomes.  Society has become reliant on credit to live and the impact is taking its toll when there are industry downturns, under-and-unemployment.  Trying to keep up with previous debt when earning a reduced income means many Australians are looking for alternatives to Bankruptcy …. That is where we can help.

 As previously mentioned no one is immune from debt – it can happen when you least expect it.  Credit cards, Personal loans, Tax debts, Centrelink debts, Store cards, Legal bills, Trade creditors, Old utility or telecommunications bills …. For example, most of our clients have experienced a significant life event which has impacted their ability to repay their debts, such as a relationship breakdown, unemployment/redundancy, physical injury, business failure, lifestyle issues like gambling or other addictions.

 What can people expect when contacting your team at Life After Debt?

Australian Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, trading as Life After Debt ® – we were established in Perth in 2008 and are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year.  Our team focuses on providing the best service to assist individuals with unmanageable levels of personal debt.  Financial distress is very stressful … one of the most common comments we get is how relieved the person is after just speaking with us.  We take the stress away at Life After Debt® and are proud of the positive feedback we receive from our clients and the genuine difference we can make to a person’s life.  Our motto is “Lose your debt, not your dignity”.

Who can we contact in Perth / Western Australia for an initial confidential consultation?

Penny May or Kerry Smith in the Perth office.

Tel:  1300237669