Penrith is a vibrant growing centre on the banks of the beautiful Nepean River with the escarpment of the famous Blue Mountains serving as a delightful backdrop to the west. The CBD of Penrith has grown with the local community and presently serves not only the 300,000 plus people in the Local Government area but also is a regional hub for people living in communities on the Blue Mountains in the West, Mt Druitt and Blacktown in the East, Richmond/Windsor to the north and across to Camden in the South.
In reality Penrith is a key satellite city on the western edge of greater Sydney, serving as a hub for almost a million people through its growing medical facilities, businesses of all kinds, shopping centres, as well as a centre for sporting and cultural events. Penrith is increasingly being seen as a tourist destination as the Nepean Valley is being discovered by both national and international visitors.
We saw during 2010, first with the State By-Election and then the very close Federal Election, a focus on Penrith. What was considered by many as a working class area with predictable voting patterns in the far western suburbs is changing. The area has changed and new communities like Glenmore Park have sprung up, so that there are lots of young families, professionals and people of a variety of backgrounds now living and working in Penrith area. Penrith has outgrown it’s ‘Westie’ image.
The hub of the sporting life of Penrith is the mighty Penrith Panthers NRL team. 2010 was a strong year when they showed signs they could go all the way as they did in 1991 and 2003 to win the coveted Premiership. It’s not just the footy team, Panthers Leagues Club is the largest Club in the Southern Hemisphere with many affiliate clubs around the country, and plans to expand their influence still further in the area.
Tony Ferguson began as a pharmacist in Penrith (and still is) but his successful weightloss program has now gone round the world in many countries most recently being launched through 800 Boots Chemists shops in the UK. His whole very successful business operation is based in Penrith.
Jim Aitken runs a very successful multi-site Real Estate Business which employs around 200 people in Penrith and the Lower Blue Mountains. Jim has been a past Mayor of Penrith, and is still a local councillor of many years standing. He has established several businesses over his business life and sold all of them to his employees.
The Penrith Chamber of Commerce is the second largest in NSW with around 500 members, and an excellent program of networking and other events geared to inspire business opportunity and community leadership in the area. The spirit of enterprise within this group is outstanding, with a sense of optimism that comes in a growing well integrated community. Today we see the older more established businesses working alongside the newer growing companies as the local economy gathers momentum and this very livable city enters into what should be its best era.
As Tony Ferguson and a growing number of local companies have found Penrith is a great place to start and grow a business that is international in scope. In a global economy nowhere is very far anymore. And in Australia, Western Sydney is now the 4th largest economy in the nation.
So standing on the shoulders of pioneers who have forged the way, new and younger businessmen and women are emerging in Penrith, so much so that there is now a thriving networking group for called GenYQ for under 35’s led by Michael Todd. Who knows what dreams they have in their hearts and what amazing ventures are being established right now that will also help to put Penrith on the map.
‘Successful Leadership Series Penrith’ is a series of 20 minute interviews with a range of business people who have started businesses in the Penrith area and become very successful. In this venture Summit Leadership Solutions has cooperated with Michael Todd of the Penrith Business Enterprise Centre. These interviews are available on the GenYQ website. The purpose is to inspire and encourage everyone but especially younger business people who have a dream in their heart and who would like to contribute to the rich heritage of success that is already available in Penrith.