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Businesses in Southbank

10 Dec 2013

For Tereza Todd, going to work each day means coming face-to-face with a 750 kg crocodile.

Tereza is lead aquarist at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium and is one the croc keepers taking care of new addition, saltwater crocodile Pinjarra.

At over five-metres long, Pinjarra is one of the largest crocodiles on display in the world and has been living at the aquarium since September.

According to Tereza, working as a croc keeper involves a range of different tasks.

“My daily croc duties generally involve checking the water quality and exhibit temperature twice daily, hosing Pinjarra down with fresh water to stimulate him, plus chatting to him so he gets used to our voices,” Tereza said.

Tereza said other duties included feeding attempts twice a week, exhibit cleaning and speaking with staff about Pinjarra’s behaviour alongside tending to other aquatic animals.

Tereza has worked at the aquarium since 2008 and has worked with crocodiles both at the aquarium and in previous roles.

Apparently not getting enough of crododiles at work, Tereza also keeps them as pets.  “I’ve kept crocodiles at home for years and currently own a pet freshwater crocodile named Victor,” she said.

But working with a large crocodile such as Pinjarra required some extra training.

Tereza said earlier this year she and four other aquarium staff members attended “croc college” in Queensland where they learnt the finer details involved in caring for one of the world’s most feared predators.

“The curriculum was pretty intense but when you’re dealing with such a large and powerful creature you definitely don’t want to leave anything out,” Tereza said.

Given his size you’d think Pinjarra would have a massive appetite but according to Tereza, large animals like Pinjarra can take a few months to settle into new homes.

“We’ve been closely monitoring his behaviour each day since his arrival and can see he’s gradually regaining his appetite. Each day he is exploring his new surroundings a little more and lapping up the attention from all his visitors,” Tereza said.

“Once he is completely settled we expect he will eat a couple of chicken portions every day.”

Pinjarra, who is believed to be around 50 years old, was relocated to the aquarium from a crocodile farm near Rockhampton in Queensland where he has lived for the past 20 years.

According to Tereza, because saltwater crocodiles are one of the world’s most feared predators, many people don’t understand why it’s important to preserve the species.

“If we wish to protect them for years to come, it’s imperative to help educate the public and that’s what we hope to do working with Pinjarra at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium.”

Apart from seeing Pinjarra at Croc Lair, visitors can see a range of underwater creatures at the aquarium, from penguins, to sharks, turtles, and tropical fish.

The SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is located on the corner of Flinders St and King St and is open every day of the year from 9.30am until 6pm.

All in the family

Southgate News and Lotto may stock an impressive range of magazines, cards and just about every newspaper ever printed, yet it’s the service that really makes the business shine.

Southgate News and Lotto is owned and operated by Michael and Mark, an uncle/nephew family team who ensure you leave the shop with a smile on your face.

Michael explained that their business philosophy was simply, making sure the customer left satisfied.

“We are working hard on delivering a service proposition that exceeds all of our customers’ expectations, by offering a friendly and courteous service,” Michael said.

Michael said he and Mark had been looking for a business like Southgate News and Lotto for over 12 months before buying it. It was the Southbank location that swayed them in the end.

“In our opinion it is in the right area, right people and high growth potential. You could not wish to be in a better position supporting the local community and tourism surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere all year round,” Michael said.

“It is a vibrant area supporting a very large work force and surrounded with many liveable high rises that support each other and make Southbank a community that we want to be actively involved in,” he added.

When they say the name “news and lotto” they really mean it. In addition to the Tattslotto service, there are magazines from all over the world, international, interstate, industry-based, metro and (most importantly) local newspapers.

There is also a remarkable range of gift cards – more than 1030 for sending any kind of wish you could possibly think of.

The business is expanding into the virtual world too, with the offering of stationery online, with free delivery to anywhere in Southbank.

Most of all Michael is hoping to establish the business as a community service.

“We are a family-owned business very keen to become part of the community and offer what the community seeks from us.”

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