QLD Newsagent of the Year 2023

SHOP 1173, Westfield North Lakes, QLD

Allen Tan is a proud member of the vibrant community around PaperBoxx North Lakes.  Located just 30 kilometers north of Brisbane, this store is a beacon of modernity nestled within the bustling Westfield Shopping Centre.

Allen’s journey is characterised by commitment, innovation and a deep sense of community. He migrated to Australia in 1996 and feels blessed to have been embraced by the warmth and opportunities of this great nation. His entrepreneurial voyage began in 2017 when he crossed paths with his business partner, Eva, who owned a newsagency in Given Terrace. This encounter kindled a spark of inspiration that led to the birth of PaperBoxx – a testament to their shared vision for a modern newsagency, that seamlessly fuses tradition with innovation.

During the unforeseen challenges posed by the global pandemic, Allan and Eva embarked on a new chapter in 2020, launching this flagship PaperBoxx store within Westfield North Lakes. Allen’s foresight and dedication to adapting to changing times resulted in a striking transformation from the conventional to the contemporary – a remarkable shift that resonates with the evolving needs of the community.

A Distinctive Identity

At PaperBoxx North Lakes, distinction is into every facet of its identity. Allen and his team have passionately curated a collection of reputable brands. The quest for value-for-money products isn’t just a mantra, it’s their mission. They are committed to being a retailer of quality and affordable products, fostering trust and loyalty among their customers.


PaperBoxx North Lakes represent the concept of a “satellite town” – a place where individuals of diverse ages, backgrounds, and origins come together as a harmonious unit. The community thrives on the idea of providing residents with everything they need within their own suburb. This philosophy of coexistence has fostered a remarkable synergy, empowering the community to stand together as a source of strength and support.

PaperBoxx North Lakes’ commitment to community extends beyond commerce. With open arms, they engage with local not-for-profit groups, contributing merchandise for raffles and events – a gesture that exemplifies their dedication to nurturing their community.


The best advice that Allen received was from Max, the founder of Maxwell & Williams. Who said, “If Maxwell & Williams cannot provide value-for-money products to our people, then we will cease to exist”. This encapsulates the ethos that drives Allen’s purpose-driven approach. He imparts this wisdom to all, recognising that a thriving business is not solely about profit, but about enriching the lives of the community through exceptional service and valuable offerings.

In a world where economics can be uncertain, Allen advocates for conscientious product selection to deliver genuine value to the local community. In embodying this philosophy, businesses can flourish, ensuring that the well-being of the community remains at the heart of all endeavours.



Shop 6, 401 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004

Jimmy, dedicated owner of Domain Authorised Newsagency has over two decades of experience in the ever-evolving news and convenience industry. Jimmy’s journey has been a testament to his adaptability and community engagement, allowing him to navigate the challenges and stay relevant in changing times.

Having witnessed the transformation in media consumption, Jimmy recognised the shift away from traditional newspaper and magazine sales. In response, he took a proactive approach, diversifying his offerings to include an array of gifts, cards, and convenience items. By embracing this evolution, Jimmy has ensured his store remains a go-to destination, not just for news, but for a diverse range of customer needs.


What sets Jimmy apart is his exceptional rapport with his customers. Over the years, he has built strong relationships, making every visit to his store an engaging experience. Jimmy cherishes the moments spent chatting with his customers, creating a sense of familiarity that resonates beyond transactions.

One of Jimmy’s remarkable strengths is his ability to understand his community. Nestled in an area with a significant senior population, he has remained attuned to their preferences. As a result, he continues to serve a customer that values the tactile experience of print media and traditional offerings.



71 Chapel St. Windsor, VIC 3181


Khushbu Patel and Shyam Ramani, owners of a charming Windsor LPO business that has stood the test of time and evolving markets for seven years. Khushbu’s journey is a testament to the power of adaptability, community engagement, and exceptional customer service.

Taking over an old shop in 2016, Khushbu and her brother embarked on a journey that proved to be successful even in the face of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. When most places shut down, their newsagency remained open as an essential service. This commitment not only sustained their business but also led to increased foot traffic and sales.

Community-Centric Approach:

Their newsagency thrives on its deep connection with the local community. With a significant portion of their customer base being seniors, Khushbu and her team go above and beyond to assist these customers in their day-to-day tasks. From helping with bill payments to explaining parcel shipments, their personalised service has endeared them to the community.

For Windsor LPO team the secret to their success lies in diversification. They experiment with various products to cater to their customers’ changing needs. From beanies in winter to umbrellas in spring, they curate their offerings to match the seasons and customer preferences. Their extensive display of cards and gifts has also become a major draw for customers. 

Family Values and Customer Service:

What sets them apart is their unwavering commitment to customer service. They believe that polite and attentive service is key to building strong relationships with customers. Even during busy times, they make an effort to spend quality time with each customer, fostering loyalty.

Khushbu’s advice for fellow newsagency owners is simple yet powerful. She emphasises the importance of trying new things and adapting to changing trends. She advises against sticking to a single approach and suggests embracing innovation. She also highlights the significance of customer service and personal connections in building a thriving business.

With their customer-centric approach and willingness to evolve, she envisions continued growth for their newsagency. Windsor LPO story is inspiration for entrepreneurs, reminding them that genuine care for customers, adaptability, and a passion for community integration can lead to long-lasting success.



Julie Tran | VANA Rookie of the Year 2023

1/251 East Boundary Rd, Bentleight East


Julie Tran, a remarkable member newsagent with an inspiring journey. Hailing from the beautiful country of Vietnam, Julie has embraced Melbourne as her second home for over seven years. With a solid 20-year career in the IT industry in Vietnam, she made a bold move to Australia and embarked on a new adventure as a Real Estate Agent. However, Julie’s entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there. Four years ago, she took the leap into the world of Newsagencies, and now, she’s a proud business owner with a flourishing store. Her story is a testament to determination, adaptability, and community engagement.

Embracing New Challenges

Julie’s entrepreneurial journey truly took flight in the midst of the pandemic. Two years into the pandemic, she decided to challenge herself further by venturing into her own business. Newsagencies became her chosen field due to its stability and potential for newcomers.

Despite the initial confusion and steep learning curve, Julie’s commitment paid off. After a year of hard work, her store has thrived, welcoming new clients, building relationships with suppliers, and witnessing a significant increase in revenue.

A Strong Foundation

What sets Julie’s store apart is the connection she has with her customers. Her community engagement strategy is built on understanding their needs and fostering relationships. With 40% of her regular clients residing in the local area and an additional 20% being traders, Julie tailors her services to match their preferences. For residents, she offers a listening ear and a friendly conversation, while for traders, she ensures quick and convenient service. Julie’s approach has created a sense of familiarity and trust that keeps customers coming back.

Community and Growth

Julie’s store success story reflects the remarkable community she serves. The people in Bentleigh East are known for their kindness, politeness, and willingness to help. They have welcomed Julie with open arms, assisting her in her journey, especially when she was getting acquainted with Tatts products. The community’s support has made Julie feel like an integral part of the neighbourhood and she values the opportunity to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Valuable Lessons and Support

When it comes to advice, Julie credits the invaluable guidance from Tatts and VANA | NLNA. Their support has been instrumental in her business journey, from smooth operations to community integration. Through them, Julie has gained access to suppliers, industry updates, and even government support for entrepreneur companies. Julie expresses her heartfelt gratitude for the community that VANA | NLNA have cultivated, and she’s honoured to be a part of it.

Julie Tran’s journey is a shining example of how resilience, adaptability, and genuine community engagement can lead to remarkable success. Her story inspires us to embrace challenges, foster connections, and continually seek knowledge.



Cnr McCrae and, Walker St, Dandenong VIC

Sineth Sareth Sar, a remarkable individual with an extraordinary life journey, emerges as an embodiment of resilience, success, and community commitment. Born in Cambodia, Sineth’s early years were marked by the turmoil of war, prompting her family to seek refuge in France when she was just 5 years old. This early upheaval instilled in her a tenacious spirit that would shape her path forward.

Sineth’s insatiable thirst for knowledge led her to pursue studies in International Business across multiple renowned cities: Paris, San Francisco, and Barcelona. These global experiences broadened her horizons, laying the foundation for her future endeavors. As an international account manager for prominent telecommunications corporations, she traversed the landscapes of Europe and Africa, amassing invaluable insights into the intricacies of global business.

Fate interceded as Sineth met her future husband, Ratana, and together they embarked on a new chapter in Australia two decades ago. This relocation marked the genesis of her journey in the healthcare sector. Pursuing a nursing degree at the Australian Catholic University, she concurrently established RST Consulting – an enterprise that would flourish under her guidance.

Family remains at the epicenter of Sineth’s narrative. Her union with Ratana blessed them with two exceptional children, Marina and Tom, now 17 and 19 years old respectively. Their presence is a constant source of pride and joy, underscoring the significance of nurturing cherished relationships.

Palm Plaza Lotto 

Sineth’s entrepreneurial inclinations led her to acquire Palm Plaza Lotto Dandenong, a retail establishment that has grown into a symbol of luck and community cohesion within the City of Greater Dandenong. The shop’s remarkable journey captured national attention, boasting an astounding 39 Division 1 wins. Throughout this success, Sineth has consistently championed the significance of exceptional customer service. Her resounding message to her team is a reminder that their salaries are facilitated by the customers they serve – a principle that underscores her commitment to value addition and issue resolution.

Giving  back to the community

The ethos of community service is deeply ingrained in Sineth’s actions. For more than a decade, she has held the role of Vice Chairperson for the NGO Save Cambodian Children Fund Australia. Her volunteer work within this organisation focuses on raising funds to establish schools for underprivileged children in Cambodia. This philanthropic endeavour resonates deeply with her, highlighting the profound impact that changing lives can bring.

Never Give Up

Amidst her journey, one principle echoes the value of persistence. Believing in one’s dreams can usher them into reality. Sineth’s unwavering dedication to giving back to society and never losing sight of her roots remains a guiding light. Reflecting on two decades in Australia, she finds contentment in her achievements. A global perspective permeates her approach to business, underscoring the importance of embracing diverse viewpoints.

Her experiences stand as an inspiration for others to pursue their aspirations, drive positive change, and embrace the world with an open heart.



Kiosk 3/111 Cecil St, South Melbourne VIC 3205


Amelia Lay, is a prominent member of our community and owner of Seraglio Lotto. She brings a variety of experience that has significantly influenced her journey.  Amelia’s prior professional background involved serving as a Senior Customer Service Specialist at the Bank of Melbourne. This trajectory eventually guided her into the dynamic Tatts business, where she embarked on a journey of discovering fresh horizons and seizing new opportunities. Yet, amidst these diverse roles, her greatest source of pride remains her role as a dedicated mother to her beautiful daughters.

Driven by a legacy of success, woven by her grandfather’s entrepreneurial acumen, Amelia embarked on a path of business exploration. With a genuine passion for cultivating connections, she transitioned into the Tatts business domain, where she has actively contributed for nearly seven years.  Amelia has transformed her establishment into more than just a store – it’s a bustling hub of community engagement.

Success & Community

Amelia’s store exudes a distinctive charm, radiating an atmosphere of warmth, assistance, and humour that captivates customers. It’s her strong belief that a sincere smile can build bridges to hearts and minds. That sets her store apart. Her recipe for success hinges on attitude – an attitude that not only unlocks doors but also creates boundless opportunities.

Amelia’s influence extends beyond her store. Nestled within the heart of South Melbourne her community shines as a model of unity and mutual support. The bonds forged here echo the sentiment that together, we are stronger.

Amelia is thrilled to be an integral part of this community, ready to share her journey, the wisdom she’s gathered, and her unshakable belief in the transformative power of kindness and attitude. Her story is a beacon of inspiration, illuminating the path of success for all those who are part of this remarkable community.


Guided by the timeless adage, “The world is my oyster,” Amelia embraces a mindset that empowers her to explore uncharted territories, learn, and continuously evolve. This philosophy has propelled her through challenges, leading her to discover doors she never imagined existed.