Local Mum Nicola Powell

Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east:

15 years! 2 years in Tamarama, before kids and marriage, then a blissful 10 years in Coogee when the children were little, and more recently in Eastlakes for the bigger space!

Three words to describe living in the eastern suburbs?

Busy, beautiful, connected.

How many children:

2 children. Samuel, aged 8, and Ava, aged 11.


Favourite Park:

Maybe an obvious one, but it’s still Spider Park, Coogee. Convenient, beautiful views and a range of things to play on.

Favourite Beach:

 Coogee, of course (for the memories and the friends we always bump into there!)

Favourite kid friendly cafe:

 I don’t seem to find the time to go to cafes unfortunately!

Favourite Coffee Spot:

 Coogee Beach after the school drop off for 10 minutes of breathing space!

Favourite date night place:

The Ritz bar outside balcony, The Spot. Simple, local and always hits the spot with the sunset, the art deco surrounds and the good wine list!

Favourite Local Day Out Activity:

A Sunday drive with the family down to Garie Beach in the Royal National Park. Love it!

Favourite Local Shop:

I could lie and pretend it is something more glamorous, but it’s got to be Aldi. Sad I know!!

Favourite wet weather location:

Our lounge room at home with the family playing games.

Describe an ideal day in Sydney’s eastern suburbs just for you?

Going for a run along our beautiful coastline, then meeting a friend for a walk and talk, then going shopping on my own in the afternoon for just a browse (OK, I might find something to buy too!)

What area of the east have you yet to explore much but would like to?

I would love to do more walks around the harbourside coastline from Rose Bay to Nielsen Park.

Work or Stay at home parent?

When my youngest was 3, I was approached to apply for a newly created role in a local small business. Five years on and I love my job as the Community Partnership Manager of the Clovelly Community Branch, Bendigo Bank. We are the only profit-for-purpose bank in the Eastern Suburbs and we give up to 80% of our profits back to our community.

My role is multifaceted and along with looking after the PR, marketing, events and social media for the branch, my role is to connect with local NFPs, see how we can support them and help them apply for grants and sponsorships from our branch. We give away around $100K a year to local NFPs and have given over $1.3 million just from our little Clovelly branch.

We have supported over 100 local community groups and our latest large donation was to the Bayside Women’s Shelter to pay their first years rent ($50K).

We have just renewed our support for another 6 months as they were struggling to find another sponsor for this big cost item. I enjoy connecting with the community at various touchpoints doing my best to have my finger on the pulse of what the community needs are; domestic violence, sporting groups, underprivileged children, mental health, the elderly, sustainability and the environment, etc.

Our branch at 222 Clovelly Road is a connection point for our supported community groups and our customers and locals who want to support them.

We regularly have collections for our groups at the branch, from collecting toiletries for the homeless on behalf of ‘Little Care Packs’, to food items for families in need on behalf of SECC. We are also the main drop off point for all donations to the women and children residing at the local Bayside Women’s Shelter for families who have escaped domestic violence.

We regularly post which items are needed for the shelter on our Facebook page ‘Clovelly Community Bank Branch’ so that people can donate specific items that are needed by the families there. We are currently running a present drive for the families spending Christmas at the shelter.

Motherly advice?

I am certainly no expert, but now my children have grown up abit and we are out of the toddler years, I would say to enjoy your children in the here and now. We only get this chance with our babies once and they will never be as young as they are today.

Try to see through the tired fog that sometimes descends on busy families and try to stop and focus on the simple things.

Enjoy the squeezing hugs at school drop off, answer those multiple questions about life that always come at bedtime when you are tired, and don’t let boring household chores get in the way of a good bounce with them on the trampoline. That’s actually advice to myself! Ha ha!