Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 27-01-2015 Contents Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 10
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Puppy love adds up for app designers
Alex Mackenzie, 5, at the Brindabella Business Park playing fields with dogs Louie, 8, Raven, 11, and Jazzy,
2, uses the Preschool Kids Math app created by his mother, Bronwen Mackenzie, and Adrienne Gross.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Creativity and a passion for puppies
were the keys to success for Canberra-
based app creators Bronwen
Mackenzie and Adrienne Gross.
The former work colleagues
developed Preschool Kids Math in
their spare time and, just weeks after it
launched on December 4, the app has
landed a spot on the Australian list of
GooglePlay top-selling educational
"I was looking for games for my son
Alex who was three at the time and
found there weren't a lot of quality
games," Bronwen said.
"I thought we both work in
instructional design full time so why
not create one ourselves?' "
One of only a few Australian-
created apps on the market, the game
invites young users to trace numerals
one to 20 by following a cute puppy
with their finger.
Adrienne said using animals in the
theme kept the experience playful as
boys and girls unconsciously
developed fine motor skills, the skill of
writing and an improved attention
span through game-play.
Nicknamed Puppy Trace by Alex,
now five, the game features voice-
over, original music composition and
graphic art by Canberra-based
Unlike many other games on the
market, Adrienne said the pair created
an app without advertisements, that
wouldn't collect data from users and
had no external linking.
Adrienne said that initiating their
technology start-up Flame Learning
had been a huge learning curve.
"Neither of us are technology
minded and can't write code or
anything," she said.
"It has been hours and hours of
Our aim was always to create
something original, with great
graphics and the must-have was to
Both women are avid dog lovers and
said many of their meetings occurred
when taking their pooches to the park.
"We were meeting in coffee shops,
after work in playgrounds and at dog
parks to keep track of where we were
with the project," Bronwen said.
The app was tested by families and
preschool teachers across Canberra
prior to its launch.
"We are going to translate it into
Spanish very soon too," Bronwen said.
"We hope Canberrans will get
behind us with this one as it is
hopefully one of many to come."
It is available for Android users via
GooglePlay and will soon be available
on Apple's app store.
Night flights in
The federal government has approved
the Canberra Airport's new master
plan, which includes an intention to
use its 24-hour status to become
Sydney's freight airport.
The plan was released for public
comment last March and was
approved by Deputy Prime Minister
Warren Truss on Thursday.
Mr Truss said the plan targets the
long-awaited commencement of
flights to international destinations
and by low-cost carriers'' from
Most controversially, the plan sets
out the airport's intention to take on
Sydney's freight traffic which the
airport said would equate to economic
stimulus and 1000 jobs.
This has previously been opposed
by Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury
who said Canberrans did not want to
inherit Sydney's night-time noise''.
Canberra Airport said the noise
would affect 750 homes.
The impact on the community
from night freight flights is mitigated
by the fact aircraft can arrive and
depart into Canberra Airport without
overflying residential areas. Of the
165,000 houses located in Canberra
and Queanbeyan only 750 are located
... outside the Canberra and
Queanbeyan noise abatement zones,''
the master plan stated.
The freight hub is expected to begin
operations in five to seven years' time,
starting with two to three jet freighter
aircraft a night.
The plan also includes a new air
traffic control tower and an expansion
of airline catering, maintenance and
freight businesses at the southern end
of Pialligo precinct.
Tharwa Drive closure is on the agenda
Welcome to 2015. I'm excited
about the year ahead and look
forward to doing our job which
is to advocate on behalf of the
people and businesses of
Our first monthly meeting is
on February 3, upstairs in the
Tuggeranong Southern Cross
Club, starting at 7.30pm.
I've made a special invitation
to lanyonites'' so that we can
discuss the closure of Tharwa
Drive. The ESA project
manager and a senior manager
from ACT Roads will be there.
We are hopeful Mick
Gentleman, who now has
ministerial responsibility for
roads, and Emergency Services
Minister Joy Burch will be
there. All are welcome. Karen
McPherson will also talk about
the new Erindale Community
The council will be taking
action on ongoing issues during
the year such as our opposition
to the light rail Canberra Metro
project, Lake Tuggeranong
water quality, Ashley Drive
duplication and the
establishment of a CIT campus
We are very keen on any
project that brings new life and
jobs into the town centre. The
new South Quay development
opposite Bunnings will do just
We also need to look at ways
of using the almost vacant
buildings between Anketell and
We've been asked to help
residents who are unhappy with
development applications on
properties in their vicinity.
Often we can help by guiding
residents through the process of
lodging an objection. If you
need help with any dealings
with government agencies,
you'll find our contact details
online at tuggcc.com.Eric Traise
Homeowners express frustration
At the Woden Valley
December public meeting we
had presentations by the
Goodwin Group, the John
James Foundation and Mr
The Goodwin Group intends
to redevelop its Farrer site into
medium density aged care with
building heights up to five
The John James Foundation
is looking to construct a respite
care facility for the leukaemia
foundation in Garran.
Residents affected by the Mr
Fluffy asbestos disaster
presented their concerns of the
proposed ACT government
buyback and were able to vent
their frustrations with the
Woden has been in the news
of late with concerns
continuing about shopping mall
traders leasing arrangements
with Westfield - some have
since surrendered their leases.
The likelihood Westfield will
extend the shopping mall seems
slim at this stage. It will
ultimately delay the
construction of a new bus
The community council is
calling on the ACT government
to upgrade the interchange
without Westfield and create a
modern bus facility, which has
shelter for all its commuters
transferring between services
and will be future-proofed for
light rail. Our next meeting in
February will have an update
on the long-awaited Woden-
Mawson masterplan in its draft
form. We will also have a
presentation by Disability ACT
and the Ricky Stuart
Foundation on its plans to build
a respite care facility.
All welcome on February 4
from 7.30pm at the Woden
Hellenic club. Martin Miller
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