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The Resident, Matthew Bates

By Kyrenia Blanshard

This month, our Resident is Matthew Bates who lives in Naremburn. He is the award-winning Managing Director of Bell Partners Insurance, a boutique insurance brokerage that specialises in protecting mid-sized businesses against risk. He’s an early riser and is often spotted walking his dog, Max, around the streets of Naremburn at sunrise. Matthew has two children and is married to Emily, who also works within the insurance brokerage field.

He shares his local favourites with us, why he loves living in Naremburn and how he’s managed to combine his passion for insurance with his love of boats and luxury cars.

You currently reside in Naremburn, what do you love about the area?
I love that, despite being so close to the city, it still feels like a quiet, local neighbourhood. It’s part of the reason I love walking the streets each morning. One silver lining of last year’s lockdowns and working from home was that I got to start each early morning with a really long walk, to take in the sunrise and really appreciate the beauty of the nature around us. I especially loved walking all around Flat Rock Gully. It clears my mind and gets me ready to start my day. Healthy body. Healthy mind.

Anything you don’t love?

What’s not to love about Naremburn?! However, like a number of residents, I have concerns over the current proposed Northern Beaches Tunnel Link project. Specifically where there is a plan to use and destroy the baseball diamond area and Flat Rock Gully bushland – that would certainly change my morning walk views!

Can you share with us your favourite spot for a coffee in the area?
You can’t go past Forsyth’s Coffee – superb single origin coffees as well as loose leaf teas. Join the line and watch the experts produce a quality coffee experience.

And for a feed?
The boutique natures of the Naremburn “high-street” shops on Willoughby Road cater for most – a family take-out Sunday lunch from Olde Fashioned Fish & Chips, a Friday night pizza from Naremburn Pizzeria. But what can be better than sipping on a craft beer with pub food or tapas from Flat Rock Brew Café – that would be a favourite!

Any local hidden gems you’d be kind enough to share with us?
Aside from the plethora of parks and “green” areas, as an avid tennis player, it is great to have two tennis operations within walking distance – one being the Wheatleigh Street courts or Love’n Deuce on Talus Street for practice, a social hit-out or competition.

What’s your favourite room in your place?
My wife might say my wine cellar/wine fridges may be my favourite place, but it would have to be our outdoor entertaining area – we love catching up with family & friends over food & beverages, whilst watching the kids (and big kids) relax and have fun in the pool.

Describe your ideal weekend…
Getting out on the water is my ‘happy place’, so I’ll do that whenever possible. Whether it’s taking my new trailer boat, an Aussie built Stejcraft bow-rider, down to the ramp at Tunks Park or at Roseville, I love to get out on the harbour. I’m teaching my kids to tube and wakeboard – something they’re really getting into. I even got out on the tube myself over the Easter weekend, which was highly amusing to the family!

When I’m back on dry land, the ideal way to finish the weekend is by hosting a BBQ back at our place. Family and friends – it’s what life is all about.

Finally, we know you are a keen fan of watersports and luxury cars. How have you managed to fuel that passion in your insurance business?
I love building relationships with clients and helping them protect their business, but we also protect any other special assets they have – which for many of our clients is their home, cars, boats and even aircraft in some instances. And because I have a passion for anything that drives fast (on land, water or air) I know and love that insurance market.

I think that’s what sets me apart from all the other insurance brokers out there and has been key to my success. I love building relationships with people. Hearing about their life, their family and their business. Because I have a memory like an elephant, I remember all the details, which means I know every client and how to help them with their insurance. I firmly believe that no matter the problem, there’s always a way to solve it. I heard a quote recently I liked: “If someone asks you what you do, tell them: whatever it takes!”

I genuinely get a kick out of helping clients in their hour of need and I think that’s what drives me to ensure they’re protected as best as possible against whatever life throws at them. It means I speak with real passion about insurance and clients can tell I genuinely care.

Thank you!

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