Content is king

Don’t I know it. One of my colleague’s whole job is producing all sorts of content for our Alumni communications channels including our monthly e-News – listicles, video vox pops and social media on Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s a big job which keeps her very busy and while I miss content writing from my previous freelancing life, I’ve also been glad to move on to more strategic work, which will still be operational in nature next year when I execute my Young Alumni plan.


I went to Shine On with Jules Lund at the Rosanna Golf Club on Wednesday night as a guest of Banyule Business. It was a great event with close to 100 local small business people there to see Jules present. He’s had a really interesting career change from Getaway TV host (followed by radio) which saw his Facebook page for radio the most highly engaged in Australia at one point. His interest in graphic design and photography (visual content) has resulted in his move into the entrepreneurship space with his global marketing technology company Tribe. It was a fascinating discussion made all the more interesting by his back story as a Reach Foundation protege mentored by the late, and great, Jim Stynes (and Reach Foundation founder) at the age of 15 – something I wasn’t aware of.



Jules has had a stellar rise in the digital marketing industry but learnt a lot of life lessons on the way including the need to step back once a CEO is in place and the anxiety that comes with running a business of his scale that has grown exponentially from him as founder to 70 plus people globally. He stressed the need for prioritising sleep over work and the power of meditation. While he is focused on building wealth at the moment, I do question whether it’s worth it and I hope that he one day returns to the giving space supporting Reach. Money is not always everything and balance has become increasingly important to me as I get older – easy to want but hard to put into practice especially with competing needs of family, friends, work and your own interests.

It was fantastic to see three of the Banyule Business small business awards (presented after Jules Lund) go to sustainable cleaning company The Pure Green Fairy, Leni Swims and The Ode Wardrobe – the latter two businesses create sustainable swimwear and bridal wear. I spoke to Thanh Nguyen from The Pure Green Fairy after her win as well as a number of other media people there (including my friend and ex-colleague Anastasia who won the door prize!) and La Trobe alumnus and Tribe staff member Zach Karengalis.

Networking also took place before the event so it was lovely to also catch up briefly with my friend Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training who has moved to the public speaking circuit on top of still running her business.


It was hard to go out on a school night but evening events will become more common in the lead up to Christmas and with summer soon upon us – the Summer Night Market has started at the Queen Vic Market in the city while the Coburg Night Market is also on next weekend. I was in the city briefly today walking past the heritage listed Victorian Artists Society building (above) and it was glorious in the sun after the heat of yesterday. Have a good one.


Smelling the roses

The La Trobe University Distinguished Alumni Awards were held on Monday evening and it was a long day and night for me. They are an annual event which were held in the city at Metropolis Events at Southgate which offered glittering night-time views of Melbourne and it was spectacular to get there late afternoon where we could see Arbory Afloat on the Yarra opposite us.


I got to mingle at the start of the evening talking to a number of high profile people I’d previously worked with when I managed the Bold Thinking Series including Virginia Trioli (who was one of the winners) and her partner Russell Skelton, Tony Walker, Geoff Walsh and Professor Jenny Graves AO plus a number of other leading academics and industry professionals with ties to La Trobe. Prior to the Awards, guests were also treated to a surprise performance by the Australian Ballet School – one of the University’s partners.


Writer and academic Dr (now Professor) Clare Wright was MC with Chancellor John Brumby AO making presentations along with Vice-Chancellor John Dewar to the stellar lineup of winners, which included Young Achiever Awards to Melbourne AFLW player Daisy Pearce and surgical resident Dr Batool Albatat; rural women’s pioneer Alana Johnson, epidemiologist Dr John Hopper AM, SecondBite co-founder Simone Carson AM and ABC Melbourne Mornings host Virginia Trioli completing the field.



My wider team and La Trobe staff were given the beautiful floral table decorations at the end of the night and so I have stopped to smell the roses and enjoy the beauty of life this week, knowing that lift itself is a gift.


Speaking of flowers, the Bee Shed Launch Party is being held on Sunday at the Alphington Farmers Market and my friend and Bundoora Homestead Art Centre Director Ella Hinkley is involved with the Pollinator Alliance while tomorrow the Rosanna Primary Old School Fair, the Paella Sangria Churros night (fun!) at The Pioneer Cafe, the annual Watsonia craft fair and the Melbourne Ceramics Market in Collingwood (which local ceramic artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen is part of) are all on – it’s a big day.

If the weather holds, the Malahang Festival is also on this Sunday in Heidelberg West as well as the Public Run Day at the Box Hill Miniature Railway. Strange to think our Spring weather has been so mild this year and my thoughts have been with our NSW neighbours up north battling those horrific bushfires this week. Stay cool…


How has your year been so far? Despite having to work Melbourne Cup day and all of this week, I did get the chance to stop and take a breath given the crazy pace I’ve led most of this year. The recent experience of friends and family who have suffered serious illness and loss on an unimaginable scale has given me pause for thought about what’s really important and how precious life truly is. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if there are things you want to do in life, don’t put them on hold. Enjoy the here and now and live in the present as life is far too short and fleeting and our grasp on it becomes all the more tenuous as we get older.

Remembrance Day image via Yarra City Council

And yes, I should be taking my own advice given my motto this year was to Live like you’re dancing. There’s also a good article on Medium about Alfred Adler and The Courage to be Disliked about focusing on the journey and all the living that happens in between because for most of us who are lucky enough, there is still a lot of living to do and life does, and will, go on. I wish you love and courage always on your journey.

The weather has contributed to my introspection this week and I feel for the organisers of outdoor events that are happening around Melbourne this weekend including the yoga festival Wanderlust taking place in the Alexandra Gardens tomorrow, the Open Spaces Festival at the Abbotsford Convent, the 3 Ravens & Thornbury Bowls Club Community Festival and the Eltham Rotary Festival.

It may be safer to go along to the Shakers & Makers Market at the Coburg Town Hall or Suitcase Rummage at the Northcote Town Hall although outdoor events and dogs seem to have become a thing with Dogapoolooza 2019 on in Richmond this Sunday and Hounds of Heide in Bulleen next Sunday 17 November. It’s also Remembrance Day on Monday 11 November and for me, it will have a much deeper significance this year and always.

*This post is dedicated to the memory of Zen Lucas – a friend, a father, husband, son and brother but most of all a wonderful human being.


My kingdom for a horse

Hot Halloweens make it harder for parents and I hope you survived the shenanigans last night if you were one of those good people out there shepherding children in local streets or doling out treats from home. My eldest son got a ‘trick’ from one household who gave the ghoulish hordes frozen peas instead of sweets! A clever idea – wasabi peas would have taken it one step further – heh heh!


It’s also a warm start to Spring Racing Carnival and while I have mixed feelings about horse racing, I do love horses. I commented a while ago on this blog about the beautiful horses I’d seen at Kryal Castle (above) near Ballarat 18 months ago when visiting. I was listening to the radio yesterday and they are holding a special Australia vs England jousting tournament this weekend. Yes, jousting as in knights on horses with lances trying to push each other off…all very medieval. Locally, you can see horses at the North Eastern Horse and Pony Club or RDA Viewbank – another one of the beautiful surprises in that leafy green Viewbank to Lower Plenty pocket.

Retailers have already started spruiking Christmas and I love the Buy Regional Christmas campaign by the NSW government to support drought-stricken farmers – it’s better to mindfully consume locally made or owned products to benefit local people and I’m also glad to see that single use plastic bags are slowly being phased out.

If you are out and about locally, Music in the Park is being held in Were Street Montmorency which will help get you into the weekend vibe. My current work colleagues have been wearing beautiful shirts from Mojo on Main in Montmorency if you are in the area. Youth Arts Showcase Express also opens at Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe next Wednesday night and if you’re not thinking about Millennials and post-Millennials, you probably should be in coming years as their generation becomes a force in the business world and society in general.