It’s the name of the new book by Daisy Buchanan and a Millennial term similar to ‘adulting’ – where the noun becomes a verb. While I don’t have a toxic relationship with my job, I have very much been caught up with the demands of my recent appointment as Deputy Director of Marketing & Communications at ANZSOG. While we’ve now advertised for an Engagement Coordinator to backfill my former Alumni Coordinator role, it’s still been very busy now that applications are open for both the Deputy Leadership Program and 2023 enrolments for our two year part-time postgraduate Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) – our new marketing campaign also launches at the end of this month for all our foundation programs.

It’s been busy at home as well given the flurry of activity booking tradies in for jobs including still feeling like I’m camping until my new wardrobe is built and having to empty out all the bedrooms again to be carpeted in two months’ time-yes, the lack of skilled workers and housing/renovation boom coupled with supply chain issues and increased costs is very real. Still – it’s first world problems and I feel grateful to have a roof over my head and to be able to pay for my no doubt increased power bills this coming winter. Politically and economically, it is an interesting time with our new Prime Minister now in office and we may have official dealings with him very soon at ANZSOG.

It is an adjustment on both personal and professional fronts and while I hope I’m putting my own stamp on things, it’s definitely not comfortable and I’m not resting on my laurels – if you are in a new job, I reckon it takes a good six months to come to grips with all aspects of your role and to be able to take things forward. I’m trying to keep up my exercise and some social activities including a couple of long planned catch ups that are now happening.

Locally, Mr Rosanna and I had a cheap and cheerful anniversary dinner at Indian restaurant Cafe Saffron – an Ivanhoe institution that I hadn’t visited for a number of years and it was lovely to see lots of Indian families and friends dining the night we went out for dinner. Their specials are worth ordering if you go.

Cotham Dining Kew

I’ve also been to Kew twice in the past fortnight having fine dining Italian at their local institution Centonove where the waiters are suited up and it’s a cozy atmosphere that awaits you with great service on offer. The same owners also own Bar Alba across the road if you get there early and feel like a drink or something more lo-fi. Today, I caught up with one of my former La Trobe bosses – The Professor – and another friend and ex-colleague at Cotham Dining (the former Hellenic Republic in Kew) where the food was also excellent – it’s a big space and more modern in style but deserves a local following as well. Both places are lucky to have the well-heeled locals of Kew as customers.

Winter is coming and there’ll be an early blast of it this week – I hope you’re staying positive if you’re not a winter person like me. You may find this Age article on the benefits of dancing interesting like I did – it’s an activity that keeps you very much in the present moment and maybe we’d all benefit from dancing like nobody’s watching as the song goes (the Yuna version not Iggy Azalea’s). Hope you have a great week and I’ll try to ensure I stay careering onwards and upwards (rather than off the side of the mountain!).


Women in teal

We’re a week away from the federal election. As someone who needs to stay apolitical irrespective of the government of the day, I would personally love to see more women and more diversity represented in state and federal politics. Having said that, my greatest observation over the past 5 – 6 years working with political journalists and politicians is that I think it takes a certain type of person to choose that path. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted – the hours and endless media scrutiny alone can be deal breakers before you even get to an election. While it should be about policy rather then personality, I think it’s an incredibly challenging thing to be a politician and I certainly don’t envy them.

Nicky’s Majestic Retro Fridge in blue

The same could be said of leaders – whether they are born or made – some people feel the need to step up as leaders and other people don’t want the stress or responsibility. Having moved to a higher level role, I can say that the buck stops with you. There is no-one to escalate to – it’s you who is having the difficult conversations and making the hard decisions – doing the best you can with the information you have at the time.

I’ve been flat out at home and at work and can’t believe it’s nearly the middle of the year. Winter is a more introspective time with more time spent inside, which is a good thing as Mr Rosanna and I need to collect ourselves and work out how to best furnish and style our house including things we hadn’t necessarily budgeted for including heating downstairs. The garden is a whole other project in itself but we’re going to let it lay dormant over winter and have an arborist come over in Spring to assess the many trees on our property.

Before the money runs out, we’ve bought 3 – 4 vintage pieces on Facebook Marketplace and have been travelling all over Melbourne to collect meeting the interesting people who’ve owned them before us. We met fellow dog-lover Nicky today who restores antique furniture (and vintage cars!) and runs her own cleaning business. I loved her blue Majestic fridge – a retro style fridge made right here in Melbourne (Coburg). While I’ve always loved the look of Smeg fridges, I’m not sure how environmentally or budget-friendly they are so think I may make a beeline for Majestic if my current fridge ever dies. I also remember talking to a repair man years ago who told me Speed Queen washing machines were one of the better brands to buy as he rarely had to repair them. Who would have thought that the world of white goods could be so exciting! Have a great week.

Embrace the chaos

It is an interesting time especially too in the midst of a Federal election. While most of us have hit the play button once again after putting so much of our lives on hold, COVID-19 is ever present in the background. The numbers are still pretty high and I once again am thinking of those who work in our hospitals and aged care centres along with our ambulance, police and triple zero call centres and GPs.

High Street Thornbury

I know people who still haven’t contracted the virus but equally my office at the moment is like a war zone – we were already short staffed but my colleagues have been going down like flies and all of us are feeling the workload as we try to navigate our way through. It is a day by day proposition but I also think things could be much worse. I’ve started to have long awaited catch ups and other events with friends and family and don’t take those for granted.

Art Deco chrome table – Nostalgia Antiques

I’ve accepted this will be just the way life is for the moment and incremental changes will happen in time. It’s the same at home having moved into a new house. While we’ve unpacked most of our belongings, we now have painting being done so half my house is functional and the other half, including my kitchen, is covered in plastic with the rest of my stuff who know where! I admire people who stay at home while doing bigger renovations – it’s bit like camping for months and even years on end but I know we’re lucky to have a home.

My (mid life crisis) helix piecing

Mr Rosanna and I have been fans of the Heidelberg Good Karma Network and Facebook Marketplace for getting rid of, as well as buying, pre-loved items for our house. We organised a hard rubbish collection before we moved, but between the local community and posting goods on the HBG Network page – there wasn’t that much to collect in the end.

Since moving in, we’ve bought a couple of Art Deco pieces to house Mr R’s vinyl records and my elephant collection and are currently on the hunt for a new (old) couch for our formal lounge. We still visit antique stores in real life so found ourselves at Nostalgia Antiques in the very hip and happening High Street in Thornbury on Saturday. We’d love some Art Deco lighting but will need to save up and love a lot of the lights available from Prism Lighting.

Call it my mid-life crisis but my bestie Jules and I discovered a while ago we both wanted a helix ear piercing. So with that in mind, her early birthday gift to me this year was exactly that experience at Sarah and Sebastian Melbourne in the Piercing Lab where we both had our piercings done together. It’s $80 for the piercing with the greatest expense being the earrings themselves – all of which are handmade here in Australia.

It will be another three months before the healing process ends and there is paperwork to complete if you decide you want something similar (and you must be over 16 years old). The whole experience was fun (but probably not so much if you don’t like needles!). Speaking of which, the experts are predicting a strong flu season this year so I’m booked in for my flu vax this week and my family are already done.

Everything Everywhere All at once

It’s not only the name of the out there movie starring Michelle Yeoh but it’s my life at the moment. Since coming back from Queensland I’ve moved house (the day after we returned!), which is walking distance to The Centre Ivanhoe and also started a new internal role at work after successfully interviewing when my family were in isolation from COVID. Somehow I still managed to do a good job interviewing remotely for the Deputy Director, Marketing & Communications role in my team vacated by my Director after she was promoted.

I have my gorgeous in-laws to thank for helping us supervise packing up the Garden State moving trucks the day before we flew home otherwise I’m not sure if we would have met the double settlement deadline the following day. It meant Mr Rosanna and I were in all sorts of pain (first world problems I know) before we went up north as we had to pack up everything so we were ready to hit the go button on our return. Nothing like a bit of pressure…

We moved during the post-Easter break before ANZAC Day and there were some long days and nights spent unpacking endless boxes. We still have more left at my in-laws after our initial de-clutter to sell but will bring these across once we’ve had some painting done. Tradies are in short supply at the moment but we’re now in the process of booking them in for cosmetic and/or functional updates. It may be a long time, if ever, we can afford to do a structural renovation but our house is perfectly liveable at the moment, even if not quite our taste.

After a three year real estate journey, we became less concerned about the style of the house but more interested in light and space surprising ourselves with some of the properties we ended up considering or bidding for along the way. In the end, we’ve been lucky enough to have bought a 1920s brick house which has some beautiful period features and quite a grand, stately presence in the original rooms. The rest of the house, perhaps not so much, but hey – we’re up for the challenge!

After almost five years at La Trobe University, I’ve had a much faster career trajectory at ANZSOG walking straight into a permanent role and being promoted within a year – an irony that hasn’t been lost on me. I don’t regret the time I spent at La Trobe – it had a fantastic internal culture when I was there, I met some amazing people in my colleagues but also the many external speakers and alumni I worked with and gained valuable experience and contacts but I think anyone with talent and determination deserves secure employment and the opportunity to progress their life. The skills shortage is very real and while it’s been heartening to hear about young people in particular finding jobs, I still think there is a level of under-employment as well as insecure work for many people, which makes it almost impossible to get ahead.

I know things have also been incredibly tough for small businesses, especially those based in Melbourne’s CBD and have been told it will take until the end of 2024 for things to resemble what they were pre-pandemic, or even longer. But, out of crises come opportunity and the mark of any person is how they behave when the chips are down. It is a time of transition politically, economically, socially and structurally as we recover from the past two years of COVID-19 and its impacts. What are your plans and where do you see your life going?

For me, I expect to feel uncomfortable at home and at work for a period of time, but realise that without change – there can be no growth or innovation. Leaving La Trobe has forced me to adapt whether I was ready to or not. It’s something to bear in mind as we enter a new age. I hope you get a chance to make your mark, in your own way, in your own time this year and beyond.