Welcome to a very hot start to Autumn. The new year is still ringing in changes for me and will stay that way over the next few months. Change is the only constant in life as they say so I’m rolling with the punches – I’m not sure if I can use any more clichés! It’s been busy at work with Orientation Week in full swing but great to see lots of excited young people buzzing around the campus which is the largest in the southern hemisphere. La Trobe University has always attracted international and regional students because of this and I also had a tour of Stage 1 of the new Sports Park (the AFL oval that’s bigger than Marvel Stadium pictured below) last week with members of my new team – it will be fantastic once finished and fully open for business.


My new team is also a bit like the United Nations in that I work with Americans, English and Irish nationals who’ve made the move here for work, study or family reasons so it’s great to see Melbourne through the eyes of people who haven’t grown up here. I also seem to have met a lot of Central and South American people of late including an ex-work colleague and one of my children’s music teachers who are both from Columbia.

Today I had lunch with one of my little men at The Pioneer Cafe in Rosanna, which has now been open 15 months. Owner Luis is from an El Salvadoran background – his gorgeous mum has been working in the kitchen and his new chef is also El Salvadoran. Luis was putting up some new artwork while I was there – the cafe is modern so it was a more subtle nod to his cultural background without being too obvious. They’re holding their first sold out monthly 3 course dinner with welcome cocktail event later this month so it’s great to see a still relatively new and very welcome local business doing interesting things. It’s become decidedly less vanilla in Rosanna in the time that I’ve been living here, which I’ve loved.

The Melbourne Fashion Festival opens today and it’s festival season with the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and Melbourne Comedy Festival all taking place in March. Busy indeed in the capital and closer to home the award-winning Twilight Sounds free music event as part of the annual Banyule Festival is being held on Saturday 16 March at Sills Bend in Warringal Park, Heidelberg with craft beer pop up bar by Thornbury-based 3 Ravens Brewery and a score of different food trucks.