If the shoe fits

Well, I felt like the real Cinderella on Friday at Banyule’s Women in business lunch held at The Centre Ivanhoe with key speaker celebrity stylist and shoe business entrepreneur Lana Wilkinson. With my hired Alemais dress from GlamCorner, vintage fake fur jacket and leather boots and borrowed bag from my bestie Jules – it was a lovely excuse to dress up.

Picture: Lana Wilkinson

And what a fabulous event it was, even with COVID-19 lurking in the background. My fairy god-sister – local identity, personal trainer and podcaster Nikki Ellis – hosted a table of Banyule’s leading business women pictured left to right below: Amy O’Shannessy (Perform Physiotherapy + Pilates), Kate Heslop (State of Solace and Be Podiatry), Jodi Crocker (Baketico Heidelberg), Cinch Training rep Justine, Cinch Training nutritionist Stephanie Canning, me and Nikki (Cinch Training/Find Your Fierce with Nikki Ellis), Nicole Webb (Greensborough Remedial Massage & Myotherapy), Ilene Kairouz (Aqueous Designs) and Karyn Harte (Bees Knees Marketing & Design).

Our power table of 10 local women in business

This Women in Business event was particularly stylish from the beautiful plants by The Greenery Garden & Home and table flowers by Floral Impressions to the typeface used for signage and name cards. I think the Banyule Business team did an outstanding job including an event timed to perfection – starting at 11.30am and finishing exactly at 2pm (according to Nikki’s Apple watch!) and there was a quick turnaround with an evening event being held at the same venue. The food by Peter Rowland Catering was also excellent and I think they hold the bar in Melbourne along with other long-term-ers The Big Group. Locally, I have used Luckman Catering and would use them again for future events.

L- R: Banyule Mayor Elizabeth Nealy (at lectern) and CEO Alison Beckwith

It was a momentous event not only in that it finally happened after two years of lockdowns but also in that Banyule Council has both a female Mayor in Elizabeth Nealy as well as a female CEO in Alison Beckwith (who did a great job as MC having a fireside chat with Lana Wilkinson) so women in business all round. A big thank you too from me to the women behind the scenes in Dani Ahimastos and Jacinta Simms at Banyule Business.

L-R: Alison Beckwith and Lana Wilkinson in conversation

Lana herself was very impressive – articulate, authentic and very down-to-earth highlighting not just the glamorous side of her business (she’s worked with the original stylist turned entrepreneur – Rachel Zoe -and clientele includes Megan Gale, Rebecca Judd, Whitney Port, Millie Macintosh, Rachel Zoe, Ruby Rose, Zoe Foster Blake, Anna Heinrich, Elyse Knowles, Rachael Finch and Natalie Bassingthwaighte) but also the lowlights and stresses with finances, managing staff and a young family coupled with opening a business just before the pandemic hit. What stood out to me was her work ethic inherited from her drycleaning business father – most highly successful people have this in common but it’s always a balancing act. I was glad to hear she prioritises self-care with training three times a week.

L – R: Me and Nikki Ellis

The event was the highlight of my week – with the surge in cases in Melbourne – my organisation has given employees the option of working from home over the next four to six weeks. I’ve now had my second booster and masked up on Friday so not only hoping to avoid getting COVID again – I’m also thinking of our strained healthcare workers who are both burnt out and understaffed. While it’s been very challenging as a knowledge worker – it pales in comparison to those at the frontline.

While I haven’t lost my glass slipper, it is back to reality this week but how wonderful it was to have lived the fairy tale life on Friday.


She’ll be apples

I mentioned green being the new black a while ago fashion-wise and it’s a particular shade called Bottega green. I’m more of an emerald girl myself but I’m loving all the colour. It was interesting too to read about P.E. Nation’s collaboration with Virgin Australia – I’ve got a lilac sweat top that I’ve worn to death and know their activewear is very popular.

Speaking of style, after a two year hiatus the Banyule Women in Business lunch event is back with a vengeance on Friday 15 July at The Centre Ivanhoe and I’ll be attending as a guest this year sitting at local influencer, trainer and speaker Nikki Ellis‘ power table of 10. This year’s keynote speaker is celebrity stylist and entrepreneur Lana Wilkinson and I love that you can recycle old clothes with Upparel – who Banyule has partnered with for this event.

I’m so excited that I’ve already hired my outfit (with a back up outfit in a smaller size) from Glam Corner and have some vintage and other accessories to match it up. All will be revealed if you’re coming along! It’s been a long time since I’ve worked in fashion but I thought you might like this 90s throwback photo of me (above – check out the fringe and dark matte lipstick) as Daimaru house model in Kenzo long before the days of Instagram and Tik Tok.

I worked in the international designer area selling Armani, Max Mara, Kenzo and other labels in the Valentino boutique while studying Public Relations at RMIT. Some of my fellow staff alumni from the time include Jacqui Bonnett Hoppe – the current owner of Chapter One in East Ivanhoe, my New York-based friend and stylist turned sustainability warrior Susan Joy as well as my former Divisional Manager Leigh Forster (who happens to be singer Chrissie Amphlett’s sister – a coincidence I discovered later as I am named after Chrissie, which is another story all together). I am still in touch with all of them and they were heady days indeed.

From my time there I ended up moving into fashion PR with my first career job at AMPR (Ann Morrison Public Relations) working with the inimitable Ann and her daughter Catherine Hancock (Ab Fab eat your heart out!). I then went on to work as beauty PR for Aveda (around the same time as Aesop with both companies being started by hairdresser entrepreneurs) prior to the company being bought out globally by Estee Lauder, before ending up as PR for David Jones in the days of the travelling European and Australian Designer Collection fashion parades up and down the eastern seaboard.

While I am now in a more serious stage of life – I do think it’s possible to be a woman of both style and substance. I’ll forever be grateful for my early years in the creative industries surrounded by creative people. It has given me an edge in my professional career with the ability to think laterally and add a different string to my bow – no experience is ever wasted.

I hope you’re coping OK with the onset of winter – it’s got very cold very quickly. A quick shout out for my friend Alcohol Mindset Coach Kathryn Elliott who is running a free Living Well conversation with Holly Ransom (above) this coming Tuesday night at Be Well in Hawthorn. You will need to register on Eventbrite if you’re going along.

As an arts lover, it’s been great to see the Rising Festival also resurrected – The Wilds at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl looks like a lot of fun if you’re brave enough to venture out in the elements.

Nb. Miss Rosanna is attending the Banyule Women in Business event as a guest of Banyule Business.

An unwelcome visitor

After dodging COVID-19 for over two years, it finally caught up with us two weeks ago. One by one, three out of four members of my family came down with the virus with me the last card to topple and fall the hardest. I’m very glad to have been triple vaxxed as my ‘mild’ symptoms last weekend felt anything but from pounding headache, to fever, fatigue, chills, body aches, sore throat and stuffed up nose. It’s not been pretty – I’ve missed a whole week of work but also other events I was too sick to attend.

I think if you were lucky enough to evade the first Omicron variant, this second one unfortunately has found its way to most people. I have my fingers crossed you don’t come down with worse symptoms than me as it was something I won’t forget in a hurry. I feel quite depleted and it’s going to take time to build myself up again. You do need to take it seriously if you test positive for COVID and you’re symptomatic. While I’ve kept my sense of taste and smell, I can’t eat salt and vinegar chips at the moment as they taste quite strange. We will see if I have any longer term issues with the passage of time…

Speaking of smells, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show opened this week at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton and if you’re into not only roses but house plants and balcony gardens as well, then this year’s event has you covered. I’ve amassed quite the collection of house plants over the past two years and they’ve been a constant source of joy and comfort – nature as therapy.

There is also a lot happening locally with Banyule Open Studios on this weekend – a chance to step into an artist’s world and see their private, creative spaces. A reminder too if you’re a local business that COVID-19 Banyule Business grant applications close on 7 April. There are two types of grants available and whether you’re an existing or new business, it’s always worth checking to see if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Image via Mr Chu’s Kitchen Facebook page

I’ve noticed the Ivanhoe Traders are currently offering discounted mid-week dining as per CBD businesses, which is an excellent idea. It means you can claim 25% (up to $125) of your bill when you spend $40 or more by submitting your receipt (until funds run out). It’s also been great to find out about a few new local businesses like the cute looking Chinese & Vietnamese diner Mr Chu’s Kitchen located just around the corner from Cinch Training in Heidelberg Heights.

Image via Earth Greetings

Easter is fast approaching and I discovered there are not one but two local chocolate businesses with Birdsnake Chocolate in Fairfield and Good Boy Chocolate in Ivanhoe. I also love ethical stationery business Earth Greetings which has teamed up with Loving Earth chocolate to create a bamboo bilby/choccy promo with $1 donated to the Save the Bilby Fund.

Lastly, it has now sold out but the Star Gazing with astronomers event (with volunteers from the Astronomical Society of Victoria) is on next Saturday night at the Anthony Beale Reserve in Greensborough. I’ve long found the stars, planets and space in general fascinating and lucky you if you’ve managed to book a spot at this free event where you may catch glimpses of the moon, Jupiter and Mars dancing in the evening sky.


It’s been a long week and I must admit I’ve been collapsing into a crumpled heap come most Fridays. I am going to take a couple of days off during the upcoming school holidays and will consider taking some further leave in term 4.

Image credit: Well Spotted

Like many people I’ve delayed taking annual leave when there is nowhere to go but I have recognised we will burn out as workers if we don’t just have a break. It has been hard going and hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but vaccinations are increasing every day and I love some of the more colourful products on sale such as these ‘Fully Vaxxed’ statement T-shirts from Well Spotted and Vaxx Cakes from Beurre Cakes, which have been doing the rounds on social media.

Image credit: Beurre Cakes

I’m very conscious too it is a middle-class privilege to work from home, which I’ve mentioned before and my line of work sees me dealing with people very high up in the public sector who are in the midst of grappling with all the issues we read about in our news media – the health divide that exists between the haves and have nots with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in poorer parts of Sydney and Melbourne disproportionately affected by COVID. I’m very glad that pop up clinics and mobile vans as well as community engagement in priority suburbs have been part of Victoria’s response.

If you’re lucky enough to have groceries or take away meals delivered or other goods couriered to your home, please spare a thought for the man or woman doing this work – they are often young essential workers who have to travel to do their job, to keep food on the table, to pay their bills and it is this demographic who are getting infected and then inadvertently spreading COVID to their families (often large, extended families) at home in the northern and western suburbs.

My Bala Bangles

Speaking of online deliveries, I have bought some Christmas gifts from local store Run to the River in Eltham, while last week I bought the lazy person’s strength training hack – a pair of Bala Bangles. While they won’t come remotely close to doing a proper, supervised class guided by a qualified fitness professional at somewhere like my friend Nikki Ellis’ studio Cinch Training in Macleod, I have worn them while doing housework and out walking.

I miss the simple things too like going to the hairdresser or visiting cafes and restaurants and have been thinking of Jonno at Valiant Barbers and Luis at The Pioneer Cafe at this time. It’s interesting when I think back to my honeymoon spent in Vietnam where all this daily activity actually took place outside on the street! I am hopeful local businesses will bounce back if they’ve been able to pivot and sustain themselves over lockdown – however it may be more challenging for Melbourne’s CBD as much as I’m sure Melburnians will return to the bright lights of the big city for arts, culture, sporting, food and other events in time. It’s also been heartening to read about the many hospitality businesses in and around Melbourne giving free meals to people at this time (extended lockdown is so last year!).

Image credit: Heide Museum of Modern Art

Spending time outdoors is probably the safest bet at the moment – you may be lucky enough to have Heide gardens in Bulleen in your 5km zone or the Alphington Farmers Market – both of which are still open to the public. Open Gardens Victoria and Bulleen Art & Garden are also running online workshops and classes for those who have indoor plants or live in small spaces.

My indoor plants

And finally, while the big game is now going to be played in Perth, the highlight for our family this week was Melbourne winning against Geelong on Friday night and the Dees sealing their historic place in this year’s AFL Grand Final. My youngest son called it early with his Father’s Day drawing for Mr Rosanna ‘Fired up’ (below) – you bet we are…

I can’t breathe

It’s the Grammy award winning song by H.E.R. (aka Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson) written in protest against systemic racism post-Black Lives Matter and indeed I feel like this strange liminal time we are now in has brought much social, cultural and political change to bear. With the great sisterhood and the good men who support them out in force today for March 4 Justice across the country, it’s not just the younger, woke generation who want to see the end of racism (and other forms of discrimination) and gender equality in their lifetime but older generations as well. For me as always, actions speak louder than words from those in positions of power to the average woman in the street and if behaviour change actually takes place. It’s given me pause for thought and the opportunity to re-imagine a different kind of future in a post-pandemic world. Nothing stays the same and perhaps nothing ever should in this case.

Image via Baketico

I return to work this week and will reveal more once things are confirmed suffice to say that I’ve had a number of job interviews in the past couple of weeks and now trying to work out my own way forward and what this looks like. The past couple of months at home has meant time to re-group, sort out some of my clutter (it’s amazing how good it feels to get on top of things) and get my kids settled into the new school year. My daily routine has consisted of waking up to guided meditation in the mornings and more time living and being in the moment enjoying the now. I’ve also had time to do some further online study on BuddhaNet revisiting Buddhist theory – while Buddhism is a religion – for me it’s always been more a way of thinking with its focus on pragmatism and application to the real world.

Image via Boca Gelato

It will be interesting to see what remains once I am back at work, which is always the challenge. Working from home over the past 12 months has given Mr Rosanna and I more time to be with our children, exercise and pursue our creative passions along with being just as productive at work (if not more) however in an ideal world, I think two days in the office and the remainder at home would make for a much more balanced existence across the board.

79 – 81 Buckingham Drive images above and below via Realestate.com.au

I’ve had a busy weekend including a raucous dinner with my besties at Hawker Hall on Saturday night but could hear the music playing from Parksounds yesterday and a couple of new local businesses have caught my eye including Baketico in Heidelberg Heights (where Jam and Cream used to be) and right next door to Cinch Training, where my friend Nikki Ellis can be found helping people find their fierce. I think if you are indulging in baked delights, then it’s helpful having a fitness studio right next door!

Boca Gelato by Coda and Tonka Chef Adam D’Sylva is also coming soon to Ivanhoe where Andrew’s Books used to be on Upper Heidelberg Road so while some local businesses have closed, it’s exciting to see new businesses emerge to replace them.

Speaking of exciting, I haven’t had a chance to have a sticky but this mid-century house (pictured above) at 79 – 81 Buckingham Drive in Heidelberg is a show stopper. The current owners have raised 4 children there so for a bigger family, it looks like suburban paradise…

BMX Bandits

While it’s been sad to see forlorn pictures of an empty Melbourne CBD, the upside has been renewed suburban life. While my friends Nikki, Luis and Jonno from local businesses Cinch Training, The Pioneer Cafe and Valiant Barbers are all doing it tough at the moment (they’ll definitely be diamonds by the end of this), I hope they may be heartened by the fact that there are so many locals working from home and I’ve never seen so many people walking my local streets and neighbouring parklands. The city’s loss has been suburbia’s (and regional areas) gain but my hope is that Melbourne returns to all her glory in time. The MSO Leaps and Bounds virtual performance last week was uplifting to watch and my heart goes out to the many performing artists who have lost their work this year.

Chei Wen bar image via Shop in Ivanhoe

I went for a pretty warm and windy run at Rosanna parklands yesterday and was laughing to myself after seeing a couple of teenage boys sporting massive mullets – it’s been like returning to my ’80s childhood growing up in Bulleen (and I’ve heard roller skates have had just as big a resurgence as bikes). The BMX track has been in high demand and for those of you following the 2020 Tour de France – you might be interested in knowing that SBS commentator Matthew Keenan grew up in Rosanna and still lives locally in the area.

Chei Wen bar image via Shop in Ivanhoe

I had a meeting this week with another local – La Trobe alum and Paralympian swimmer Sam Bramham OAM who owns Chei Wen bar in Ivanhoe and Fly Lie bar in Kew. He’s quite the character and like many high achieving individuals I deal with he’s also highly charismatic, but I have been more impressed by his philanthropy (he’s an Accessible Beaches board member) and his positivity despite his trip to Tokyo 2020 not happening (nor his associated speaking gigs) and COVID-19 impacts to his hospitality businesses. The mark of someone’s character is how they behave in the face of adversity and like many people he’s risen to the challenge and focussed on what he can do.

Image via Fly Lie Bar Facebook page

I spent this morning at my current 5km southern border meeting my bestie Jules at Tatin bakery to pick up a takeaway coffee at the Bulleen Road shops before doing the Koonung Creek Linear Park trail walk along the Eastern freeway. It’s been good to get out and about after hitting a bit of a low point during the week reaching the 6 month working from home milestone with 3 months still to go before Christmas, without a proper break. I’ll try not to complain as I’m lucky to still have work, which keeps you accountable and engaged in other ways, but it has definitely been hard to keep going. Like most people, I’m committed to staying the course until things open up late October, but it has been an exercise in resilience and I hope you are also hanging in there.

Image via Tatin Facebook page

Business As Unusual

Surreal is the word I would use for this week. It’s been hard watching the dominoes fall as businesses continue to close and the subsequent loss of customers and jobs across the board. It’s been heartening to see essential industries in the opposite position putting on people who’ve been stood down or lost their jobs. While I feel extremely grateful to still have a job – it’s been completely overwhelming to see the human cost and economic impact in our community. I spent most of this week ensuring La Trobe alumni could access LinkedIn Learning (one of our alumni benefits) and liaising with the team at LinkedIn regarding contractual issues, which has not been great timing given the demand for all things online by alumni and in general.

#ActivationInIsolation Website

Within the La Trobe community, my colleagues have pivoted and launched the Student Crisis Appeal which went live yesterday. Like many people, our students rely on casual jobs in retail and hospitality to pay their rent and buy food as well as study. La Trobe University will match every dollar raised from alumni and private donors and our Senior Executive Group have already donated to the cause with 100% of funds going directly to students – many of who wouldn’t be able to continue to study without financial assistance.

#ActivationInIsolation Website v2

Locally, if you can support Banyule businesses that are still operating, please do. While my friend Jonno from Valiant Barbers has temporarily closed up shop, Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training has moved to Zoom sessions online and limited outdoors sessions and I picked up four super delicious takeaway burrito bowls from Luis at The Pioneer Cafe yesterday in Rosanna.

If you can’t afford to pay for Zoom sessions, Yoga with Adriene is free on YouTube as well as La Trobe Sport’s #ActivationInIsolation series which will hold #MobilityMondays, #WorkoutWednesdays and #FlexibilityFridays. I’ve seen P.E. with Joe for children being promoted online and I know it’s really hard at the moment for working parents at home who have young children.

One of the reasons we moved to the suburbs was to give our children a backyard. As much as they’ve outgrown the cubby and sandpit, we have a basketball ring which may be our saving grace and I bought a badminton set online the other day which has brought out our competitive side as a family. If I had a garage, I’d definitely get my Miao Miao on and go full Asian buying a table tennis set – nothing like a bit of ping pong over winter!

Establishing a new routine will become really important in the coming days and weeks. I’ve already started walking to ‘work’ in what would ordinarily have been my morning car commute, setting up my home office (with a better outlook and a mostly well-behaved office dog who is loving the 24/7 company) and will be setting up similar spaces and routines for my kids as they move to online learning, which will definitely happen. I’ve already moved the social events I had on with friends to Zoom so we will still catch up online instead of in real life and I know younger friends are using Houseparty for group video chat or Netflix Party to watch movies with mates.

Hang in there – if you are one of the unlucky people who lost their job this week, then I am thinking of you. Please take care of your mental health, as much as your physical health. The coming months will be a test of our true character, courage and resilience dealing with the unknown and unknowable.

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.

An idea needing to be made

Heide’s ceramics exhibition with this intriguing name opens today in Bulleen and I love a bold idea at the best of times. As I get older, while ideas are great, it’s the realisation of them and their outcomes that interest me more – skill comes in the actual implementation of ideas but without a vision to start with, there can be no real progress.


Speaking of ceramics, local artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen is a finalist in this year’s Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award with her piece ‘What We Know Now’ (images above) addressing the challenge that is climate change. The related exhibition opens on the 14 August at the Manningham Art Gallery in Doncaster. Lene is also exhibiting at the Craft Atrium at Watson Place (off Flinders Lane) as part of the Craft Cubed Festival which starts on 1 August  and I love the image she’s used (below) on her new business cards.


It’s Open House Weekend and lucky you if you’ve already visited some of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings and hidden surprises. I had a private tour by Dr Gillian Shepherd of the Trendall Research Centre (a previous Open House venue) at La Trobe University the other week- the centre was designed by modernist architect Robin Boyd and houses a number of rare books and artwork left as a private library and mid century apartment (time capsule!) of former resident academic – art historian and archaeologist Arthur Dale (A.D.) Trendall to the University. A private person, not much is known about his personal life except that he worked as a cryptographer (Japanese code breaker) during World War II – my colleagues and I were quite enthralled by the story regaled to us by Gillian over a cup of tea while seated at the Fler dining table . It was a little bit Indiana Jones and Gillian’s passion, and vision for the future, was very inspiring. The western sky views over the University from Trendall’s private floating balcony were also awesome to see.

Speaking of Robin Boyd, his namesake exhibition Design Legend starts at Heide Museum of Modern Art on 3 August. While I will always love Art Deco, mid century modern is probably second on my list and Boyd is one of Australia’s design champions of that era. It’s National Tree Day tomorrow and I hope to feature a local artist inspired by local nature shortly on my blog. A couple of other local happenings include the opening of new cafe, bar and grill Tres in Rosanna, which has replaced Jillian’s on Lower Plenty Road and I wish the new owners well. If you are a home based business you may be interested in a Banyule Business networking event being held on Tuesday morning at Hunter Lane cafe, where you’ll get to meet and hear from my local friend and trainer Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training.

Get on board

It’s been busy – I’m trying hard to minimise the amount of things our family is doing but it’s been hard. My brain reached saturation point yesterday and my body is obviously not coping as for the first time in my life, I’ve managed to pull my neck and shoulder and have now seen a physiotherapist at Alphington Sports Medicine Clinic not once but twice in the past week. They are very good there and I do feel like I’m in safe hands. I did want to do a special shout out for The Shoulder workshop that my trainer Nikki Ellis is holding at her studio Cinch Training in Heidelberg Heights on Saturday 30 March in partnership with Perform Physio+Pilates. As someone who has long believed in the preventative power of exercise, this one would be a great one to go to and I wish it had been held before now!


I saw Nikki today at the Banyule Women in Business lunch which was a more intimate affair this year held at the Rosanna Golf Club in Lower Plenty. If you’ve never been it’s worth the more scenic drive inland from Banyule Road past the silos and the horses – it’s incredibly beautiful and was spectacular today with a sea of green everywhere you looked. The lunch will return to the Ivanhoe Centre next year once renovations are complete but for the uninitiated Lower Plenty really is a hidden secret in Banyule – country meets city. I also wanted to do a shout out for the #ShopToItinBanyule Facebook and Instagram competition currently being run by Banyule Business until 30th April giving you the chance to win a $500 gift card.


The keynote speaker at today’s event was KeepCup founder and former lawyer Abigail Forsyth who was charmingly natural and real as a speaker – she’s a very relatable and likeable person and her story is an inspiring one. I had a quick chat with her at the end as we have people in common and her brother and KeepCup co-founder Jamie has moved on from their business to tackle the scourge that is plastic containers with his BeetBox lunchbox company. I look forward to the Banyule Women in Business event every year, it’s been fantastic for me from a networking perspective (as long as you do follow up) and become an annual thing I do with some fabulous local business women who have become good friends.


A few things to mention today – John Gollings: Spirit of Place opens at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen tomorrow and I’ve been a fan of his photography for a number of years now. The Darebin Community and Kite Festival is also being held on Sunday. Speaking of things that move, I took a few quick and dirty snaps of this mystery vintage yellow bus (below) that I’ve seen being driven locally on Waiora Road and parked on Lower Plenty Road – bigger than a Combi Van but smaller than a normal bus. I’d love to know its story!