Summer lovin’

Well we all got there in the end. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring all that you wish for and more. It’s not even 2019 yet but the year has already rung in changes for me and for other people including my sponsor Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna. After two years, Dani and Dennis Ahimastos have decided to hang up the apron (!) and have sold their business to new owners who will be taking over from 8 January. I was in there for my own farewell lunch last week not realising it was also farewell for them. The business will continue as Hunter Lane Cafe and staff will also be staying on so I hope those of you who are local will continue to support them.

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I also managed to drop into my other sponsor’s house party the other week – Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training – who has also had change with her business moving to a new location this year. It was lovely to celebrate with Nikki in her beautiful home full of beautiful things (she’s a woman after my own heart as a fellow antiques lover with a great eye) along with a number of her other closest clients who are also friends. I feel very lucky to know her and be included in that select group of people.

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I’ve had a massive week of ending including my own Hawaii-an themed Divisional Christmas party at the Thornbury Bowls Club which was heaps of fun! I was surprisingly better at bowls than I thought – hitting the jack on my second try but regardless, it was just a great way to say goodbye to Marketing and Recruitment at La Trobe. While I have previously been invited to lawn balls (and to trugo – another Victorian-era lawn game) – it was the first time I’d ever played. I particularly loved the group of old timers at the front bar I said g’day to who looked like characters out of the movie Crackerjack!

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I have realised this Christmas that there is much to be grateful for and I’m looking forward to an even bigger, better and brighter New Year in 2019. I would say bolder as well even though I am departing from the Bold Thinking Series and I did want to leave you with some summer listening. My very last task was to create a video of highlight speakers to be used for the Facebook advertising campaign that kicks off on Boxing Day – I hope you enjoy it and any of the podcasts that are now available from this year and last – my legacy on the series. With love from Miss Rosanna x.

A blaze of glory

The lady in red, aka Shaynna Blaze didn’t disappoint at today’s sold out Banyule Women in Business Lunch at The Centre Ivanhoe.  I missed last year’s lunch with keynote speaker Mia Freedman due to La Trobe University celebrating its 50th Anniversary that same day but was glad to make it to today’s event.  It was different in style to previous events I’ve been to in that it was a more casual conversation on the couch with a host instead of a more formal solo address from a lectern.

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L-R: Jane Lindsay-Waschl, Renae Barrass, Shaynna Blaze and me

After some minor technical hitches which Shaynna handled with aplomb, the discussion was a good one giving us insights into her professional journey from having run successful businesses with her then husband in her twenties along with raising two children, becoming a single parent and working as a jazz singer (and band booking agent/PR) to supplement her interior design income to being tapped on the shoulder and asked to audition for Selling Houses Australia, before having Channel 9 approach her to be a judge on The Block.  Selling Houses Australia is Foxtel’s number one show and has run for 11 years, which is a huge amount of time in media land.  It’s nice to see someone so down to earth and likeable enjoy such success.

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L-R: Nikki Ellis, me and Dani Ahimastos

I’d assembled a table including my two blog sponsors, Dani Ahimastos from Hunter Lane Cafe and Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training and other friends including interior designer Renae Barrass, Jane Lindsay-Waschl from Admonter Floors and ceramic artist Lene Kuhl-Jakobsen.  Banyule Business run some great events if you are a small business owner and I was asked to do a filmed vox pop after the event which will appear sometime soon on their Facebook page.  It’s already been a long week for me so I hope I managed to cobble something half way decent to say!

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Shaynna on stage – The Centre Ivanhoe

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the local area over the past week including grabbing takeaway coffee from SixtyFive Espresso (who sell Brunetti pastries and cakes) at Greensborough Plaza to a bowling party at Oz Tenpin in nearby Bundoora.  There’s also a bit happening locally with Andrew Potocnik’s #urbansalvage #zero waste exhibition opening at Bulleen Art & Garden’s Bolin Bolin gallery tonight and the Heide Makers Market in Bulleen on Saturday.

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Oz Tenpin Bowling – Bundoora

I also picked up a brochure for the Holi Festival of Colours which is taking place at Bundoora Park this Saturday if you are staying in Melbourne for the Labour Day weekend.  I don’t know about you but I’ve had my foot to the floor since returning to work in early January and am definitely looking forward to a break this weekend.  Enjoy.img_7012.jpg

Eat, play, love

It’s been a limp to the finish line this year and I hope you may be feeling less weary than me.  I have had a very productive year but also feel that all I’ve done is work, and there is more to life than work!  I’m lucky enough to enjoy what I do in the main and to be able to make a living from it, which is more than I can say for some people.  There are a large number of younger people with university degrees, often way more qualified than me, who find it incredibly hard to find secure employment and I have people who send me unsolicited CVs on a regular basis looking for a break.  If you are an employer, please consider taking on someone inexperienced but with the right attitude, who is prepared to work their way up.

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I also think it’s important to feel like you can be yourself in the workplace as much as we all have our professional personas, which is what being ‘authentic’ is all about.  I dislike that this word is bandied about as something outside of ourselves when its meaning is the exact opposite!  Perhaps people are too afraid of revealing their inner selves sometimes for fear that people may not like them but I often tell my children to just be themselves and as I’ve grown older, I find it refreshing to meet people who have a very natural sense of ease and openness about themselves, rather than holding up any fronts.

I’ve also become far less concerned about what other people think about me (particularly those who don’t really know me) and more concerned about what I think of myself, the things I enjoy doing, the people I like to spend my time with and what gives me a sense of peace and belonging.  I think beyond having good health, a sense of meaning in life comes from social contact, friendship and connection.  Building and maintaining relationships with the people you care about is the most important thing and I’ve said this a number of times on my blog.  Work is work, but at the end of the day, it’s the people we come back to at home and in our social life and community, that make it all worthwhile and with whom we should share the best part of ourselves.

It’s been interesting for me too, to explore what younger people are concerned about; mental illness, gender & sexuality, male privilege, climate change and sustainability, refugees and Indigenous rights, generational differences in terms of jobs, housing and the whole gamut of related issues (don’t bring up smashed avocado with Millennials) – they are a thoughtful bunch and some of these things will be covered in my Bold Thinking Series lectures next year, as well as more right-wing topics.

I have actually started exhaling and thinking about other things besides work (!) and I hope you have too.  I am extremely grateful to many people out there including my sponsors, Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training in Macleod as well as Dani and Dennis Ahimastos from Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna – please support local businesses if you can over the summer break.  For anyone who has helped me personally or professionally this year – thank you too – it has meant a lot to me and you know who you are.  I’ll be taking a break over the next couple of weeks but wanted to wish you a safe and happy festive season – take care, enjoy the food and remember to have some fun with those you love.  All work and no play…well you know what they say!

Local Profile – Dennis & Dani Ahimastos

It’s not often you meet a chiropractor turned cafe owner and in the case of Dennis and Dani – it’s both of them!  It’s also lovely to have some more people from multicultural backgrounds here in Rosanna (he’s Greek and she’s Italian-Australian and how cute is their family below?).  They are the new owners of Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna (previously Byzantine Restaurant under different owners), which has been open for a while now in a great location near the Rosanna Library.  Despite the station level crossing work, they are still very much open for business and if you’re walking or cycling distance – even better!  Read on for more…head shot condensed

Name: Dennis and Dani Ahimastos

Occupation: Cafe Owners/ Operators – Hunter Lane Cafe

Lives/works: Live in Doncaster/Work in Rosanna

How long have you worked here? 9 months001

Describe yourself/what you do: Dennis and I met at university where we were both studying to become Chiropractors. We worked in private practice for a while before Dennis decided to follow his passion and joined his father in the hospitality industry. I followed a corporate pathway before deciding that the hours weren’t conducive to raising a family and opted in to help Dennis run the family business. Hunter Lane opened in November last year when our second child was 6 months old so it has been a busy and sometimes crazy time for us! Hunter Lane is our second venture together and our first in the North Eastern suburbs. We have created a bright, open space, serving delicious meals with gluten-free and vegan friendly options. Dennis runs the show from an operations perspective and I handle all the peripheral activities – social media, graphic design, public relations. Whilst we both have different strengths and weaknesses, what unites us is our shared passion for customer service excellence and beautiful food. We think we make a pretty great team.soft shell crab burger condensed

Best thing(s) about working in Melbourne’s north-east: The strong sense of community was immediately evident when we opened up in Rosanna. Many customers have become friends, popping in daily for a coffee and a chat. Young families, the elderly, Gen Ys, we get them all and we love the diversity. The daily commute to the café is a short one (when done off-peak!).

For more information:

Website: www.hunterlane.com.au

Facebook: Hunter Lane Rosanna

Instagram: hunterlanerosanna

Email: hello@hunterlane.com.au

Address: 76 Turnham Ave Rosanna 3084

Phone: 8529 8142