To market, to market

I’ve not posted recently about some of the intricacies of my current role. It is a big portfolio – ranging from being directly responsible for marketing communications for four of our key executive leadership programs but also maintaining strategic oversight of ANZSOG’s Alumni Program and managing the Alumni Advisory Council – one of our three key alumni cohorts. I also assist my Director with whole-of-school promotion and act in her role in her absence managing four staff members.

Our First Nations Conference next week in Brisbane happens every two years – the last one being held online due to COVID. This time around, it’s all hands on deck as much as some of our speakers and attendees from Aotearoa New Zealand have been affected by their state of emergency there. We are expecting over 800 people, which is the biggest event I’ve ever worked on and I am expecting to be pulling in some long hours helping manage attendees over the three days, hosting an Alumni Advisory Council in-person meeting (the first in two years), hosting the alumni tables at the gala dinner and being responsible for the ANZSOG stall at the Marketplace area where people will congregate for catering at break times from Great Hall and ‘yarning’ sessions with keynote speakers and facilitators. The event itself is being hosted by ABC journalist Dan Conifer. It is an ambitious undertaking for an organisation of our size but I think one which will continue to define us in the First Nations space.

With the help of our creative graphic designer, I managed to pull a whole-of-school brochure together in the space of one week – not an easy task given the amount of internal stakeholders we have. I thought you might be interested in seeing the whole menu of programs and areas ANZSOG works in. For attendees in Brisbane, you’ll see me and my colleagues on the Marketplace floor wearing our ANZSOG black T-shirts with our First Nations original Maori and Aboriginal artwork emblazoned on them.

Speaking of which, other retailers and sponsors will also have tables at the Marketplace including the Aboriginal Art Co. After reading about the founders on the Design Files a few years ago, I’m very excited to see what they’ll have on offer at their stall. If you like Aboriginal Art, I’ve not visited but often drive past Mandel Aboriginal Art Gallery at 673 Heidelberg Road in Alphington, which should do well there as the Yarra Bend development continues.

Image: Tony Maticevski @David Jones

Lastly, I’ve been amusing my colleagues and other friends with my gala dinner outfit story. After leaving things very last minute last Friday, I ended up going through my existing wardrobe and discovering I no longer fit not one, not two, not three… but four of my little black dresses and other evening gowns. With lockdowns and middle age spread – I’ve gone up a whole dress size – yowsers! So I found myself at David Jones last Sunday looking for a dress that actually fits me for next week’s gala dinner (which is more smart casual) and in future, I intend to hire a Glam Corner gown and be more organised. Still, this absolutely beautiful Toni Maticevski instrumental gown at David Jones caught my eye – it’s a showstopper if you have a special occasion and can afford the eye-watering price tag! My dress next week is a far more modest affair. Wish us luck.


Let there be light

My past week has been pretty turbulent and I was glad to celebrate the solstice today with a potluck dinner with friends outside on our deck in front of the fire last night. Given the rise in COVID-19 cases in Victoria, the continued state of emergency and tightening of restrictions, it’s been a rather shaky week. I hope we manage to suppress the virus again if we remain vigilant and play by the rules. Mr Rosanna and I expect to stay working from home for an indefinite period of time.

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

I’m always glad to see the end of the shortest day of daylight and this past week has been world meat free week and today is the International Day of Yoga. Our friends who came over last night have long been pescatarians so we had soup and fish for dinner. I bought Hetty McKinnon’s latest cookbook ‘Family‘ (below) on sale a while ago on the recommendation of another vegetarian friend who has a couple of Hetty’s other recipe books. When we were in the office, I would often have food envy looking at her lunch creations! While we are not completely meat-free, Mr R and I have incorporated more plant foods and seafood into our daily diet and I have managed to lose some of my iso-kilos from lockdown although still have a while to go.


I’ve been running as well as continuing to practise yoga over Zoom during this period and think that anyone who owns an activewear brand has probably done well over this time and I do love some of the designs of Pip Edwards’ Australian brand PE Nation – a little bit 80s and a whole lot bold (below). A reminder too local people that my friend Nikki Ellis’ Cinch PT studio will re-open from tomorrow if you’re also needing to get into shape and shed some of those iso-kilos!

PE Nation image via David Jones


Finally, Finders Keepers at Home has been on this weekend and if you are in a position to support local artists buying gifts for yourself or others, it’s a good time to stock up. My cousin Beck Ng is one of those artists and I’m glad she’s had other options to sell her wares besides markets and bricks and mortar stores. It will be interesting to see how many retailers stay online and how many go back to physical outlets once the pandemic is over.



Modern love

Winter starts tomorrow and I always look forward to making it past the solstice on 21 June – the days already feel long enough without there being less daylight. It’s not my favourite season but in this strange year, June actually means the easing of social distancing restrictions in Victoria and something to look forward to.

12 The Esplanade Fairfield image by Jellis Craig

From FOMO to FOGO (fear of going out) – it’s definitely a weird feeling to start catching up with friends and family and it still feels counter-intuitive to not hug people after so long in lockdown. As a family, we will be taking it very easy and not rushing back to public indoor environments. The pandemic has accelerated the digital disruption and then some – the technology to work from home has been there for a while but it has taken COVID-19 for it to happen at scale almost overnight.

1 Kenarra Court Hurstbridge image by Morrison Kleenman

I have been a little sad this past week looking at the imminent David Jones store closures including the Melbourne CBD men’s store in Bourke Street. My heady days in the late 1990s as their PR saw me working many glamorous events from the European and Australian Designer Collections parades on level 3 of the women’s store, food store events for people like celebrity Italian chef Antonio Carluccio and holding back the hordes lining up to have their Royal Doulton pieces signed by Michael Doulton in the home store. I was there for a number of very exclusive events including the launch of the Melbourne Bulgari store, a Vogue high tea event for the Melbourne Fashion Festival and other high fashion events – the highlight meeting a number of Australian and international fashion designers and make up artists including Akira Isogawa, Alannah Hill, Rosemary Armstrong from Tea Rose, Napoleon Perdis and Sue Devitt.

It is the end of an era and it’s been similar looking at Newscorp and the closure of regional and local newspapers including our very own Heidelberg Leader. Many of my media and communications colleagues got their first start working at regional newspapers as cadet journalists – it was a rite of passage for some. You can’t hold back the future and I am hopeful that other business models will replace what’s come before – life really is about adapting to change as the only constant and we have never been in more of a state of flux than right now.

The Melbourne Art Fair was supposed to launch tomorrow but has been shifted to 4 – 7 February next year – I’m sure a difficult decision for the organisers but perhaps the right call to make in this uncertain year.  Speaking of art, there is a currently a call out for entries for the A1 Darebin Art Salon being held from 10 July at the Bundoora Homestead Art Centre with many galleries and museums opening from tomorrow.

While it’s probably not a great time to be selling a house – 12 The Esplanade in Fairfield has caught my eye. It’s a mid-century marvel designed by modernist architect Neil Clerehan with gardens by landscape designer Gordon Ford and located in a cul de sac right near the Yarra river. It will make a beautiful sanctuary for one lucky family. Further out on the Hurstbridge train line, 1 Kenarra Court in Hurstbridge has also caught my attention for similar reasons.

Modern loves for a modern life – the times they are a-changing…

Jimmy Diamond

I’m really hoping it’s Friday – I think shorter weeks can sometimes be more intense than normal ones.  Given I had to work Cup Day, my highlight was winning ‘Fashions on the Field’ (make that campus) in our Marketing and Recruitment Division (below) although the odds were in my favour with reduced staff numbers working and not that many choosing to dress up!  You can take the girl out of fashion….


I did have a number of friends attend Derby Day and Oaks Day and have liked the boater style hats as well as floral and other headbands, oversized head bows (like mine) and other departures from the ubiquitous fascinator in terms of headwear this year.  I was briefly in at David Jones today and am a fan of Australian brand Aje. if you’re looking for a special outfit for Christmas.

It’s takeaway night and if you’re local you might want to try Diamond Chinese Restaurant at 122 Burgundy Street in Heidelberg.  It had been recommended to me before but it’s taken 10 years for Mr Rosanna and I to venture in and I’m glad we did.  I met Jimmy last Friday night who’s been there 44 years and plays table tennis against my Uncle George!  If you’re a fan of old school Cantonese food, I think it’s also a good place to go for a quiet Friday night meal and it was starting to fill up when I left.  My Media & Communications team and I also had lunch at Hunter Lane Cafe in Rosanna (below) during the week which was a lot of fun – it’s good to get off campus sometimes given we spend most of our working week there.


I did want to mention a few local happenings.  The Banyule Art Salon opened earlier this month and Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe is one of my favourite places to visit.  If you’re into local arts and culture – check out Banyule Arts and Culture‘s Facebook page. If markets are more your thing, the Heide Makers Market is on in Bulleen tomorrow as well as the Melbourne Ceramics Market in Collingwood.

On Sunday, which is also Remembrance Day, the Heidelberg Primary School fete is on.  It was nice to see poppies being sold at Westfield Doncaster today – I can’t help but feel how lucky people are in this part of the world to be buying shiny, pretty new things at these big shopping complexes when things were very different earlier this century.  I’m hanging out to see a grown up’s movie (can’t call them ‘adult’ movies!) and it’s a toss-up between A star is born or Bohemian Rhapsody – I am a fan of Queen and Freddy Mercury and his performance in his all white outfit at the Live Aid concert is still seared in my memory.

Disclosure: Miss Rosanna is sponsored by Hunter Lane Cafe