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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Oink oink!

The Lunar New Year of the Pig is about to trot in next Tuesday and if you’ve had a false start to the year – here’s your chance to start all over again. My trainer Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training in Heidelberg Heights has signed up for FebFast and laid down the gauntlet for all her clients to do the same – and not just for alcohol but sugar, screens and anything else you may be better off reducing in your life.

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It is the Year of the Pig and I’ve bought a set of commemorative gold coins (above) from the Australian Mint as a keepsake gift – the Asian in me couldn’t help myself. Unlike western astrology, pigs are a symbol of wealth in Chinese culture and pig people are known for their beautiful personalities and good fortune in life – lucky you if you were born in the Year of the Pig or know someone who will be born this year.

My past week has been a whirlwind with the return to school and extra-curricular activities on top of a new job although I suspect we’ll be feeling it more next week once we complete a whole 7 days – it sure is busy and one part of me is always a bit incredulous that kids start school at the hottest time of the year. I guess there’s no getting around the weather in Melbourne no matter what you do.

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One of the highlights has been taking delivery of our art deco cabinet (above in our somewhat dark room) from Contemporary Vintage in Alphington and it now taking pride of place in our formal living room. However – the thing with getting ‘new’ pieces for home sometimes has a knock on effect and you realise other things around it need to be replaced or upgraded. In our case, the painting which hung about our old cabinet is now too small so we’re now on the hunt for a new painting which will be more in scale. Speaking of which, one of the work highlights for me is finding out my new building houses some of the La Trobe Art Institute collection including a Sidney Nolan painting that I walk past every day. I did manage to have a quick chat yesterday with the acting LAI Director Sandra Bruce and hope to catch up with her at some stage soon.

Speaking of Heide artists, Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen is holding a Showtime Night Market tonight, a Date Night x Midsumma on 10 February in the Heart Garden near Heide I as well as Art by Twilight on 16 February. It is very calming to spend time in galleries around art as well as in nature so enjoy if you make it there. Happy New Year!

 

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.

Find your fierce

Easy to say but not always easy to do.  It’s my trainer Nikki Ellis‘s mantra and tagline on the window of her new Cinch Training studio at 1 Orr Street in Heidelberg Heights.  For locals, it’s the old Shu-Way shoe store completely transformed into a one stop health, wellbeing and fitness centre right next door to Jam and Cream cafe (where you can work off any scones eaten).  My photos don’t quite capture how spectacular her new space currently looks but I love the aqua feature wall and Nikki’s sense of style.  And yes, while Nikki sponsors this very blog, her studio was one I already went to as a new customer a number of years ago and I have followed her ever since.  When you do find the right people for you, it’s important to stick with them and Nikki’s been part of my entourage of warm, supportive and inspiring people in my life for  a long time now.

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I’m happy to say it’s been a pretty seamless move from Macleod to Heidelberg Heights for her and the  new Cinch studio space is more than twice the size of the previous one allowing for lots of room as it used to get pretty tight in the old studio.  Nikki herself looks amazing particularly on the back of a recent procedure and a business trip to San Diego.  As for her mantra, I think it’s hard to separate mind from body – if you cultivate a healthy and fit body, the mental benefits are priceless and you see this in something like the recent Invictus Games for those injured or ill after serving their country – Invictus meaning ‘unconquered’ and if you can conquer both your mind and body, there is nothing you can’t achieve.

The format for Nikki’s new classes is a bit different in that you’re given your own worksheet to follow so while it’s a bit more self-directed, it allows your respective trainer more time to check and correct technique and frees them up from having to facilitate the entire class.  This format is also considered optimal for results as much as it was fun having different themes every week prior to the move.  There’s a lot to be said for keeping things simple and consistent.  I expect to be feeling it in my arms tomorrow!

Have a great long weekend for those of you lucky enough to have both the Monday and Tuesday off work – spare a thought for those of us at Universities who don’t get Cup Day off!

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Disclosure: Miss Rosanna is sponsored by Cinch Training

Wishing you well

Wellness is one of the buzz words of recent times but I was first exposed to the whole concept back in the mid 1990s when I worked as PR for global environmental beauty company Aveda (now owned by Estee Lauder).  Back then, aromatherapy, wellness and holistic health were considered a bit out there but I’m glad to see the rise of it all now and the subsequent explosion in health retreats, spa culture, active wear (#athleisure) and more healthy body images with #fitspo.  When I worked in PR at David Jones, I was responsible for recruiting models to use at our fashion showings and remember one time knocking back a model who was clearly underweight.  I have people close to me who’ve suffered from eating disorders and it’s a been a long road to recovery.

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Nikki Ellis – Cinch Training

On a more positive note, my trainer the fabulous Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training has moved again from her studio in Macleod Village to the former Shu-Way building around the corner from Jade Kingdom Chinese restaurant off Waiora Road just before Jam and Cream cafe (which still does fabulous freshly baked scones but was looking a bit tired last time I visited) in Heidelberg Heights.  I believe she officially moved there today and am looking forward to classes at her new location, which is closer to my work at La Trobe University.  It’s a far cry from my first assessment at Nikki’s home studio in Rosanna a number of years ago and I’m really happy for her.

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Image via Cinch Training

Speaking of fitness, it’s National Ride2Work day this Wednesday and a number of my work colleagues are already regular cyclists who ride to work.  Mr Rosanna has long been a weekend warrior and one of the many middle-aged men in lycra you see riding in groups.  It’s been great to see more female cyclists riding the past few years while I’ve been living here in Rosanna and I hope to become more of a regular cyclist myself as I get older.

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The Daily Harvest cafe – Ivanhoe East

I’ve been hitting the local shops and have started Christmas shopping early.  I noticed new cafe The Daily Harvest (pictured above) in Ivanhoe East (which has replaced Bittersweet) over the weekend and it was great to see a write-up for Hurstbridge sustainable locavore hotspot Greasy Zoe’s in the Age Good Food Guide 2019.  Apparently Melbourne’s dining epicentre is still the north with Cutler & Co, Bar Liberty, Marion, The Recreation and Run as well as the Carlton Wine Room and Scopri all getting listed.

Banyule City Council has also been busy promoting some of the best retail outlets around with its Shop to it video series including one of the shops I visited today but more on that another time.

Disclosure: Miss Rosanna is sponsored by Cinch Training

 

 

 

 

Living la vida local

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Me with a sneaky pic of the gorgeous Greek fruit seller at Halki

Greece is a hard act to follow and Melbourne in the winter time is far from inspiring.  It’s lucky I’ve been busy at work promoting my next Bold Thinking Series lecture – Smashed avo: is there a war on youth? continuing the conversation that demographer Bernard Salt started in terms of the intergenerational wars between millenials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers and whether jobs and housing are harder opportunities for younger people to come by.  On the panel from La Trobe are cultural sociologist Dr Sara James (who reminds me of actress Katie Holmes!) and alumnus David de Garis who is a regular media commentator on all things economic for the NAB.  We’ve matched them up with GetUp’s Chief of Staff Natalie O’Brien and Fairfax finance columnist and entrepreneur Melissa Browne who has recently written the rather naughty sounding book called Unf*ck your finances.  We also tried to get Mr Barefoot Investor Scott Pape himself for this panel as he is a La Trobe alumnus but he was already engaged as many of the high-profile people I deal with in my job often are.  It is Open Day at La Trobe this Sunday and if you are considering studying in any kind of capacity, it’s well worth a visit to find out more in terms of short courses, languages, undergraduate and post-graduate courses as well as some of the other University assets like the library, Wildlife Sanctuary or Sports centre.  We’re lucky to have such a big campus so close to us in the north-east and there are exciting plans afoot for the University in the near future in terms of its development as a hub.

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I’ve been driving through the suburbs since coming back from overseas and there’s been a lot of interesting new businesses I’ve noticed like Pilates Republic Ivanhoe at the back of the Centre Ivanhoe near The Foreigner cafe and Vinyasa Studio Yoga in Burgundy Street, Heidelberg.  I’ve returned to Iyengar classes with Pamela Speldewinde at Action Yoga underneath Hatch Contemporary Arts Space in Ivanhoe.  I also noticed the cute sounding name of new organic cafe Mr Macleod while having my boots re-heeled at Chris the Cobbler who’s now also found at the Macleod Village group of shops in Aberdeen Road.  They needed a crane to lift in Chris’ very heavy shoe repair machinery equipment and Chris himself has been a busy man renovating houses as well as opening his fancy new digs.  My sponsor and trainer Nikki Ellis from Cinch Training in Macleod has also been a busy person – she’s launched a new holistic health and fitness program called Find your fierce which I’ll be finding out more about given my fierce seems to have gone missing in action plus the studio is moving somewhere close by in October so I’ll be following her there.

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My former client Helen Webster is holding her once a year Raffal Wraps scarf sale tomorrow afternoon if you’re in Ivanhoe and I think it would be worth a visit to pick up a bargain before the end of winter.  I also wanted to mention the Rosanna Station Community Fun Day on Saturday 11 August from 10 am to 2 pm taking place right in front of my other sponsor Hunter Lane Cafe and you will see me there in the middle of the day if you’re coming along to celebrate the opening of the new Rosanna station and level crossing which seems to have taken forever to finally finish.  I’m reserving judgement about it until the big reveal happens but took a photo today (above) as I do love the new Rosanna station sign.  There are a number of other launches taking place locally next week which I will post about in the coming days.  Four weeks to go until Spring!