Wonderland

While the PR girl in me loves a party, I must admit after organising my own divisional Christmas party for over 30 people and attending an Alice in Wonderland birthday party last night, I’m a bit partied out!

With these things, it’s all about the details and both events were great for those very reasons. Our Christmas party celebrated La Trobe’s cultural values via individual gold star cards with personalised messages attached to our KK presents to each other – plants (below) that contribute to our sustainability ethos at the University.

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With a limited budget, the Rosanna Golf Club in Lower Plenty very kindly hosted our event after we’d got quotes from a variety of other places and we were well looked after in the private dining room overlooking the green with Alumni and Advancement Office staff entering via the external verandah. Given many of us are still working hard right until the end of next week, it was nice to be surrounded by a sea of green and for the sun to come out for our group photo (below).

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Last night’s Alice in Wonderland party was organised by my former colleague and friend Dian who had gone to much effort right down to the printed invitations and Admit One party tickets. She’d hired out Four Larks Cafe in Abbotsford – a bluestone building opposite Victoria Gardens near Skipping Girl Vinegar – and decked it out in fairy lights and all things Mad Hatter’s tea party. She (and Mr Rosanna) had opted for the White Rabbit character but there were lots of people dressed up as cards (Aces and suit cards), Queen of Hearts, White Rabbits and the odd Cheshire Cat!

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While I had wanted to go as the Caterpillar, in the end I went as a cupcake so it was a shame Mr R had not gone as the Drink Me potion. My work friends thought it was quite amusing when we rocked up to the venue and I did get comments from other party-goers so it was good to apply some creativity by going for something more abstract.

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I hope you are hanging in there if you’ve had just as many events to attend as I have – the end is in sight! I will be helping the Graduations team in more ways than one this coming final week of work so I’m looking forward to getting to next weekend, especially given the expected heat. Stay cool this week – not long to go…

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.