Property Australia

Down under during down time


With international holidays off the agenda for now, how will Australia’s hard-working property leaders be spending their downtime this Christmas? Their answers might surprise you…

Scentre Group is encouraging its people to take some more time off than usual this Christmas and New Year so they can come back refreshed and recharged for 2021. “I’m practising what I preach,” says Scentre Group’s CEO Peter Allen. “I am looking forward to a few weeks off where I’ll be spending time between home and our farm in the central-west of New South Wales.” Allen is also planning a few interstate trips to see family and watch the cricket.

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison will also enjoy time at his “spiritual home” at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He’s taking a pre-Christmas break on Kangaroo Island and will also be spending time in Nelson Bay and Kiama with extended family. “I’ll be out in the bush with a pack on my back, and at the SCG with a drink in my hand.”

Kylie O’Connor, AMP Capital’s head of real estate, will be with her husband’s family, water-skiing on Talbingo Dam, on the edge of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. “My husband is from a very large family so there will be lots of kids, dogs, laughs and just good fun. I am so looking forward to spending the time with my husband and our three sons, enjoying everything this wonderful region of NSW has to offer.”

Waterskiing is also on the cards in the Steinert household. Stockland’s managing director and CEO Mark Steinert is looking forward to a staycation in Sydney, “particularly over the Christmas period when I think it will be a little quieter.” He will also be “spending some time exploring the Hunter Valley wine region and the Hawkesbury River for some water skiing.”

Darren Steinberg is looking further afield. “Now the West Australian state borders have finally opened, I’ve booked to go to Perth with my family to visit my parents who I haven’t seen for nine months. I’m looking forward to enjoying some downtime after a busy year.”  

There were cheers in Anthony Boyd’s household when the Queensland border reopened. Frasers Property Australia’s new CEO will be taking his family on “an old-fashioned road trip” to Brisbane and the Gold Coast after Christmas. Boyd is also planning to visit different regional areas across New South Wales and Tasmania in 2021, and to “reconnect with the interstate colleagues I’ve not seen face-to-face for a while, and visiting our projects across the country that I’ve had to follow from a distance for most of 2020”.

Kathy Mac Dermott, the Property Council’s chief operating officer will be enjoying “glorious” Noosa. “I think this year we have all rediscovered the importance of regularly connecting with nature and Noosa offers the trifecta of ocean, riverways and bushland.”

Queensland is also calling Kylie Rampa’s name. The Sunshine Coast is a family favourite of Lendlease’s CEO Property. “So, as long as it remains safe to travel across the border, we’ll head up to the Sunshine Coast for sun, sand and relaxation. We’re then off to explore Lady Elliot Island on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef for a few days and spend some time snorkelling with the kids,” Rampa says. “It’s been a tough year for so many people, so I’ll also be looking for ways to support small and regional businesses where I can.”

Investa’s CEO Johnathan Callaghan says the devastation caused by the Black Summer bushfire season last year is “still front of mind”. He’s planning some family road trips along the cost of New South Wales. “I think it’s important that we do our bit by visiting impacted regions, spending money with locally-owned and operated businesses and buying from the bush.” Investa is also offering an additional day of annual leave to employees who choose to visit these regions over the holiday period, Callaghan adds.

AV Jennings managing director and CEO Peter Summers is also looking forward to the open road. “When you have lived with a five-kilometre restriction for many months, the options within 200 kilometres suddenly seem endless,” Summers says. He’s looking forward to connecting in person with family and friends. “We are especially looking forward to visiting and staying at Mitchelton Winery. After two postponed attempts, hopefully it’s third time lucky.”

Tanya Southey, Vicinity Centres’ chief people and culture officer, will be enjoying a few breaks in Victoria. “Getting to Wilson’s Promontory, a day trip to the Dandenong Ranges for a good walk and something to eat and some time in the Yarra Valley will be appreciated,” she says. Michael O’Brien, QIC Global Real Estate’s managing director, can’t wait to visit MacMasters Beach on NSW’s Central Coast this summer. “While I won’t necessarily be discovering this beautiful spot for the first time, I’ll definitely be rediscovering some serenity at MacMasters Beach. As one of the Central Coast’s quieter beaches, my family’s favourite spot is a place where we can go to truly connect and unwind – especially after the year that has been,” O’Brien says.

Meanwhile, Challenger’s head of real estate, Chris Forbes, says his family are getting back to basics. “This year we are heading for the dark skies of central New South Wales. Why? Just to see the stars the way they are supposed to be seen and remind ourselves about making the most of what we have.... and perhaps enjoy some good food and wine along the way.”

Whether you are taking to the road or enjoying a hard-earned staycation, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to working together in 2021.