Property Australia

Festive favourites from our corporate leaders

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal December 7, 2021

Is Love Actually the property industry’s best-loved Christmas movie? Or does Elf top the tree? Are Christmas crooners or merry rockstars on the playlist? We asked the Property Council’s corporate leaders to share their festive favourites.

As the year draws to a close and we wind down for the summer party season, there’s only one hard-hitting question left to ask our corporate leaders: What is your favourite festive movie or song?

“I wonder how many of us will say Love Actually?,” ponders AMP Capital’s head of real estate, Kylie O’Connor. “There are so many reasons it’s been a favourite in our house for many years – the cast is fabulous, there is something for everyone and who can resist Hugh Grant dancing through 10 Downing Street to the song ‘Jump’? It’s the modern classic Christmas tale.”

Chris Forbes, Challenger Limited’s head of real estate, agrees. “You know that Christmas is approaching when Love Actually starts to appear on regular rotation,” he says. Love Actually always attracts at least one viewing in the Forbes household and “probably again this year if I am honest”. Forbes also likes Die Hard and The Holiday. “It will be nice to see what an overseas trip used to look like,” he laughs.

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison also gives Love Actually five stars. “So much Christmas-themed music and movies are really pretty awful but Love Actually seems to wrap both together in a feel-good funny way that you can re-watch time and time again.”

Frasers Property Australia’s chief executive officer Anthony Boyd can’t choose between three movies: Die Hard, Love Actually and Elf. “Very different I know, but it depends on the mood and who I am watching them with. All of them remind me of spending time with my family, both growing up and now. If I had to pick one, I’d say my favourite Christmas movie would be Elf. I love watching it with my girls.”

Sophie Fallman, Brookfield’s managing partner of real estate, is partial to Love Actually too, which she says may be her favourite movie of all time. “Aside from the great Christmas soundtrack, I can’t help but be reminded of the reunion scenes almost every time I pass through an airport. I am very hopeful that this Christmas, as our borders continue to open up, that our airports across the country are once again filled with scenes of happiness as families and friends are reunited after a long time apart.”

Darren Steinberg, Dexus CEO, is inspired by the Griswold family’s preparations for their seasonal celebration. “It’s a family tradition at Christmas time to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.”

“My favourite Christmas song is Bruce Springsteen’s version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” says Scentre Group’s CEO Peter Allen. “I’ve been a Bruce fan for a long time and he does a great job of setting the mood for the season with this rendition. It’s always on the family Christmas playlist.”

Michael O’Brien, QIC Global Real Estate’s managing director, says his favourite Christmas song is Let It Snow by Dean Martin. “My family has those 50s Christmas songs on rotation every Christmas Day, and they bring back a lot of good childhood memories.” And his favourite movie? “I can’t go past It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. It’s a beautiful movie which makes you feel grateful for what you have.”

Jane Fitzgerald, the Property Council’s chief operating officer, feels the same when she hears her favourite festive tune. “There comes a moment each festive season when I hear the opening bars: ‘So this is Xmas and what have you done?’ for the first time and I stop in my tracks. Even though Happy Xmas (War is Over) is a song written with a specific historical event as its reference point, to me, its timeless. Whether it’s been a tough year, or a joyful year it always seems to speak to how I am feeling and inevitably makes me hopeful about the year to come.”

Peter Menegazzo, Investa’s CEO, favours Elf. “There are a few go to movies during the festive season but Christmas Eve would not be the same without the annual viewing of Elf. This is definitely the family favourite. I love how it brings the family together no matter how old the kids are!”

For Lendlease Australia CEO, Dale Connor, Christmas is all about family and good food, which is why his Christmas movie favourite is Elf. “It’s a holiday classic that celebrates the four main food groups – candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup!” Connor and his family always watch Elf to kick off the festive season, and it’s always followed by the appearance of the Elf on the Shelf. “For me, Christmas is all about family and quality time together.”

“On behalf of the Property Council and our corporate leaders, I wish all our members a safe and happy festive season,” says Ken Morrison. “Here’s cheers to a great year in 2022.”