Christmas with IR Department

This year we've decided to reflect on the year but also look at the positive things that are coming up. Each of the team reflect on one thing they've learnt in 2020, what they are looking forward to the most over the Christmas period and the podcast or book that got them through the year!

We hope you enjoy, and Merry Christmas from the IR Department team! 

In this blog post, a few of our key team members reflect on one thing they've learnt in 2020, what they are looking forward to the most over the Christmas period and the podcast or book that got them through the year!

We hope you enjoy, and Merry Christmas from the IR Department team! 

Jane Lowe, Managing Director

One thing you learnt / silver lining of 2020

I’m going to be greedy here and provide two answers – one work related and the other, very personally close to my heart as I write.

  1. I learnt that the impact that a pandemic can have on global capital markets is absolutely impossible to call. In March, the Dow crashed several days in a row, sinking to historic lows. Things seemed dark and dire. So many companies were worried about business longevity and those hoping to raise money were scared about transaction outcomes.

    Within weeks, buoyancy started to float back into the market and the Australian market navigated its way through billions of dollars-worth of hugely oversubscribed capital raises.

    Companies that were worried about license to operate found ways to reinvent themselves and if they communicated this well, their shareholders rewarded them for it. Investors found bargains in the most unlikely of places and the year became a speed date for transacting and communicating through a landscape of panic and uncertainty. It has left us with more lessons than a Harvard MBA!

  2. The other thing I was reminded of is that while the world is busy, family must come first, regardless of how busy I am.

    My suggestion – remember that life can quickly and unexpectedly become very short. Tell your family that you love them and do so often (even if it’s weird or hard to do. You’ll get used to it.) And if you have older parents, find a way to spend some time together.

One Christmas thing you're looking forward to: 

We’ve had a non-stop year. It’s been amazing and rewarding, but so hectic. I can’t wait to down tools and spend some time with my family and friends. Over Christmas, I plan to chuck on my swimmers, put on the dodgy Spotify Yacht Rock playlist and drink some beers at the beach with my people. And I’m going to swim every day.

And favourite podcast / book of the year:

Okay so two things again (sorry.)

  1. Last week I binged Judith Lucy’s podcast Overwhelmed and Dying. I know Judith Lucy can be a bit polarising, but honestly, if you can get past any shortcomings you have with her and listen to the way this podcast is put together, I promise you’ll come away with something. There’s a lot of bad language and explicit themes, but if you’re okay with that, I recommend getting into it. Hilarious and educational in ways you could barely imagine!

  2. Honeybee is a book by Australian author, Craig Silvey. It is one of those books where your heart thumps the whole way through. If you’re open to something deep and raw, read it. The book should come with just about every warning known to man. Make sure you’ve got some really hilarious content to follow up with (maybe the podcast mentioned above)!

To all our clients, colleagues and friends, have a really wonderful Christmas. We work with so many very smart people who are doing amazing things. Thanks so much to all those who allowed us to work with you through the year – we are grateful beyond words.


Gaby Hold, Account Director

One thing you learnt / silver lining of 2020 

My lesson of 2020 was unexpected. After having been in lockdown for the best part of nine months of this year, I’d thought I’d revel in my freedom, especially being able to go shopping and eating at restaurants again. But honestly, my first trip to the shops was rather underwhelming.

Instead, I realised that keeping things simple is what matters. And having experiences rather than “things”. One of the best times I had this year was during the hard lockdown. A French restaurant had pivoted to doing picnic hampers, so we got one and had a great meal at the park with our dogs and some lovely wine, it was a fantastic afternoon.

One Christmas thing you're looking forward to

Getting on a plane again to come to Sydney for the IRD Christmas party and going to my favourite French restaurant for dinner on Christmas Eve. That’s two, but I reckon I deserve two being a Melburnian!

And favourite podcast / book of the year

I was late to the party with this one, but reading The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was a delight and brought much joy during lockdown days. And not a podcast, but a TV show: The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix was amazing.


Cherie Hartley, PR Director

Silver linings

It feels like it’s been one crisis after another for the past 12 months and I think everyone is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. But the crisis has definitely shown we are a resilient bunch and there has been some important silver linings.

One of the big ones for me is a collective rebalancing of corporate culture and a much stronger understanding of the benefits of flexible working arrangements such as working from home.

Secondly, and on a larger scale, the positive environmental impacts of Covid-19 has been a silver lining as it’s given the whole world the opportunity to rest, reset and begin healing.

One Christmas thing you're looking forward to

I think like everyone, family time is the most important part of Christmas for me. I’m looking forward to heading up to Port Macquarie where my family are for a few days and spending lots of time on the beach with the kids. I also love the joy on the kids' faces at Christmas - they definitely bring that sense of excitement and magic back.

Favourite podcast / book

Well the book I started at the beginning of 2020 is still sitting on my bedside table half-read so I’m going to have to go for the Podcast option here. We’ve done quite a bit of road-tripping this year and I have to say the podcast That’s Incredible by MamaMia and narrated by Andrew Daddo has kept the kids entertained for long periods of time and therefore me and my husband sane! It’s full of lots of amazing facts and stories about the world around us - I can highly recommend it for anyone with young children.


Lauren Byrne, Junior Account Executive

One thing you learnt / silver lining of 2020:

The silver lining for me this year has definitely been that due to working from home I got to spend more time with my dog, Noodle. I’ve always wondered what it was she did during the day and it turns out it’s just a lot of sleeping and barking at birds.

Another silver lining was when lockdown finished in Sydney, I was so excited for all the restaurants to be open! However, I did get to learn new recipes – thinking about entering Masterchef next year hmm.

One Christmas thing you're looking forward to

I say this every year, but the mince pies my dad makes! Also being able to see everyone and share a meal with the whole family. The BEACHES and learning to rolla-skate; I’ve got a busy Christmas planned.

And favourite podcast / book of the year

I’m a bit biased on this one because during lockdown, my flatmate and I started a Podcast together, called The Whistleblowers Podcast so working on that and listening to it come to life has been so amazing.

Also can’t go past the classic Casefiles and Wine and Crime, to get my true crime fix in!