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CHRIS SCHOENMAEKERS: FAVOURITE BBQ DISHES AND TOP TIPS

Image Caption: Chris Schoenmaekers


Chris Schoenmaekers, Crown Perth General Manager of Table Games, leads a team of over 900 employees. According to Chris, he’s been amazed by the incredible dedication and resilience they all displayed as WA came out of shutdown just a short few months ago.
 
Known to many by his nickname ‘Schoey’, Chris joined Crown Melbourne in 1997. He moved to Crown Perth ten years ago and has spent time in the roles of Croupier, Supervisor, Pit Boss, Senior TG Shift Manager, Operations Manager, Director of Casino Operations TG and his current role, Acting General Manager Table Games.

When Schoey isn’t busy on the job, he is a bit of a BBQ master and loves nothing more than spending time with family and mates over a barbie by his pool.
 
CHAT spent five minutes at the BBQ with Schoey

How did you learn to be such a BBQ master?
 
Nothing beats a great Aussie barbie. I actually went to Perth BBQ School which is on Guildford Road in Maylands. I picked up loads of great techniques, tips and recipes and had a lot of fun along the way – I’d highly recommend it!
 
What are your top five BBQ dishes?
 
It’s hard to cut it down to five, but my favourite dishes to cook on the BBQ are…
  1. Siracha Lollipop Chicken Wings - BBQ School showed me the easy way to lollipop
  2. Any Roast – Leg of Lamb is my go to
  3. Rib Eye
  4. Smoked Brisket (that’s a long day!)
  5. Burgers and if I have to, some sort of vegetable. 
A trick is to cook Brisket over 7-8 hours, you use a snake method for your charcoal so you get a nice slow burn. The snake method works by lining up your charcoal in rows of two all around the weber. By then placing a few lit pieces at one end you are able to keep a low temperature for quite a long time.
 
Tell us about one of your favourite BBQ moments.
 
My older brother came over from Victoria last year with his wife – he actually thinks he’s the best on the BBQ – I showed him how we do it over here in the West! We shared some great moments and laughs over Brisket, Burgers and Wings.
 
BBQs are an ingrained part of the Aussie culture, what do you like about BBQs and why do you think sharing meals and eating together is important?
 
BBQs are an easy way to bring family and friends together. Especially this year, being able to have friends around is a privilege, we used to take it for granted and now we all value it more than ever.
 
Who are three Aussie legends that you’d love to share a BBQ with?
  1. Greg Norman – I used to play golf but not as much now. Greg really opened up golf for Australia internationally!
  2. Dane Swan – As an avid supporter of the Pies I’d love to meet this Collingwood legend, he always has a good story.
  3. Olivia Newton-John – she is a great Actress and Singer and has been through so much – she would have many stories to tell. 
Schoey lives with his wife Christine and they have three children – Alex (23), Ethan (14) and Brayden (12), as well as his two dogs Rocky and Loki, two birds, Des and Troy and some fish.
 
His family enjoy Sunday Roast on the BBQ every week and his top tip is to pair a Roast with Hassleback potatoes or ‘Jamie Oliver’ potatoes, plus some cooked asparagus or broccolli for good measure! Another piece of BBQ advice from Schoey is that ‘it doesn’t matter if you stuff it up and eat late – everyone still has fun!’

BRIAN LEE: FIVE LIFE LESSONS AND FUN FACTS

Image Caption: Brian Lee


Brian Lee, Crown Perth General Manager of Security and Surveillance, has the very important job of ensuring Crown Perth is a safe place to work and visit. Outside of work, Brian is a Kung Fu master and enjoys family time with his wife, three children (Caitlin 17, James 14, Sophie 12) and two Labrador fur babies.
 
Brian has been a member of the Crown community for almost 14 years. Brian joined Crown Perth in December 2006 as Development Manager (Training) – Security before progressing to his current role which he has held for six years.
 
Throughout his career at Crown and working with WA Police, Brian has learnt many valuable life lessons. He sat down with Crown CHAT to share his five most valuable, and some fun facts you may not know about him.
 
Five life lessons I’ve learnt through my job…
  1. Everyone plays a role in Security – everyone is responsible for Security….if you see something (not matter what department you are from) then say something and call Security. Although we may all work for different departments, we are all one big team.
  2. Resilience is important to get through challenging times - the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties is important, particularly in Security where you do come face to face with more challenging tasks on a regular basis. Having a good team culture is an important aspect in developing resilience.
  3. Trust and integrity are critical – This is particularly important in working in a highly regulated environment. Once trust is broken it’s hard to recover to regain that trust and your integrity so it’s critical to always “play with a straight bat” and if you are unsure of something, ask before doing so you don’t compromise yourself or others.
  4. Listen to the advice and input of others as you never know what gems will come your way – On many occasions I’ve had suggestions tabled with me from Security Officers and other staff outside Security which we’ve taken on board and implemented. It’s important to keep an open mind and not become narrow-minded in your thinking or outlook.
  5. Understand leadership –This is an ongoing journey but through my experience, leadership is a critical element to getting the best out of individuals and the broader team. In my view, a couple of key aspects for good leadership that resonate with me in no order are - approachability, good communication, integrity and empathy. This list could go on but these are some personal standouts for me.
Five things you may not know about me…
  1. I’ve been to the Shaolin Temple twice for Kung Fu
  2. I participated in the World Wushu (Kung Fu) Games China in 2001
  3. I have been involved in Triathlons for 5 years over Sprint and Olympic distance
  4. I have been a drummer since the age of 14 (not in any bands)
  5. I’ve got a real sweet tooth!

5 MINUTES WITH MODO MIO’S LIZ KLOEKEID

Image Caption: Liz Kloekeid


Food has always been a passion for Modo Mio’s Commis Chef, Liz Klokeid.
 
Having recently been announced as one of three finalists for WA Apprentice of the Year in the 2020 WA Training Awards, CHAT sat down with Liz to ask her about her career to date and where she sees it going in the future.
 
Where does your passion for food come from? 
Food has always been a passion of mine, starting at a young age with my Father’s influence exposing me to different cultures and cuisines due to his extensive travel experience. I believe food creates a strong sense of community and has a universal ability to bring people together.
 
What are the best bits about being a chef and some of the most difficult?
Being a chef is an extremely rewarding career pathway. It’s a creative industry where I feel I am constantly being challenged. What I love about it is that I’m continuously learning on a day-to-day basis, about the industry, cooking techniques, cuisines, and new skills. It’s also really rewarding working as part of a team.
 
Some of the more difficult aspects are the hours and workload, however it is satisfying at the end of a busy day to know that you have challenged yourself and met your own and your team’s goals. You can walk into a shift and think “I am going to have to push myself today” and look back at the end of a service with a great sense of accomplishment.
 
What goals do you have for the future in the industry?
I currently want to focus on continuing to challenge myself and learn as much as I can from my fellow chefs and mentors. There is so much going on in the hospitality industry in WA now and I just want to immerse myself in it. I want to continue to learn about the amazing produce we have here in WA. Reflecting on the last three years as an apprentice, I have taken the initiative when various opportunities have presented themselves and at this stage, I would like to continue to challenge myself and see where it takes me.
 
What attributes do you think you need to be successful in the industry?
Firstly, you need to be passionate. You need to be able to work together as a team, be a good communicator, be driven, be able to take criticism and be accountable to turn it into a learning opportunity. You need to be organised and be able to multitask. You need to have confidence in yourself and be resilient. 
 
“Being a finalist for the WA Training Awards has been fantastic. I would love to continue to promote this long-term career pathway as it has been the best decision I have made and has led to endless opportunities”.
 
Please join us on congratulating Liz on this incredible achievement!

FIVE MINUTES WITH ANDREW HILL TALKING ALL THINGS SUSTAINABILITY

Image Caption: Andrew Hill


CHAT caught up with Andrew Hill, Crown Perth’s Chief Operating Officer of Food, Beverage and Entertainment, about all things sustainability ahead of the release of Crown’s annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
 
As the Perth Committee’s Executive Sponsor, Andrew has been instrumental in bringing CROWNEARTH’s sustainable initiatives to life at Crown Perth. Andrew shares with us what drove his passion to join the committee and what the committee is working on behind the scenes.

Why did you join the CROWNEARTH committee?
I really just wanted to make a difference, and with my role encompassing property services, food, beverage and entertainment I feel that I am in the position to action some tangible form of change.

How long have you been a member?
Since the inception of the Environmental Committee in 2008, which evolved to become the CROWNEARTH Committee in 2017. I started at Crown Melbourne in 1994 before moving to Perth soon after Crown acquired the property in 2005.

What environmental issues are you most passionate about?
Change management and how we can improve what we deliver in a more efficient and sustainable manner.

What have been the highlights or areas you have seen improvement in with regards to sustainability at Crown?
We’ve made significant water reductions with the installation of an underground bore for all of Crown Perth’s landscape and gardens. We’ve also introduced timed flushes in all the bathrooms, water saving devices in back and front of house areas and by regularly monitoring water consumption these initiatives have yielded over a 12% reduction in water usage.
 
In March 2020, recycling rates in Crown‘s waste stream had increased from 40% to over 80% diversion from landfill, with 18 separate recycling streams which have been developed over the last ten years.
                                                                                                     
Over the last 6 years Crown has reduced its electrical consumption (excluding Crown Towers as it’s only been a part of our Complex for the last 3 years) by 20% with the introduction of LED lighting, enhance air-conditioning control system, major plant equipment monitoring and replacement of more efficient fixed plant and equipment. This saving has been during a time of expanding areas and new additions to the complex – so is a great result.

Do you have any top tips for sustainability at home?
If you haven’t had these installed already look at implementing the following initiatives:
  • LED lighting
  • Solar panels and hot water heating
  • Water saving devices in all taps and showers
  • Reduced reticulation run time and pool pumps and heating
  • House insulation and window treatments
What have been the biggest challenges for sustainability this year?
Getting the recycling rate back above 80%! Following the COVID-19 measures introduced, we have seen an increase in use of single use non-recyclables.  We’re also looking at ways to implement the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) successfully, which involves ensuring all co-mingled recycling remains uncontaminated by items which shouldn’t be in the mix. The CDS is due to commence in October 2020, so we need everyone to make a conscious effort.

What is your favourite quote?
“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
 
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Family time, food, wine and theatre of course!

FIVE MINUTES WITH IAN TSOLAKIS: CROWNability

Image Caption: Ian Tsolakis


Group Disability Employment Program Manager for Crown Resorts, Ian Tsolakis, gave us 5 minutes of his time to share his passion for supporting people with a disability and to talk us through new commitments from CROWNability.
 
Here, Ian shares how the Crown community can support the journey to fostering an inclusive culture across all three of Crown’s properties in Australia.
 
What was your career pathway to your role as Group Program Manager for CROWNability at Crown Resorts?
One of the early catalysts for my passion and interest in working with people with disability began eighteen years ago when I commenced employment at Mission Australia as a Business Development Manager. In this role, I worked closely with employers and community networks to find employment solutions for people with disability. It was empowering to see the impact that employment made to someone’s life.I realised that gaining employment meant so much more than a ‘job’ for people with disability. I truly believe every person is employable. Gaining employment creates hope, and a sense of purpose and worth for people with disability.
 
Following my time at Mission Australia, I gained employment with the Work Focus Group where I became familiar with the Federal Government’s Disability Service Employment Contracts. Knowing the demands of these programs, I realised there must be a better way for businesses requiring talent to access people with disability wanting to earn an income. It was this thinking that became a reality when I joined Crown in 2014 as Group Disability Employment Manager – CROWNability.
 
What are the biggest challenges that people with disability currently face in Australia?
Some of the biggest challenges that people with disability currently face in Australia include:
  • People with disability remain heavily under-represented in the Australian workforce
  • Research shows that many people with disability are not receiving enough support in the workplace from employers
  • Community and social environments are not accessible for people with disability.
  • A lack of understanding and awareness of how to live and work with people with disability in the community.

The CROWNability action plan is making positive change in these areas.
 
What has Crown and the CROWNability program done to support people facing these challenges?
We developed an employment program to increase the participation of people with disability into our workforce using a Five Pillar Employment model. Our CROWNability Team is dedicated to providing post-placement support to employees of the program, their managers, and to their families outside of work to ensure we can retain talent working in our business. Our post-placement strategy at Crown ensures employees are supported while they are working and developing their career. In addition, we have formed strong relationships and partnerships with Disability Employment Service (DES) providers to maximise the amount of support we can provide to an employee, both through the recruitment and selection process, and on the job. We are also ensuring our capital assets are accessible and inclusive.

 
What does the program aim to achieve at Crown Sydney?
Our primary goal is to create disability confidence at Crown Sydney by increasing the participation of people with disability through employment opportunities and ultimately, to build meaningful careers. Further, we will also work to educate our partners and other disability employment providers to ensure we continue to attract and develop our people. The key to sustainability of these employment opportunities is effective post-placement support. The opportunities in NSW will help CROWNability advance our footprint in the disability market and broader community.
 
What can Crown employees do to support people with disability?
Based on the success of the CROWNability program changing the lives of over 550 people through employment, I want Crown employees to know that our thinking as a society must change. It’s important for all Crown employees to continue to support our commitment and inclusive practices for people with disability. Our everyday conversations must remove the barriers that prevent us moving forward to a disability confident society. Working towards an accessible future is everyone’s responsibility.
 
What does the new Perth Changing Places facility mean for people with disability?
Accessible Adult Changing Facilities, more commonly known as Changing Places, are unisex public toilets designed for people who cannot use standard universal access toilets. Changing Places are intended for use by people with disability who generally require assistance by a support person. Changing Places provides suitable facilities for people with disability including an adult sized changing table, ceiling hoist, a peninsular toilet and additional circulation space to meet the needs of people with complex disabilities and their carers. The Changing Places facility at Crown Resorts further advances Crown’s commitment to provide an accessible and inclusive environment for people with disability. As part of a national plan across all Crown properties, the Perth facility will be the first to open in the coming weeks.
 
How is Crown Resorts leading the way?
Our organisation is playing a leading role in changing the perceptions and attitudes of people with disability to create a culture of access and inclusion for all.


5 Minutes with Crown Melbourne’s Executive General Manager of Food & Beverage, Enda Cunningham

Image Caption: Enda Cunningham, Executive General Manager - Food & Beverage


It has been a difficult week for Victorians. As we have returned to stage three restrictions and watched on as other states continue to enjoy eased restrictions, we have been painfully reminded of just how close we came to be returning to work and enjoying greater personal freedoms and social interactions.
 
For many of us it has been an emotional rollercoaster. Crown Melbourne’s Executive General Manager of Food & Beverage, Enda Cunningham, is no stranger to that rollercoaster, having just re-opened several F&B venues before having to close them back down again.
 
Having only joined Crown in December 2019, Enda has faced his fair share of challenges in a short period of time.
 
Crown CHAT sat down with Enda to discuss what COVID-19 has taught him about navigating change, and why he could not be prouder of the resilience and teamwork that has been displayed by his team throughout.
 
Challenges aside, here are 5 things I have learnt about navigating change:

1. Change is inevitable. I firmly believe that it is necessary to change and adapt in order to grow and develop as a person both professionally and personally.​

2. Whilst we may not be able to control change at times, i.e. our current situation, we should be focused on how we react to that change. At the end of the day, we can only control our reaction to a situation like COVID 19, as a lot of the decisions that impact our profession are being made outside of our control. What is important however is that we work within the boundaries that have been set and be as creative and innovative as we can.

From a personal perspective, seeing how the team has adapted from offering the best events in Melbourne in Palladium to managing the food and beverage offering for the quarantined traveller rooms has been a massive turnaround. But at no point during the process has anyone’s head dropped or has anyone complained about having to provide a very different service than what our core business is.

3. 
One of the most interesting parts of the current situation is that the issues faced are not just in one industry, they are across our whole community. Personally, seeing my own kids being home schooled is not something I thought I would ever see. Kids are amazingly adaptable and in a very short period of time they had adapted and found new ways of learning (and causing trouble). My 8-year-old son worked out a very clever way to be able to avoid screen time limits on his iPad – clearly pushing the boundaries!

4. Having a sense of purpose is key to developing resilience and being able to push ahead and get the job done. I have found that when a team has this, it will move forward and be able to offer support to its members and achieve results through difficult times.

5. I joined Crown in December and am very much still the new guy. For me the biggest thing in managing our way through the pandemic has been the sense of community that I have seen across the whole organisation. I have come across a number of tragic stories in the past few months but the willingness of people’s work colleagues to jump in and help out with everything from financial assistance, giving up shifts so others more in need could have them, or simply jumping on the phone to say “are you ok?” has been inspiring and given me yet another reason to head to work every day.

Times like these allow us to reset and focus on the important things in life. It allows us to focus on what we should be doing, and maybe stop doing some things that we have done out of habit but no longer add value.
 
I would be disappointed, when we return to full operation in F&B, if everything continued as it always has been and we have not taken the opportunity to make changes that make our workplace better and provide better experiences for our guests.
 
Having had one false start in reopening, I know the team are chomping at the bit to welcome guests back when it’s safe for us to do so.

Andrew Hill: The five things I missed most during isolation

Image Caption: Andrew Hill


Perth Chief Operating Officer of Food, Beverage & Entertainment, Andrew Hill, has been a Crown employee for a long time. Andrew joined Crown Melbourne when it originally opened in 1994 before relocating to Crown Perth in 2005 and rising through the ranks to his current COO title.

Andrew is often seen out and about ensuring our bars and restaurants remain some of Perth’s best. When Perth closed due to COVID-19, Andrew spent some time at home isolating and reflecting on the things we have often taken for granted but have now come to miss. 

Andrew has shared the five things he missed the most during isolation:

1. The freedom to travel. Travel is on the top of my list when it comes to activities I am passionate about. Not only that it hasn’t been accessible, but not being able to even plan for any type of travel in the medium to long term has been something that has been truly missing from what I love doing in my spare time. One of my lifelong ambitions has been to travel to every continent on the planet and to experience as many countries and cultures around the globe as possible. My family and I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to a number of unique destinations and in the current environment any sort of planning is difficult! Even planning for a school holiday trip has been impossible let alone planning for the next time we will get to travel overseas.(The photo above is from our family holiday last year when we visited family friends in Park City, Utah, United States. The first time our Perth boys have seen snow… and experienced –18 degrees!)
 
2. Food and wine. Some of the simple things I have been missing in isolation. Where’s the flour? Rationed. The sugar? None left on the supermarket shelf. Our favourite wines? Out of stock. Not to mention all the other ingredients that we need to host a good dinner party - but oh that’s right - we can’t have one, so that brings me to number three!
 
3. Social gatherings. In isolation - no social gatherings, no friends, no extended family. I have missed the lunches, dinners and socialising that we used to do pre-isolation. Luckily for me, I got to enjoy time at home with my wife, our two boys and our pup. 

4. Entertainment & Sport. Isolation has meant no shows, no games, no theatre, no cinema, lots of Netflix and that’s about it! But it looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are starting to get back to some form of normality which will bring us back to the things we all love - which brings me to number five. 

5. School. It’s back, and not that we don’t love our children, but -thank you WA for being one of the first states to bring children back to school! Two boys, none of the above to keep them entertained, home schooling - shall I just say it’s been challenging!

Alicia Gleeson's Top 5 Sporting Moments


Image Caption: Alicia pictured with sons Alex, Jack and partner Colin at an Essendon game from last season.

  
Our Executive General Manager of Human Resources for Melbourne and Sydney, Alicia Gleeson, shares her top five sporting moments.
I’m a keen sports fan and I attend a lot of live sport – only one of these I was actually at, but they are the events that have had the most impact.

ANZAC Day Match 2009
I would like to say I am a football tragic, and indeed, I will watch any game, any time. But the reality is I support Essendon. I am a fourth generation Essendon supporter.  I have no second favourite team, I hate every other team. I bleed red and black.

To this day, one game stands out like no other is ANZAC Day 2009.

The Magpies were in the lead by 14 points with less than five minutes remaining.  I was in the MCG Members stand with my Dad. My father was the world’s eternal optimist and the finest of Essendon supporters. I was slumped in my seat, loathing the inevitable walk of shame at the end of the match to that awful anthem “Good old Collingwood forever.”   Dad looked at me and says”Alicia, there’s still time”. I responded with: “There’s no time.”

Leroy Jetta snapped…I was on my feet, and I was vocal…Ricky Dyson then nailed a set shot from a tight angle…miraculously the margin was two points, I wasn’t just vocal I was out there on the field playing – me and the other 85,000 spectators. Nathan Lovett-Murray received a handball from Heath Hocking, who lined up for David Zaharakis who marked. We could see straight from Zaharakis to the goals and Zaharakis played on, some Collingwood player (Brent Macaffer apparently) lunged to tackle, Zaharakis kicked, and the ball sailed through for a goal, his first in the AFL. Seconds later the siren went. I lost the plot, “see the Bombers fly up” came over the loudspeakers and the Collingwood supporters behind me leant over and congratulated me on a game well played.  They were much better in defeat than I would have been.

Time ran out for Dad six years ago so I take him to the football in my heart.

Nadia Comaneci
When I was a little girl, there were three sports on the television – footy, cricket and the Olympic Games.  Little girls didn’t feature much in any of these, until 1976 and one 14 year old Romanian gymnast became the first woman to score a perfect 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event (she went on to record seven perfect 10.0s).  Nadia Comaneci launched onto the world stage and into the hearts of little girls everywhere. Suddenly little girls could do big things, with strength, grace, elegance and perfection. To my friends and me, Romania became the most glamorous place in the world and ‘Nadia’ a euphemism for everything we could achieve. 

Rob de Castella - Rotterdam Marathon
Rob de Castella was already an Australian and International running champion when my next sporting highlight occurred.  In 1983 he won the Rotterdam Marathon in 2h 08'37, it was televised and with only had two channels in Ballarat at the time, I watched it.  For the first time I realised the true beauty of long distance running. Going into the race, de Castella’s main rival was considered to the US marathoner Alberto Salazar. As it turns out by the end of the race it was between him and Portugal’s Carlos Lopes.  When de Castella started pulling away from Lopes to the finish line, the strength and power of his running was amazing and it started my fascination with running.

Sadly, I have no claim to fame in running, except growing up in Ballarat I couldn’t tell you how many times I was lapped running around Lake Wendouree by Steve Moneghetti (sometimes multiple times in the one run).  He and his training partners, chatting non-stop, running around the lake on the road, I shuffling along, reminiscent of that other great Australian runner Cliff Young on the gravel track next to the water.

Rob de Castella’s training was focused on the hills in the Dandenongs and to this day as I plod up the ‘hills’ of The Boulevarde in Kew, it’s Deeks who inspires me.

Cathy Freeman 2000 Olympics
Probably an event in every Australian’s sporting highlights was the beauty of Cathy Freeman’s 400m win at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Not even the weight of a nation’s expectations held her back. The sight of her graceful form sprinting to the finish line in that suit, then her lap of honour with both of Australia’s flags, was simply a moment of joy.

A couple of years later, running the ‘tan’ at lunchtime with another Crown colleague we saw two women running with their little terrier. They took off and then had to stop, turn and wait for the dog to catch up, their laughter at the dog and the freedom of running was infectious and as we caught up with them too we realized it was Cathy. That day felt like our lap of honour.

Trevor Chappell underarm bowl 1 February 1981
Maybe not a sporting highlight, but my most powerful cricket moment was the 1 February 1981 one day match between Australia and New Zealand. It was a controversial game and with one ball left to bowl, NZ needed 6 runs to tie. Trevor Chappell was the bowler, his brother, the Australian Captain Greg Chappell instructed him to bowl underarm so it was impossible to get the runs.  In the end the ball was rolled along the pitch. The Australian wicket keeper, Rod Marsh could be heard saying “Don’t do it” over the telecast and the commentator also protested the decision. For the rules of the game at the time it was a legal ball.  Was it a genius tactical move delivering a win to the home side against their rivals or was it not in line with the spirit of the game?

I was always taught that it’s not whether you win or lose but how you played the game that counts. 

What would you have done?

Travel Dreaming with Shaun D'Cruz

EXECUTIVE GENERAL MANAGER OF CROWN HOTELS MELBOURNE

Image Caption: Shaun D'Cruz

  
With most travel on lockdown until further notice, the best people can do to cure their desire to travel is window-shop for future trips or pull out the photo albums and reflect on previous holidays. Crown CHAT sat down with Executive General Manager of Crown Hotels Melbourne, Shaun D’Cruz, to reminisce on some of his favourite travel memories.

Favourite travel destination?
That’s easy – New York! While I’ve been there countless times, there’s always something new to discover. I can’t get enough of it. New York also has some of the best hotel offerings, so I have always enjoyed exploring a new hotel each visit.

What is your favourite airport?
It would have to be Singapore Airport. It’s clean, efficient and there’s plenty to do on a stopover, including lots of great eating options.

If I ran my own airline I would... 
I would speed up the process of getting through immigration.

Where would you go with an unlimited travel budget?  
I’d love to do a big trip to Europe with my family, ticking off as many countries as we could together. It’s exciting to see their reactions when we’ve landed in a new destination – even if I’ve been there before, it makes me see it through their eyes as though it’s my first time too.

Where’s the worst place you’ve been lost? 
I haven’t experienced getting lost, but I love exploring new destinations without any plans and getting lost in the culture and finding hidden gems.

What was your best trip ever?
I was lucky enough to travel to Disneyland in California with my family, which is a special memory we’ll share together for years to come. To see the excitement on my son’s face when we visited ‘Radiator Springs’ (a desert-themed attraction inspired by the Pixar and Disney movie Cars) is a moment I’ll never forget! He could have stayed there for hours.

Most memorable overseas dining? 
I’d have to say Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s signature restaurant Asiate, located in the heart of New York. It’s perched above the city on the 35th floor, boasting panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline from floor-to-ceiling windows. A huge wall of wine showcases more than 1,300 drops, making it even more impressive.

What’s in the suitcase? 
Always running gear – whether I use it or not is another question entirely!

What is the first thing you do when you arrive in a new city?
Go for a big walk to stretch the legs and explore the local neighbourhood. It’s the best way to stumble across interesting things while getting an immediate sense of where you are amongst the hustle and bustle of a new city.

How do you make the most of a spare afternoon in a strange city?
I usually go for a run and then refresh with a local drink.

Who would you most like to travel with and why?
I would love to travel with Michael Jordan, ideally it would involve watching an NBA game courtside.

What is your cure for jetlag? 
Seems like an obvious one, but I try to work out how to adjust my plane sleeping to coincide with the destination’s time zone. Sometimes that means fighting off sleep when you’re tired, but it’s worth it to get your body into a normal sleep routine.

Any other travel tips? 
Stay hydrated and pack a good book for the journey!

Is there anywhere you like to go locally for a special occasion when travel is off the cards?
Mr Miyagi on Chapel St Windsor, which has great food and a great atmosphere.  My wife and I love going here.

Best travel tale? 
Experiencing the magic of Disneyland with my son…it was like being in another world and he was so excited by everything!

Best thing about travelling?
Having a break from the normal day to day. It’s a great way to recharge the batteries and come home with a fresh perspective.

Top travel gripe? 
Queueing

Nic Emery’s five pieces of advice to his 20-year-old self

Image Caption: Nic Emery working from home.

  
Our Crown Resorts Chief Marketing Officer, Nic Emery, shares his top five pieces of advice he would give to his 20-year-old self….
 
Due to me taking the mickey out of Lonnie’s favourite movies last week, I accidentally nominated myself as next up for Crown CHAT’s ‘Five minutes with…’.

Much of my time over the last few weeks has been spent stumbling around trying to work out how to home school two kids, support my partner (who is still working, but now at home) and keep myself from doubling in size during isolation.  But, like many of us, there has also been time for reflection.  Reflection on life, what’s important, mistakes I’ve made and how to politely hang up from Zoom drinks parties that has already run 20 minutes too long.
As such it was ‘suggested’ that I should write down my reflections for this as notes to my 20-year-old self (the PG version).  So here goes.

Bad times pass
One of the things that’s keeping me going through the current situation is that, no matter how bad things feel (or are for that matter), time passes and you suddenly find yourself feeling better and looking back and thinking ‘wow, that was pretty shit but now’s pretty good’.  It’s taken me the best part of 50 years to work that out, and I guess that’s because you need to go through a bunch of crap times to realise that they do always pass, but I wish I’d know that 30 years ago cos it’d have made some bits of my life a whole lot less depressing.

Don’t shave your head
And by this I mean my head. I spent a year or so in my early 20’s with a grade 1 haircut, largely for cost efficiency purposes. In and of itself this wasn’t a problem but unbeknownst to me my hairline slopes slightly to the left, making me look like a Lego man with his hair on squiffy. It took 6 months of people looking at me with their heads at a slight angle to realise how disturbing it made me look.

Spend time with you parents
I was fortunate enough to have a great mum and dad, both of them now sadly long gone. Mum a wealth of fascinating conversation from a very intellectual family and Dad an infinite source of humour and stories born in part from flying in bombers in World War 2 and the effort of building lives in post war London. As I became an ‘adult’ I was focused on my mates and work and, while I still saw plenty of them, I never really hung out with my parents as a grown up and I missed out on a lot of great conversations I can now never have. That said, I’m pretty sure my 20-year-old self wouldn’t have listened.

Do the bloody physio exercises
Like many, I’ve periodically been given exercises from physios to help me recover from injuries, some of them proper sporting injuries and others due to excessive socializing. Also like many, I’ve largely ignored these exercises. My penance for this laziness is arthritis in multiple parts of my body which has limited my exercise to swimming, which is an infuriating sport for an ex-sprinter as, no matter how fast I swim, I can be overtaken by an elderly lady strolling along the side of the pool

Take an extra minute
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve arrived home from a night out having lost my house keys resulting in a series of forced entries that were, on occasion, costly or dangerous. A sizable number of these could’ve been avoided if I’d taken the time required to establish that my keys were, in fact, in my pocket.

Lonnie Bossi’s Top 5 Movie Moments

Image Caption: Lonnie Bossi

  
Our Perth Chief Operating Officer, Lonnie Bossi, shares his favourite movie moments of all time.
 
Hi Crown family,
 
As we all make our way through isolation with our loved ones, trying to find novel ways to entertain ourselves, it has given me some time to reflect on movies I’ve watched over the years. Trying to list my top 5 became Mission Impossible, as my list stretches from Science fiction to comedy to sports themed to drama, and always avoids horror. Some of my favourites include Wedding Crashers, the Marvel series, The Ten Commandments, Angels and Demons, Rocky I, II, III, IV, … and the incomparable Avatar. Futuristic films are a favourite for their insight in considering how we have gotten here or where we are heading as a society, with Jupiter Rising and Total Recall to name two of my favourites. Then there’s action films like the Hunger Games, Highlander, the Bourne and Bond Series and Kingsmen where drama and comedy creatively combine. I have also connected to historically motivated films like Mississippi Burning, Remember the Titans and Braveheart as great stories of human endeavour and social evolution.  So in the end, trying to rank my favourite films became an exercise in Sliding Doors. And then it dawned on me, that reflecting on my most memorable Movie Moments was an easier challenge to take on.  So here we go, starting from my earliest film memory:


1. Star Wars (1977)
I was 7yo and my parents excitedly prepared for a trip to the Drive-In, a place neither I nor my sister had ever been before. We sat in the Leyland P76, with the radio hanging off my dad’s window, and watched Star Wars on the big screen. It became the moment that I fell in love with science fiction and turned into a Star Wars tragic. From the pillow and bedspread, to the curtains to the figurines, Star Wars became a compulsion that has lasted over 40 years and started that night at the Maribyrnong Drive-in
 
2. E.T. Extra Terrestrial (1982)
It was my 13th birthday, and I was finally allowed to go to my first film with a mate of mine. So we picked none other than the biggest film in history in E.T.– consider a cost of $10m to make and a box office of almost $800m (or 80x its cost). We queued for what felt like an eternity. When we got to the ticket booth, there were only two seats left; perfect we thought. We were the very front right corner, and so bad were the seats that we lay down on the floor near the middle of the screen so as not to disturb anybody. A truly spectacular film in its day and what a memorable experience.
 
3. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
We were offered tickets to the pre-release of Gone in 60 Seconds with Nicholas Cage and Angeline Jolie, and Gold Class to boot. So Helen and I jumped at the opportunity, bearing in mind, she was now 9 months pregnant, and we thought it may be the last time we’ll get to go to the pictures in a while. Well, who would have thought that Helen would go into labour that night and we didn’t get to see the end of that movie.  We were gone in 60 minutes. Lo and behold, Amber, our first child, was born the following day.
 
4. Marly & Me
In 2011, we decided to move back to Australia with our two young daughters. Unfortunately, we had to take the heart wrenching decision to put our 13yo golden retriever down as she wasn’t going to survive the trip and the 6 months of quarantine that would follow. How do you tell your two daughters who didn’t know a day without Baylee by their side? So one night, we decided to watch Marley and Me with the girls, to subtly broach the concept of putting our dog down. As the film progressed, I watched as my youngest daughter Charlotte, cuddled up and started to turn away from the movie as it became apparent that an ageing Marley was being put down. In a moment I will never forget, she looked at me and said, “Dad, I don’t want to watch this film any more’. She was 8 then and even now at 17, she reminds me of that night. We have never watched that film again …. Any of us.  
 
5. Contagion
The last moment on the list came about a month ago, when Helen and I downloaded Contagion; a film I hadn’t watched in 7 or 8 years, but vaguely recalled the storyline. A great cast was assembled, that included Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwenyth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Elliot Gould and Jude Law. We started to watch the film and within minutes, the gravity of the film and its relevance to today became abundantly clear.  Fair to say that it created a significantly different emotional response given what we are going through today, compared to when I watched it on a flight across the Nullarbor. And then, you see that this film was made in 2011 … and it was that fact that blew my mind.
 
So there goes my Top 5 memorable moments in watching films.  The emotional diversity is the plotline of a good film with laughter, drama, tears and life changing experiences rolled into one little list. 
 
As we move closer to the time that we can reconnect with our friends and colleagues, I wish you and your loved ones a safe and healthy ISO, and hopefully a memorable movie experience along the way.
 
Stay safe,
Lonnie