Sunday, 31 March 2013

Our Australian relocation business - Acknowledgments, accolades and appraisals: why they matter

The service industry is built on people who are prepared to go the extra mile: people who do their job because they want to make a difference. For the most part the work they put in is unseen but if it is not performed well is always noticed. So with providing destination services. Much of what we do is unseen: the preparation before someone arrives is enormous but if we do our job well it will seem seamless. Our consultants are caring, committed individuals who are perfectionists: they want everything to be right. Our office is staffed with the kind of people who answer emails at 11pm at night, ‘just check’ at weekends and public holidays and who genuinely care about things going well. How wonderful then for all of us that a text from one of the staff at 7.30am on Good Friday is not about a delayed flight or a client who is facing some difficulty but that we have been shortlisted for an award! Re:locate, the magazine most  relocation specialists and HR professionals read  announced the shortlist for the prestigious international awards for  relocation companies. Elite Executive Services were shortlisted in the Best International Destination Service Provider category.  This is amazing news and Elite is the only shortlisted Australian destination services provider. To be shortlisted for such an award is recognition of all the hard work our team puts in day after day throughout the year and such recognition is important. It reminds us all why we do this just as the appraisals which are returned after each completed assignment remind us that people appreciate what we do and know how difficult it would have been without us.

This is not the first time we have received this kind of recognition. In 2012 Elite Executive Services was  shortlisted for the Asian EMMAs which are the Forum for Expatriate Management Awards. The Categories were: Destination Services Provider of the Year, Best Family Support Programme and Most Innovative Use of Technology in Global Mobility  . Again we would not have stood a chance without our suburb team! And then there was the Mobile App Awards 2012 where we were so excited by the shortlisting of our app in the Australian Mobile App Awards. The competition was huge so it was doubly sweet that that Applocation Australia had been shortlisted.

Awards, accolades and wonderful appraisals are great for keeping our course steady and remind us why we do what we do!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Easter in Australia

We get a four day weekend in Australia because of the Christian celebration of Good Friday when Jesus was crucified and Easter Sunday when he rose from the dead. The majority of Australia is Christian and many of those will be going to church to celebrate. Not all Australians will know, however, that the festival at Easter comes from the festivities in honour of Eostre the Scandinavian goddess of dawn. Her name derived from the word for 'east' which was the direction from which the sun arrived in the morning and her special festival was the spring equinox which was the beginning of the sun's reign in the northern hemisphere year. Pagan tradition had it that a human victim, the Tear King, was sacrificed as winter turned into spring.  He was buried in the fields and would come to life once again with the grain that was sown and grew to make bread. By eating the bread everyone was sharing in the Year King's rebirth. Christianity combined their own celebrations with something familiar and that is why they chose the Easter celebrations on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. In Australia part of Easter celebrations are the hot cross buns which are sold at every baker.although the cross on top of the buns represents Christ's cross it is again the pagans we must thank for the buns where the cross represented the four quarters of the moon. It is  believed that in 1361 a monk called Thomas Rockcliffe began giving the buns to the poor of  St Albans on Good Friday. The tradition persisted and the sweet spiced hot cross buns are a firm favourite at Easter. 

So where should you go for the best hot cross buns. If you are in Brisbane you might try Bannetons in Ashgrove or Wooloongabba see Alternatively you might try Hawthorne Garage in Hawthorne If you are in Perth then try Lawley's Bakery in Mt Lawley
or Chez Jean-Claude Patisserie in Subiaco People in Adelaide might want to check out Glenelg's Orange Spot Bakery or Darwin residents might try Out back Bakery in Fannie Bay. In Hobart, Jackman and McRoss are worth trying and in Canberra Ngunnawal Bakery

In Melbourne it is worth a trip to Candied Bakery, 81a Hudsons Road, Spotswood or Phillippa's, 1030 High Street, Armadale (and other stores) In Hawthorn, Melbourne you will enjoy the offerings from La Tropezienne, 780 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn and for a trip outside Melbourne then La Madre, 18 Milton Street, Geelong

Finally Sydney. Get your hot cross buns from Bourke Street Bakery, 472 Gardeners Road, Alexandria (and Marrickville, Potts Point and Surry Hills. or Rise Bakery, 257a King Street, Newtown or Adriano Zumbo Patisserie, 296 Darling Street, Balmain (and Pyrmont and Manly) If you want to travel further afield then try Hominy, 185 Katoomba Street, Katoomba for some deliciously wicked hot cross buns!

Friday, 15 March 2013

St Patrick’s Day in Australia - what to see and do

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated enthusiastically in Australia as the  Irish and their Australian friends celebrate the Irish culture and their patron  saint St Patrick. St Patrick is Ireland’s patron saint who died on March 17 around 493AD. St Patrick was a missionary in Ireland and it is believed that he banished “snakes” from the country.

The Irish were some of the earliest Europeans to settle in Australia. Many were convicts but in the years that followed so many Irish migrated that it is believed almost a third of Australians have some Irish ancestry. Many pubs and restaurants around Australia hold St Patrick’s Day  events where patrons can enjoy Irish music and where sometimes green drinks are served. St Patrick Day parades are also popular and you will see traditional Irish costumes and people dressed in green or pretending to be leprechauns. Green is a colour associated with Ireland as is the shamrock leaf and the harp. There will be plenty of these symbols around as well as the Irish flag with its colours of green, white and orange.

In Sydney  on Sunday 17 March 2013 from 10.15am - 11.45am  there is pre-parade entertainment on George St followed by the parade itself which starts at the corner of Bathurst and George St. From 1pm there is a family day in the Hyde Park including food, entertainment, children’s activities, rides, petting zoo, face painting and of course lots of music!  See

In Melbourne  revelers can use the Guinness St Patrick’s Day Black list to help them and this can be found at
In Perth  the City of Vincent have a free community event will combine a St Patrick's Day Parade and a Family Fun Day starting with St Patrick's Day Parade at 10am on the corner of Richmond and Loftus Streets. It will then meander through the streets finishing Leederville Oval, to join the Family Fun Day  which offers live music, bands and dancing on the main stage, plus displays, food, drinks, market style stalls and lots of excitement!

In Brisbane  there is a wonderful parade on March 16, 2013 10:30 am to midday starting at the corner of George and Elizabeth St . It will include Irish dancers, red setters, Irish wolfhounds, pipe and brass bands,  antique cars, clowns, and other entertainers.

In Adelaide St Patrick’s Day Parade will start at 10am from The Irish Club, Carrington Street and includes live music and dance displays. Celebrations continue until 5pm.
In Canberra the Irish Club will start with an tremendous Irish breakfast at 7am and wonderful Irish food throughout the day. Irish dancing, pipe bands and live bands will please the crowds!
In Darwin the Waterfront is the host for St Patrick’s Day and Fiddler’s Green has Irish food, dancers and music from 8am.