With a background in theatre and arts which triggered a genuine love for bringing a story to life, Kristy brings many years of diverse event production to the PJSE team. Sophisticated, complex and aesthetically inspiring events are her forte, but she has also found new talents since starting at PJSE in the world of public events, parades and celebrations. Peter sat down with Kristy to talk all things Melbourne and events in this next instalment of “White with one” – staff edition.
Peter: How do you take your coffee?
I have a magic which is a double ristretto ¾ latte. The ristretto has more flavor but less caffeine, so you need a double shot. Then the ¾ means you don’t dilute the flavour. I don’t like the name but that’s what it’s called right now. It’s not that common but it’s growing.
Peter: You learn something new every day – I’ve never heard of that before.
I have one a day. I start the day with an espresso at home at around 7. The magic is from DiBella’s in North Melbourne at about 8.30am on my way to work. In the afternoon I’ll have a tea, white with one (coincidentally) and sometimes a peppermint tea. No coffee after midday and 3pm is the latest for tea.
Peter: Sounds very involved but as I have discovered since starting “White with one” – everyone has their own unique coffee culture. How long have you worked at PJSE and what is your background?
I’ve been at PJSE for 3 years now. Before that I worked at Staging Connections for 7 years as a stylist and prior to that I worked at the Arts Centre for 7 years with the Arts Angels program, running their events and working with high end private donors. My career started in advertising so it’s been a gradual progression to where I am today.
Peter: Are you a Melbourne girl?
I’m Melbourne born but we moved around a lot. I think I hold a record for the number of schools I have attended.
Peter: Well I went to 2……..
That’s so alien to me! I think I beat that with 10. One of those was in France which was a real life changer when I was young. I learnt French and then Italian, then German… I considered a career in linguistics and maybe international espionage for a while there.
Peter: I don’t think I know anyone who has been to that many schools and I won’t ask you to name them all. What are some of your proudest moments/highlights in your working career and while working at PJSE?
Back in my Arts Centre days it was the farewell dinner on the State Theatre stage for Richard Pratt when he stepped down as President of the Trust. At Staging I was featured in their episode of “Undercover Boss” which was an amazing experience. But it’s been during my time at PJSE that has really given me the opportunity to do some amazing events. I’d have to say –
- Dropping a car on the beach at Noosa via helicopter – that was pretty special.
- Being part of the AFL Grand Final Day pre match entertainment team, particularly seeing as I’m not a footy fan. It’s a pretty daunting task with so many different stakeholders and the biggest audience of all time watching, but it’s certainly a great event to be part of.
- I also like how we’ve grown Australia Day over many years. It’s much more than a flag raising and parade and it’s a great way to celebrate our national day.
- Finally I’d have to count raising $5.4m in one night for the Epworth Medical Foundation – that moment was incredible, I’ll never forget it.
Peter: You have done a great job with all these events. Why do you think Melbourne is a great city for events?
Besides our world class venues, I believe part of the success is our creative intellect. As you may have guessed, I’m not really one for sporting events; I’m more inclined towards the arts and cultural events that we have here. Melbourne is the arts capital of Australia and we constantly reinvent ourselves and deliver world class events. We have so much talent here and you can see it in events such as White Night, Melbourne Festival, MFWF, Fashion Week etc.
Peter: What is your favourite event to attend in Melbourne?
Sorry, no footy or cricket here. There is an event called the Gangsters Ball that I adore. It’s an all-singing, all-dancing, all-night vaudeville extravaganza, and I love a big party that I don’t have to organize but can just attend and have fun! It’s a big dress up and I go every year with a big group of friends. You should come one year Pete.
Peter: Bit late for me. What is your favorite restaurant in Melbourne?
We are blessed with so many here but Dandelion in Elwood is definitely a favourite.
Peter: I know it well and agree – the food is fantastic! Favourite bar in Melbourne?
I don’t have a local as such, but I do look at Broadsheet a lot to find out what’s new in Melbourne. There’s always a few new intriguing spots that deserve a visit. Sometimes I keep a hit list on the go and then get some friends together and do what I call a city hop and go check them all out. Kind of like an upmarket pub crawl.
Peter: Sounds like fun! What does Melbourne need that it doesn’t already have?
Temperature control! Somehow keep the snow on the mountains and the fire out of the bush, and a pleasant 27 degrees the rest of the time. But I do love how the weather never stops a Melbourne crowd. Also, I’d love to see the amalgamation of charitable organisations so they work more closely together – in particular animal charities, rescue groups mostly. Whilst they all have a great purpose and vision, they all struggle and they could achieve so much more by joining forces. Philanthropy and charity is strong in Melbourne and you can achieve incredible success if you go about it the right way.
Peter: Does Melbourne need an iconic structure?
No, because we are a city that is a collective of many things and don’t just rely on one. Landmarks date and Melbourne will always be a progressive city.
Peter: Who are some of your most admired Melburnians?
Two people come to mind. Walter Mikac for what he has been able to do with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation out of the Port Arthur tragedy. Another is a lovely lady called Betty Amsden who is an Arts Centre Angel. She has been a great contributor and advocate for the arts as well as animal welfare. She made a great impression on me when I worked at the Arts Centre and I’ve never forgotten her.
Peter: Finally, what is your favourite PJSE Christmas card?
Hands down – Game of Jones (Game of Thrones). It was such a clever play on words and dressing up as Melisandre was good fun. Plus it was ‘so hot right now’.
Peter: It’s definitely one of my favourites too. Kristy, thank you for your time and insights today.