Jocks, a dog calendar and a traffic ticket

by Otiena Ellwand22 Dec 2017
Industry leaders tell Australian Broker readers about the best and worst Christmas presents they've ever received. Read on to find out who got the jocks, the dog calendar and the traffic ticket... 


Tanya Sale, CEO, Outsource Financial 

Worst: I am afraid of heights – so my partner decided it was time I overcame this fear. The present was the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. I nearly passed out just suiting up! So up we went, and the biggest mistake I made was looking down. My legs went to jelly. I started hyperventilating and the poor instructor had to support me the whole way. I did get to the top, and I can assure you, I was the first to the bottom. It was the worst experience of my life!

Best: I have had many beautiful gifts over the years, but the one that will always stay in mind is a ‘mystery’ flight I received. When I arrived at the destination, I was blindfolded and driven to a secret venue. The blindfold came off and I was handed a beautiful little bundle: my first great niece, Indi. In my mind, family is the greatest gift!

Simone Tilley, general manager of retail broker distribution, ANZ

Worst: My worst gift was from my fiancé at the time. He bought me clothes that seriously missed the mark. I remember showing my mum and we both could not stop laughing. After that incident, I thought it might be a good idea to give him a discrete list of shops, and strongly suggested not to deviate from the list!

Best: The following year, he bought me the most stunning dress and I love wearing it to this very day.  

Peter White, executive director, FBAA

Worst: The yearly dog calendar from my late crazy aunt. 

Best: 750cc motorbike. 

John Flavell, CEO, Mortgage Choice

Worst: A hand-knitted jumper, but I won't tell you who it was from... 

Best: The birth of my nephew - he was born on Christmas Eve. 


Daniel Carde, general manager of third party distribution, Homeloans 

Worst: A diary… for the year that had just ended. 

Best: A bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. 

Mark Vilo, head of bank intermediaries, Suncorp

Worst: Last year I got a cookbook from my wife. I think it was a hint. (Don’t tell her.)

Best: I’ve had some great summer Christmases over the years in Sydney, but the best is yet to come. Christmas 2019 will be a white one travelling through Europe with my family and spending Christmas Day in my dad’s hometown in Estonia. 

Sof Tsialtas, state sales manager for Vic/Tas, Liberty 

Worst: Whilst looking for a bakery open on Christmas Day, I came home with a traffic infringement and no bread! 

Best: Being an avid fisherman, a new fly rod – Sage X. 

Lisa Claes, CEO, CoreLogic 

Worst: A deep fryer – still in the box. 

Best: Tickets to Midnight Oil. 

Craig Mackenzie, executive head of product, CoreLogic

Worst: Socks and jocks.

Best: Bruce Springstein music. 

Martin North, principal, Digital Finance Analytics

Best: A camera... 

Worst: No way to use it. The charger that came with it didn't work... and the store where it came from wouldn't be reopening until 6 Jan.