In closing out 2021 and on behalf of the Nexus Team, we wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and happy holiday season.
We look forward to coming back to you in 2022 with interesting and insightful content.

Looking to the Christmas break, our team are looking forward to concluding this unprecedented year by engaging with their preferred political podcasts/books, dreaming again about international holidays and re-watching to our favorite Christmas movies!

What podcast I am listening to:

Harvard Business Review by Harvard Business Publishing.

This is actually quite relaxing – new ideas and classic advice on strategy, innovation and leadership, for leaders from the world’s best business and management experts.

Country I am planning to visit:


History, culture, politics, geography, sight seeing and great food and wine – it has got everything, and I can’t wait!

My favourite Christmas movie: A Christmas Prince (2017)

I have become a COVID Netflix Christmas Channel Tragic.  Any will do but this one is good. In the lead up to Christmas, a young journalist is sent abroad to go undercover to get the scoop on a playboy prince who is destined to be king.

What I am reading:

Sin Eater by Megan Campisi. I loved this book! For those looking for some fiction over the holidays but still needing a dose of politics – this is for you.

‘Set in an alternate Tudor England, Megan Campisi’s wonderful debut novel “Sin Eater” is a riveting depiction of hard-won female empowerment that weaves together meticulous research, treason and treachery…’ The Washington Post

Country I am planning to visit:

Scotland, United Kingdom.

Anywhere! Today I’m feeling Scotland

My favourite Christmas movie: Arthur Christmas (2011). Aardman Animations, the studio behind the Wallace and Gromit shorts and Chicken Run, brings its particular whimsical sensibility to a holiday tale with this playful look inside the inner workings of the North Pole.

What podcast I am listening to:

The Drop Out – Elizabeth Holmes on Trial by the ABC.

Money, Romance, Tragedy, Deception. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is an unbelievable tale of ambition and fame gone wrong. How did the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye? How did the women once heralded as ‘the next Steve Jobs’ find herself facing criminal charges?

Country I am planning to visit:


As soon as possible!

My favourite Christmas movie: Arthur Christmas (2011) by André Rieu is a classic Christmas hymn that I plan to enjoy with family and friends. You can watch this performance here.

What I am reading:

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt.

This book was recommended to me by a friend in response to discussions we’d had regarding the sometimes-confusing commonality between otherwise tribal adversaries across the political divides.

Country I am planning to visit:

USA – Acadiana, Lousiana

The bayou country north of New Orleans, where the French exiles from Nova Scotia settled with the newly freed slaves post-Civil War and created the home of Cajun and Creole culture.

My favourite Christmas movie: The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

A Christmas film by two Jewish guys – brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, who’s other films include genuine modern classics such as Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit. A quirky but surprisingly deep exploration of the spiritual vs capitalist themes of Christmas.

What podcast I am listening to:

The Party Room by the ABC.

‘Want to know what’s really going on in Parliament House? Fran Kelly and Patricia Karvelas give you the political analysis that matters and explain what it means for you.’

Country I am planning to visit:


Pyramid hunting in the desert plains!

My favourite Christmas movie: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

[the version] with Jim Carey of Course!

What podcast I am listening to:

Big fan of anything that comes from FiveThirtyEight for politics, for sports Old Man and the Three is where I get most of my NBA fix from!

Country I am planning to visit:


(Ben didn’t say anything more, having already begun daydreaming of the Tokyo skyline)

My favourite Christmas movie: Elf (2003) (followed by Die Hard).

Will Ferrell sets the vibe perfectly for Bruce Willis

What book I am reading:

I’m not really one for Podcasts; I’d rather read a good book. This summer, I’m planning on reading Jonathan Hillman’s The Digital Silk Road – China’s Quest to Wire the World and Win the Future.

Country I am planning to visit:

A tour of her majesty’s domains

I’m looking forward to visiting Family in Great Britain in winter and maybe a cheeky trip to New Zealand for a long weekend!

My favourite Christmas movie: Love Actually (2003)

It’s got to be – Proof that political animals can find love

Eliza Cook – Researcher

What podcast I am listening to:

In the House and In the Senate by Alisha Aitken-Radburn

“A former political staffer speaks to women of Australian politics, exploring the passions and motivations that led these inspirational women to enter politics and the valuable contributions they have made.”

Country I am planning to visit:

A latter-day European Grand Tour

Impossible to choose just one destination … Iceland, Greece and Croatia!

My favourite Christmas movie: Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

An undeniably hilarious Christmas movie must!

Mary Huang – Analyst

What podcast I am listening to:

Philosophize this! by Stephen West

Working in a role that is surrounded by politics means that in my down time, I choose podcasts other than political ones.

Country I am planning to visit:


A place that I will always go back to because of the amazing culture, people and food.

My favourite Christmas movie: Home Alone (1990)

Christmas time for me means switching on the telly to find Home Alone playing!

Grace Campbell – Researcher

What podcast I am listening to:

My Favourite Murder by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

A bi-weekly true crime comedy podcast hosted by American comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. The tag line is ‘Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered’

Country I am planning to visit:


(Our Renaissance-women-in-residence did not feel the need to elaborate further)

My favourite Christmas movie: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (1964)

This stop-motion animagic version of the classic Christmas tale adds a bit of a twist when Rudolph encounters an abominable snowman.

Georgette Mouawad – Researcher

What podcast I am listening to:

Stuff the British stole by the ABC

‘Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today those objects are housed in genteel institutions across the UK and the world. They usually come with polite plaques. This is a series about the not-so-polite history behind those objects.’

Country I am planning to visit:


(Perhaps to confirm if the British left anything?)

My favourite Christmas movie: Magic gift of the Snowman (1995)

The snowman’s true gift is his ability to navigate and manage the troublesome stakeholders of them all – children, Santa and the always perturbed weather!

James Jackson – Researcher

What podcast I am listening to:

Andrew Leigh MP: Speeches & Conversations (by Andrew Leigh)

It’s always wonderful to hear the insights Mr Leigh has to offer – his intelligence and eloquence is always thought provoking!

Country I am planning to visit:

New South Wales!

As an adopted Australian Capital Territorian, I have had to navigate through the maze of travel restrictions to see friends and family back home in NSW. Despite this, there is no place in the world I’d rather be then with my family back home during Christmas

My favourite Christmas movie: A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

A heart-warming story of recovery, strength and humanity in the face of homelessness and adversity. A good reminder that there are many people doing it tough on Christmas Day!

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