As 2023 draws to a close, the Nexus APAC team wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.

We warmly look forward to coming back to you in 2024 with brand new insights and analysis.

As per Nexus APAC tradition, we’ve compiled some of our holiday recommendations, including our favourite dishes, holiday reads and Christmas movies!


Nick Campbell – CEO and Chair

My favourite Christmas dish: My Mum used to make chocolate roulade for special family events including Christmas, but that has been taken by another Nexus team member, so I will my second fav Christmas Wreath Antipasto.  Yum!

A book I’d recommend: With the end of a busy year and the start of the New Year, I will re-read Principles (Life and Work) by Ray Dalio.  A useful read on a beach to think about the year ahead.

My favourite Holiday movie: An old favourite is Love Actually (2004) – an early rom com but fantastic actors (Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy and Liam Neeson to name just a few), a Christmas-y story line, and a few end of year reminders.  The end credits top off a great Christmas movie!

My ambition for 2024: Looking forward to a 2024 trip to Japan: Culture, History, Skiing, Sightseeing, catching up with friends, some work and relaxing.  One of my favourite countries to visit again!


Cathy Duncan – Director of Operations

My favourite Christmas dish: I can’t say it’s my favourite but the first dish that comes to mind for Christmas is my mum’s famous Fish Dish. It’s always eaten on Christmas Eve, it’s sort of like a tuna mornay but with crushed potato chips on top.

A book I’d recommend: Having read many books this year, I feel highly qualified to answer this question. Without doubt, my book of the year is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.

My favourite Holiday movie: Elf (2003).

My ambition for 2024: I’m determined to conquer this LinkedIn business. Ed tells me I have one connection… and it’s him. I think I need to find a few more friends in 2024.


Addison Ridge – Director, Federal Government & Policy

My favourite Christmas dish: Chardonnay Oysters. Best of both worlds – wine and seafood. Sounds like an Aussie Christmas to me!

A book I’d recommend: The Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett – I’d also highly recommend the accompanying podcast.

My favourite Holiday movie: Spirited (2022) with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds.

My ambition for 2024: France, Italy and Spain travel!


Justin Fazzolari – Director

My favourite Christmas dish: Anything sweet – cannoli with ricotta!

A book I’d recommend: On the political front, Rory Stewart’s Politics on the Edge. I also enjoyed Seeing Other People by Diana Reid.

My favourite Holiday movie: Home Alone (1990) – Classic!

My ambition for 2024: To finally run the City2Surf in Sydney – anyone want to join me?


Meagan Lawson – Director

My favourite Christmas dish: I always enjoy seafood on a hot Christmas day – but my job is usually the pavlova. I use Stephanie Alexander’s (the Queen of Australian cooking!) recipe topped with berries and raspberry coulis.

A book I’d recommend: So proud that I have read 53 books (and counting) this year. The most recent recommendation is Trent Dalton’s latest, Lola in the Mirror – but also The Visitors (Jane Harrison), So Late in the Day (Clare Keegan), Wifedom (Anna Funder) and Babel (RF Kuang).

My favourite Holiday movie: I don’t like holiday movies – I can’t relate to all the snow!

My ambition for 2024: Outside of work, two big goals – my first entry in the National Photographic Portrait Prize and hit a new PB with my deadlift of 110kg. Bring it on!


Edward Strong – Senior Consultant

My favourite Christmas dish: As a teen, I began my tradition of a Christmas Croquembouche! And, while there were a few that promptly began to collapse in the summer heat, they were always a hit with my many uncles. If you’re looking to pull out all the stops this Christmas, Gourmet Traveller has a good recipe.

A book I’d recommend: Prof. Glyn Davis’s The Australian Policy Handbook; earlier this year, several colleagues and I had the opportunity to join Prof Davis at the launch of its seventh edition. As for a lighter read for over the break, I’d recommend The Complete Guide To Game Fishing by Glen Booth and Al McGlashan.

My favourite Holiday movie: The Santa Clause (1994), a fantastic Christmas movie with all the nostalgic Tim Allen 90’s vibes.

My ambition for 2024: After selling my old boat earlier this year, I have purchased a Powerfisha from Stealth, a South African boat and kayak manufacturer. She’s a 16 foot, shallow draft micro skiff that utilises a fully sealed wet-deck to allow it to perform in challenging conditions. Paired with the 2023 Suzuki 15hp outboard motor and rigged with Lowrance electronics, this new boat has been a bit of an investment, so it better help land some fish for the table.


Arielle Irving – Consultant

My favourite Christmas dish: Berry and Meringue Ice Cream Slice – it also involves only two steps, which is a huge bonus.

A book I’d recommend: I haven’t read it yet, but I am planning to get stuck into my Nexus Kris Kringle book (thanks Justin) – Politics on the Edge by Rory Stewart. I am looking forward to reading this, and I’m sure I will be joining Justin in recommending it in the future.

My favourite Holiday movie: The Holiday (2006) – can’t go wrong with a classic house swap.

My ambition for 2024: An ambition that I have for 2024 is to make more meals that incorporate the fruits (herbs and vegetables) of labour from a newfound interest in gardening I have cultivated.


Jessica Brownette – Analyst

My favourite Christmas dish:  In my household, the best Christmas dish is the coleslaw my dad makes. I’m also looking forward to my mum-in-law’s Turon, a Filipino caramelised banana dessert!

A book I’d recommend: There are too many to choose from. I loved When breath becomes air, a memoir written by American neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi as he battles stage IV metastatic lung cancer. It is a beautiful, emotional reflection of his experience of becoming the patient and confronting his own mortality.

My favourite Holiday movie: I love The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Anything Tim Burton is fantastic, and his take on a Christmas film is morbidly entertaining.

My ambition for 2024: I am determined to read 25 books next year (maybe I’ll start with the Nexus team’s recommendations). I also want to perfect a challenging dessert like a macaron or lemon meringue pie.


Grace Campbell – Researcher

My favourite Christmas dish: My Grandma used to make chocolate roulade for special family events. No other dessert can beat it at Christmas lunch. As a chocolate lover, who is (not) brilliant at baking, Mary Berry’s recipe is a good one to follow.

A book I’d recommend: I read comedian Benjamin Stevenson’s new mystery thriller, Everyone in My Family has Killed Someone earlier this year. Set in the snowy mountains Erine is a reluctant guest at a family reunion held in a mountain retreat where a body is found. It is up to Ernie to then discover whether one of his family is a serial killer. Perfect for people who love modern twists on classic murder mysteries like Knives Out.

My favourite Holiday movie: Although relatively new, I love Klaus (2019) directed by Sergio Pablos.

My ambition for 2024: Complete the app, Zombies, Run, which helps people reach their running goals by simulating an apocalypse in which you must escape the undead hordes.


Adelaide Hayes – Researcher

My favourite Christmas dish: You can’t have a classic Aussie Christmas without fresh prawns on the menu. I’m a big fan of seafood (unlike some of the Nexus team… more for me)!

A book I’d recommend: Prima Facie by Suzie Miller. It’s not a light read, but a powerful one. A one-woman play-turned-novel, it’s a visceral and eye-opening reflection on our criminal justice system.

My favourite Holiday movie: Die Hard (1988), without a doubt. My arsenal of quotes from the film is firing on all cylinders throughout December, and my housemates are (not) loving it.

My ambition for 2024: I’ve been working towards a few weeks of travel throughout Europe for a while – it’s a dream I’m hoping to see come true this year. If you’ve got any travel recommendations for me, don’t hesitate to reach out!


Josh Vines – Researcher

My favourite Christmas dish: Almond butter balls, they taste similar to an Anzac biscuit but with ginger. I cannot attach the recipe as it is fervently guarded by my grandmother.

A book I’d recommend: Exactly by Simon Winchester. It explores the evolution of precision engineering and how this exactness has allowed mankind to flourish.

My favourite Holiday movie: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) with Jim Carey; I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid. It’s stood the test of time and is far better than the animated remake.

My ambition for 2024: I hope to run my first official marathon in 2024 and can’t wait to start training in the new year. I’m hoping that I can have a time under 3 hours and 30 minutes, although this may be a lofty goal (I might join Justin in running the City2Surf… as a training session).