Competition: Kanebridge Quarterly supporting the next generation of Australian designers
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Competition: Kanebridge Quarterly supporting the next generation of Australian designers

Kanebridge Quarterly is proud to partner with Australia’s Next Top Designers competition at The Design Show in Sydney

Mon, Mar 25, 2024 9:35amGrey Clock 2 min

The pandemic may already feel like a distant memory, but it had many lessons for the way we live — some with long standing impact.

For designers, architects and builders, one of the biggest takeaways was the value of supporting Australian design and manufacturing. With supply chains severely compromised, extending delivery times from a few weeks to several months, those who could design and make high quality furniture, flooring and lighting on Australian shores found themselves in high demand. And it was not just delivery times that were driving renewed interest in Australian design and manufacturing. Superior products designed for local conditions, as well as the ability to customise products to suit each clients’ needs showed the market for Australian products is significant, particularly at the upper end of the residential market where the desire to ‘connect’ directly with makers continues to grow.

It’s long overdue recognition for a sector dominated by imports, even at the highest end of the residential sector.


The long-term success of Australian design and manufacturing depends on supporting the next emerging generation of designers, which is why Kanebridge Quarterly magazine has partnered with Australia’s Next Top Designer this year, offering a cash prize of $10,000 to the winner for the first time.

Launched in 2022 by Design Show Australia, Australia’s Next Top Designers was created to shine a spotlight on emerging designers, makers and creatives with breakthrough products and concepts shaping the future of design.

Editor in chief of Kanebridge Quarterly, Robyn Willis, says the prize provides opportunity for emerging designers to develop prototypes, invest in marketing or further their education, formally or through travel experiences.

“It’s genuinely exciting for Kanebridge Quarterly to be partnering with Australia’s Next Top Designer this year,” she says. “The awards offer a platform for the next generation of emerging designers to showcase their work to industry while the prize is a practical pathway to help them on their way to the next stage of their career.”


Kanebridge Quarterly magazine is a seasonal title distributed across Australia focusing on the three pillars of Property, Money and Living. Aimed at a curated, engaged audience, it’s a beautiful publication, low on jargon but high on information about everything to make your residential design project successful.

Each year it dedicates an issue to all things Australian made. Stories about Australian designers, innovators, thought leaders, destinations and more highlight the depth and breadth of local talent in a beautifully packaged publication designed to have a long shelf life.

As part of its collaboration with Australia’s Next Top Designer, Kanebridge Quarterly magazine is running editorial spreads in its Winter 2024 edition to coincide with the show, followed by a focus on the category winners in the Spring 2024 issue.

“It’s part of our ongoing commitment to stand with industry and bring the work of local designers, makers and innovators to a wider audience thirsty for practical ways to integrate quality furniture and lighting into their residential spaces.

We’re delighted to be a part of The Design Show and Australia’s Next Top Designer.”

Learn more about Australia’s Next Top Designer Awards and apply to enter at Submissions close Thursday, 4 April 2024.

Stay above the noise and ahead of the crowd with Australia’s best advice and inspiration on property, investing and residential design in Kanebridge Quarterly magazine.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Whether you call it charisma, charm or magnetism, some people seem like naturals. Good news: It can be learned.

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Great leaders have it. Gen Z has a new word for it. Can the rest of us learn it?

Charisma—or rizz , as current teenage slang has anointed it—can feel like an ephemeral gift some are just born with. The chosen among us network and chitchat, exuding warmth as they effortlessly hold court. Then there’s everyone else, agonising over exclamation points in email drafts and internally replaying that joke they made in the meeting, wondering if it hit.

“Well, this is awkward,” Mike Rizzo, the head of a community for marketing operations professionals, says of rizz being crowned 2023 word of the year by the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s so close to his last name, but so far from how he sees himself. He sometimes gets sweaty palms before hosting webinars.

Who could blame us for obsessing over charisma, or lack thereof? It can lubricate social interactions, win us friends, and score promotions . It’s also possible to cultivate, assures Charles Duhigg, the author of a book about people he dubs super communicators.

At its heart, charisma isn’t about some grand performance. It’s a state we elicit in other people, Duhigg says. It’s about fostering connection and making our conversation partners feel they’re the charming—or interesting or funny—ones.

The key is to ask deeper, though not prying, questions that invite meaningful and revealing responses, Duhigg says. And match the other person’s vibes. Maybe they want to talk about emotions, the joy they felt watching their kid graduate from high school last weekend. Or maybe they’re just after straight-up logistics and want you to quickly tell them exactly how the team is going to turn around that presentation by tomorrow.

You might be hired into a company for your skill set, Duhigg says, but your ability to communicate and earn people’s trust propels you up the ladder: “That is leadership.”

Approachable and relatable

In reporting this column, I was surprised to hear many executives and professionals I find breezily confident and pleasantly chatty confess it wasn’t something that came naturally. They had to work on it.

Dave MacLennan , who served as chief executive of agricultural giant Cargill for nearly a decade, started by leaning into a nickname: DMac, first bestowed upon him in a C-suite meeting where half the executives were named Dave.

He liked the informality of it. The further he ascended up the corporate hierarchy, the more he strove to be approachable and relatable.

Employees “need a reason to follow you,” he says. “One of the reasons they’re going to follow you is that they feel they know you.”

He makes a point to remember the details and dates of people’s lives, such as colleagues’ birthdays. After making his acquaintance, in a meeting years ago at The Wall Street Journal’s offices, I was shocked to receive an email from his address months later. Subject line: You , a heading so compelling I still recall it. He went on to say he remembered I was due with my first child any day now and just wanted to say good luck.

“So many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a good memory for that,’” he says. Prioritise remembering, making notes on your phone if you need, he says.

Now a board member and an executive coach, MacLennan sent hundreds of handwritten notes during his tenure. He’d reach out to midlevel managers who’d just gotten a promotion, or engineers who showed him around meat-processing plants. He’d pen words of thanks or congratulations. And he’d address the envelopes himself.

“Your handwriting is a very personal thing about you,” he says. “Think about it. Twenty seconds. It makes such an impact.”

Everyone’s important

Doling out your charm selectively will backfire, says Carla Harris , a Morgan Stanley executive. She chats up the woman cleaning the office, the receptionist at her doctor’s, the guy waiting alongside her for the elevator.

“Don’t be confused,” she tells young bankers. Executive assistants are often the most powerful people in the building, and you never know how someone can help—or hurt—you down the line.

Harris once spent a year mentoring a junior worker in another department, not expecting anything in return. One day, Harris randomly mentioned she faced an uphill battle in meeting with a new client. Oh!, the 24-year-old said. Turns out, the client was her friend. She made the call right there, setting up Harris for a work win.

In the office, stop staring at your phone, Harris advises, and notice the people around you. Ask for their names. Push yourself to start a conversation with three random people every day.

Charisma for introverts

You can’t will yourself to be a bubbly extrovert, but you can find your own brand of charisma, says Vanessa Van Edwards, a communications trainer and author of a book about charismatic communication.

For introverted clients, she recommends using nonverbal cues. A slow triple nod shows people you’re listening. Placing your hands in the steeple position, together and facing up, denotes that you’re calm and present.

Try coming up with one question you’re known for. Not a canned, hokey ice-breaker, but something casual and simple that reflects your actual interests. One of her clients, a bookish executive struggling with uncomfortable, halting starts to his meetings, began kicking things off by asking “Reading anything good?”

Embracing your stumbles

Charisma starts with confidence. It’s not that captivating people don’t occasionally mispronounce a word or spill their coffee, says Henna Pryor, who wrote a book about embracing awkwardness at work. They just have a faster comeback rate than the rest of us. They call out the stumble instead of trying to hide it, make a small joke, and move on.

Being perfectly polished all the time is not only exhausting, it’s impossible. We know this, which is why appearing flawless can come off as fake. We like people who seem human, Pryor says.

Our most admired colleagues are often the ones who are good at their jobs and can laugh at themselves too, who occasionally trip or flub just like us.

“It creates this little moment of warmth,” she says, “that we actually find almost like a relief.”


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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