Category: Social Club
This is how we do it! – IMA Sydney Christmas Party 2016

Balmy sea breezes, iconic Sydney Harbour backdrop, free flowing Christmas ‘bubbles’ and a cracking dance mix plucked straight from the 80’s and 90’s – that’s how we do it in Sydney!

And what a night it was . . .

As the Christmas canapés were passed around, we reflected on the year that was, made some new friends, relaxed into the Christmas spirit and admired the history of The Rocks precinct. Arch as always, did an expert job with the food and wine and even found herself running a little education session with the DJ on rules of vegetarian. Sorry darl – lamb is not a vegetable!

A few hours in as the sun was settling in the west and the Opera House began to glow, it was time to really get the party started. Before Shelley could say “Get your sparkle on!” Dan took centre stage as lead vocalist for a Love Shack opener and stayed there for most of the night really. Who would have thought . . . Dan + wine + music + party lights = bring it on! It wasn’t all about Dan letting lose though. We had plenty of quality vocal support from his backup team in Sim, Shelley, Alan and Darryl.

As the night wore on, others were slowly drawn to the dance floor like a chrissie beetle to a porch light in summer – either by nervous curiosity or natural instinct. It was anything goes that night though . . . we had some jumping, stomping, butt wiggling, shimmying, jazz hands, air guitar, moshing and some unique ‘undiscovered’ styles. Alok and Narayan (our twinkle toes twosome) totally owned that dance floor and showed us all that when you have rhythm – you have it all over!

By the end of the night, most of the dancing crew were either legless or shoeless. Except for Arch and Bron of course who soldiered through the pain of 3” heels so they could still engage in conversation with the tall people. When it was time to call it a night, Rob eventually surfaced from his secret nook close to the bar and we thought we’d lost Ian for a bit but eventually found him snuggled up on the corner lounge trying to sneak a quiet nigh nigh. It had been a long day.

No doubt, Sunday served up some very foggy heads and tender feet. A little birdie told me Ian and Darryl spent the next couple of days reflecting on what they could actually remember of the night and they’ve both made a pact not to “come in hot!” to a Sydney Christmas party ever again!

Until next year team Sydney. Looking forward to dusting off those dancing shoes again in 2017!

 

Bron

 

 

Melbourne’s Christmas party 2016

Let’s just say it wasn’t just a big night, it was a big day as well.  The IMA 2016 Christmas party officially started at 4pm with kids and families invited to join us at Luna Park for an afternoon of rides and activities.  This morphed into the late afternoon pre-party drinks, to be closely followed by the party official itself.  (Still all within Luna Park) It was great to see all the service awards given out.  For a company so (relatively) young still, the number of 3 and 5 year awards was stunning.  Whilst Sunday morning may have been a challenge for some, the Saturday night was a great one to reflect on the strides forward IMA has taken and the successes of all our consultants.  Merry Christmas all (yes we understand it is only December tomorrow, but we got in early!)

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Sydney Social Club – Hard Rock Cafe and Laser Tag (October 2016)

Another great night with the Sydney team, expertly organised by Divya and her right-hand man Arbie! For some ‘pre-combat’ courage and fuel we started off at The Hard Rock Cafe which didn’t disappoint. Great atmosphere, location, food . . . and of course, the company was exceptional! Immediately Anu took centre stage and placed himself right at the centre of the food action, devouring the BBQ chicken wings, pulled pork buns and vegetarian delights. There was plenty of food for everyone (even a delicious gift for the homeless man Amu!).img_0345

We were all pumped for laser tag although the majority of the team really had no idea what they were in for. But that didn’t matter – we collectively were ready for anything. The pre-dinner wines, beers and soft drinks helped with that.

So we’re all suited up with flashing vests and plastic laser guns listening to the host explain all the rules . . . and then something just came over Boris. He had his poker face on and started looking all ‘Arnie like’. I was scared but thankfully I was on Boris’ team. Boris was clearly on a mission and off we all scampered in to dark maze of the laser room.fb9fb7bb-d4e1-49a3-aaa4-f057475613d0

Some people take to combat/hide and seek naturally . . . and others, well, unfortunately they just don’t. Poor Alan, bless his 10ft long legs, was a big target. “Duck Alan, Duck”. Arch was lost most of the night but we were able to find her easy enough by following the trail of laughter. Others just wandered aimlessly shooting at their own team members. Maybe they would get it by Game 2 . . .

Then there were the ‘natural born killers’. Power couple Arbie and Lavinia proved that love = I’m going to take you DOWN!! Boris in his Terminator transformation, effortlessly disarmed the unsuspecting from a secret vantage point as they fumbled around the dark maze. Darrell was on a mission. What that mission was, I don’t even think Darrell knew. Mahesh was also a bit of a dark horse. All ‘cool as a cucumber’ like. Go the MULA. Mahesh – Ultimate Laser Assassin

So 5 kilos lighter, we exited the maze and had a good old laugh at the score board. Some of us improved in Game 2 by perfecting our strategy, but others were doomed to the bottom of the table. Good practice for next time though Sydney teamers and we all had a blast!

Hasta la vista!

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IMA Melbourne Christmas party circa 2015.

A few weeks back the majority of the Melbourne staff and our partners attended our annual Christmas party. This years venue “The old Melbourne Gaol” (or OMG as some of our people called it) did not disappoint.

For what was a great night, we celebrated the year just finishing, celebrated the anticipation of 2016 which promises to be huge, and some amazing milestones of 3-5 and 10 years service.

Here is a little snapshot (well a few snap shots to be honest) of the evening..

Showcasing the IMA Photography club

I was looking over our Yammer client recently and noticed that we had a Photography Club pop up.  (OK it’s been there for a while, I’m just a little slow on the uptake) I explored further and saw one of the most active corporate groups I have seen, flourishing under my very nose.

They have done an amazing job over the last few months, I’d like to share a sample to everyone.  These are “themed” images, a different theme every month, taken on a wide variety of devices. The comments shared, pride taken and general commitment to the cause is inspiring for me. I’ve been told that now I’ve engaged I have to add content to it. I am a little nervous however, I’m the husband of a photographer, not a photographer! Please take a moment to have a look at a selection of the images I was able to pilfer from the group (with their permission of course)



10 years! It’s time to celebrate

anniversary_01s_ai8-1113vv-vWe have had a sensational start to 2014, yeah I know, we’re almost half way through it now, it being June next week and everything.  But time really has flown.  We’ve engaged some new great clients and hired some amazing people to help meet our ever increasing demand. So yes, it’s been fun.

With all this constant activity, we’ve been a little remiss about our social sharing.  Sorry about that.  I’m on a mission to change that, starting today!

The proof that we’ve been too busy to say too much is that this weekend heralds our 10 year Anniversary dinner.  Normally this would be something that you would get sick of me talking about, but seriously, I look at my diary and see something booked in on Saturday and am thinking, is that on already? (followed by a fist pump and a “cool! a night out without the kids!” and a panic as to whether or not we’ve booked the babysitters or not)

10 years is a pretty impressive thing.  I know Ian will say, “it’s not him it’s the team.”  But as part of that team, I’ll agree and disagree with him.  Essentially Management 101 dictates he has to say that, but he really means it.  He’s right in a lot of ways, without the team he has built around him, both past and present, IMA would not be the same, as it is a reflection of the whole.  Those who have come and gone over the journey have all played a big part in who we are today.  But (I’ve just re-read this and there are lots of “buts” in it, sorry) without Ian’s vision, without his drive, without his passion, without his stubbornness, without his competitive nature to just not lose, IMA just would not have survived, let alone succeeded.

Yes, I will say “we” have succeeded as Ian would want me to write that, however please read as the “Royal we” as I actually mean Ian).  We are a success, we were built out of an idea, a dream, a want to make something.  10 years down the track, we are still going strong.  Sure we’ve hit some speed humps along the way.  We’ve stumbled, probably made a poor decision or 2 in hindsight, but we got up, dusted ourselves off, learned from it and kept moving forward.  We haven’t shirked the hard decisions, but have not made them lightly.  We can reflect on our decisions and actions with clarity and criticality.  We will continue to craft ourselves to make ourselves better, once we stop doing that, then I think it’ll be time to call it stumps.

For those who have been part of the journey, as a client, a supplier or an employer, “Thank you!” and feel free to join me in leaving Ian and IMA a comment here, it would be most appreciated

I am really excited about the well deserved celebration taking place this weekend.  I am super proud of where we’ve come from and the journey we’ve undertaken.  The real excitement however is looking at where we are going, 10 years is a great start, the journey ahead promises to be even more exciting.

 



IMA at the Country Races
The social club recently enjoyed the grassy surrounds of the Geelong Racing Club for its Sunday Race meeting.
While the weather outside was inclement, inside the members dining room the  facilities were all that was expected, with both betting and bar facilities almost within arms reach. 
The card was a mixed bag, with a number of maiden racers on offer, but, always picking a winner proved itself to be “Not a Science”.

From the photographic evidence, everybody had a good time, and plans are underway to choose the next country race meeting and course for next years social calendar




There’s Snow place like IMA-MT

The last time I climbed a mountain was 6 years ago (Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia). This time, snow-shoeing in the Baw Baw alpine region in the depths of winter I expected the worst since I’d not done ANY preparation. Pulling out was an option, but I really did want to experience the beautiful description of deep wilderness and snow beneath the moonlight painted by the IMA staff social club.

Two days before the climb, we collected our equipment in Melbourne’s CBD and headed back to the office for a quick briefing and to redistribute weight across all backpacks. I was committed!

The climb day arrived and after picking up our food and drinks the backpacks weighed around 20 kilos each and were packed to the rim! I was wondering at this point how our shoulders would take this.

After midday we arrived at Erica, a small town over 200km east of Melbourne and just past Moe (remember the recent earthquake). One of the highlights of this trip was the local pub, its interior beautifully decorated with lumber jacks’ peripherals. The lunches were great, especially the bangers and mash, not to mention the beer. We rented snow chains (just in case) and were given an excellent how-to-install demonstration by the shop staff. We also procured a kid’s toboggan which we used to drag some heavier items up the mountains. It was a brilliant idea.

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Another drive and we were at the base point. We quickly changed into our snow shoes and started the ascent. I noticed that it was crucial that your backpack sits balanced correctly and we did spend some time adjusting to get them comfortable.

The climb took us a couple of hours, and along the way we had numerous rest stops as some of us had problems with our snow shoes, backpacks, and de-layering (it gets really hot and sweaty). I’m really glad that we operated as a pack, not leaving any one behind. As we moved along the trail, the snow became thicker, the air thinner and I slowly became accustomed to the climb. After a couple of kilometres, we managed to pace ourselves consistently and looked forward to reaching the top, as it was quickly getting dark.

We passed a group of campers on our way up. They were in the midst of setting up their camp fire and we were still not at our destination and it almost 6pm! The scenery across the mountain ranges is simply breathtaking. We reached the end of our trail where Brendan had previously located a beautiful circular spot off the beaten tracks at the leeside (downwind) of the mountain, surrounded by tall trees.

Out of breath and energy, we knew we didn’t have much time until darkness befell us. We distributed the work among us, to setup the fire and three tents. We found a sheltered place next to a rock the size of a large car for our fireplace and Brendan and Michael dug a trench for the base using their hand shovels.

The temperature was dropping and two issues unfolded. Whilst setting up one of the rental tents I discovered that the fly (cover) was too small and could not fit snugly to the base. At the same time our master chef, Andrew Mishura, discovered that the rented cooking stoves burned too slowly to provide a reasonable amount of heat in the cold weather. If we didn’t find a solution, two of us would be sleeping with cold drafts and we would all be having cold dinner!

So we improvised, by building a snow barrier around the tent to keep the cold air out and using the fireplace to cook instead of the stove. Venkat proved to be a skilful snow brick builder and Andrew quickly cooked up soups for our entree and Irish stew with instant noodles for mains. This was the best dinner we had had for a long time – not the best tasting though! We sat around the fireplace to keep warm and toast tasty marsh mellows with coffee for dessert whilst enjoying the company.
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The temperature dropped further and winds got stronger. We concluded that the spot Brendan chose was just perfect as the winds blew furiously across us so that all we could hear were leaves rustling, but our site was protected by the top of the mountain. During the course of the night, I heard a combination of rain, hail and snow battering over our tents.

Next morning was snowing lightly. Trees, scrubs and leaves were covered with icicles. Michael was the first to get up and he spared no time in getting the fire going, although everything was moist and it took us longer then expected to get it well lit up. Our chef dished out our breakfast – oats with hot tinned apricots. We also helped ourselves to more leftover Port and Bourbon. I really can’t describe the great feeling of warming up with liquor at the start of day!

Firepit-and-stoves-OptimisedVery quickly, it was mid morning and we packed up everything that was setup the previous night, ensuring that nothing was left behind. We started our trek down and on reaching the spot where we found the first campers to our surprise, they had built a full size igloo. Andrew Mishura quickly went over to make some new friends and had a closer look at the structure. It was just amazing architecture, nicely built and looked quite similar to the ones we see on TV.

Trekking down was definitely easier and faster. Along the way, all of us got ambushed by snowballs – particularly by Brendan! We finally reached the base where we parked our cars. Famished, we quickly changed to more comfortable clothes and headed back to Erica where we had another country pub lunch. I’ve definitely gained lots of experience from this trip plus more importantly shed at least 2 kilos, improved my stamina, and got to know some of my colleagues better.

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