Wh'd have thought...

16 September, 2020

…2020 would bring so much change, challenge, and innovation.  Around the world, people have been adapting to the impacts this pandemic has triggered. From intensive home workouts to baking banana bread, dressing top up for Zoom meetings and countless hours of Netflix – we spoke to our team to find out how they have adjusted and what has surprised them:

Gabriella Fox

Event and travel coordinator

Who’d have thought… embroidery would be my new favourite hobby!

When masks became mandatory in July, I went on an expedition to Lincraft (along with 50 grandmothers) to purchase fabric, needles and thread to make re-usable masks. The masks were made (although poorly) and I had extra thread left over. I decided to try my luck with embroidering a jacket of mine. I was then hooked – or as some would say, “stitched up” – on a new addiction. I’ve transformed a beanie and a pair of jeans and my next project is the back of a denim jacket. Nothing is safe in my apartment!


Belinda Doery

General Manager

Who’d have thought… I would be leading a virtual team again!

I led a virtual team for 7 years in my previous role, and I deliberately moved back home to Australia with the intention of leading an office-based team. Brilliantly, Solterbeck and I found each other, only to move virtual a few months later! I feel lucky I have the experience I have now!

Hélène Priou

Communications Manager

Who’d have thought… I’d learn to go from “can’t be home for longer than 2 hours” to leaving home only for an hour!

My co-workers can attest to this – I’m not good at being inside and sitting still. Before COVID-19 and the restrictions that followed, I was always out walking, going to the gym, shopping, seeing friends, just doing anything that wasn’t sitting at home! The lockdown and curfews have forced me to figure out how to be okay with staying home and entertaining myself indoors. I started watching TV (subscribed to Netflix!), bought some weights and trained in my living room, video called my friends for hours and even started a paint by numbers. I wouldn’t say this is my true nature but I’m glad to see I am actually capable of such things without being too lost! I’ve discovered a new side of me… It’s okay to relax!

Rebecca Martin

Account Director

Who’d have thought… I’d travel the world this year (between the pages of a book).

I have always been an avid reader but all the time at home has resulted in my reading approximately 40 titles this year.

Top Picks:

  • The Henna Artist – Alka Joshi
  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  • The Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
  • The Century Trilogy – Ken Follet

Bianca Parker

Event Manager

Who’d have thought… I’d have so much time on my hands!

At the end of last year, I had really wanted to get involved with some volunteer work in order to give my time to something meaningful. However, at the time I had been unsuccessful in my endevours. Fast forward to a pandemic and I am now helping to pack and deliver food and supplies to those in need. Whilst it is an eye-opening experience, it really is quite a rewarding one at the same time. 

In addition to this, with all this extra time on my hands, I thought it woul dbe wise to try a new hobby and be a little creative! After toying around with multiple hobby ideas in my head, I have settled on – and started making – handmade soap! Still early days in my soap making journey but hope to blog my progress as I slowly become more finessed with my skills. 

Kelsey Allen

Creative and Communications Coordinator

Who’d have thought… this Melbourne faithful would be living in Canberra again.

Before the pandemic I had been saving for a new car and to move to the inner suburbs of Melbourne from the Mornington Peninsula. When borders were open, and Victorians could travel, I made a quick dash for Canberra to visit friends and have as close to a holiday as I could manage. This 2-week trip has now turned into 10 weeks and counting. My friends have been teasing me with “You said you’d never move back here!”, and I genuinely never saw myself back in my childhood city, but I think it’s fair to say 2020 has thrown a lot of plans out the window!


Patrick Davenport

Operations Manager

Who’d have thought… that I’d be going for a run every morning!

I always considered myself to be quite an active person, but never really had time to commit to a regular exercise schedule. Now that I’m working from home and my morning commute has decreased from a 30min drive to a 50 step walk from one end of the house to the other, I’ve got time to exercise! Every morning I use my commute time to go for a 5km run before work – it’s a great way to start the day and definitely beats bumper to bumper traffic!

Dave Forster

Graphic Designer

Who’d have thought… I'd become a bookworm

My whole life I’ve never had the patience to just sit and read a book. My family did it but not me, I was too restless to sit still and would prefer movies and music.

I made a promise to myself to make use of my time rather than sit around watching Netflix and decided to learn some new skills and undertake some “self-improvement”. 

From not reading a book in years, so far in 2020 I have devoured:

  • Anything you want – Derek Sivers
  • Steal like an artist – Austin Kleon
  • Delivering Happiness – Tony Hsieh
  • Burn your portfolio – Michael Janda
  • The obesity code – Dr. Jason Fung
  • Start with Why – Simon Sinek
  • The barefoot investor – Scott Pape
  • The brand gap – Marty Neumeier