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Performing Wonders in Parnell


We chat to Cheryl Adamson, who migrated from South Africa in 2011 and, after a short stint across the ditch, took up the position as general manager of the Parnell Business Association. 


Cheryl, you have done so well for Parnell since taking on the position of general manager five years ago. For which achievements are you most satisfied, and what do you look forward to for Parnell in the next few years? 

Expanding the representation of the association from just Parnell Road to the whole precinct still stands as a significant milestone as it enabled us to take a bird’s-eye view of the challenges that face the area as a whole. The successful brand change was one of the first outcomes, but now we are grappling with east-west connectivity as a major theme, which is being tackled with The Parnell Plan—due for release early 2019. 


There is so much to love about Parnell. What do you believe are its three biggest draws? 

The perfect ‘fringe’—brilliant CBD accessibility yet with a village atmosphere. How eclectic Parnell is—re-purposed warehouses and woolstores, stylish shops and galleries interspersed with quaint residential. How much it is evolving—the great hospitality Parnell has attracted in recent years and the development in St Georges Bay Rd is a real thrill. 


Tell us about pre-Parnell Business Association Cheryl Adamson? 

A few decades in the bustle of Johannesburg as the business owner of marketing consultancies, specialising in shopping malls.


How hard is it to stay at the top of one’s game? What are the trade-offs? Any tips?  

You can never take your eye off the ball—every time you think you have mastered something, another challenge awaits. 


Who has most inspired you along the way?  

Funny enough, right throughout my life it has been people who have nurtured the creative spirit, such as Peggy Guggenheim or WOW Founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, plus the artists themselves—too many to name. Current favourites would certainly be Yayoi Kusama, Marissa Purcell and Ben Young—and it’s not only about the obvious talent, but also the perseverance and passion. 


How do you relax? 

Cooking and entertaining with friends, especially Mexican food or Ottolenghi salads with a great barbecue.


What standards do you hold dear to your heart.  

To me there are three things that set people apart—personal responsibility, integrity and gratitude.


Christmas and summer holidays are almost upon us—how do you like to celebrate yours?  

I’m probably going to top my Christmas tree with a few new exquisite decorations from Galton’s, celebrate Christmas with family and a few special friends and try and to fit in as many picnics as possible in our scenic reserves. 


Plans for 2019? 

We’re kicking off early February with Parnell’s celebration of the Year of the Pig in aid of Starship, it’s going to be a busy year. According to their Chinese zodiac sign, pigs have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life. I could not think of any better wish to welcome in another year in Parnell.