Rob Atkinson blog part two: Clear Channel boss on life Down Under

The dream shattered pretty spectacularly last week. I was wrong about the weather – the sun doesn’t shine all of the time! It rained solidly all last week making it feel more like Glasgow than Sydney. I’m obviously still obsessed by the weather – a very ‘Pom’ characteristic that I probably won’t shake for a while.

I visited a few more of the Adshel offices over the last couple of weeks. I took in the sites of Brisbane, or as they call it ‘Bris-Vegas’, and Melbourne and am getting a good sense of the country and feel for the different cultures. It’s good to see Brisbane making a strong recovery after horrendous flooding last year, showing the resilience of the people and commerce there. It was great to meet people who I’ll be working with on a regular basis and find out more about what drives the market in Queensland. Melbourne is a fascinating city; it’s built on a grid system like New York but with a café culture in fitting with Paris or Rome. There is an extremely strong work ethic and very professional approach to business with lots of promising commercial opportunities.

We’re entering an important time of the year – businesses need to get all of their January trading done before the end of the year as most companies close down until Australia day at the end of January. It’ll be a very busy month in the lead up to Christmas but already things are looking positive for the company going into 2012.

The economy’s holding up down under, but with the daily news on the Eurozone and comments that China’s growth is slowing we’re watching carefully for signs of a downturn. If the shopping malls and restaurants in Sydney are an indicator though, it still feels as if we have a robust and confident economy.

After a whirlwind month and a half on my own getting to grips with this new life in Oz, my wife and two girls are arriving this weekend. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with them and exploring Sydney in the sunshine. I’m sure they’ll settle in well, our new place backs onto the beach and despite the odd downpour there’s plenty to keep two young children entertained.

Off to Auckland next week to learn more about their business and see how New Zealand is doing since the Rugby World Cup and whether they’ve stopped celebrating yet. I sense they haven’t!

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