Anthony Bastic is the founder and CEO at AGB Events, a company globally renowned for conceptualising and realising leading events, festivals and public celebrations.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My career is in creating and producing cultural events and programs in the public arena. My first job was at City of Sydney in the Protocol and Events unit where I learnt the value of ceremony and meaning.
I then worked at the Sydney Opera House where I was exposed to these amazing performances and experiences and I decided I wanted everyone to have access to these things – not just those who could afford a cultural life!
After that, following a stint with the NSW state government working on significant national community celebrations, I started AGB Events. I wanted to create a company that could produce events that everyone can enjoy.
This is why we often work with lighting and projection. I love the concept of lighting – it’s truly accessible – It overcomes language barriers, physical barriers, it can bring art and culture to life – and it’s purely your interpretation of what someone has created.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Most days start at 6.30am with a walk around Centennial Park. I head into the office around 9am and usually spend the morning in meetings. If we’ve got a project live, I’ll check in with the onsite team – when timezones permit! At 2pm most days I go for a swim, afternoons back in the office I am usually working on creative or problem solving and then head home around 630pm.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes – it has to, we work all over the world. We often work interstate and overseas, so I travel a lot. I try to keep the same routine wherever I am, even going to the point of staying in accommodation that is close to a park or pool to ensure I can still walk and or swim each day.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Starting my own company has allowed me to structure my life so I’ve got a great balance for me. I am really diligent about separating work and home. I don’t like working from home – if I need to work over the weekend I go into the office.
I’m also very conscientious about my swim – it’s really important for my creativity – I swim for ideas! There’s something about the weightlessness and being out of communication that allows me to focus and provides clarity.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
No not really. Like most people I have been impacted by Covid-19 – which did require some adjustments to my routine. I actually found myself out walking a lot more which, in my opinion alleviates stress.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I listen to many podcasts, some on politics and history which interests me and others that share people’s life experiences. Two that I would recommend are: the National Public Radio Politics and All Things Considered. And Conversations on ABC Radio.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My phone for the news apps: ABC, The Guardian and the NY Times!
8) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Take time to “swim” – be in your own head, not influenced by anyone. I love the Albert Einstein quote:
Although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what goes on in my imagination.
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