Career

4 Inspiring Aussies Tell Us Their Plans For 2017

New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap. Too often they’re something that people dread making or make but don’t follow through on. It doesn’t have to be that way. Setting goals is a vital step towards achieving things and it can be pretty nice to start a new year with a fresh outlook.

So, we went back to four successful people The Cusp profiled in 2016 – a writer, a dancer, a TV host and an entrepreneur – to find out what they achieved in the year that’s gone and what they’re planning for 2017.

Brodie Lancaster

Brodie Lancaster is an editor, writer and a pop-culture connoisseur. Last year she gave us some killer advice about building a career by doing the stuff you love – and actually making bank from it. Looking back on 2016 Brodie is proud of finishing her pop-culture memoir, titled No Way! Okay Fine. She started writing the book on the first of January and she managed to meet her September deadline; as well as working full-time and going on a two-month trip in the middle there.

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Photo: Supplied

Going into 2017, Brodie is taking tips from none other than Oprah Winfrey. I hoped this meant she was starting a talk show but Brodie explains that she was inspired by the podcast Making Oprah. On the podcast, Oprah’s team talk about how she’d push them to make TV “with intention”. “It really struck me” Brodie says, “I’ve burnt out a lot this year trying to do a million little things — very few of which satisfy me or were done with any kind of intent.”

So, Brodie is planning on slowing down in 2017 and re-focusing on the projects that she really wants to do, instead of “just going along with the things other people want me to do or doing the things I think I should be doing”.

Fans of Brodie’s work have lots to look forward to this year, with the next issue of her zine Filmme Fatales coming out in February and her book release a couple of months later.

Amrita Hepi

You might be familiar with Amrita Hepi’s writing for The Cusp – she wrote a searing call to arms on why we need to stop apologising. Amrita has had a pretty incredible year of firsts in 2016. The dancer and activist gave her first TED talk and she made her first full-length dance work; Passing as part of Next Wave Festival. She worked with her best friend Jahra Wasasala on Passing and together they used dance and spoken-word to explore race, colonialism and what it means to “pass” when you’re a woman of colour. Amrita wasn’t the only person dancing in 2016 – she was also busy running dance classes where she teaches attendees how to shake it like Beyonce.

Amrita Hepi. Image: Supplied, Credit: Lester Jones

Credit: Lester Jones

With so many strings to her bow, Amrita is already planning what she’ll be creating in 2017. “Mostly I want to focus on making more dance and performance work” she says. Looking to the future, she’d like to spend more time with her mum and she’ll continue to use her activism to “disseminate gross power structures”. This year Amrita would also like to dance with or for Rihanna – she’d be happy with either.

Scott Tweedie

Radio and TV presenter Scott Tweedie gave us some great career tips about how to land your dream job. Taking his own advice, Scott kicked some major goals in 2016 including his acting debut on Neighbours. When he looks back on the year that was he’ss most proud of the focus he put on giving back. “[In 2016] I doubled my time volunteering for various organisations and community work,” he says.

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Photo: Supplied

Scott isn’t always keeping it quite so serious. In 2009 he hosted Prank Patrol, a TV show on ABC3 for kids and teenagers. “We would film huge hidden camera stunts under the premise of pranking,” he explains “It was a lot of fun.” Scott says that the Prank Patrol audience has grown up but they want to see more pranks. “They are still screaming and shouting at me to make more.” Listening to his audience, Scott decided that 2017 is the year he’s going to make pranks great again. He’s been reaching out to different producers to bring back the pranks and he’s really looking forward to making some more “bonkers” content online.

There are some things Scott is certain about in 2017. “I’m looking forward to the Wallabies winning all their games!” he laughs. He is keeping his options more open when it comes to his postcode. “By the end of the year I’m open to living somewhere else in the world too; the question is where?” Wherever it is, pranks can be expected.

Lana Hopkins

Lana Hopkins is the business woman behind sumptuous leather goods company Mon Purse. She spoke to un earlier in 2016 about taking risks to start your own business. The success that Mon Purse had in 2016 is proof that risks really do pay off. “It was a special year indeed,” she says. Lana focused on expanding her business globally, launching in Bloomingdales and Selfridges, and collaborating with Laura Brown, Instyle US Editor in Chief. Combine that with unprecedented sales growth and Lana is definitely glad she took a chance and left behind her previous roles in media sales and account management.

Lana Hopkins, CEO and Founder of Mon PurseIMG_6847

Photo: Supplied

In 2017 Lana is planning on celebrating those achievements with the rest of the Mon Purse team. As well as celebrating her accomplishments, she’s got her eyes on “further global growth and pushing more boundaries of innovation.”


Ally Garrett is a Sydney-based writer and performer. Her writing has been published on Jezebel, The Wireless and The Guardian. Ally’s work often touches on body positivity. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @allygarrett