Thursday, September 26th, 2013
Unless of course your name is Joel Selwood from the Geelong FC or Jonathan Brown from Brisbane Lions FC or you played for Hawthorn, Sydney, the West Coast Eagles, Port Adelaide, Collingwood or Essendon in the last 10 years.
History tells us that these clubs have all shared that ‘Premiership winning feeling’ in recent years with the likes of Geelong & Brisbane winning 3 flags each.
In the history of the VFL/AFL, playing for any of Carlton, Richmond, Essendon, Hawthorn, Melbourne, and North Melbourne would have given you a good chance of playing in a flag, not so much playing for the Bulldogs or the Saints.
What history also tells us is there are a lot of us former VFL/AFL Players walking the earth who have not played in a Premiership. I will forever and a day be introduced or identified as ‘former AFL player Justin Peckett as opposed to former AFL & Premiership Player Justin Peckett. I had my chance, but along with the team I was playing in we were not good enough on the day to achieve the ultimate glory of an AFL Premiership
In 1997, I was playing for the St.Kilda FC and we played in the Grand Final against the Adelaide Crows. The Saints had been in the competition for well over 100 years and up until that stage had only won one Premiership. That was a famous win by a single point against Collingwood in 1966. Adelaide on the other hand had only been in the AFL competition for about 7 years. Obviously no one told them about earning their stripes!
As a footballer one of the most exhilarating things you can do is run out onto the MCG on Grand Final Day in front of 100,000 people. It’s what I had dreamed of as a 9 year old boy and St. Kilda supporter at the beginning my junior footy career.
The build-up is huge, particularly in Melbourne as the whole city gets wrapped up in Grand Final fever. Given St.Kilda’s history of underperforming we were sentimental favourites plus the whole Victorian versus South Australia tribal mentality added to the weight of expectation. The Saints would win, so everyone thought.
The weather gets warmer, the grass looks great, the crowds at training are huge, increased media interest, people off the street are wishing you well, and players discuss where they will put their Premiership tattoo. You can’t help but get caught up in the groundswell of support and most of all; expectation.
My ‘97 Grand Final experience started out as a truly amazing experience and by 5pm it ended in disaster and tears. The Crows had beaten us to win their first Premiership.
At the time I was 25 with another 8 years of footy in front of me and naively at the time I thought we would get another crack at it. Unfortunately for me when I retired at the end of 2006, the Saints had not played in another Grand Final.
Up until 1997 I had never been to an AFL Grand Final, as a player or spectator and I’ve never been to one since. I have never watched a replay of the ‘97 Grand Final and when people want to discuss the game with me I tend to switch off as it brings back challenging memories. It still hurts to know that I had a chance but did not take it; it hurts to watch other teams win them. I’m jealous of the joy it brings, the elation, relief & satisfaction that Premiership glory brings.
For the past 15years, I have put on a Grand Final BBQ for my mates to help keep me distracted. I tend to the barbie and make sure my guests are well hydrated, I avoid the big screen as much as possible.
I am softening though, as my kids get older I find myself getting caught up in their excitement for Grand Final Day. They tell me I need to get over myself and they’re right. Virgin Australia just announced a new five year partnership with the AFL and that made me think, five years is a long time in AFL, maybe even the Saints could make a Grand Final appearance in that time, or maybe not.
To date, the Saints have had just over 1560 players put on the famous Red White & Black jumper yet only 20 players are Premiership Players. That’s an exclusive club! This is despite recent Grand Final appearances in 1997, 2009, 2010 and seven Grand Finals in total.
I think I’m up to watching this year’s Grand Final but I might still have to look away when the victors are receiving their well earn’t medals.
It must be the most amazing experience to be introduced to the massive crowd to receive your Premiership Medal and then walk back to high five your teammates knowing you are now a part of history.
May the best team win,
Friday, August 30th, 2013
Virgin Australia proudly supports the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) – a mentoring program that partners university students in one-to-one mentoring relationships with Indigenous Australian high school students.
Their dynamic educational program gives Indigenous high school students the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers. A number of the Virgin Australia team offer their time to mentor high school and university students as they venture through their educational path.
Today, 30 August AIME celebrates National Hoodie Day. To get involved, purchase an AIME hoodie to help support the work they do to help ‘do better tomorrow’.
Get involved and visit aimementoring.com
Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
Following the success of our inaugural program in 2012, Virgin Australia continues to change the face of the Australian aviation landscape through the continuation of our Pilot Cadetship Program in partnership with Flight Training Adelaide. Our Pilot Cadet Program selection process for 2013 commences on 3 July 2013 and successful cadets will commence training in late November 2013.
The Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet Program is a unique opportunity to play an integral role in shaping the evolution of this iconic brand, and to become a part of a dynamic company that genuinely believes and demonstrates our people are our greatest asset.
Unlike any other Australian airline pilot cadet program, Virgin Australia will assist all cadets financially, advancing upfront training course costs. Each cadet will also have their own mentor, offering personal support and guidance throughout their training in Adelaide.
To find out more about our Pilot Cadet Program and to apply visit http://virg.co/PilotCadetship
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
We know pets are part of the family and in an Australian-first Velocity Frequent Flyer members can earn Points for travelling with a cat or dog on a Virgin Australia domestic flight.
Breaking new ground in the loyalty space, from July, Velocity members can now earn 300 Points each time their dog or cat flies on Virgin Australia’s expansive domestic network. Silver, Gold and Platinum members will also receive a special Points bonus.
This new initiative was launched by Velocity Frequent Flyer Chief Executive Officer Neil Thompson, joined by celebrity vet and animal lover, Dr Chris Brown at Sydney Airport.
Velocity Frequent Flyer has launched a nation-wide search to find an official pet ambassador for the program. Over the coming 4 weeks, Australians are invited to enter their cat or dog into the competition via Facebook. Visit Velocity Frequent Flyer’s Facebook page for instructions. The chosen pet will receive the title of ‘Velocity Pet Ambassador’, will be featured in future Velocity marketing campaigns and will receive a Velocity pet gift pack.
To find out more about the pet program, visit http://www.velocityfrequentflyer.com/pets
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Each year, in support of the UNEP World Environment Day (5 June), the United Nations Association of Australia holds its World Environment Day Awards, which recognise innovative and outstanding environmental programs and initiatives from across Australia.
We are pleased to announce that for the fourth year running, Virgin Australia is supporting Australia’s leading environmental awards.
As per last year, Virgin Australia is sponsoring the Community Award, which recognises the invaluable role communities play in a wide range of conservation projects. The winner of last year’s award was The Bookend Trust, a not-for-profit education initiative based in Tasmania.
The Virgin Australia Community Award invites nominations from Australian community groups who are actively protecting species, habitats and the environment in their local area. The Award is open to land, waterways and coastal/marine environment based projects.
This year, three new awards have also been introduced, including the two Prime Minister’s Awards for Environmentalist of the Year and Young Environmentalist of the Year, supported by the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Another new award, sponsored by Swinburne University of Technology, is for Excellence in Sustainable Product Design.
Nominations are now open nationally until Monday 22 April for the two Prime Minister’s Awards and Wednesday 1 May for all other categories.
To nominate for an award and for more information visit UNAA Victoria.
Winners of the 2013 World Environment Day Awards will be announced at the Awards Presentation Dinner to be held on Friday 7 June at the Park Hyatt Melbourne.
Follow the UNAA Victoria @unaavic on:
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Today was an exciting day for our airline as we heralded a new standard in flying to and from our nation’s capital.
Just in time for Canberra’s 100th birthday, we opened the doors to our brand new lounge.
The 300m² space offers sweeping views across the tarmac and exclusive design elements including Marblo bars, natural stone flooring, Walter Knoll chairs and a gourmet menu designed by renowned Australian chef Luke Mangan.
The lounge is located within the new state-of-the-art ‘Airvolution’ terminal, enabling a seamless journey from our check-in desks to new departure gates.
We have also completed the refurbishment program on board our Embraer E190 fleet, which fly to Canberra from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
This means that our guests can now enjoy a refreshed on board experience. This includes our new Business Class, which features luxury leather seats, a newly configured seating design with a 2:1 layout, gourmet menu options and coat-check service, complemented by the best of service.
We fly to the highest number of destinations to and from Canberra and we look forward to welcoming guests to the new Virgin Australia travel experience.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
By Alex Tilbury
Published in Escape
February 17, 2013
Loyalty card points junkies can now “earn and burn” faster with Virgin Australia’s Velocity card, with a new hotel partnership and the promise of more innovations this year.
Virgin’s frequent flyer program has paired with the Morgans Hotel Group, owner of 13 boutique hotels, mostly in the US.
Data from the Velocity Frequent Flyer program shows its customers stay faithful to their partners to accrue points. So the partnership of Virgin and Morgans reinforces that many Virgin customers fly to LA and New York.
Chief executive officer of the Velocity Frequent Flyer program Neil Thompson is one of this industry’s most experienced loyalty card players. He ran the Qantas Frequent Flyer program until 2007, then worked as a loyalty program consultant in New York.
Thompson says frequent flyer loyalty programs are all about “earn ability” so members can “earn and burn quickly”.
“With us you can start to accumulate pretty quickly. People tend to focus their spending around our partners, so we choose partners that will fast-track our members.”
“We have set a target of five million members by the end of 2015 and I am very comfortable that we are well on track,” he tells Escape. “We are not trying to be the biggest loyalty program, in terms of numbers, but we aim to be the most interesting and innovative. You are going to see a pipeline of new innovations over the next six months plus we’ll expand the program to do things a bit differently.”
For Virgin, the name of the game is “relevance”.
“We know our customers, so we focus on parts of the world that we know our customers fly to,” Thompson says.
“Watch this space – there are plenty of things to come in 2013. If you use the Velocity credit card and go shopping, you will earn points. If you stay at the Mondrian (owned by Morgans Hotel Group in Los Angeles), you’ll earn points.
“The whole Morgans group is very cool. They get a mix of business and premium leisure travellers just like us they are often one and the same person. Both Virgin and Morgans know their premium leisure and business customers want to stay in gateway cities with dynamic night lives in resort markets.”
If you are heading to California with Virgin Australia, remember the Mondrian in LA is at 8440 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood (next to the House of Blues). I say remember because there is no sign outside.
It’s been said if you don’t know where the Mondrian is then maybe you don’t belong there. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek and popular with film and television celebrities.
Even the stony-faced US Customs officer was impressed I was staying at the Mondrian. “I drive past the Mondrian every day on my way to work, it has got that awesome Skybar.”
Mondrian general manager Jeff Kulek describes his hotel as a “personal playground for guests”. The guestrooms all have the same TV/mirror shaped like a huge looking glass, to convey an “Alice in Wonderland” effect. The guest is “always the star of the show”.
Kulek said the airline partnership was a first for the hotel group.
“We are very choosy but we see similarities with Virgin. Personally I love how you can do the seat-to-seat chat in-flight.” (Seat-to-seat chat allows flyers to keep in touch during a trip).
“The Hiltons of the world are all made from the same cookie cutter. We are the creator of the boutique hotel and we feel that other hotels like W are all imitators. We are the original and we are very proud of that,” Kulek says.
After a one-hour Virgin America flight north to San Francisco, I stayed at Clift (495 Geary St) near Union Square. The lobby is dark and full of avant garde art pieces. Clift is elegant and possibly pretentious, but most definitely fabulous.
The Morgans Hotel rates range from $US250-$US500 ($A245-$A490) a night, and you’ll get 1000 Velocity points a stay. Or 2000 points for bookings before February 28 for travel until March 31.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Here at Virgin Australia, we know that the time spent in the lounge is an important part of the travel journey.
So we’re excited to announce the launch of a new innovative service that will take the Virgin Australia lounge experience to a whole new level.
From today, guests in any Virgin Australia lounge can enjoy access to PressReader, compliments of Virgin Australia. This app offers an incredible selection of over 2,300 newspapers and magazines from 97 countries in 55 languages. Some of the titles include The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Gold Coast Bulletin, Los Angeles Times and Aujourd’hui en France.
Available on any Android, Apple and Windows device, PressReader offers a range of interactive features such as clickable URLs, the ability to search, share and discuss articles.
Just because your flight is called doesn’t mean it ends there. Those using tablet or mobile devices can download the titles, so they can continue reading their favourite magazines and newspapers throughout the rest of their journey.
To find out about lounge access, visit: www.virginaustralia.com/lounge
Download the app now before your next Virgin Australia flight at www.pressreader.com and connect to Virgin Australia’s lounge Wi-Fi.
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
If you have travelled from Sydney domestic airport recently, you may have noticed some changes at the end of the Pier – brand new departure lounges with a vibrant look and feel.
We have been working to enhance and expand the space, which now features brand new bathroom facilities, additional seats, charging bars for personal devices and signature design elements, including the Virgin Australia ‘Flying Lady’, which is proudly displayed above the new service desk.
The Pier has also been expanded externally to offer five additional departure gates. This means we can allocate an extra three Airbus A330 aircraft or five Boeing 737 aircraft, enabling our operations to run even more smoothly.
We look forward to welcoming you to our new space!
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Virgin Australia’s Flight Specials has been named as one of App Store’s ‘Best of 2012′ applications.
Each year Apple selects a short-list of the best applications that highlight top trends and innovations in the App Store.
This year, Flight Specials was named as one of the top 25 apps, from more than 750,000 available in the App Store. Flights Special was also one of only three Australian apps to grace the list.
View the full App Store Best Of 2012 list.
Flight Specials appeared in the Disruptive Services category, where apps were judged on how they offer “new ways of approaching how we travel, buy products and use mobile payments”.
Apple claims that the apps named in the Disruptive Services category “are helping to reshape and redefine industries”.
Since it was released just five months ago, Virgin Australia’s Flight Specials has been downloaded by more than 200,000 iPhone users.
The app’s purpose is simple: to give guests access to the right fare, for the right price, at the right time. Flight Specials does this by allowing guests to view Virgin Australia’s latest specials, create flight special alerts, and receive real time notifications as soon as specials become available.
The app also gives guests access to Virgin Australia mobile website features such as Book Flights, Manage Bookings, Mobile Check-in, and Flight Status.
Experience the convenience of Virgin Australia Flight Specials – one of Apple’s ‘Best of 2012′ apps. Download the iPhone application from the iTunes Store.
In exciting news, Flights Specials is now available for Android. Download the Android application on Google Play™.