Welcome to November’s edition of the Roundup!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

As we draw close to the end of this year, I wanted to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to every one of you. The dedication, hard work, and resilience you have shown throughout this year have been nothing short of remarkable.

In the face of challenges, you have shown unwavering commitment, turning obstacles into opportunities and achieving milestones that we can all be proud of. Your passion, creativity, and teamwork have been the cornerstone of our success.

As the holiday season approaches, I encourage you to take this well-deserved time to rest, recharge, and cherish moments with your loved ones. It’s a time for joy, reflection, and appreciation for all that we have accomplished together.

Looking ahead, let’s carry this spirit of determination and collaboration into the coming year. Together, we will continue to strive for excellence, overcome challenges, and reach new heights. I do not doubt that with your dedication and talent, we will achieve even greater success in the days to come.

Thank you once again for your hard work and commitment. Wishing you all a joyful holiday season filled with warmth and happiness. Let’s return rejuvenated, ready to take on new challenges and create more milestones together in the upcoming year.

Happy holidays and a prosperous New Year! Nic

Let’s get to know Neethu Aneesh

Tell us a little about yourself

It’s an absolute pleasure to meet you! My name is Neethu Aneesh but most work colleagues know me as “Nets”.

With over 15 years of experience in the exhilarating realm of Information Security, I have had the privilege of working with some extraordinary individuals and organizations. When I’m not immersed in the exciting world of cybersecurity, you’ll often find me basking in the joy of family life. My family comprises of wonderful hubby – also a great cook who never fails to delight our taste buds with his culinary creations and our 11-year-old twin boys who bring boundless energy and laughter into our world. We absolutely love travelling and exploring new cultures, savoring local cuisines, and immersing in the beauty of different landscapes.

What do you love about your job?

Problem Solving and People Management!

The information security field offers a unique blend of challenges and enjoyment.

One of the exciting aspects is the opportunity to work with a diverse range of individuals who may not have security at the forefront of their minds. From colleagues who prioritize convenience over security to users who unknowingly engage in risky behaviors, it’s like solving a puzzle every day.

Additionally, assisting the C-suite in making informed risk decisions is both rewarding and exciting. Being part of the decision-making process and providing insights to protect the organization’s sensitive data is like being a trusted advisor and is incredibly satisfying.

What is your favourite recipe/dish?

My favorite dish is my husband’s Thalassery Dum Biryani. Lol, that is a secret well-guarded by him and I have no visibility unfortunately.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

Bali holds a special place in my heart as one of the most captivating holiday destinations. From its stunning beaches to its vibrant culture, picturesque rice terraces, lush jungles, and breathtaking waterfalls. We were fascinated by Bali’s rich cultural heritage, local traditions and customs. The warmth and hospitality of the Balinese people makes you feel at home. Add amazing food with its diverse flavors and aromatic spices to the mix and we are completely sold!!


The History of Christmas

Christmas, the holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, is celebrated by a majority of Christians on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar. But early Christians did not celebrate his birth, and no one knows on which date Jesus was actually born (some scholars believe that the actual date was in the early spring, placing it closer to Easter, the holiday commemorating his Resurrection).

The origins of the holiday and its December date lie in the ancient Greco-Roman world, as commemorations probably began sometime in the 2nd century. There are at least three possible origins for the December date. The Roman Christian historian Sextus Julius Africanus dated Jesus’ conception to March 25 (the same date upon which he held that the world was created), which, after nine months in his mother’s womb, would result in a December 25 birth.

In the 3rd century, the Roman Empire, which at the time had not adopted Christianity, celebrated the rebirth of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus) on December 25th. This holiday not only marked the return of longer days after the winter solstice but also followed the popular Roman festival called the Saturnalia (during which people feasted and exchanged gifts). It was also the birthday of the Indo-European deity Mithra, a god of light and loyalty whose cult was at the time growing popular among Roman soldiers.

The church in Rome began formally celebrating Christmas on December 25 in 336, during the reign of the emperor Constantine. As Constantine had made Christianity the effective religion of the empire, some have speculated that choosing this date had the political motive of weakening the established pagan celebrations.

The date was not widely accepted in the Eastern Empire, where January 6 had been favored, for another half-century, and Christmas did not become a major Christian festival until the 9th century.

Lunch with the Sydney Crew

It’s always great to have this time to catch up with everyone and hear about how things have been going over the last few months. Your stories and updates are what make these gatherings so enjoyable and meaningful. Thank you again and looking forward to the next one.

Recipe of the Month

Watermelon Lemonade

This watermelon lemonade looks amazing but is super-simple to make. It’s perfect for a kids party or makes a refreshing summer drink for kids or adults.

Ingredients Instructions
  • 250ml lemon juice (from a bottle or squeeze your own)
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1l bottle soda water
  • 1 lime, cut into slices
  • small handful mint
  • crushed ice
  1. Step 1
    Cut the top off the watermelon and hollow it out using a large spoon, fishing out any pips along the way. Mash the flesh through a sieve into a bowl. Put the flesh in a blender (or use a tall jug and hand blender) with the lemon juice and sugar, whizz to a purée, then stir in the soda.

  2. Step 2
    Heap some ice into the hollowed-out watermelon and fill it with the lemonade mixture. Serve the rest in a jug with the lime slices and mint. Have a bowl of extra crushed ice on the side so people can help themselves.