What was your first job?

Because of my father’s trust in me as his translator/interpreter and mouthpiece, I got the job of managing the flats and the farm. I started when I was 10, sprucing up the flats, advertising them, meeting prospective tenants, setting the rent and collecting the rent.


If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

Being disruptive. I live by the adage “If you don’t disrupt yourself, someone else will”.


Five people you’d invite for dinner:

Buzz Aldrin (pictured above), Cherie Blair, Bill Clinton, Francine LeFrak (New York social entrepreneur) & Anthony Robbins.


Book everyone should read:

My book ‘Meet Me at the Top’. It’s a best seller and a must read. I bought 30,000 copies.


If you could live anywhere besides here, where would it be?

New York – it’s a destination full of energy, creativity and innovation! Visiting New York expands your mind and elevates your thinking.


Most inspirational living person:

Buzz Aldrin. His favorite saying is “Unless you inspire …you expire”. It was an honor to have Buzz at my home and introduce him to my 102-year-old mum, Maria. He was inspired by her longevity as he dreams of a man landing on Mars during his lifetime.


What advice would you give 20-year-old self?

Be the person you want to be and not the person someone else wants you to be. Be open to help and good advice from others, but let no-one take you over.


One thing people don’t know about you:

Fitness is a lifestyle. The exhilaration of exercise fills me with the natural endorphins to be the best I can each day. My time for the 2019 Bridge to Brisbane – 1:19:57 – was better than my time in 2005 of 1:20:06.


First car, current car, dream car:

Celica to my current car, a gorgeous Bentley.


Best and worst birthday present:

There is no such thing as a bad present because it’s the thought that counts. For my 40th birthday in business my team put together a wonderful album of congratulations notes from childhood friends, bosses that fired me, students, long-serving staff, business leaders, premiers, prime ministers and even royalty.


Song you get pumped up to:

Klingande – Jubel.


Best piece of advice you’ve received:

In the early 1990s my accountant said to me: “Sarina, you are paying so much out in rent, you should buy your own building.” I said, “I love it here at the MLC Building. I love the view. The students are here because they like being on the 26th floor of the smartest building in the city.” He said, “No, Sarina, when you are looking out from your own building, that is the best view you can have.”


Biggest career regret:

Don’t have regrets. Every decision I made, good or bad, helped me grow as a person and as a leader.


Favourite meal:

I love enjoying dishes full of fresh vegetables, especially chickpeas!


This year I’m most looking forward to:

The Sarina Russo Group Christmas Staff Awards. It’s an opportunity to recognise the team’s passion in going that extra mile!


Source: The Courier Mail


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