Remo Giuffré lives in Bondi, Sydney, in a surprisingly modest three bedroom apartment with his wife Melanie, and almost grown up kids Roman and Lola (Lola is currently studying in Melbourne, but returns homes for the holidays). The family have been here just four years, which belies the incredible depth of collected ephemera and history on the walls! There is something positively museum-like about this space… it is layered with nostalgic mementoes of family life, and love, and a lifetime of artefacts. Every family should (and probably does?) have this stuff… but.. somehow, the way it has been lovingly collected and displayed here takes things to another level!
‘The apartment is a canvas upon which we display and present the authentic souvenirs of our lives’ expains Remo, matter of factly. ‘Neither of us do decorative. Everything we own retains a meaning for one or both of us’. He speaks the truth. Just about all of the artwork here has been created by friends or by artists Remo and Melanie have met and engaged with, and alongside these pieces, displayed with equal merit are treasured family photos, doodles quickly scribbled documenting inspired ideas never realised, and keepsakes such as wedding invitations, newspaper clippings, printed ephemera and other treasures. Toegther, these artefacts form a sort of visual narrative of the Giuffré family history. It’s the best motivation I’ve seen in a LONG time to PRINT YOUR PHOTOS, people. And, display them!
The Giuffré family aren’t really big on material things. The greatest advantage of living here, Remo says, is being close to the beach. ‘Proximity is everything’ he explains. ‘A few more blocks and that magical nexus between home and ocean would be broken. We love being just a few minutes away, and get a special thrill when we see Roman’s wet footprints on the stairs leading up to our apartment’.
Meeting Remo was pretty cool! It felt like meeting someone I already half knew. As mentioned above, amongst many other things Remo holds the license for TEDxSydney, and has done the most incredible job running this event since 2009 – staged annually at The Sydney Opera house, with over 2000 attendees each year, and incorporating various satellite events and free online content, it is one of the biggest and most impressive TEDx events globally. TEDx is a not-for-profit venture, which makes the epic scale of this event even more impressive. Though it is a HUGE undertaking, TEDx suits Remo… because the common thread through all his various projects over the past few years is one clear theme – connectivity. Bringing likeminded thinkers and do-ers together.
In person, Remo really is bursting with ideas and optimism. Though he has weathered both success and failure in business, he’s rarely discouraged, and certainly never idle… he’s always dreaming up the next big thing. This month, Remo is launching his latest project – his first book. Unsurprisingly, he’s done it his way.
‘General Thinker is a visual memoir of interwoven stories that examines the experiences – both great successes and brilliant failures – that have guided and shaped me along my path as a serial entrepreneur’ explains Remo. ‘It’s a book about work. It’s a book about love. It’s about me, but also about all of us. The early feedback is super positive. People seem to like it!’
Remo generously handed me a copy of General Thinker as I left his apartment. I read it on the plane all the way home from Sydney and couldn’t put it down! Though it is loosely structured chronologically, around key events in Remo’s own life, this is not a straightforward autobiography, but a much broader offering – a truly energising and uplifting read. Remo recounts tales from his early family life, to his relentless romantic gestures in pursuit of his wife Melanie (my favourite chapter!), to his eager attempts to meet Rupert Murdoch in his early career.. (!) and the list goes on. It’s one of those books you can open at any page, and be sure to uncover a golden nugget of wisdom or bolt of inspiration. It’s also very funny – Remo has a knack for storytelling!
General Thinker is available in select Australian book stores, and online here. Highly recommended for the thinkers, the dreamers and do-ers amongst you!