Hello to 2021 – and good riddance to 2020 and every wildly inaccurate prediction that every pundit, pollster, economist and epidemiologist flung our way. Fearful of fake news and devoid of confidence in the usual forecasters, CBD has turned to the ultimate forecaster for the low-down on what to expect in the year ahead. Will Scott Morrison secure the mother lode of Pfizer vaccines needed to reopen international borders? Will Anthony Albanese still be in place to contest the next federal election? Will former Australia Post boss Christine Holgate secure redemption and her old job back? Will the Australian Olympic Team get to Tokyo? Our conduit to the real stars, Hedy Damari, reveals all:
Scott Morrison, Prime Minister
The PM copped a pasting for holidaying in Hawaii while Australia dealt with a bushfire crisis. Fast forward a year and ScoMo’s silence after Capitol Hill revealed his key trait as a cautious Taurus. He operates at a measured pace, but decisiveness and haste in uncertain times is his best strategy. Delivering the promised COVID-19 vaccinations will boost his popularity.
Anthony Albanese, Opposition Leader
Although a placid Pisces, other aspects of Albanese’s chart suggest he has the tenacity of a Pit Bull. The Opposition Leader will maintain his position while trying to derail the PM. With more than 20 years’ experience, the former deputy PM has thus far been denied his moment. But his time will come later this year.
Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Premier
Once bitten, twice shy? Scandals can ruin most people in politics, but not Gladys! A hardworking Virgo with intellectual Mercury, mighty Mars and powerful Pluto all also in Virgo, this resilient, wilful Premier is nowhere near stepping down. Ambitious by nature, she will focus even more on her career and may set her sights on the top job. Next stop, Canberra?
Dan Andrews, Victorian Premier
A caring Cancer, the Victorian Premier also has various stubborn aspects to his chart. His handling of hotel quarantine and the ensuing lockdowns has made him the most polarising Australian politician. In unknown times, mistakes have proven to be valuable lessons, and remaining true to himself will hold him in good stead at the opinion polls. Despite political chatter that his era is drawing to a close, he’s far from retiring.
Christine Holgate, former Australia Post chief executive
A savvy Sagittarius, the British-born businesswoman had an impressive portfolio before her appointment as Australia Post’s first female CEO. Holgate’s achievements were eclipsed by scandals involving executive bonuses, Cartier watches and Hanson stubby holders. With wealth on her side and nothing to prove, she will likely launch a business outside of the corporate bubble that’s close to her heart.
Jayne Hrdlicka, Virgin Airlines chief executive and chair of Tennis Australia
As a Capricorn, Hrdlicka possesses innate problem-solving skills. Ambitious, hardworking and objective, she doesn’t easily throw in the towel. The former Qantas exec will make a success of Virgin, but it will require humility. As chair of Tennis Australia, despite several hiccups behind the scenes, the consummate professional will ensure the Australian Open succeeds.
Gillon McLachlan, AFL chief executive
The AFL’s CEO will have his work cut out for him in 2021, particularly if vaccine delays force the league to replicate its Gold Coast bubble for the second year running – even though everyone loves a touch of northern exposure during the winter. As a fire sign Leo, his leadership skills will instil passion, faith and loyalty in others, all of which are necessary to pull through. McLachlan’s unwavering devotion and the strong sense of community he fosters will ensure his definition of success for the sport prevails.
Alan Joyce, Qantas chief executive
Alan Joyce’s role as Qantas CEO presents many obvious challenges due to the coronavirus crisis. Things will get worse before they get better. It’s unlikely there will be any international commercial flights, but the resourceful Cancer will continue to develop “new normals” in order to keep the business afloat, not that it means executive departures are at an end. Joyce may also use his platform for advocacy. Just try shutting him up.
Ita Buttrose, ABC chair
The ABC will be the last in a long line of this magazine editor-turned-businesswoman powerhouse’s legacy, but Ita will make it count! Her editorial independence was challenged after the Four Corners Porter and Tudge story, but as an intelligent, unapologetic and confident Capricorn, she stood her ground and will bring out the best in this media outlet. More controversies will ensue, but they will help not harm her or the ABC. The only question is: Who does she keep on a shorter leash, her beloved groodle Cleo or ABC managing director David Anderson?
James Packer, Crown major shareholder
As a Virgo, Packer is a hard worker, but “go large” Jupiter in his house of leisure means he plays harder. While relatively young, he has lived several lifetimes and his health could again become an issue. He’ll have to sell Crown shares to maintain its licence, and without overseas high rollers he must come up with a plan B that doesn’t involve avoiding reality on the deck of his monster boat.
Justin Hemmes, Sydney hospitality landlord
The playboy pub baron, like many other hospitality owners, will most definitely feel the pinch of COVID-19. However, as a canny and conservative Virgo he has the gift of long-term vision. He isn’t making plans for this year but for next year and the one after that. He will continue to borrow and buy up big, expanding his empire.
Peter V’Landys, NRL chairman
As a Taurus, the NRL boss admires integrity above all else. Therefore, his zero-tolerance policy could cause a few casualties among players’ agents as he makes it his mission to clean up. The sport itself won’t suffer, and although attendances won’t reach maximum capacities, V’Landys’ astute acumen will ensure the game gathers momentum in other ways. Watch out, Gillon McLachlan. This man – and his code – mean business.
Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman
Aquarians are known for being the rebels of the zodiac, but this year the billionaires will be anything but. Rinehart will use her wealth and clout to further her more conservative political agenda, but it will be to no avail. Her swimming team will make it to the Olympics this year but it may be a decision she later regrets.
CBD returns on Monday.
Stephen Brook is a CBD columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He is a former features editor and media editor at The Australian, where he wrote the Media Diary column and spent six years in London working for The Guardian.
Samantha is a CBD columnist for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. She recently covered Victorian and NSW politics and business for News Corp, and previously worked for the Australian Financial Review.