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Working from home: Shayne Elliott

Pic: ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott in his home office

Commentators on social media have noted a litany of intriguing items in the background of photos and Zoom interviews by ANZ Chief Executive Shayne Elliott. In this new series, we step into the homes and offices of the bank’s executives to learn more about the person behind the desk.


Our series begins in Elliott’s home office in Melbourne, where he is working while the state remains in Stage 4 lockdown. Here’s Elliott on those items he keeps close by.


Bruce Lee as the Green Hornet


One of my favourite items on the wall of my office is an original Bruce Lee Green Hornet movie poster. Lee played The Green Hornet in the television series which ran in 1966 and 1967 before he sadly died in 1973 at the age of 32. This “movie” was released in 1974 and was made from re-cutting scenes from the original TV series.


I bought this poster when I was living in Hong Kong in the early 2000s and it’s a great reminder of my time there. Born in America but raised in Kowloon, Bruce Lee really brought the Hong Kong movie industry to the attention of the world.



Dad and me


My next item is one of the earliest photos I have of me and my father. It was taken in the mid-1960s at our regular camping holiday location – Taipa which is in Northland, New Zealand. I don’t have many photos with my father so this really is a treasure for me.



Granddad’s graduation


This photograph is another treasured family possession - a photograph of my maternal grandfather graduating as a fireman in the 1930s (Granddad is the one in the back!). I love the promise of a young man on the verge of his adult life.



Joy and energy


I lived in Cairo (twice) for a number of years. My wife and I enjoyed supporting the local artists and we bought this photograph about 20 years ago. It’s school boys running home out of school and I love the pure joy on their faces and their energy. This photograph sits right behind me when at my desk.



Egyptian memories


Giving silver is a very traditional gift in the Middle East so I have lots of it from my time living in Egypt! The plate was a memorial of Citibank’s 25-year anniversary in Egypt, a time when I was the local country head. The letter opener was a gift from some of the Citibank staff when I left Egypt to move to Australia in 2001. They are both great trinkets for the desk - and the letter opener gets used from time to time.



Small quirks


I love collecting quirky things. I lived in London right by Portobello Road in Notting Hill during the 1990s and spent my weekends searching through the markets for interesting things. That started a small collection of tin toys – mostly train sets like this but also tin motorbikes. This set is from the 1920s. I have a few of them scattered around the house. 



Travelling camera


Here’s another find from my time on Portobello Road. I love mechanical things and the artistry that was evident in early technology like this travelling camera. It all folds into its own case – a really remarkable thing with lots of features packed in!



Military interest


You may have seen on Twitter that I have an interest in collecting military items – I’m not even sure why! This piece is an Indo-Persian Military Dress Helmet from the late 19th Century (the feathers aren’t original!). The engraving is beautiful calligraphy and images and I love it. I stumbled across this at an auction in Auckland of all places.



This French police helmet is also probably late 19th Century. The coat of arms represents Paris -  a silver sailing ship with the motto Fluctuat nec Mergitur which means “she is rocked by the waves but does not sink”. My wife and I found this in an antique store while on holiday in Europe.



Finally, this is a German Army Helmet from the 19th Century which came in its original travel case. We found it in an antique shop in Italy and when we brought it home we found a scrap of paper stuffed inside. In a strange coincidence it was a page from a newspaper partly advertising items at the 1881 Melbourne International Exhibition! It’s so interesting and I can only imagine the stories of the person who wore it.



Shayne Elliott is CEO of ANZ


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