From the Queensland President – January 2021

As we start 2021, I would like to thank all those who nominated for leadership roles in Queensland and congratulate our new Chapter Councillors.  I am particularly pleased to add that we also have  an additional representative on National Council in Brian Hooper.

The strength of candidates put forward is directly related to the strength of the Institute right now. Reflecting on 2020 the Institute community has been an invaluable support to, and a resource for, me personally in this last year.  I experienced this in multiple forms;

  • From the personal support and inspirational work (most often done quietly) by Chapter Councillors and Committee members
  • Via the relationships and outreach that I observe between members
  • Via the support of President’s past
  • The hard work of Chapter staff
  • The connections made by members across the generations.  

On this last example our National President, Alice Hampson’s initiative connecting eminent consultants to our awards juries is a shining example of the value the Institute community offers, encouraging multigenerational connections and making deep knowledge and wisdom available to both jurors and entrants alike.  This sense of community has also provided me the springboard to make genuine connections across allied organisations and back into government. 

Looking ahead, there is much to do in 2021.  As always there are the things which demand our immediate attention.  A raft of proposed changes to the NCC, ongoing work by the AACA and the ongoing effects of Covid-19 loom large.  The challenge, as always, is to deal with these whilst keeping an eye on the big picture.  The Chapter’s planning day at the end of 2020 identified a series of key long term issues that Chapter Council are committed to.  (More on this to come).  What will underpin this work is the ongoing strength of our community. 

We can all contribute to this. (This is where I promise not to get emotional) If I could ask you to do one thing this year, it would be to reach out to one other person and invite them to be part of our community.  In my experience surprising things happen when you invite people to be part of something.  If invited, people will often engage with something they would otherwise have only observed.  For example you could extend an invitation to a student from your office to an awards event.  Reach out to a retired member and ask them if they would enjoy attending one of our talks.  Tap someone on the shoulder who is not a member and invite them to watch a ‘lean in session’ with you. 

A diverse, connected, multigenerational community built on respect and mutual support is our future.  We can only achieve this by bringing others with us. 

Michael Lavery
Queensland President