Change is inevitable and an ingredient of life.
Changes in technology have speeded up since they really kicked off in the early 20th Century and so, inevitably, have changes in the way we live. Sorting press cuttings recently, I found a 2012 article on the future of television – laughably out of date in guiding the average 2015 shopper. Totally new product developments on multiple fronts in our lives, built – in obsolescence – it’s all a whirl.
As such early adopters, we’re breathless adjusting. We must retain the informed ability to filter and mediate information we’re being given. It’s thought-provoking, for example, to read that it’s planned that by 2017 teachers are to have “taught” computers to mark the written component of NAPLAN exams instead of teachers doing the assessing.
Armidale should have multiple opportunities to sort through and take on this new world. Increasing revenue rather than simply cutting costs as well as job creation is basic. The recent Northern Inland participation in the CeBIT Expo through the tireless efforts of Peter Sniekers (NSW Trade & Investment) puts Armidale in the market to promote doing business here in the IT and digital world.
With a respected university so much part of what is, in reality, a pretty balanced city, we should take up what’s on offer. We have the ingredients to thrive in a well-balanced environment, assuming imaginative and aware leadership.
Since the days when probably reading one book made you a doctor, the practice of caring for the sick has accelerated exponentially. A recent stay in Armidale Hospital underlined a truly caring profession in all its forms. Under whatever constraints it is carried out, it is the human component making the difference. Not everyone can or should choose this career, but the vast majority do so with humanity and dedication. The few that can’t should be doing something else.
People want to follow credible positivity, optimism and hope, while accepting there are priorities and realities. The Civic Precinct ideas certainly have validity. Although the ADC has not currently given backing, there is nonetheless no reason that the principle shouldn’t be part of the intent for our city.
I’ve written before about archaeologists being problem solvers. So are universities, generally. Professor Iain Young, Environment & Rural Science Head of School, says UNE is taking “groundbreaking steps for the country’s agricultural industry”. The recent $70M investment plan for staff and facilities makes them the “pre-eminent University for Agri-Business”. The Smart Farm already points the way to agriculture’s future. Professor David Lamb says the new project with Horticulture Innovation Australia where Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has announced a $3.4 million funding boost, “puts UNE on the international stage as far as satellite remote sensing in precision agriculture goes”. Minister Joyce supports the future of agriculture and UNE’s place in frontline research.
UNE courses aim at educating problem solvers across society. I must say I really like the “Together we can do this” advertising campaign running in the media. It’s fresh, innovative and attention getting.
UNE staff like Professor Brian Dollery, UNE Business School and local government expert, and Professor Helen Ware, Peace Studies, are examples of many continually interviewed and quoted for their informed, valued views.
The Armidale Business Chamber has announced a “ strong cross section of Armidale’s business community” for its 2015 Management Committee, working to “inspire, energise and resource Armidale’s business”. Sounds good.
I was sorry to miss the opening of NERAM’S The Art of Wool exhibition showing relevant NERAM artworks with garments from the International Woolmark Prize archive, underlining the frontline diversity of our district.
The periodic appearance of the Pop Up Store in town is always fun, with quirky pieces from The Eclective and yummies from Sister Spice among my personal favourites.
And in a town rich with music (Yes! to AcO2’s visit and Voci Stupende!) it was lovely to be surprised by the very special Deidre Rickards and the PLC strings playing amid busy shoppers. Be glad for what we have and the future.
P.s. Steve McMillan tells me that sporting events for April brought $2,160,535.