Icing on the Cake – Collaboration

Comments (0) Susie Dunn

A primary definition of collaboration is “the action of working with someone to produce something”. 

That’s basically what I believe voters in the recent Armidale Local Government elections want as the trademark of the new State-determined Local Government Council .

We all been gifted a very tasty cake here – it’s up to everyone to spread the icing.

I voted for the Armidale region. Let’s hope that’s what our new Councillors have at the front of their minds. With some from previous Councils, there are mostly fresh faces. All will, let’s hope, give their public service to the region, not just their own pet agendas. Readers know I feel we’re at a critical turning point, either seeing consolidation and advancement or sad decline.  That would be tragic. Things done for many of the past years haven’t really cut through – sorry, cruel but true. Good intentions aren’t enough.   Let’s hope this Council can look beyond old formulas. At writing, I don’t know who will, as Mayor, be leading this drive for change from September 27, although Ian Tiley certainly seems well ahead on qualifications.

The elections have shown up another problem in our changing world – the informed distribution of information and where to find it. The Express certainly tried its best, but things move fast and choosing what to print has its problems.  Social media like Facebook has scattered pieces of mostly unmediated information; radio and TV depend on the luck of catching relevant broadcasts. FOCUS, our monthly glossy, did a great job within its time limitations. I wonder how many voters really knew the 48 candidates and their skills in serving the public as Councillors?

Our local State MP, Adam Marshall, is a great proponent of the benefits offered by renewable energy. Our Federal Member, Barnaby Joyce, is generally far from convinced – but in rather a cleft stick locally with the tremendous New England investment! Having fought the losing fight with a group of other locals against the “goldplating” of the transmission system, the development of renewables seems to me an obvious way to go for the future of our families as we phase into a completely new era and new jobs. Encouraging work on energy storage will close that circle and take us to a new chapter. Burying their heads in the past buggy age didn’t help then.

With Adam Marshall State Minister for Tourism, it’s definitely time to lift our game and profile in that market. Time to leave tired old formulaic, clichéd approaches behind and streamline our splash as we hit the ground running. Come on, modern marketers!

People are in all sorts of teams and when new people come to town, we hopefully “fold them in”. Often, of course, they’re also part of domestic teams and Robert Heather (NERAM) and his partner Edwina – proud parents of two young children – are an example. As Director of NERAM, Robert has already make his mark locally. His partner, Edwina, has her own set of skills, and it’s taken her rather longer to find her way in and now on track – we must remember the teams who choose to come here and try to ensure that everyone can offer their contribution. Perhaps try volunteering to start …

There’s good news that what’s thought of as Liz Foster’s baby, The Australian Wool Fashion Awards, are returning to Armidale, with Presentation Night on July 7 in the marvellous venue of Hannas’ Arcade. Guided by Liz and the Board, former winners Lucy Vigona and Mary Carter are event managing.

Change is often about attitude. A recent funeral notice said “he always saw the glass  half-full and was never disappointed”.

So … Moving along. I’ve been so busy thinking about elections and some unexpected trips that I’ve missed a lot of things on the local scene.  Impossible to do them all, but managed to get to High Country Theatre’s classic The Red Balloon, the Sanctuary Group’s fundraiser Constance on the Edge (about Sudanese refugees in country towns) and the Multicultural Happy Women’s Dinner – as well as some hugs with family and friends. Oops – no more space yet again …

Susie Dunn.

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