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President’s Update – A time to shine …

Hats in the air people – it’s time to celebrate!

As I’ve learned from leading teams, businesses and projects in the past, and as I’m rapidly learning now as President of a professional association, there are many dimensions to leadership – great opportunity, great reward, great responsibility and great challenges. There are others that, ironically, are sometimes more difficult to release yourself into – the great excitement, great enthusiasm and unbridled (well, you know, within reason … ) celebration of what we do, how we do it, and crucially, who we share it with.

Leave the complexity behind

My leader’s instinct is to think of the former set of dimensions first, and I think that reflects some of the complexities of our profession in the current age – there’s lots to keep your eye on, all at the same time, and nothing stays the same for long, so vigilance and staying with the wave is a preoccupation that dominates the focus for many of us. Right now, however, for the IABC community in Victoria and Australia, it’s time to leave those complexities aside for a while, to throw soft, non-lethal headgear into the sky, and celebrate some amazing achievements.

Up there with the best

Over the last month, the Gold Quill Award announcements have confirmed that not only do Australian and Victorian communicators stand equally with the best in the world, we’re getting stronger, and have reason to believe that in the future, we’ll be stronger still.

With a total of 26 International Gold Quills awarded to Australians, including a record 17 to Victorians, Australia placed third overall in this year’s awards cycle which is something we should collectively be proud of. This broad success has several highlights within it, each of which shines in their own right:

  • A clearly representative spread of winners – from private and public sectors, corporate, agency, NFP and government entrants
     
  • The outstanding international student entry in this year’s Gold Quill Awards from Deakin University’s Saania Habeeb, who was also awarded the commemorative Sharon Berzok Student Award
     
  • Multiple Gold Quill awards for Telstra, NAB and Cropley Communications
     
  • Nominations for special awards to be announced soon at the IABC World Conference in Washington DC for NAB as Corporate Communications Department of the Year and Cropley Communication as Boutique Agency of the Year.

Building on a legacy of success

One of the things I find most exciting about this achievement is that it’s one built on past successes. What I mean by that is that we’ve been successful in this competition in the past, but we’ve been inspired by that success rather than becoming complacent with it. That’s a real lesson for me in what you do with success. Recognition and success is reward but it’s also a standard that we set for ourselves, and while each one earned is rightly celebrated, it also establishes how we’d like to be identified, what we believe is possible and what we strive to achieve again.

I’m looking forward to sharing these achievements with many of you at the IABC Victoria Gala coming up this week, and then packing that spirit of success and goodwill (along with a few hats) in my bags for Washington a week later.

As ever,

Ivan

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