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President’s update – January 2017

Welcome back! I hope you had a lovely festive season and have been enjoying all that a Melbourne summer has on offer. Certainly the kids being back at school marks a significant shift in our household back to routine but I am doing my best to keep the holiday vibe going. I’m very lucky that I work from home and today I am sitting in the sunshine on my balcony and a colleague just mentioned that all she could hear in the background over the phone was birds.

There has been a lot going on behind the scenes over the summer so here is my update on all things IABC. Lots of dates to pop in to those fresh new 2017 diaries! (Does anyone use a hard copy any more? I miss them).

  • Our first mid-week mingle is happening on Wednesday 22 February – you can book here. These events are for members only (this include members from any other chapter around the world!) and are our way of helping you to build connections and a few laughs.
  • Thank you to everyone who nominated for the board on 2017, we had an amazing response. I look forward to sharing the details of who will be involved closer to the AGM that will be held on Wednesday 8 March 2017.
  • Our first ever IABC APAC regional conference will be happening in Singapore 23-25 August 2017. You can find all of the details here. I am definitely going and have had lots of people indicate early interest so it let’s try and get a really strong Victoria contingent. If you are interested in speaking, I would strongly encourage you to apply.
  • World Conference is being held in Washington 11-14 June. It really is an amazing way to expand your IABC network and we have some fabulous Australian speakers on the program including Gabrielle Dolan, Rita Zonius, Shawn Callahan and Emily Bogue.
  • Gold Quills are now closed for this year and the review process is underway. Well done to everyone who took the time to enter and I have my fingers crossed for great results in a couple of month’s time.
  • One of our most popular events Talk55 is back and will be held at the end of March. Keep your eyes out for the call for speaker and tickets going on sale in the coming week.
  • We have a number of free webinars coming up (the next one’s on 8 February) and lots of other training opportunities that you can find here. The IABC Academy has a new look for this year and lots of great online training options iabcacademy.org

In January a number of IABC Victoria members took part in a strategy session that will feed in to the development of the global IABC 2017-20 strategy. Sessions have been held all over the world and will be brought together in a final discussion at the Leadership Institute in Dallas later this month.

I’m a bit of a sceptic when it comes to these types of “strategy sessions” but it was an excellent discussion (the fact that it was a gorgeous sunny Sunday and there was rosé on hand certainly helped) but what I really liked was the approach. The focus was on understanding what we value most about IABC. There are always going to be things that don’t work as well as they could – we are aware of these and do our best to fix them – but in order to grow and continue to offer what our members want and need, we need to understanding why they are members in the first place and what makes them stay. For me, it’s all about the people. I have a network of friends and colleagues around the world that I never would have had and professional connections that can answer any crazy question I might have.

With this in mind, we want to know what you think. What is it that makes our local chapter work and what ideas do you have to make it better? We’ll be in touch with all of our members towards the end of the month and we do genuinely want to hear from you.

Cheers, Deb

PS – The best book I’ve read this summer is The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke. She is a storyteller of amazing talent.

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