I just don’t get it …

By Justine Eden

Getting older is an interesting thing, it gives you perspective and context and as youJustine mature, a greater level of self-perception, so that you no longer self doubt quite as much. On the down side you are less tolerant, more cynical and openly vocal when you don’t agree with something……

So I’m putting it out there – what’s with cocktails in jam jars?! Or de-constructed food with foam and pieces of bark? The other day I saw an article about a restaurant in Melbourne that hangs pieces of dehydrated food on a mini Hills Hoist – and charge you a fortune for the experience! And what’s all this fuss about Paleo??

And while I’m on it, what with the footpaths in Brisbane?! It almost compels me to go into local politics on the platform (get it?!) of fixing the pavements for all those (like me) breaking heels and tripping over cracks and holes in the footpaths.   Seriously, the pavements in Denpasar are in better condition!

Traffic jams – why can’t we have a staggered start time for work and schools so we are not all on the roads at the same time, fighting to get somewhere – aging while we sit in the traffic scowling at the person in the car next to us trying to get into our lane. And why do they do road works and close lanes in peak hour???

Ok – I’m on a roll, airlines. Why does it have to take so long to get on and off a plane? Why is the food SO BAD? Why is it such a surprise to get a flight attendant who is happy to help you. Why do I get selected for explosives testing every time I make it through the security check? And don’t get me started on people with carry on luggage and the lack of space for your things.

Call me old fashioned, but I hate self-serve checkouts, they never work and take longer. And why can’t we have drive through petrol stations or the ability to pay at the pump?? Why is petrol so expensive? Even when the Aussie $ was high we still didn’t get reduced petrol prices.

Saying that, I’m quite prepared to pay for service, and don’t you notice great service when you get it these days?! In fact, average service has become the norm. No wonder we are all thirsting for new, better, different – and when we find it we flock to it.

It’s the small things that make the difference, a smile, a hand written card, even a thank you. Maybe I am showing my age……

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Remind me again – Why am I doing this?

JustineWritten by: By Justine Eden

 

Ever found yourself doing something and wondering why you wanted to do this in the first place?  Or perhaps you agreed to do something as a favor to someone you respect, but ended up regretting getting involved?  I have.

Unfortunately my forays into doing “community” based endeavors have not always played out as I imagined.  I went in really excited – feeling it was an opportunity to contribute back to a community that I had lived in as well as get involved in a different sector that interested me.

While these ventures have been wonderful as far as meeting new people and building new friendships what’s surprised me is how often dysfunctional these organisations are.  Boards are usually made up of strong personalities use to being the “captain at the helm, calling the shots”.

I believe that when you are responsible for public funds the need for transparency and governance is absolute and that’s something I take very seriously.  From the way cash is collected and controlled through to the way funds are spent and what it is spent on – there has to be a clear objective that everyone is aware of and the majority agrees on.

Many community-based organisations are run by volunteers who may or may not have a business background, but still bring a myriad of skills that are valuable in every respect.  Discussions seem to take longer to reach a resolution and often you don’t get a consensus but I don’t think that is a bad thing, just sometimes frustrating.

There’s no doubt that most people have the best intentions, but too often hidden agendas and power plays seem to get in the way of appropriate “corporate citizen” behavior.  Many have been immersed in the organization for considerable periods of time and therefore struggle with the new and emerging landscape, where to remain viable you have to change.

There’s a lot of good being done, of course, but like anything, it has to resonate with you.  There needs to be a fit and a connection where you feel like you are making a contribution to the greater good.  For me, its early days and I’m not saying that I am totally giving up, but I have been left wondering if it just not for me……..

The Election Aftermath!

Jamie Harding

So, after months of discussion, debate, confusion and uncertainty, the election has been and gone!! After months of talking about it, the “Bright New Future” we were all promised is apparently here and we are told “Australia is open for business”…..or is it?!?

Election night provided high drama and long speeches, and as a Pom experiencing my first Aussie election, I was fascinated to hear that people held Election night parties, cancelling their usual Saturday night escapades in favour of a night in front of the TV.  And so, out of sheer curiosity, I too also tuned in to watch what all the fuss was about!!

Whether or not you tuned in to Channel 9’s coverage, with an ever grinning Karl and Lisa and a huge panel complete with a lady with a bright fish patterned blouse and numerous graphics of defeated (Labour) candidates being dropped into a shark tank and eaten, or you watched the more sedate and informative ABC coverage- what unfolded was exciting and dramatic and I must admit kept me glued to the TV!

So, now the dust has settled, what does the result mean for Australia and especially families and business’ in Queensland.  The good old Sunshine State seems to have dealt its current state representatives a wake up call by bucking the national trend and supporting (predominantly) Labor.  Has the result provided clarity, green shoots of economic recovery or will it mean more money in the pocket of Australians and Queenslanders?  Only time will tell…….

Even before the new government has been sworn in, this week has seen more positive news within the mining sector, the dollar up, markets trading higher and, according to the Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment released on Wednesday, consumer confidence is at its highest since 2010.  So far, so good!!!

It is early days but what is certain is that the new administration has a big job on its hands and with Australians, and business’ watching, it will need to act quickly to show that Australia really is open for business.