We are now coming to the part of the year when our speed through time seems to defy Einstein’s laws, the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ part. It is pretty easy at this time of year to slip and miss a few things, so there is one thing I want to make sure I do get in—a big thank you to the staff at QLS.
One of the things that this role has shown me is that QLS is a bit like a swan gliding gracefully across a picturesque lake. It all looks wonderful and smooth on the surface, but underneath the swan’s legs are churning like crazy.
That is QLS. When members attend a conference, all we see is the professional presentations, the materials distributed and the food turn up at the right times. To us it is a pretty easy experience from registration to networking session.
Behind all that is a mountain of work from all areas of the Society—whether it is marketing and events sorting out the details, records providing up-to-date information of attendees or various society employees actually doing some of the presentations—the behind-the-scenes activity is immense.
It is the same for all of the services QLS provides, with a great team of very committed individuals working hard to deliver for members. QLS is a not-for-profit and does not have access to bales of cash, so the people here tend to be working for their passion, not their pension. It shows in their propensity to go the extra mile or three, to do that little bit more which makes a service or an event or PC renewal go just that little bit smoother.
In fact, it is fair to say that without the individual commitment of the staff members, without their buy-in to our mission and going beyond position descriptions, pay grades and KPIs, the Society simply could not exist.
So I want to take this opportunity to thank the QLS staff, one and all, and I urge our members to do the same should the chance arise. If you like any of the services the Society provides, you need to appreciate that the reason those services function is staff who go above and beyond—and just how many dedicated teams it takes to provide all these services.
A quick look at our organisational chart reveals just what it takes to keep this big ship on the straight and narrow, and delivering for members. We have the Office of General Counsel keeping us out of trouble and our People and Culture teams keeping our staff smiling. We also have our Membership and Engagement people running everything from conferences to communications, and our Finances & Facilities and Information Management & Technology teams keeping our inner workings, working.
The Ethics and Practice Centre keeps our profession professional and out of trouble, and our Regulatory people help out when trouble finds the profession anyway; Professional Development makes sure our members are the best-informed practitioners around, and Policy, Public Affairs and Governance keeps the government itself informed and honest (at least as far as possible!).
All the great services QLS delivers are possible because all these disparate teams work together smoothly and largely quite happily. It is a well-oiled machine that functions like clockwork, even when providing services to QLS Council.
Indeed, one of the few pieces of reassurance I can give President-elect Luke Murphy and his incoming council is this: don’t worry too much, the QLS people will look after you; they always do!
So please join me in saluting the fine work of QLS workers one and all, and wishing them a Merry Christmas and a well-earned break!
Before I sign off, I’d also like to acknowledge the achievements of one of Queensland’s most respected practitioners. Bill Mitchell of the Townsville Legal Service is the co-winner of the Law Council of Australia’s President’s Award. As a leading Australian human rights lawyer, Bill has engaged in public interest litigation and law reform across most areas of human rights and poverty law, promoting the rights of vulnerable Australians in law reform advocacy at a local, national and international level. Well done Bill!
As always at this time of year, enjoy the celebrations in the lead up to the Christmas break and stay safe!