I hope you have had a relaxing holiday and returned to your workplaces determined to stand tall as environmental practitioners, leave no stone unturned in the quest for improved environmental outcomes, and in your personal lives, committed to walking the talk by making lifestyle choices (no matter how small) to reduce your environmental footprint. This is what the organisers of the 2017 conference were hoping would be a conference outcome. We did not want the conference to be a talk-fest, we wanted participants to leave with new information, better tools and heightened motivation to really make a difference. That is why we asked all the presenters to provide at least one recommendation for action that could help in the battle to solve wicked problems. I have been compiling all these recommendations for consideration by the Board at its end of January meeting. There is quite a lot of overlap and duplication in the recommendations, which is a good sign that we are on the right track – various practitioners from a range of disciplines are seeing a need for the same action.
Some of the recommended actions relate to the work of government agencies or local councils, some are things that we as individual practitioners can do. Many are aimed at EIANZ as an organisation. As a Board we will be looking at how best to roll out these recommendations to get them actioned at all levels. Once they have been through the Board process I expect they will be shared with members.
Interviews will soon be underway to appoint a Professional Development officer to add to our Central Office capacity in Melbourne. The Board is hoping to have the position filled by the end of February. This person will be primarily responsible for the implementation of the STEPS programme which is aimed at building the skills of environmental graduates and those in the early stages of their careers through the provision of specialist training courses which pave the way to Certification. These courses will be run throughout New Zealand and Australia.
Already the NSW Division is in full swing organising the 2018 conference which will be held in Sydney in the first week of November. It looks to be a cracker so mark it in your diary and start saving your dollars now.
I’m looking forward to catching up with as many of you as I can over the coming year and to helping Kirsty Austin, the NZ Branch Coordinator to get more branches established around the country.
I hope 2018 turns out to be a great year for you and yours.
Di Buchan FEIANZ CEnvP
Vice President - New Zealand