Happy New Year to all our members,
I hope you had a restful summer break and enjoyed time with your loved ones. As it is our first newsletter for 2021, I wanted to share some of my summer break reflections and how our team are starting the new year right.
As the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, phone calls and text messages ‘wishing you a happy and healthy 2021’ began pouring in. While I was initially happy to forget about the year that was, I soon realised 2020 showed me the flip side of life.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I may have been caught once or twice saying ‘I can’t wait to get back to the way it was’. I now feel far different from this. I believe this pandemic has gifted us with knowing our colleagues and members on a deeper level. Our team has (virtually) been to one another’s homes, met children and pets, and had zoom-walk throughs of newly renovated bedrooms and backyards. We talked more, shared more feelings, and together, had the courage to share ‘out of the box’ ideas so that we could establish new ways to support our members. For ACC Australia, 2020 created the opportunity for new thinking.
The year also showed that our members have the resilience to respond to the adversity we faced. While there were many challenges, both professionally and personally, we persevered and often thrived. Online networking provided members with strong social and business connections and new committees and their events gave members access to relevant resources and industry-specific information. Our In-House Legal Virtual Conference was attended by many members who previously have not been able to participate in our in-person conference (including members from overseas).
Our ACC Australia team will remain working from home for the foreseeable future, and we are using this month to kick off the next 12 months the right way. We are spending time talking through the opportunities 2020 gave us, how we can continue to embrace them and how to extend upon our learnings from last year.
Of course, we cannot click our fingers and magically open our state and international borders or make the COVID-19 vaccine readily available. However, I can promise we will be providing members with more networks to join, highly relevant educational events to attend and several, fun, informal networking opportunities – our events calendar is well and truly getting full! We have some very exciting events planned this year and we can’t wait to share them with you!
If you have any suggestions on how the association can support our legal community in getting the new year right. I encourage you to reach out to your state committee or myself directly. We are always interested in the thoughts and recommendations of our members.
Happy new year.
ACC Australia President