Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.

Thanks Joni Mitchell

I’m grateful this week. Enormously grateful to our Federal Government for the recently legislated JobKeeper initiative. Grateful that six million Australians might retain some semblance of a career, continuity of employment, a basic living wage and for organisations to ward off insolvency. Imagine the alternative – never ending Centrelink queues, mental health catastrophes, insolvency tsunamis and potential civil unrest.

Maybe we did have some idea that the music at the fairground would be quieted, the lights dimmed and we’d be seeing out a long night. Maybe it was one too many entitled ‘meh’s’ that got me on my soap box when I referred to the privilege of work at an introductory welcome I gave back in December. Slade Group sponsored the VCCI luncheon with The Hon. Richard Wynne, Victorian Minister for Planning and Housing, and on rereading the few paragraphs it does paint a backdrop for the richness of a working life – did we know how much we’d miss it when it was gone? (And for all the healthcare workers and those in the food staples supply chain, I wish for you that the music does soon slow, the merry-go-round you’re on is going way too fast for comfort.)

‘Minister Wynne, around the table we’re a microcosm of Victoria at work, supporting Australians in their daily lives. One of our own key-lines at Slade Group is ‘Love Work, Love Life’.  

Unlike the social media posts that reference ‘Hump Day’ as the day you have to suffer to get closer to the weekend, or ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ we know differently. We know that work is also a privilege and leads to better lives…, mental health and… family wellness and prosperity… Just ask the young Greeks… who in 2014… were up against a 30% unemployment rate, OR the South African health system… that knows in pockets, where unemployment is over 30%… so is the spike in AIDS. That’s why the ‘jobs jobs jobs’ pitch of any government is so important.

This year, across our Group we’ve appointed Non-Executive Directors, CEOs, CFOs, and Divisional Directors to leading national organisations…, academic and professional leaders across education and government and the arts…, worked heavily with Victoria’s infrastructure and property and rail sectors… We manage major on-hired contracts, and we are working against the tide in sourcing digital and technical talent where demand far outstrips supply.

Collectively, I think you’d agree that we’re fiercely proud of Melbourne and Victoria.

We depend on our elected Ministers and our respected Public Servants to develop policy and make decisions in the public interest. We’re on the brink of sharing this city with 5 million people, many of whom are also new to our country and whom we have to invest in to ensure they will also benefit from our built environment, our infrastructure, distribution and logistics, digital and technical investments, health, education, our arts and culture, and our precious natural resources.

Richard Wynne was the guest speaker, generous with his time, answering a lot of questions around planning, none of which much occupy our thoughts right now.

How are you managing through this changed world @work?

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