7 July, 2022, Cr Anna De Villiers- Carisbrook Mercury

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Succession Planning. Two words with a world of meaning and substance.

The first time I heard these words was at a seminar with the Department of Education in Melbourne, and I found it very peculiar to say the least. Also very confronting!

Over time I have come to realise the wisdom of succession planning. Succession planning has been done over many hundreds of years, but I never gave it much thought until that day. The Royal families have been doing it for centuries.

We should constantly be thinking of succession planning at every level that we can think of. Most people are reluctant to step up and take a leadership position unless they are tapped on the shoulder.

Even then it takes them a while to decide to step up and accept the challenge. It is challenging being in a leadership position but also extremely rewarding.

We have many volunteers serving on many committees within the Shire.

Even at Local Government level we have to do succession planning. I have been involved with a group of women, state-wide, who are ‘tapping’ people on the shoulder to consider training and upskilling for the local government elections in two years’ time.

The responsibility that goes with this is, is that you should be prepared to step up and be a mentor.

What is a mentor? A mentor is a person who supports and upskills an inexperienced person for a specific role.

There seems to be more and more of an expectation at different levels within organisations that volunteers in management positions should do some self-training especially regarding governance. The younger you are when you start becoming involved in committees and governance, the better!

We survived the Covid pandemic as a nation and as a community. This pandemic has also changed the very fabric of our society in many ways. Being in lockdowns, and with nowhere to go, we had to do some serious introspection!

We had the opportunity to re-think our basic assumptions and reset our goals.

As committees and volunteer groups we had to make changes to adapt and change with the times.

Community groups still face many challenges and now is a good time to recognise those challenges and work out a way dealing with it.

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