The headline says “goodbye”, but really this column – my last at NACC – is all about “thank you”.
After three-and-a-half years, I’ve decided to stand-down from the position of CEO at NACC, to (as they say) “consider other options”. My immediate future entails part-sabbatical, part-volunteering, part-private-consultancy, part-early-retirement, part-whatever-takes-my-fancy … but whatever I choose to do next in my life, it is the right time for me to leave the organisation.
NACC has recently come to the end of a five-year funding cycle – under the first phase of the National Landcare Program – and with it, the wrapping-up of a wide range of NRM projects that NACC had developed and delivered with distinction over the four or five years leading-up to the finish date on 30 June. The ‘wrapping-up’ of projects also affected a significant number of NACC staff – many of whom had originally been employed to carry-out those projects, or to provide necessary institutional support – and thus we have undergone quite a reduction in staff numbers as a consequence.
Given this reduction, I have decided to make some room at the management end of the organisation, and will have ‘left the building’ by the end of July. Our longest-serving member of the team, Katherine Allen, who has carried-out that service with distinction, and has fulfilled a variety of roles in recent years more-or-less equivalent to those of an Operations Manager, will be taking-over at the helm of the organisation.
I could leave NACC in no better hands.
In leaving, I’d like to thank everyone with whom I’ve worked with over the years – especially my staff at NACC, but also NACC Board directors, NACC members and supporters, collaborating partners, community group members, and other individuals who have contributed in one way or another to the success of our projects, actions and interventions during the time that I have been here. I won’t even attempt to single anyone out – otherwise this will end-up being a very long farewell column, but I’m sure everyone for whom I have gratitude already knows that, and knows that I am talking and thinking about them as I write.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at NACC (although maybe not the ‘winding-down’ period referred to above and its associated loss of so many passionate and dedicated team members), and am immensely proud of what we collectively achieved during my tenure. I am biased I know, but I like to think that I had the pleasure of experiencing ‘the very best of NACC’ in all of its 20-year history, and will always look back with pride at this chapter of my working life.
Wherever possible, I will also continue to stay engaged with NACC, by volunteering, by joining-in its project activities, and by following with interest as Katherine and her team forges a new chapter, and new model of delivering regional natural resource management projects and activities across the length and breadth of the NACC NRM Region.
I urge all of our current members, supporters, partners, and others to get behind Katherine, the Board, and the team, to ensure the organisation continues to fulfill its unique function across the region. I am convinced that the ‘new order’ will best achieve its regional goals and objectives through a strong, positive, and collaborative approach to land- and sea-stewardship.
For the immediate future at least, I’m happy to play my part in that.
Take good care of yourselves (and do more good).