By Brett Constable, National Manager
Every year is a big year in the national office, but election years are the biggest when our modest number of staff increases by a few more to help meet the demands of supporting the election campaigning which is undertaken around the country.
Two key positions filled during the year were for the National Campaign Coordinator by Ogy Simic, and our new Systems Liaison Coordinator position by John Twyman.
The position of Campaign Coordinator was only filled on a temporary basis so we had to say goodbye to Ogy in August after the election, but not before expressing our deep gratitude for his contribution to a huge but very smoothly run campaign. He was ably assisted for a short time by Ella Webb who coordinated our efforts on overseas polling booths.
John's position is also currently only temporary however his work on reaching out to many people involved in our systems has meant that we have achieved a much more cohesive view of the future pathways for the technology platforms we use. John has also garnered a strong commitment towards greater collaboration on a consolidated suite of systems to support campaigning and back-office functions across all offices and levels of activity within the party.
National office staff
Apart from myself, the staff who have worked for the national office (from various parts of the country) over this last year have included:
- Mark Quinn, our Office Manager in Canberra
- Helen Thompson, our Finance Officer in Sydney (who has since returned to California)
- Susan Griffiths-Sussems, our Fundraising Coordinator in Hobart
- Rosanne Bersten, our Communications Coordinator in Melbourne
- Andrew Cormick-Dockery, our Online Systems Coordinator in Melbourne
- John Twyman, our Systems Liaison Coordinator in Sydney
- Our Call Centre Team in Melbourne including Ben Cronly, Melissa Crotty, Alannah Dixon, Sarah Garry, and Ewan McDonald
- Michelle Sheather, in Sydney, who took over from Evan Davies in Melbourne as our International Development Coordinator
- Ogy Simic, our Campaign Coordinator in Melbourne
- And others in support roles including Gia Coleman, our campaign designer in Thirroul NSW, Seamus Lee on systems in Sydney, and Jane Power in the Canberra office during Mark's leave.
National Council and Conference
National Council has continued to work effectively throughout the last year providing the required guidance to the Campaign Management Team as the pace of the campaign accelerated. Financial governance training organised earlier this year was a very useful prompt towards improving our visual presentation of subsequent financial reports for a warmer reception by Council.
Our first mid-year National Conference was held in May after the federal election had been called. While the timing was a bit problematic as everyone wanted to be out on the campaign trail, it was still an excellent opportunity to showcase our candidates and preparedness for the long formal campaign period that lay ahead.
Also during May we hosted a study tour of 22 people from 11 countries from the Asia Pacific to see our party in action for the election. The tour started in Sydney and moved onto its conclusion in Byron Bay. A very big thank you to the NSW Greens for their support in making the tour a fantastic success for all participants. Also, a big thanks to our new International Development Coordinator, Michelle Sheather, who took over from Evan Davies in the final stages of preparing for the tour.
As always, the pace of work in the national office is relentless with the focus straight after the election switching immediately to making sure all the lessons learned from the campaign are captured and fed into our preparations already begun for the next election in three years' time. Also, we are undertaking a long-overdue strategic planning project (the last full process was completed in 2008) to ensure the capacity and efforts of the national office are well-focused towards greater success at the next election.
As always, I have to express my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the fantastic team of staff and volunteers right across the organisation who always demonstrate the commitment and goodwill towards all our efforts at growing our party and the level of support for us in the community. And lastly a particular thank you to all our national office bearers who provide strong guidance and support to the work of the national team of staff.