National President's Message - 24 October 2016

Friends and colleagues,

What a week ahead! There is high anticipation and excitement as we approach the Festival commencing on Friday this week, and like me, I hope you have your boarding passes and Festival planned out, and look forward to catching up with friends – new and old.

The final program is now online, make sure you download it as it we are not printing one this year to be friendlier to our planet. It can be found here.

I have really enjoyed and been positively challenged this past year in arguably AILA’s watershed 50th year.

All members and friends should feel proud of being a part of AILA, past, present and future. This will be my last communique with you, with the new Board effective on the 29th October.

I am very much proud of what we have achieved, it has been an incredible team effort across the Board and AILA’s so many spirited and passionate staff and volunteers. The Board are all volunteers, and as many have done before over our 50 years, give up their time freely and willingly.

I’d like to use this opportunity to thank many people, too many in fact, for their support and guidance (and humour) in my time as President…

Firstly, my sincere thanks to the outgoing and last big AILA Board – our former National Council – which includes Malcolm, Angus, Sara, Ashley, David, Amalie, Suzanne, James and Jerry. Your guidance, assistance, leadership and support over this past year, perhaps AILA’s most reformative, and successful, has shaped a better AILA.

Equal gratitude goes to the team at AILA including our fabulous leader Shahana McKenzie, assisted by many around Australia, for turning AILA into the great organisation it has become.

I’d also like to express my sincere gratitude to my employer, the City of Adelaide, for their support in allowing me the honour of serving the profession.

My best wishes and good vibes go to the new Board – Linda, Angus, Sara, Shaun and Barbara - the new constitution is now in place, I look forward to the next 2 years!

Most importantly I thank my loving family – wife Jaqs, Angus (10), Harriet (7) and Henry (3) – for those many nights away and missing the little things – like spelling, breakfasts, and mud, mud and more mud in our new bushland setting…

Your institute has changed, evolved, reformed and listened. AILA is now in a great position to lead on the issues that matter to you, as well as enabling and empowering all members to have a voice is shaping our collective futures.

In our 50th year, AILA has passed a new constitution, developed a stronger advocacy agenda, influenced government at all levels, developed stronger international alliances and delivered a major public profile programs and will put on the best Festival yet. Keep engaged, share the passion, and have fun.

Cheers to AILA!

Daniel Bennett

AILA National President

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