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Bigger, Better Brisbane

April 10, 2016


Last year’s Melbourne National AHRI Convention was a revelation to me. Working in Perth in an industry where there isn’t much collaboration and very little innovative HR practice, it is easy to forget there is so much more to HR than your workplace, as big or as small as it may be.


Human Resources is such a challenging and changing profession where there is always something new to learn or even a new way of looking at an issue; it is sometimes difficult to just make the time to slow down and consider this. I felt very fortunate to be able to attend the convention last year for the first time and spend time with like-minded people from all around the country and from all different sectors and industries. It was a chance to talk endlessly about people issues that you can’t discuss with your friends and other work colleagues but your HR fraternity just ‘gets it’ and can offer sanguine advice, offer commiserations or just listen.


I made great connections and learned a lot about different aspects of HR from AHRI’s excellent array of guest speakers but I also learned a lot from others in the profession. By attending the convention, I felt like I was able to take time out from my everyday work and concentrate on me as an HR professional, reconnect with why I love working in this profession and learn new information and apply it back in the workforce.


You know the AHRI Conventions are worthwhile attending as they attract speakers such as former Prime Ministers, Australians of the Year and HR leaders from around the world and to me this highlights the importance and the impact that our profession has in business and we should be celebrating that.


This year brings another fantastic line up of speakers and, of course, the challenge of deciding which session to attend when there are two or more equally enticing concurrent sessions. Sometimes the decisions are tough and this is when you need to engage with others so you can meet back at the Exhibition Hall later to debrief over food and coffee and get the best of all sessions.


Having a massive interest in Neuroscience, and having just read David Rock’s book ‘Your Brain at Work’, I’m keen to attend his session and learn more about how I can overcome distraction and work smarter all day. There is also my interest in equity and diversity to consider and to hear a speaker such as Chris Lamb, winner of the 2015 AHRI HR Diversity Champion Award, speak about inclusion as a business imperative is also high on my list of priorities.


There is always the dilemma of deciding if you want to gain more skills in your areas of interest or if it might be time to broaden your skill base and increase your learnings in other sectors. I recommend the latter – it’s great for your brain to try new things and you might develop brand new passions and you’ve come to learn new things.


The great thing about the National Convention is whether you are a specialist or a generalist, work in a large organisation or as a solo practitioner, work in government, the private sector, the not for profit sector or anywhere in between, there is something for everybody because HR is such a diverse and ever-changing profession.


Looking forward to meeting new people and taking on new challenges at this year’s National AHRI Convention!  See you all in Brisbane.


Cindy O'Dea
HR Consultant

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