Looking forward to the year ahead

Tena koutou katoa and welcome to 2013 – I trust you have all enjoyed the fantastic summer and are returning to work relaxed and revitalised for the year ahead.

2012 was a year of great challenge and change for our organisation, which culminated in our members voting in a new set of Rules and setting a fresh course for ADLS as a truly independent society.

Two weeks ago, I welcomed in the new Council for 2013/14 as Brian Keene QC was appointed Vice President and two new Councillors, Joanna Pidgeon from Pidgeon Law and Mary Ann Shanahan from Shanahan’s, joined returning Council members Nola Dangen and Bill Spring. Two new independent councillors will be appointed later this month. At this extended meeting we confirmed our organisation’s plan of action with CEO Sue Keppel and her team with emphasis on delivering our vision of providing services of greater relevance and support to you, our members.

Our immediate focus is fourfold. In order to strengthen our collegiality, we’ll be delivering more opportunities for our members to get together to network, share their experiences, and participate in thought leadership. A re-invigorated calendar of events will commence from the first quarter of 2013.

We are committed to providing further support for our sixteen committees, assisting them in their outstanding work creating and sharing their knowledge for the advancement of the profession.

We will be kicking off a programme that we term Outreach – engaging with the profession throughout New Zealand in our bid to understand their wider needs and areas of focus, and delivering support of national significance. To this end, our flagship event, the annual Cradle to Grave Conference, will be held in the South Island for the first time, this March.

And last but by no means least, we’re already gearing up to expand our highly successful CPD programme to provide our members and the wider profession with a one-stop-shop solution for achieving their minimum CPD hours, easily and efficiently.

Feedback received over the past year highlighted that we need to strengthen our communications. We completely agree, so in order to address this we have a few initiatives underway. You’ll soon see our new website which will provide members with greater access to, and sharing of, information. We’ll be launching a new annual members’ survey, seeking member input into our programmes, products and services, and following up on these insights through a continual process of refinement and improvement. We’re also producing a member services brochure which will contain all the benefits of membership and will be updated regularly as we introduce new programmes and services.

Our Society is made up of people who want to be part of a strong, vibrant and highly respected organisation that boasts a significant history in delivering value and support to the profession. A great many hours are devoted voluntarily by our members and I wish to acknowledge and thank those who have contributed to ADLS at every level for their dedication, support and guidance – in particular to our outgoing Councillors and Committee Members of 2012; to our CLE speakers and content providers; and to each and every member and supporter.

I greatly look forward to delivering a strong members’ programme this year, and in particular to taking on board the responses you provide in our inaugural annual members survey, which will assist us in guiding ADLS towards a great future.

Thank you for your continued support, and very best wishes for your 2013.

Frank

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