Helicopter View

Helicopter View

09.5.2015 How to fail successfully: Weekender Column 80


The ability to fail is an important ingredient in any organisation. That may sound like a crazy statement. Surely you want the ability to succeed rather than fail. In a utopian world, sure, succeeding at everything you do sounds fantastic. But the reality is that if everything you touch is met with success then you probably aren’t pushing yourself to your limits. Jason English, multiple winner of the 24 hour World Solo Championships Mountain Bike Race, was recently asked for his greatest p ..

25.4.2015 Break down the silos of communication: Weekender Column 79


As many people would know, I have had to spend some time in hospital over the last week. We live in an incredibly lucky country and at no stage did I have any concerns about my health and I knew that I would be cared for. From my fellow racers who stopped immediately after my crash through to St John Ambulance and the Ambulance Service of NSW all the way through to the staff of the hospital, I felt total confidence in being given a high level of service. What I did notice with my persona ..

21.4.2015 Pay for play? Weekender Column 78


Where should Councils stand on paying for major events to come to their City? It is a perplexing issue and one that seems to be brought up more and more. At the heart of the issue is the difference between the Council bottom line and the injection of money into the local economy. Take a simple example. If a Council was approached with an offer for a major event to be brought to a city at a net cost of $10,000 but with a guarantee of 5,000 people who would travel to the city to attend the ..

28.3.2015 Changing Image: Weekender Column 77


Last week I had the opportunity to spruik the benefits of Dubbo on a Sydney radio station. The interview was going quite well and the two presenters asked relevant and sensible questions about Dubbo until…until the question that went along the lines of, “While there may be a few jobs available in Dubbo they’d be pretty menial jobs such as farm work and fruit picking wouldn’t they?” I thanked the presenter for walking into a classic regional stereotype and went on t ..

14.3.2015 Weekender Column 76


It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time. There is no doubt in my mind that democracy isn’t perfect and one area where potential hazards exist is in the area of decision-making. I have often said that local government is about as pure a form of government as possible. There are 565 local governments across this nation but generally, the same as Dubbo City Council, they consist of Councillors wh ..

28.2.2015 Weekender Column 75


I love my sport. I have never been a particularly talented sportsperson but, over the years, I have enjoyed doing my individual best in a competitive environment in a range of sports including cricket (indoor and outdoor); rugby league; rugby union; Aussie Rules; BMX; Golf; Squash; MTB and Indoor Netball. In social environments I have played many others. I have participated in all of these sports for the camaraderie and enjoyment and to stay fit. Australia is a sporting nation and we pun ..

14.2.2015 Weekender Column 74


Way back in the early eighties, my brother owned a VW Kombi van. It was a classic mustard colour and I can distinctly remember, when I was lucky enough to be allowed to sit in the front seat, that other Kombi drivers used to be very keen to wave to us as we drove past. My brother also waved at other Kombi drivers, of course, so it all seemed like a very friendly affair and left a good impression with other drivers. Now it may just be a simple case of confirmation bias but Kombi owners will s ..

31.1.2015 Weekender Column 73


Let me start off my first column of the New Year with two major admissions. Firstly, I support the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. I have followed them since as far back as I can remember. My earliest memories were of Manly being an attractive and creative attacking team – and I probably was attracted to them winning matches and premierships in the 70s. My second admission is that I don’t think the annual Australian of the Year Award – which has been handed out since 1960  ..

20.12.2014 Weekender Column 72


The time has come for my Christmas wish list. It is quite a short list. I want just one thing. Technically the one thing that I want is actually nothing. The minor problem with the nothing that I want is that there is currently something where I want nothing. I want a hole. Maybe even a pair of holes. I want the parallel holes to be nice and round and straight with a flat bitumen base and stretch in a 70.5 kilometre straight line from Mount Lambie on the Great Western Highway (just befo ..

06.12.2014 Weekender Column 71


I ran into someone the other day whom I hadn’t seen since our schooldays together. After he finished school he could hardly wait to leave Dubbo. He had many ‘issues’ with Dubbo and planned his move away to find his new and better life. After living in a few different places over the years, he has now moved back to Dubbo – by choice. He can’t believe how wonderful the place is now compared to all those years ago and is incredibly happy back in his old home town.  ..