In what seems like a whirlwind 45 working days since first starting this position, I have ticked off the following:
- Visits to New Zealand, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria (twice) and Western Australia (twice)
- Two industry award nights
- Two community focus group sessions
- Two workshops
- Somewhere between 15-20 consultations (I’m still finding time to add them all up)
- One bungee jump
It’s been hectic! I have consulted extensively with industry associations, businesses, fishers, consultants and community groups to talk about “Our Pledge”, the issues and opportunities that face industry (aquaculture, wild catch and supply chains) and ways in which people are innovating and evolving to meet some really significant challenges. One of the great joys to date has been spending time with some real legends to capture some of their insights and stories on video. Stay tuned, we will be releasing them shortly. The industry has so many good stories to tell, make sure to get in touch if there is something you’d like to share.
Support for “Our Pledge” has been mostly positive, yet some still find the term “social licence” tricky. To me, social licence simply means the building of meaningful, transparent and honest relationships. Not the type of relationships where we enter into it like a confessional. More the type where we tell the community about our story, take time to learn about shared values and goals and work through how we will move forward together.
I am finding the whole thing incredibly exciting as the industry has so many good stories, and I see the potential of coming together to solve common problems. This is important because what has stood out is how many similar issues different sectors of the industry face. And while some are navigating their way through these with success, others are finding it hard going. I am a firm believer that unity can help us thrive both as individuals and as a whole and am hoping that we can continue to work with you all to keep improving and building our reputation. Believe it or not, our community focus groups already rate the seafood industry as one of, if not the most, ethical industries when compared to other Australian primary producers. Pretty impressive!