Chief Commissioner of Queensland
Firstly, a little about me. I have been married to Debbie for 30 years and we have three children who are now in their 20s. I have been involved in Scouting for over 30 years as a Youth Member and as a Leader. I was a youth member from Wolf Cubs through to Rovers, then progressed and held roles as a Cub Scout Leader, Assistant District Commissioner, District President, Assistant Group Leader, among others. Most recently I held the appointment of Region Commissioner (Brisbane North). Like many of our Leaders, I am only able to take this role on with the forbearance of Debbie and my family.
In parallel, I have also been involved in Rotary for 26 years including three stints as President of three different Rotary Clubs.
Professionally I am an electrical engineer and have worked in the electricity utilities for most of my working life with recent stints in contracting and consulting. I have 35 years’ experience primarily in senior management roles in SEQEB (now ENERGEX), in Ergon Energy and predecessor organisation Capricornia Electricity. I worked in electrical contracting and electrical consulting for six years. I had operational and senior management accountability for maintenance, design and construction activities as well as accountability in various roles for distribution network operations, distribution network performance, inventory and fleet management. I also worked as the HR Manager for Capricornia Electricity and I have been heavily involved in change management at a senior level as a Program Manager and as a Program Director.
Scouting is important to me because of the incredible positive impact we have on the lives of young people through their physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual development. What other organisation can provide such holistic development? I know what I got out of being a youth member, how I have benefited from being an Adult Member, and I have watched the incredible development of our own children through Scouting. That is why I have wanted to stay involved.
I recognise the centrality of the Scout Group for delivery of the Scout Program and that the District, Region and Branch structure is there to support that. I also acknowledge the incredible efforts that so many volunteer Leaders put into Scouting over an extended period. Our youth members are very fortunate to have that adult support. I will work to lessen the burden of the Group Leader role through streamlined processes supported by contemporary systems.
I am planning a modest restructure of the Branch Team to sharpen the support focus across Queensland and will be implementing a program and project management approach to projects that involve changing our processes and systems. The latter should provide greater transparency of where we are heading and the opportunity to get involved in shaping the future.
We face a number of issues within Scouting not the least of which are the outcomes of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, finding alternative accommodation for the Branch Support Office to eliminate the costs associated with flood recovery, the changing and increasing community requirements for Scout facilities to comply with legislation and the impact that newly negotiated property leases are having on our Groups. The Youth Program Review continues with a lot of effort in the background and that will create a lot of change for us in two to three years.
I attribute my continued involvement in Scouting to a firm belief in the Purpose of Scouting and the incredible positive impact it has on young people. I am excited about the impact that I can have in the role of Chief Commissioner but I am also a little daunted about the sheer scope of the role.
November 1, 2016
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