Prior to seeking a more relaxed lifestyle in the country, I spent many years travelling around Australia and flying in and out of mine sites rolling out Safety Leadership related workshops. It was a wonderful experience, getting to know life on mine sites as well as forging many lifelong friendships.
One of those friendships goes back over 20 years to Jundee, a mine site in the Northern Goldfields region of Western Australia, where I met Jodie. She was the Acting Safety, Health & Training Superintendent, responsible for the management of training, medical, health, hygiene and emergency response activities.
At that point in time, the WA mining sector was considering legislating the Frontline Management Initiative (FMI) competencies as a baseline qualification for all front-line leaders in the sector.
The concept was being driven by industry via the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) with a pilot session being facilitated on site.
I was facilitating the pilot on behalf of the CME through Dr Irene Ioannakis who was the Director Safety, Education and Training at the time. For those of you in WA, you will know the FMI concept went into Parliament but never made it out the other end. None the less, the suite of vocational competencies around work, health and safety (WHS), leadership and management and train the trainer are with us today and a great resource for building capability and enabling potential.
Fast forward to now, the three of us (with periods of no interaction) have remained solid colleagues and friends, calling on each other for advice, insights and to simply sound out when required.
Jodie moved to Queensland in 2003 and built her Safety and Learning Techniques (SaLT) business into both an RTO and a leader in safety, providing products and services all around Australia.
It was in Queensland that Irene and Jodie crossed paths a few years back as Irene had also moved to Queensland with her role as Deputy Chief Commissioner and Commissioner Regulatory Operations with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). ASQA is the regulator for the VET sector.
We are connected. We have gone full circle and are once again collaborating and operating in the WHS — I see the W as both work and wellness, health and safety — and VET space with the added bonus of our years of experience now online.
Networks of competent people are a must for capability building. The strength of relationships should always be valued and never underestimated.
Oh, did I mention it was my Lifelong Learning RTO Jodie bought all those years ago?
Check out SaLT at www.saltinfo.com.au