We are now racing towards the end of the year and the traditional summer holidays for many of us throughout the region. However, for others I know it is a busy time of year with government reporting and planning for the new academic year, making for a busy time ahead. Whether you have time away from work or are continuing to work through the summer holiday period, it is time to step back and reflect on the tumultuous year 2020 has been for each and every one of us.
I was talking recently to a colleague who said, ‘wouldn’t it be good if we could just remove 2020 and move from 2019 to 2021’. Having said that, I think that the challenges of 2020 have created a lot of opportunities that may not have happened in more ‘normal’ times. We have learned to be more connected online and discovered how easy it is to use digital technology for virtual meetings. Many have enjoyed the benefits of working remoting from home and avoiding the hours of waiting in traffic or squeezing onto public transport. This year has also allowed some to re-evaluate what is most important in our lives and have decided to either reduce hours of work or take up incentive packages to leave work and follow our dreams.
At AAIR, how we can support our members who either remain in their current roles, move to new roles within an institution, or take a new direction, has been top of mind. We highly value the contribution and knowledge that our members collectively bring to AAIR, and while a member may not be directly involved in institutional research, they still bring a different perspective that is of value to us all. As we move into 2021, we will be looking at creating more professional connections and opportunities for mentoring and supporting you in whatever form your career journey takes.
I hope you took the opportunity to participate in the AAIR virtual forum this year. This was the first time we have run the forum virtually, and also the first time we have offered attendance free of charge. We were so fortunate to have a number of outstanding presenters talk on areas that are topical across Australia, New Zealand, and the wider region. Thank you to everyone on the executive committee, and in particular, Don Johnston, who worked so hard to bring the program together with our event organiser, Leishman and Associates. I am thankful for the support of our sponsors and partners, Explorance and Altis, with whom we continue to have such a positive relationship. And finally, to our members. Thank you for your support through 2020.
Please have a well-deserved summer break, and enjoy some festive cheer as we leave 2020 and enter into 2021.
Meri Kirihimete (Merry Christmas)
Photo of AAIR President Stuart Terry with Otago Polytechnic’s Chief Information Officer and Director of People and Culture at their ‘Bad Christmas’ function in 2020
Subscribe to our Newsletter