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LfG 17/18 Seminar 2

Blog written by: La Trobe Syndicate: Dave Moreland, Facility Manager, Avalon Airport Australia Pty Ltd; Carolyn Francis, Team Leader - Compliance Strategy & Support; Andrew Cornell, Insurance Business Unit, Worksafe; Beth Davis, Major Events Manager, Royal Geelong Yacht Club; Derek Griffin, Retail Brand Manager, Caronlab Australia Pty Ltd; Tom Lynch, Principal - Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Coulter Roache

One of the core skills of a great leader is adaptability. A skill that the La Trobe syndicate and the participants of the LfG cohort put to good use in the second seminar of the 2017/18 program.

The day began with the consortium meeting at the iconic Carousel on the Geelong Waterfront, all eager to be taken out on the waters of Corio Bay for a tour of the various ports and areas of shipping and transport under the guidance of the Victorian Regional Channels Authority.  Whilst the sky was overcast, the rain looked as though it would hold off and the choppy waters of the previous day was now calm, as if to welcome the group into her domain.



However, the departure ended up being delayed and so set off a series of tests of the team's adaptability. But not to be deterred, the group was entertained by Chelsea McConville-Combs who presented the first "About Me," before then heading over to the Novotel to hear from the Victorian Regional Channels Authority and LfG (15/17) alumni, Stuart Christie. The presentation gave an overview of the history and role of the VRCA in Geelong, and the important work that they undertake to ensure that Geelong remains a safe and viable destination for transport via water. The overview of VRCA's role in the economy of Geelong was insightful, and gave a great base for what the group were about to see for themselves.

Once the transport arrived, the LfG group boarded the George Molland (named for the very first Harbour Master of the Port of Geelong and the then named Geelong Harbour Trust, from 1900-1936).  When the team returned to the Novotel to enjoy lunch, the group discussed how surprised they were at the age of the infrastructure in place. Though in good working condition, it is clear that more funding is needed to upgrade the facilities to allow the industry to grow and develop the Port and the businesses that operate there.

With a coffee in hand, the group boarded the bus to Avalon Airport where they were greeted by the syndicate team member and Avalon Airport Facilities Manager, Dave Moreland. After going through the security screenings (with almost everyone beeping through the metal detector, forgetting to take off their LfG name badges!), the group heard Dave's "About Me" story and his experiences at Avalon Airport where he has worked for almost 25 years.

Dave then introduced his boss, mentor, and LfG alumni, Justin Giddings. Justin proceeded to present to the group the history of Avalon Airport and the vision for the future. The sustainability of "Geelong's airport" is critical to the tourism and economy of the city and the plans for the future development of the land are exciting.




Following the presentation, the group had the opportunity for a Q&A with Justin. One of the great benefits of the Leaders for Geelong program is the access to people with such great leadership skills and influence and to be able to "pick the brains" of these people for the groups personal knowledge.   

After that, the group donned high-vis safety vests (syndicate member Andrew Cornell from WorkSafe Victoria keeping a close eye on the safety regulations!) and headed out to the tarmac for a tour of what most people don't even know exists at Avalon Airport.




Boarding a brand new electric bus, designed and built by one of Avalon's tenants, Avass, the group was able to experience a ground level view of the Avalon Airport runway. Dave proceeded to take the group on a tour of the hangars around Avalon, which are currently leased at 95% occupancy.

Highlights for the group was viewing the new Cotton On Warehouse site, the plane that doesn't fly (used by Hollywood to as a set piece) and also listening to the stories from Dave about movie productions, meeting famous actors and actresses, transporting elephants for Zoos Victoria and many other things that most people wouldn't even know occurs at Avalon Airport.

Finishing up the tour, the group headed back to the Geelong CBD and the second Leaders for Geelong seminar day was complete. The day was incredibly insightful in understanding the transport and infrastructure that already exists here in Geelong, and what is needed to continue to grow. Being able to hear from LfG alumni and current participants in Justin Giddings and Stuart Christie was invaluable - not only in their own experiences with the program, but their own careers and journeys. The group now have a newfound respect for the work, vision and passion that goes in to keeping the city moving.



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