January 17th, 2024Your say…
Wildlife shelter concerns
I read with interest your article, and comments, re the impending ‘delicensing’ of the Hepburn Wildlife Shelter. (The Local, January 1, 2024).
The change of acronym struck me as particularly noteworthy under the circumstances. It’s virtually an unwritten law that whenever a new CEO is appointed or restructured into these semi-government bodies, a first move is to change the name so that the new structure can effectively distance itself from the assumed incompetence and poor judgment imposed by the previous management.
A long time ago I retired after some three decades in a position in tertiary education which required a talent for hands-on technical and personnel management. From this viewpoint I was able to see the destruction and chaos created by ruthless corporatisation of higher education.
The fallout is very apparent today in the lack of trades skills and scientific research that is modern Australia. Upper level academics started to take early retirement, or moved to other disciplines fairly early in the piece when top level decision-making positions were handed willy-nilly to inexperienced MBA graduates and the like.
Fee-paying overseas and remote learning students were expected to create massive profits, while the education standard plummeted – you were not allowed to fail a fee- paying student.
We all saw how well that worked out during the pandemic. Many of the lost tenured positions, and innumerable casual and sessional staff, who were made redundant have moved interstate or elsewhere and will probably never return to education. “The Education State” imprinted on your Victorian car number plate now looks like a sad joke.
Anyway, back to DELWP/DEECA. Look familiar? Which brings us back to the matter of volunteering. I can’t imagine what goes on in the heads of these pseudo government authorities that gives them the idea that volunteers are merely out-of- work dilettantes who are there for the presumed prestige, and to help to fill in their spare time.
The fact that most volunteers are, and have been, experts in their fields and are now earnestly taking up positions from which they can contribute to society. They do not need to be bullied by some johnny-come-lately puffed up latter day executive.
Unless governments value the contribution of these thousands of unpaid workers, and start treating them with the respect they deserve the nation will lose a highly valuable sector and workforce.
My wife, who prior to retirement held high-level managerial positions in the public health and education sectors, now volunteers in the local/regional health and aged care field.
With the most recent government ‘shake-up’ which has produced masses of new and revised legislation purporting to ‘regulate’ the sector, she and other volunteers are expected to understand and oversee the implementation of new (and frequently ambiguous) regulations that even paid and experienced CEOs have difficulty interpreting.
Your (quoted) use of the words “unrealistic, unreasonable and absurd” barely scratches the surface when it comes to the tangled and bully-ridden mess of authorities claiming to be responsible for regional services.
Unless and until more helpful and supportive oversight is forthcoming, together with adequate funding for implementation, the State will continue to alienate and lose the goodwill and services of this army of very competent and willing volunteer workers.
From (Mr) Kerry Williams, Creswick