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Newsletter: February 2011

For our first newsletter for the year, it's been sobering to reflect on the chaos, the devastation and suffering so many people are enduring.

Ironic too, to look back on the last newsletter, with its focus on homelessness, and see now so many more people in that situation across three states and now Christchurch New Zealand.

Amongst all the dramatic moments captured graphically on camera, these were the moments that especially moved me: the vignettes of people clutching their few possessions as they were pulled to safety against the water and brief interviews with others bravely talking about treasured things lost or the desperate choices they made as they prepared to evacuate - photos high amongst them.

'Things' lost are insignificant compared with lives lost, but the repercussions can extend down the years.

Selecting what really matters

The choices we make in such situations are interesting. Our family was forced to flee from bushfires bearing down on our town in East Gippsland many years ago. We had warning: we'd watched the fires all night and shivered at the primeval whining of bulldozers creating forest breaks to save the town.

By early morning the colour of the sky forced a decision: we had to go and each one was to choose their personal treasures. Space was a premium and Dad adjudicated at the back of the utility.

To this day, that evacuation and the choosing are burned deep. What do we grab? What things surface as truly valuable when we stand to lose everything? Somehow we know exactly what they are - surprisingly few.

We all survived; so did our home and pets and livelihood. Compared with all those who are about to start again with nothing, our experience had minimal impact in the longer term. There was fear and helplessness as we sat mid-stream on a river sandbank, watching the flames flicker on the hill behind us. But that was all - perhaps the wind changed.

We had an opportunity to confront our values and with hindsight it was a valuable lesson - but we did come through unscathed. I doubt flood or cyclone or earthquake victims will draw any philosophical conclusions yet, although the resilience of people is amazing.

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The purpose of this Newsletter

Positive Change Consulting shows people how to build great leadership, manage change, improve teamwork for business productivity – and restore balance to your life.

In this newsletter we aim to alert you to the latest research into leadership, report people-related workplace news, suggest ways for encouraging staff involvement to improve your business and alert you to the things we are doing and the services we can offer you.

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Positive Change Consulting

ABN 96 095 506 924

Jennifer McCoy

Jennifer McCoy Director & Principal Consultant

Tony Austin
Director & Administration Manager

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