Views and Visions: Posts from our People

Michael Rumsewicz
Former Research Director


Michael Rumsewicz and Richard Thornton.
Michael Rumsewicz and Richard Thornton.

As I ride off into the sunset (almost literally)

As you may have heard I will be leaving the CRC at the end of October. Officially I started on 30 September 2013, but I did sneak into a day of AFAC13 in Melbourne, so AFAC17 was almost four years to the day since I effectively started in this gig and met some of you for the very first time.

It's been quite a journey trying to bring together a diverse group of people from different cultures and speaking different languages (and I'm not talking ethnically!) to work on ill-defined and sometimes wicked problems that could make a real difference to Australia's disaster resilience - not always sure what the outcome would be, or even if there would be one, and then figuring out whether it could be made to work in the real world.

I said back in April after the Perth RAF that we have, despite all the potential barriers of a massively distributed organisation, developed our own culture - one of everyone simply coming together and getting on with it, regardless of where they come from. The Showcase in July highlighted that whatever we are doing, it seems to be working pretty well.

The environment, the cooperation, the camaraderie we have developed is very special. These things are at the core of successful research and getting findings into practice. But they also shouldn't be taken for granted - they are very difficult to build (even though we may not realise it, even when looking back), and they are very easy to break.

So if there is one thing I would like to say as I leave, cherish the culture that we have developed, know that everyone is working in good faith and doing their best, be tolerant of mistakes, celebrate the successes and most of all keep talking to each other. More communication, more often, in person, whenever you can.

The time has flown by, and these four years have been the most enjoyable and rewarding of my working life.

Thank you all for your help over the years, for accepting me into this community, and for giving me the opportunity to work in a special place.

I wish John Bates all the very best as he jumps into the saddle, I'm sure you will give him the same support you gave me.

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