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Australian antidote - a message from AIM CEO David Pich

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It’s not often you find yourself in Melbourne in front of an audience of 200 AIM Members, business and community leaders, VIPs and AIM Excellence Awards finalists. Talking about venomous spiders. Well, you might think it's par for the course, but last Friday evening was certainly a first for me! 

I have to admit that when I was contemplating the theme for my introduction to Australia’s most prestigious awards for individual leadership, Australian wildlife was a million miles from my mind. I was, in fact, sitting in my kitchen on a Sunday afternoon with the ABC radio on somewhere in the distant background. There was a discussion about the on-going and escalating crisis at Volkswagon and the resignation of the carmaker’s global Chief Executive. And then the discussion turned to the leadership issues of one (or more) of Australia’s political parties. Next up was an investigative piece on FIFA, and the suspension of not one, but two of football’s governing body’s senior leaders.

It struck me as I was about to put pen to paper that much of the talk about leadership in business, politics, sport and almost every other field is overwhelmingly negative. And that’s perhaps putting it mildly. Toxic might be a more accurate word. Very little is said about examples of good leadership. The thousands (millions!) of good leaders who provide examples of sound leadership policy and practice very rarely make the headlines.

It was at that point – just as the reporter was talking about Sepp Blatter and envelopes full of cash – that the importance of the AIM Excellence Awards hit me right between the eyes. I suddenly realised why they’ve been around for more than 22 years and why, over the course of that time, they’ve grown in popularity and prestige (in 2015, we received a record breaking 500 applications across the four Excellence Award categories).

And here’s the reason – and the theme that saw venomous spiders pop up in my speech at the Gala Dinner in Melbourne last Friday; the AIM Excellence Awards are the antidote to the constant stream of examples of poor management and leadership practice that bombard us daily.

That’s it!

The AIM Excellence Awards are the antidote to the big hairy venomous spider that is poor management and leadership.

Each of the 32 finalists across the four categories (Young Manager, Not for Profit Manager, Owner Manager and Manager of the Year) from every State and Territory is a shining example of the thing that Australia has in spades – good management and leadership.

And the AIM Excellence Awards will continue to go from strength to strength as long as poor management and leadership continues to dominate the headlines. They are the yin to the yang; the antidote to the poison.

I’d like to acknowledge each and every one of the AIM Excellence Awards finalists. Reading about your achievements, management styles and leadership qualities on a Sunday afternoon was far more inspirational than listening to the ABC news!

Congratulations to all of our AIM Excellence Awards Finalists. 

Young Manager of the Year

  • Nidal Rasheed - Managing Director, Silvertail Property Group - Adelaide
  • Odell Menon - Managing Consultant, Litmus Group - Melbourne
  • Matthew Moss - Dixon Group General Manager - Darwin
  • Rebecca McSwiney - Associate Director (Online Marketing Manager), University of Southern Queensland - Toowoomba
  • Nathan Symonds - Team Leader, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Specialist Equipment with Airservices Australia - Canberra
  • Alexandra Conroy - CEO Reliant Healthcare - Sydney
  • Peter Lacey - Principal / Managing Director, Bax Security Services - Perth
  • Stuart Heather - Manager, Kingborough Chronicle - Hobart

Not for Profit Manager of the Year

  • Paul Scully - Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Care SA - Adelaide
  • Sandro Cirianni - Guide Dogs Victoria General Manager - Melbourne
  • Liza Metcalfe - HR, IT and Administrative Services Manager of Somerville Community Services - Darwin
  • Blair Odgers - Chief Executive Officer,Toowoomba Turf Club - Toowoomba 
  • Philippa Moss - Executive Director of AIDS Action Council of the ACT - Canberra
  • Louise Robinson - Chief Executive Officer, Nambucca Heads Local Aboriginal Land Council - Nambucca Heads
  • Marcus Stafford - Chief Executive Officer, Multiple Sclerosis WA Inc - Perth
  • Daryl Connelly - Business Advisor and Coach - Cradle Coast Innovation - Devonport

Owner Manager of the Year

  • Tim Livingston - Bakers Delight franchisee - Melbourne
  • Yianni Tsimopoulos – Managing Director at Nationwide Accountants & Advisers - Adelaide
  • Selvam Kandasamy - Manager and Head Chef at Saffrron - Darwin
  • Maureen Fields - Director of Ten Years Younger Home Care - Cairns
  • Angela Cusack - Principal and Owner of Bespoke Services - Canberra
  • Nick Verykios - Managing Director, Distribution Central - Sydney
  • Sarah Coleman - Managing Director, Improvement Resources - Perth
  • Kirk Pinner - Managing Director, Outside the Square Solutions - Burnie

Manager of the Year

  • Iain Woollaston - General Manager of Cook Building & Development - Adelaide
  • Carlos Schafer - Executive General Manager Industry and Training, Open Universities Australia - Melbourne
  • Nicholas Coatsworth - Executive Director of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) - Darwin
  • Joe Rea - General Manager of Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) - Gladstone
  • Gillian Vickers - Acting Manager of Education and Care Services, Campbelltown City Council - Sydney
  • Jessica Barber - Transformation Lead, BHP Billiton Iron Ore - Perth
  •  Philip Mussared - Retirement Benefits Fund (RBF) Chief Executive Officer - Hobart
  • Lina Ranieri – Assistant Commissioner, Australian Tax Office - Canberra

(Category winners in bold)