Peace on Earth, goodwill to all and a lower carbon future...

What better way to end 2012 than a cheery, goodwill-laden message wishing everyone the best imaginable Christmas/New Year break? And I mean everyone - even those in local government trying to make the life of the employees less pleasant than it really need be.

Looking back over Robbo’s Pearls there has been a bit of ranting and raving - whether that be over freeloaders, private certifiers sneering at local government, the tragedy of Meredith Hellicar not (yet) going to jail, observations about human misery, and on and on.

But the end of the year is always the end of the year - not just one day followed by another day, there is something symbolic about the change. It’s great to get a break and then come back to the new year fresh and re-charged for the challenges ahead. Whether it’s Christmas or Xmas, or simply a collection of public holidays doesn’t alter the fact that it is a good time to spend with your nearest and dearest, appreciating the things that are important in life and trying to refocus your priorities for 2013.

Here is a picture of an anonymous young comrade I’ll be spending the time with, just to keep reminding you about the need for us all to be well-rounded and balanced people, acknowledging our family and friends as well as being committed to our work.

Time with your nearest and dearest does make you realise that it’s important to get our priorities right. No one on their deathbed worries that they didn’t spend enough time at work - it’s always about the regrets and lost opportunities that seemed a lower priority at the time because work and the demands of work somehow seemed more important than they really were.

The Committee of Management and Wendy and I wish you all a joyous, safe, fun-filled, relaxed, indulgent and caring break full of good books, good wine, good food, good company, good music and good weather and a 2013 where we all reset our priorities to put the really important things first.


It's been another fun year. I myself have three of those anonymous young comrades who have no difficulty in helping me constantly refocus my priorities...

As they say, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.

Thanks for your help again this year, Robbo - and all the best to your family for next year, including of course, the anonymous young comrade.
Stephen Blackadder
Thanks Ian for your advocacy for local government and local government employees in 2012 - and look forward to a big year in 2013. I love reading your pearls and will continue to try hard not to feature on the wrong side through my organisation reviews, recruitment and other work in local government.

Have a great Christmas and even better 2013.

Stephen Blackadder
Blackadder Associates