Councillor MARX: Thank you, Chair. I rise to speak on the 2019 National ALGWA Conference that I was invited to attend as the Brisbane City Council representative. I also want to make mention Councillor OWEN that having gone through difficult times we all appreciate that. I think a number of us have been accused in this place of being arrogant, out of touch, lazy because God forbid we took a couple of days off to visit with our family. So we’re all feeling where you’re in that space because we’ve all had it happen to us at one time or another.
I want to say thank you to the LORD MAYOR for sending me down to the ALGWA conference which was held in Blacktown in Sydney that was on 16 July (sic – May). I have to say it was quite an interesting conference. We started with, as usual, a welcome ceremony. We had a smoking ceremony which I have to admit I’ve done—I’ve been a part of a couple of them but I’ve never been at one with quite so much smoke involved before. The asthmatics had to all go inside. It was pretty impressive. Even this woman put her baby through the smoke, but anyway, didn’t seem to be bothered by it.
There were a couple of very good workshops there. One of the ones I attended was dealing with difficult people which I felt would be very relevant for us in the position that we have. They very kindly gave us a booklet that we could all take home. I’ve been reading that every day and learning how to deal with difficult people. So it’s here if anyone else would like to use it. It’s a good-to-know. We had a couple of speakers there that were quite interesting. In particular, we had Deborah Thomas. I don’t know if many people potentially—maybe the males in this room might not be aware—but she was actually the editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly for a number of years so quite revered and held in very high esteem in that role.
Put a lot of work into her life in that particular one. One thing I didn’t know, she was actually a former Councillor as well with the Woollahra Municipal Council. So that was something I wasn’t aware of. But more tragically she was the CEO involved when the Dreamworld tragedy happened. She did relate that story back to us, what happened and how it was all dealt with, the media and everything like that. There were a few tears involved so I can say that it still affects her to this day.
There was another lady who spoke about the—she was the director of planning and development with Blacktown City Council having held that position for quite some years back in the day when they used to hand paint the maps apparently. So who knew that? She mentioned about reports, how they used to be typed on this thing called carbon paper. I had to admit I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was a bit of a shame. So yeah everything had to be in duplicate with a carbon paper. So that was interesting. But I had never heard of the hand-painted maps done before.
The other thing of note that happened while we were down there was a guy by the name of Bill Shorten turned up to this hall that’s there in Blacktown—apparently it’s the same hall that Gough Whitlam did some sort of speech—
Councillor MARX: No it was Gough Whitlam—did some sort of famous speech. I don’t know what it was. It’s well before my time—so in the same hall apparently. So there was a lot of talk about that. But unfortunately he didn’t see fit to come and visit us even though there were 30 or 40-odd women there from—all representing our local government Councils. So that was a bit of a shame. It would have been nice to say hello. The only other thing of course is we have, as always, they finish with a gala evening which was a 1920s theme. So that was quite nice. But we had an early start again the next morning as usual.
Our MC for the whole event was Jessica Rowe. I think she did a brilliant job. So again I want to say thank you to the LORD MAYOR for sending me down there. We get a lot of stuff out of these particular conferences. It’s always to bring back—especially a work book, Dealing with Difficult People. Thank you.