Newsflash! 2017 now to start on 1 February


January in Australia is supposed to be that quiet, relaxed month when the most arduous task is working out the resolutions you won’t be keeping for the rest of the year. With barely three weeks of it gone, that myth has been soundly busted for me, with 2017 morphing into a Greek tragedy whose three episodes make me want cancel this month and have another go at starting the year.

Act 1

As the new year opened, the leader of the clan was felled – my father-in-law Ted was finally cleaned bowled for 99.5, taken out quickly by a massive stroke.  He was to his daughters and his grandchildren a legend, a hero.

As my own father was having his capacities relentlesssly stripped away from him, the Colonel was an important role model to me: how to treat your wife, how to guard and defend your family, how to be strong through kindness backed by steely resolve (he was after all a trained jungle killer).  While I had recognised the first two, it was only on his passing that I understood the third one.

Act 2

One of my tenets is, if you do everything you possibly can, and shit still happens, so be it – you can but do your best.  With the year only days old, I thought I had done everything possible to resolve a thorny HR issue, short of capitulation:  I had consulted, empathised, debriefed, placated and striven to have frank and meaningful conversations.  Still we ended up with a result damaging for both sides.

Looking at it a couple of days later, I realised I hadn’t done everything.  I had never said, “I’m in charge here, this is what I expect, and I need you to go away and do it.”  I had parlayed plenty of EQ, but failed to try positional power when its deployment was a valid option.  Yeah, the result might not have been different, but that would really have been doing everything possible.

Act 3

To complete the rout of January, I became embroiled in a media-driven maelstrom following a decision to cancel our Anzac Day marches, because we just couldn’t afford the new terrorist-generated compliance costs.  The backlash from the public against that outcome led to some fast re-thinks by various levels of government and authorities.  For my sins, I was the appointed spokesman, and I’ve consequently copped my share of vilification.

I’ve realised since that it’s not personal – my detractors only vented their dislike because I was out the front of a unified movement, because we were superbly advised (by the co-convenor of this blog), and because I’ve been media-trained up the kazoo.  Because we know how their game is played, and this one time we beat them at it. Maybe then, it’s okay if they don’t like me a little bit, if it’s in a good cause.

So I am pressing reset.  2017 will now start on the first of February.  Sorry, Australia Day and Chinese New Year, you’ll get over it.

david white


  1. What a mth of horrors. It’s hard to manage issues where there is no S.O.P. to fall back on. I know you would have handled these issues in yr characteristic way–open, fair, but also setting boundaries so a solution can be reached.
    Hope yr Feb ‘new yr’ brings some well-deserved rewards and pleasures.

  2. It’s hard to know when you’ve done everything possible; especially when the one thing left is not your style at all.
    But well done on speaking truth to power – I was glad to help.

  1. April 4th, 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: