As the nature of work changes, it can be important to be part of a community who can provide guidance and support explains Andrew Maughan.
The approximate 18,000 membership of the Old Melburnian community encompasses people from all walks and stages of life. Our members are engaged in many varied vocations globally. The diversity and depth of this talent pool is one of our greatest strengths as a community.
The purpose of The Old Melburnians Society is to support OMs to connect and grow, fostering an active and engaged community that supports each other and the School. Finding ways to achieve this beyond the traditional and popular reunions and dinners, with our limited resources, is something to which The Old Melburnians Council gives considerable thought.
Beyond what inevitably goes on in an informal manner, we ask ourselves, how can we create an environment and establish sustainable activities where OMs can connect, have fun, and lend support to each other vocationally or otherwise?
Growing globalisation and evolving technologies are disrupting the status quo of work. Traditional businesses are being challenged by newcomers with new ways of doing things. Many jobs and enterprises that exist today will not exist in the future.
What impact does this have on OMs? For older OMs it might create investment opportunities, increase the threat to their business or job, challenge them, as leaders, to be more responsive to change.
For younger OMs, this could bring entrepreneurial opportunities, or opportunities to help those in traditional businesses adapt, or create new jobs that don’t exist today.
In particular, as the nature of work changes, the importance of being connected to a community with similar values that can provide guidance or support, is increasingly important. This is the case regardless of whether someone is entering the workforce or nearing retirement.
The OMs Council is mindful of these needs and has responded in three ways. First, the OMs mentoring programme pilot is nearing an end. The feedback has been encouraging. Expanding the programme to impact more OMs is the next step.
Second, OMlink, established this year, aims to make it easier for OMs to connect, share information and develop new relationships. OMs can register on OMlink.org including as mentors or mentees.
Third, OMs also assist the School with careers support. The ‘Face your Future’ breakfast brings OMs from diverse vocations to share their experiences with Year 12 students.
Finding other innovative ways to harness the diversity of the OM community to positively impact more OMs is an ongoing challenge and we welcome ideas and energy from those willing to contribute.
On the topic of energy, I wish to make special mention of Andrew Brookes, the outgoing President of the OMs. Andrew has served on the OMs Council for six years and as our President for three.
Success of the OMs depends on the goodwill, commitment and energy of volunteers and Andrew Brookes has been a role model in that regard. His hard work and leadership has resulted in a lasting impact on our community. He retires from Council with our gratitude. Thanks also to Andrew’s wife, Robina, for her considerable support over these years.
Andrew Maughan President