Accepting Achievement

On 28th October I accepted the Leadership and Innovation category award within the 2016 WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

It was and is a great honour to be supported, seen and encouraged as a leader in this domain.

Historically my relationship to awards and recognition has been mixed, having not resolved the tensions I perceive between the positive and negative, true and misrepresentative aspects of awarding individuals for systemic, collective efforts. More recently I’ve come to accept and understand how to be and related to these things as not personal, rather as our best possible means to draw attention to admirable and contributive principles and actions, that just happen to be identified with a person.

Being willing to recognise and accept achievement seems to be a necessary ingredient to doing anything significant. It allows me to distinguish between the intentions, actions, and emotions I may identify with, and the objective success as assessed by the system that appreciates it.

Below is the script of the prepared parts of the brief speech I gave, giving and receiving in the company of family, friends and colleagues.

Thankyou, to you, nature: biodiversity, geology, oceans and astronomy,

Each and every rock, leaf, wave and star, offering a point of cosmic connection,

Thankyou, to you, communities: ancestors, descendents, old-timers and new arrivals,

Each and every elder, powerbroker and immigrant, inspiring ideas and action,

Thankyou, to you, family and friends: parents, brothers, sisters, lovers, daughters, neighbours and occasional visitors,

Each, in every interaction, just being human, caring, and beautiful,

Thankyou, to you, peers and mentors: teachers, board members, contractors, partners and members,

Each, in every collaboration, creating learning for the next project, community, or future generations,

Thankyou, to you, leaders: working in service of nature, communities, families or future generations,

For accepting the ever-present invitation, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, gazing across the ocean,

Each, in every moment, feeling the pull beyond our horizons, the tensions of the conditions, and still committing to sail: knowing we will grow stronger, together, through our shared adventures.

And always, in the here and now, finding everything and everyone we need for the greatest journey is here, already and available.