There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year. Kicking off in a thick smoke haze (and the worst air quality in the world in Canberra), shortly followed by damaging hail storms and then COVID. I think it’s fair to say that most people had to rapidly adapt and adjust their plans in response. Despite the challenges, it still turned out to be a fairly rewarding year on reflection. Key highlights included:
- Named as a 2020 ACT State Finalist for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards (Public Sector & Academia category) for my work at CSIRO leading IC Global
- Returned from maternity leave to discover that discussions whilst I was away meant CSIRO would not continue with having a team to drive IC Global (meaning my team and I would all have our contracts finish up in the middle of a pandemic/recession!)
- Ramped my consulting business (Allaran) back up and was engaged by leading aged care provider Feros Care to assist with preparing commercialisation plans for two tech platforms they have developed
- Refreshed the Ethitrade website content and design (more work to come on this!)
- Progressed version 2.0 of the Ethitrade platform with significant functionality upgrades in preparation for onboarding a further 800+ South East Asian businesses (across various agricultural, natural fiber and ceramic products)
- Secured support for Ethitrade from the ACT Government and CBRIN via an ICON Grant
- Ethitrade was named the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) ACT iAwards Start-up of the Year and Digital CBR Award winner
- Won the CBRIN Innovation Showcase pitch competition for Ethitrade
- Recruited a fantastic new CEO at Ecolour (Nathan Moulds) who is already driving strong results for the business (reach out to him if you’d like to know more about our non-toxic, zero-VOC paint)
- Ramped up our Ecolour Affiliate program to reward those who send sales our way
- Completed an outline and the first 10,000 words of my new book focusing on building dynamic and adaptable careers (for anyone who just isn’t built to only do one thing at a time – let me know if you’d like to receive more info when it’s ready)
Professional Development & Engagement
- Attended my first Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Australian Governance Summit (just before the lock downs hit)
- Joined the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) Climate Change Committee (without a habitable planet, there isn’t much else that matters!)
- Served as a mentor for a range of programs, including:
- Engaged with the media on a range of topics including business, directorships, government grants, mentoring, productivity and managing your career
- Spoke (virtually) at a few events, including:
- ANU College of Business & Economics undergraduate ICT for Development course (sharing Ethitrade’s challenges & opportunities)
- ZeroCO2 Renewable Energy & Sustainability Hackathon (sharing Ecolour’s approach to sustainable business)
- ANU Research School of Management’s undergraduate Entrepreneurship & Innovation course (sharing learnings from an entrepreneurial journey)
- Served as a judge for the CRC Association Excellence in Innovation Awards and the Enactus Social Entrepreneurship National Conference
- Reading list favourites: Refuse to Choose, What Colour is Your Parachute
- Completed another interview for my PhD and started coding the transcripts. My research seeks to better understand individuals who have developed cross-sector careers (concurrently operating across industry, research and government, or frequently cycling between them – I’d love to hear from anyone taking this path).
- Engaged with some fantastic potential interview participants who I’ll be connecting with again in the new year.
- 2020 was my first full year of motherhood. It started out with trying to keep my then 3 month old baby safe from breathing in the thick smoke that engulfed Canberra, and ended with 3 days in hospital for (non-COVID related) breathing difficulties my now 15 month old was experiencing from a virus he picked up. Despite the numerous other little illnesses during the year, he has thankfully still grown into the happiest, most energetic and social little baby. Early next year he will also become a big brother as our little family grows to four!
- Just before COVID hit, my partner was formally diagnosed with ADD (after many years of suspecting it was an issue). Whilst his ability to hyper focus (and do nothing but look at a computer screen for hours on end without blinking) does make him a brilliant software developer, there needed to be a bit more balance (which medication, journaling, meditation and copious amounts of organisation & planning via Click-up and Evernote are now helping with).
- Many years after starting the process, my beautiful friend Eglantine (an international Zouk artist and dance teacher) was finally granted her Distinguished Talent visa to move to Australia. For my partner and I, dance has always been a significant part of our lives. Once COVID is finally under control we’re looking forward to seeing the scene ramp back up again.