At the Annual ITE Breakfast meeting on 7th April 2022, it was an honour for Austraffic's Managing Director, John Reid, to receive an ITE Outstanding Service award for developing and supporting the Austraffic ITE World Wide Learning Opportunities Award.
The World Wide Learning Opportunities (WWLO) Award is a sponsored program to send young professionals overseas.
Former ITE ANZ President Nick Szwed and John conceived and developed the idea for the World Wide Learning Opportunities Award; and current president Sarah Zhang is carrying the project forward.
"We [ITE ANZ] think it's incredibly powerful, with the networks and the friendships that you can be made by enabling these emerging professionals, to attend various conferences around the world and learn basic things like best practice and from world leaders about what's next in the transport industry."
The greatest pleasure was to see young professionals MC the event and get the chance to relive some of the stories the WWLO participants shared of their experiences and the benefits of travelling beyond our shores to experience an event in a different country with a different culture and a new network of people.
We have produced a video with some of the participants sharing their thoughts and some more senior professionals offering their supportive comments.
In accepting the award, I wanted to make two points:
- The program is a result of effort from many people
- For the program to continue and expand, other organisations need to come on board with financial help
Here is my acceptance speech:
Friends and colleagues
Lend me your ears... for mine are declining.
I come not to glory in this acknowledgement
But to praise the team that delivered on this project.
The good men and women of ITE have excelled in delivering the WWLO program.
A great team effort that should not be forgotten in ITE's history.
I do need to especially acknowledge Nick Szwed.
History must reflect that Nick passionately grasped the concept that he and I hatched over a glass of red. Two people (with a combined 80 years of work experience), reflecting on what was important, not for us, but for those who are fast taking our places.
We need look no further than the six recipients of the award to date.
What a delight it is to see the insights each received, returning with knowledge and network connections. And then the opportunity to talk about what they had learnt.
Knowledge gives maturity.
- As children, we went to kindergarten and were impacted by infant welfare, but had no idea of what made it work well.
- Before getting a drivers' licence, our minds were filled with concepts of freedom, not the dangers, and not what it took to pay the bills.
- How did becoming aware of the rights of others and the multitude of threads these rights encompass, make for a more complete approach?
- When were you first concerned for the efficacy of our governments?
- Or provision of care for our incapacitated or aged?
To be aware and helpful, we need to know about the many factors involved in an issue and call on diverse ideas and potential remedies.
Now the challenge, indeed the necessity, is to foster this maturity in a fast-changing world.
Well, WWLO is pre-emptively helping our young professionals to be a useful serving practitioner, and contributor. To be fit-for-purpose, including tackling changes from unexpected events that need different approaches.
It is nice to be acknowledged, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been of assistance. But I and the team at Austraffic, are more appreciative for this chance to promote the WWLO program.
AND it has been team delivered
Significantly then, to continue, it must be team supported, to expand what it can offer and increase its participation rate.
Who amongst you, has the foresight to join with me on the next phase of pursuing the World Wide Learning Opportunity program?
More details on the World Wide Learning Opportunities Award can be found at ite.org.au