CSG: Over 60 years and still going strong
There are so many people to thank for the past and continuing success of Central Safety Group after more than 60 years of existence: an impressive roll call of volunteers who have run the group; expert speakers who have shared their knowledge freely; and loyal members who have supported us.
All of this was celebrated last October at our special lunch at Parliament House Victoria. I think the joyous atmosphere that day was enhanced by the fact that it was the first time we had all seen each other in person for more than two years. The networking side to CSG was on show and embraced enthusiastically -some of those connections have borne fruit already. Helen O'Keefe offered the use of her Board Room for our monthly events now that we have moved to a hybrid format -it is a great venue and Helen's generous sponsorship means that we are able to use it free of charge. Several people also offered to be presenters / source speakers / host site visits and we have already had a couple of those speakers this year -more to come.
We were honoured to have Dr Narelle Beer, Executive Director of Health and Safety, WorkSafe Victoria attend and give the keynote address. We welcomed Narelle's commitment on behalf of WorkSafe Victoria to maintain ties with our group, which has been put into practice with WorkSafe Victoria becoming one of three Corporate Members that have joined CSG in 2023.
There were many other highlights of the day, including David Caple AM as MC, and Barry Naismith from OHS Intros giving a fascinating overview of the history of OHS in Victoria. Our longest-serving president, Ollie Matthews, was honoured for his 22 years of service to the group (1998-2022). He had flown in from South Australia for the day, interrupting a holiday in SA & NT!
I asked our current President, Nan Austin, for her reflections on the event and the future of CSG. She said: "Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, the CSG Committee confidently proceeded with plans to celebrate our 60 years of monthly discussions on workplace safety with a luncheon at the Victorian Parliament House Dining Room in October 2022. This event was all the more poignant with the recent closure of the Western Safety Group as the only other Victorian regional industrial safety group established under the Department of Labour still operating. Our history is displayed in our formal bank account name as the Central District Industrial Safety Group. I thank all our members, speakers and especially committee members who have supported CSG over these years. We are now planning a strategic review to ensure our continued relevance in the fast evolving sphere of workplace safety. We look forward to your contributions to this activity and our ongoing monthly events. We also welcome your reflections on our past, present and future."
For those who missed it, or others who would like to re-live this special occasion, we have produced a memorable package. There were a few technical challenges on the day, including our original plan for filming the speakers. However, our wonderful secretary Heather Turner saved the day by filming it with her phone and, while it will not be nominated for an Academy Award, it certainly captures the atmosphere well.
Financial members can view it here (log in first)