I came to the Northern Territory in 1975 and was active in school based education until retiring from my position in January 2012. During my time as an educator, it became apparent that we tend in overall organisational terms, not to consider sufficiently what has gone before when planning future directions. We tend to operate circularly, reinventing the wheel.
In order to inform the future through awareness of and examination of the past, I wanted to suggest that consideration be given to establishing a network that captures those who have ‘been there and done that’ in historical terms. Consultation involving those with prior knowledge and experience would in my opinion be most worthwhile.

In many instances ‘new’ policies are not new but a reinvention, re-work or revisitation of past agendas.

Many people in major decision making and policy setting roles are relatively new to the Northern Territory. This development could be particularly useful for them.

My suggestion would be that those involved should be drawn from those who worked at the coalface, because there is ‘distance’ between them and those in superordinate support management positions.

It would be more than useful to identify a group of people who could be asked to offer feedback on policy and initiatives being considered. They could provide information on the possible history and previous implementation of those initiatives.

The creation of a data base identifying these people, the background to their organisational engagement and their areas of expertise might be a management strategy. Methodology by which input could include email, phone or face-to-face conversation.

There would be many who if asked, would give of their time and recall quite voluntarily. The desire to be paid is not a universal motivation, particularly from those who have the good of the NT at heart.

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