Announcing Strategic Planning

It would be easy to feel very pessimistic at this moment of the state economy and investment in cultural affairs. The Professional Historian Association (Queensland), however, is dedicated to looking after the working interest of its members and the welfare of professional history in Queensland.  For that reason, as an association we will not just accept the pessimism of our current situation. It is time to look after ourselves and not leave the fortunate of tomorrow to luck or to the hope that someone is going to rescue us from our damnation.  The best that we have going for us, as professional historians, is the Association. It is Association which provides the professional recognition and the support of colleagues.

The key question must be: what is it that the Association would like to achieve by the time of its next AGM in the following year.  What is it that you, the member, want the association to do in the coming year and what is it that you hope the Management Committee seeks to achieve by the 2013 AGM. The challenge of the question is finding a timely answer. We need a sharp and unobstructed process to deliver a clear decision from the membership, and that is what Management is about today (or ought to be about). Management doesn’t decide the plan for our Association’s future. What Management does is put in the hard work of preparing a draft plan – drawing on the feedback of members over the years – and put that plan to the membership to debate, and to decide, as a collective, on the strategic actions for the Association in the coming year.

This is a strategic plan, and for all the corporate nonsense associated with the idea, it just comes down to the membership deciding to be proactive about its future as an association of professional historians in Queensland. It doesn’t mean that other decisions cannot be made which are not parts of the plan, and it certainly doesn’t mean the Association cannot respond to unforeseen issues in the coming year. And it is not about meaningless measures on our time and effort. It is about members setting priorities and not giving up on strengthening our collective & professional position in difficult times.

What is to happen?

On Tuesday 14 August the PHAQ Management Committee will meet to debate a preliminary draft PHAQ 2012-2013 Strategic Plan. Members are invited in the next three weeks to submit their ideas on what they want to see included in the draft as strategic objectives; what do you want the Association to set out to do in the coming year? What do you see as the goals that should be achieved by the PHAQ before its 2013 Annual General Meeting?  Send ideas and comments to the editor’s email address,, or call the editor on 0416 046 429.

This current feedback, along with feedback the Management Committee has collected from members back to six years ago, and with some of the ideas we have been discussing around the Committee this year, will be included in the draft PHAQ 2012-2013 Strategic Plan.  That draft will be emailed out to members by Sunday 19 August, five weeks before the 2012 Annual General Meeting. At the Annual General Meeting on 26 September, the draft PHAQ 2012-2013 Strategic Plan will be submitted for the consideration of members. Members will be invited to make amendments to the document, and then members will vote to accept (or reject) the document (as possibly amended) as the PHAQ Strategic Plan for the period 2012-2013.