Like you, I am committed to libraries and to a strong future role for IFLA.
I have been privileged to enjoy a lifelong career in a profession that is generous and collaborative. Most importantly, our commitment to improving the lives of the communities we serve unites us like no other profession.
I have been an active member of IFLA since 2004 and served on the IFLA Governing Board 2017–2021. During this time, I led the wide-ranging review of professional units and I was a member of the working groups for the governance review and review of Statutes and Rules of Procedure. I have also held numerous leadership roles, including President of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).
This is a critical time in IFLA’s work as the leading international body representing the interests of people who rely on libraries and information professionals. We need to focus on building trusted relationships with key stakeholders: members, partners, and volunteers. I believe my strong ethical principles, personal reputation and knowledge of the organisation make me well placed to meet this challenge and I affirm my commitment to IFLA and its work.
My skills and attributes relevant to the role of President-elect
I would bring to the role significant experience as a senior leader in the library sector who has worked across public, academic and research libraries.
As State Librarian and Chief Executive Officer at the State Library of Queensland I am responsible for implementing its strategic and operational plans, responsible for an annual budget of ~AUD$80M and lead a workforce of 350. I am accountable for financial and risk management, as well as for securing philanthropic support and sponsorship for programs to enable increased access to information and collections, the creation of new knowledge and the delivery of new experiences. In fulfilling these responsibilities, I practice authentic leadership with strong governance, and develop and sustain effective working relationships with all stakeholders.
One of my strengths is my clear and confident communication style. I regularly engage with politicians, senior bureaucrats, sponsors, stakeholders and partners. I am experienced in strategic planning and in leading transformational change. I applied those skills during my membership of the IFLA Governing Board, particularly during the governance review and the review of the Statutes and Rules of Procedure. My involvement in both ALIA and IFLA has enabled me to develop and leverage extensive networks, which I would readily activate as President-elect and later as President.
I am committed to IFLA’s values—the principles of freedom of access to information and equitable access to information, the delivery of high-quality library and information services that help guarantee access, and a commitment to inclusion. These values are reflected in the work that I lead at State Library of Queensland. We are recognised for our commitment to achieving equity of services for First Nations peoples, our exemplary innovative work to make information and collections accessible, and our focus on inclusion.
Where I will commit my energy
Post COVID-19, library associations, library institutions, and library and information professionals will face immense challenges and opportunities. The question is: How will we work together to minimise the former, maximise the latter, and to continue to build the services that are so vital to our communities?
We need the right people, places, collections, funding, policies and technologies, together with a planet that is in better shape for the future. We are all working towards this at local and national levels. Through IFLA we can build on our achievements and make our contribution to the global movement.
My commitment to you
I acknowledge the outstanding contribution of thousands of volunteers and active participants in IFLA committees and programs who have helped us achieve so much over the life of the organisation. I feel so humbled to stand alongside so many outstanding colleagues.
My terms on the Governing Board as Division Chair and Professional Committee Chair mean I have a strong understanding of IFLA’s governance framework, but also the values that drive member commitment. The next period will be challenging, and I believe strong governance and transparency will be essential. It will be important to engage members to build trusted relationships. I believe I have the skills and experience to lead IFLA to be an effective Federation. Let’s ensure our Federation is focused on achieving its values and supporting the communities we serve.
So, I ask you to vote for me as President-elect. If I am elected, I commit to serve IFLA and my fellow members to the best of my ability and always with your needs at the heart of my efforts.