December Message from WAFIC Chair
Firstly, it is the festive season after all! On behalf of the WAFIC Board and staff I want to wish all of industry, the community and other stakeholders a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. The key word here is ‘safe’ – which brings me onto the next point of urging you all to watch SeSafe’s Christmas message – a raw, emotive overview which highlights the dangers facing the men and women of this industry. I encourage you all to watch out for your mates and one another this festive season to ensure that everyone is safe.
In my second week as Chair, I feel privileged to be elected by industry to this important position of leading WA’s seafood sector.
As I said to the WAFIC staff at a meeting last week, “we all work for the industry.” And that is a key point I want to raise – both the Board and the staff are here to work for you – the men and women of this great primary industry.
I took on this job to make change, but I was struck by the high level of disunity and disagreement across the industry. That is a priority of mine – to build a shared vision and I can assure you all that we have started the process of building unity.
The WAFIC Board met with Minister Kelly and DPIRD Director General Ralph Addis on Monday 17th November. Also, present was Chair of the WRLC Kim Colero and CEO Matt – so we could demonstrate and develop a united position. As we face big challenges like the current lobster matter, we need to stand together with the same goals, messages and visions.
Moving into 2019, I have asked WAFIC staff to be bold and brave and have a vision for industry. The new year will no doubt be busy but will hold exciting new opportunities for the seafood sector.
Concluding, as industry you generate fresh products that every doctor’s surgery recommends for a healthy lifestyle. We also benefit from three great celebrations each year; Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter. In a world in which more people are seeking high quality, safe and sustainable food we are in the box seat to take benefit from these trends.
To do so we need to be united with a shared vision of our industry that reflects the values people in our society cherish.
To end, I pose the question; “Why do 90,000 people stand in silence for a minute at the MCG on Anzac Day? Because they believe in something. It is about human values.”
At WAFIC we need to tap into this spirit.
Dr. Ron Edwards