Our Workplace Relations System is Broken …..

This was and is a big call made by one of Australia’s pre-eminent Workplace Relations Specialists – Michael Harmer, Chairman of Harmers Workplace Lawyers.

Never one to sit on the fence on a human rights, equal opportunity, discrimination and workplace relations dispute, Mr Harmer has come out swinging on this one, and some will applaud him, some will not.  Having worked with this kind Man for a number of years, and followed his ever-increasing public profile as he shines the light on his perceived injustices in the workplace and the world, it was, with not so much a surprise, but a salute to him that he took up the cause for NSW people who would be affected by yet another Union, seemingly forced to bully its key stakeholders, inconveniencing its millions of customers across the State, all because two parties were unable to sit around a table and negotiate, in good faith a reasonable outcome for their employees and/or members.  Strikes are not new to our system, but the unfairness of them is and the ability to stop them, although the power is there, seems to bob up and down like some floating wood on the tide.  Gets bashed around by waves, ends up on shore and then sucked out again to bob up and down and generally, have no focus, direction or outcome other than to be pushed around.   But Mr Harmer took action, and his piece leads to a more interesting and thought provoking argument …… is our system broken?

Our Workplace Relations System, Fair Work, bought in under the Gillard Government was hailed as a major success.  In fact, it seemed to me that going through the process of award “modernisation”, this time it was Lawyers rubbing their gleeful hands together, much like the IT crowd at the turn of the millennium – everything will fall apart unless I hold your hand through every single step of the process.  Who would have thought numbers were at the crux of so much, and yet they are.

It always comes down to numbers doesn’t it?    Mr Harmer’s take on the situation and his resolute action, saw this matter move to cause minimal harm to commuters and business.  But, as Mr Harmer puts it …. is our system “old-fashioned and inefficient” if the only option left for waring parties is to result to this cause of action.

Read Mr Harmer’s article here. 

What are your thoughts? Would be great to hear your experiences.

2018 is here – let’s partner up!

So, 2018 has arrived, where has the first month gone exactly?

This week officially marks a major milestone for me.  I’ve managed to raise my two small boys into little men and they’ve ventured off to School.  School. I made it.  I can sit back and relax for 5-6 hours a day, enjoy my own company, again.  Finally, yet not so finally ….


People said I wouldn’t know myself.  People said I’ll be a mess, a wreck, I’ll have to find things to do for myself now.. well, about a week ago, I started getting a little bit excited.  My brain started to turn back on, my crippling self doubt, self esteem abyss and anxiety started to fade away.  What was this determination not to solve things, to let little things overwhelm me  after I had kids – now I’m determined to try to fix my own problems and not be bought to tears by the craziness of life and having no control over it …… I feel like I’ve turned a corner.  Have you felt like that at all?  Have you sent your little precious wee ones off to School and realised, I can start doing stuff again …

People might say I’ve had it easy …. But in my time since having my first boy, almost 6 years ago, I went from running an amazingly fun and vibrant company which I loved, to relocating to Brisbane when he was just 4 months old, working remotely, having a Husband that was called to work intestate 5 days/week, fell pregnant with my 2ndchild, continued to run a business, realised Brisbane was not our solution, had baby #2, somehow survived the blur that is 2 kids under 14 months old, moved to a small regional coastal town with no friends or family to be close to the beach – and still worked and then returned to Melbourne with kids, dogs and husband in tow to re-establish ourselves into the brilliant Melbourne life…. and then, travelled around this gorgeous country in a Caravan, testing the relativity and possibility of working remotely as we saw so many beautiful sites (this place really rocks!)  ….  I mean, seriously, who does this crazy stuff, I think someone who is flying by the seat of their pants and can’t sit still!


No body, I mean NO BODY tells you how hard kids are.  How the relentlessness of serving these little beings that require your every ounce of energy, patience, love and care can be so H A R D.  Confession: I loved my kids most when they were asleep.  Oh the joy I felt when I made it through a day and their little peepers closed and their faces looked so angellic.  I forgot about the haze of my parental craze – I had managed to keep them alive, didn’t snap too much, made sure they ate well, didn’t eat dirt or paint, didn’t break a bone and had an adventure at somewhere wonderful …… and the only thing I managed to do for myself was glug wine.  And glug I did.  Who doesn’t?  Who wouldn’t? Self discipline, time for self was replaced by exhaustion.

Don’t get me wrong, that hasn’t gone away, when I have my little Cherubs running around on the weekends I’m really really really hanging for a nap during the day.  Where exactly do they get their energy from?  Work is so much easier than kids.  Who needs a nap when you’re at work, dealing with complex problems that are itching to be solved and you can have a logical, thought provoking, idea inspiring discussion about it rather than dealing with a 2 or 4 year old who don’t understand reason, just screaming.

So here I am, 2018 ready and willing to be able to have a conversation, an adult conversation about life, work, loves, passions, career progression, and not be interrupted by someone constantly, who bellows at you for food, drink, play  ….. to be back in your world, I must say I’m incredibly excited.

So, as the School year kicks into gear, I’m ready.  So ready to get back into work.  So ready to start doing things for me and YOU.  So ready to embrace some of my old life back.  My ability to think, to solve problems on my own, to talk work, career, business goals, life goals, career objectives, change of career, talk about you.  Join me, as 2018 is the year to be invigorated, harnessed, focussed and achieve some amazing things.

Let’s get back together again, I’ve missed you and am here to help you in your journey.

Here’s a little sampler of our new PodCast for 2018 – Chewing the Fat on Flexibility with myself and Leonie Green.  An easy, thought provoking and fun discussion about life, loves, work and trying to do it all, failing and laughing.

Chewing the Fat on Flexibility PodCast