Williamson Community Leadership Program 2012 reflection

23 April 2012 By Kristian Dauncey

Kristian Dauncey
Kristian Dauncey

The second session of the 2012 Williamson Community Leadership Program (WCLP) was Australia's Economic Prosperity, hosted by LV's Partner ANZ at their impressive new Docklands offices.

The expert speakers covered the following topics:

  • Setting the Scene: An overview of the economic landscape and the role of business in sustaining an affluent Australia 
    • Dr Matthew Butlin, Chair, Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission
  • Creating and Maintaining A Strong Bank Sector
    • Mark Hand (WCLP '03), Managing Director Australia Retail Distribution, ANZ
  • Australia in the Asian Century: Engaging with China 
    • James Gathercole, Partner, Sheldon Harris; Victorian State Executive Committee Member, Australia China  Business Council
    • Robert Bell, Head of Super Regional Business Development, ANZ
  • Other Measures of Prosperity – who’s getting left behind?      
    • Stella Avramopoulos, CEO, Kildonan Uniting Care
    • Richard Dent (WCLP '04), Executive Director, Leadership Victoria
    • Scott Sheppard, Chief Executive, UnitingCare Community Options
  • Dealing with Complexity
    • Facilitated workshop with Wade Keenan (WCLP ’09), Acumen International 

Central to the discussion are the following points:

  • How are long term decisions made in a time of short-term-ism?
  • What type of leadership will be required in the coming decade?  


We asked 2012 WCLP Participant Kristian Dauncey to reflect on the experience.

“Prosperity for all!”

It could be said that the Chinese belief of Cai Shen, the god of prosperity, has been smiling favourably on Australia. The Chinese maw has been opened and a voracious appetite for Australia’s plenitude of natural resources has been revealed.  My interest in the boom and the resultant prosperity will be how Australia as a nation uses this opportunity to effect meaningful societal change.   

“Prosperity for some”

To demonstrate the two-speed economy, a speaker used the wonderful analogy of “With your head in the freezer and your feet in the oven, the temperature in the middle would be spot-on”. How very true! With the concentration of wealth due to the mining boom, most Australians believe the boom prospers Australia but not them personally. Those caught in the slow lane face growing disadvantage.

“Sharing  prosperity”

The community services panel discussion clearly demonstrated that economic prosperity is not translating well to broader social prosperity, with demands for social services growing and now extending beyond traditional cohorts. Viewing Australia through the lens of disability disadvantage, Australia is disappointingly ranked 21 out of 29 OECD nations in employing people with disabilities; and 45 percent of Australians with a disability live in or near poverty levels. Not the figures one would expect to see from the land of a fair go.

“Fair go for all abilities”

So how can we fix this? Economic prosperity is one enabler to reduce social disadvantage and allow big, bold steps to be taken forward at one time. The proposed no-fault National Disability Insurance Scheme is a great example of this. In truth however, funding alone will not remove the stigma and associated discrimination of individuals with a disability. A broader cultural shift is required. To this end, I am heartened by the passionate interest to community issues shown by all WCLP 2012 participants, and our determination to make a genuine impact on the community. I look forward to the future, expecting that by being engaged with LV and the WCLP, the community at large will be challenged and real change can be realised. 


Kristian is Business Manager at Marillac – a NFP which offers people with a disability, and their families, a wide range of programs and services designed to meet the needs of each individual. In his spare time, Kristian enjoys the great outdoors hiking and camping with family.