Published: 23 December 2012
By: Paul Dobbyn
Leading Queensland: At the forum of some of the state's new leaders in 2012 are (from left) Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Kevin Dixon, Damien Frawley, Campbell Newman, Lindy Hume and Ian Stewart Photos: The Courier-Mail
ARCHBISHOP Mark Coleridge and others appointed to some of Queensland's key leadership roles in 2012 found common ground in a recent leaders' forum held in Brisbane.
The Archbishop said "the question that probably stirred most interest was the nature and requirements of leadership in a time and place like this".
"There was wide agreement that leaders in all walks of life are facing similar challenges at the moment, especially the management of change," he said.
"Change is upon us, whether we like it or not.
"The question is whether we simply allow ourselves to be swept along or whether we move the change in ways that are good for our communities."
Archbishop Coleridge said time was spent "chatting about the distinctiveness of Queensland, trying to identify what makes it different".
The forum was put together "to commemorate a unique year in Queensland, during which key leadership positions have changed hands".
It was held at News Queensland's office at Bowen Hills on December 12 and moderated by The Courier-Mail editor Michael Crutcher.
Premier Campbell Newman, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, Queensland Investment Corporation chief executive Damien Frawley, Opera Queensland artistic director Lindy Hume and Racing Queensland Ltd chairman Kevin Dixon were part of the forum.
The Courier-Mail was to publish lead-up stories on the forum last Monday with a transcript in a lift-out in Tuesday's edition.
Archbishop Coleridge said the tone of the forum "once we got under way and understood the dynamic, was relaxed and friendly".
"Different perspectives were respected, but I think we were surprised by the amount of common ground, given the similar challenges we face," he said.
Questions put to forum participants included:
How has your job unfolded? Is it different to what you had expected? If so, how?
What are the toughest parts of your work?
What are the most enjoyable parts of your work?
What makes Queensland different to the rest of the nation?
How is Queensland changing?
A closer look at leadership. Are there competing forces between being popular and being right? If so, how do you manage that?
Are there any topics that keep you awake at night?
The final question was light-hearted asking participants about summer holiday plans and predictions for 2013.
Archbishop Coleridge said he had told the forum he would be going to Melbourne after Christmas to catch up with family and friends.
"Then, I'm off to New Zealand for a couple of weeks' holiday before returning to Surfers Paradise for a few days," he said.
"I'm back in Brisbane on Australia Day."
Looking to 2013, the Archbishop said he "hoped to build on the energy and momentum of my first months in the archdiocese.
"I also said (to the forum) that the Royal Commission (into institutional child sexual abuse) looms large on the horizon of the new year for me because I'm on the Truth, Justice and Healing Council (which will oversee the Church's engagement with the Royal Commission, and the pastoral and other ramifications that have arisen from the sexual abuse scandal)," Archbishop Coleridge told the forum.
"I'm not sure what exactly that will involve, but it's sure to be a substantial commitment."