2016 has been, in a word, “challenging”.
The economy that we are operating in within Australia has been quite volatile over the last twelve months, and generally most people have been very pessimistic about it. It’s had an impact on Gaia Resources but we have weathered this well. I am really proud of this, as this indicates that our fundamentals are strong.
While we said goodbye to AJ, Benny and Sam, we have seen our team grow during the year with the arrivals of Rob, Gary, Shay (who still hasn’t written a “hello” blog), and now with Chris Roach (who started last week, so his welcome blog is pending, too). Neither Shay nor Chris have even managed to get up on our staff listing yet (speaking of which, Morgan and I are working on a new web site for the new year, so stay tuned for those changes).
The team at Little Creatures the other week for James’ send off to Brisbane, and welcoming Chris
This is probably a sign that it’s been a really busy end of the year; with some major works underway both from the perspective of our own products and projects, but also with the business going through yet more evolutions. This year has seen two main evolutions – an embracing of the wider Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) community, and the expansion to Brisbane.
We started working with the GLAM community via the Western Australian Museum way back in in our eighth job, when I was assisting them with their databases. Since then, we’ve worked with the Museum right throughout all the years of our operation. Along this journey, we ended up working with the State Records Office of WA, and the skills we had picked up in terms of collection management were readily transferable to that area; now at the end of this year sees us undertaking projects for a range of clients in the Archives part of the GLAM sector – as you can see from our collections project listing and a lot of this has been done throughout this year.
The Geelong Regional Library and Heritage Centre – just one of the new GLAM groups we worked with in 2016
This evolution into the wider GLAM sector brings a range of opportunities for us that we are working through. We continued to work with open source product owners like Whirl-i-gig (for CollectiveAccess) and Artefactual (for AccessTOMemory and Archivematica), and have been expanding our ability to service clients with these systems. We’ve also been looking at some novel ways to implement these systems, in conjunction with our clients, and with our relationship with Amazon Web Services, another new evolution in itself for us, but more on those areas in the new year.
Our other main evolution for this year was the expansion to Queensland. This was brought on by the welcome addition of Morgan to our team; who brings a wide-ranging skillset and professionalism that has already shown to be of great benefit to the business. Over the past six months we’ve picked up more work in our core areas across the east coast, much of which comes about from this expansion.
The Eight Mile Plains Banana Index (8MPBI) remains a running joke in our office
This expansion is also something I’ll foreshadow for our new year rollout blog as well. When James announced that he and his family had decided to move to Brisbane, it was a no-brainer for us to push the Brisbane timeline along a bit quicker, and have James and Morgan settle into some new offices together in the CBD (more about that next year!). James will still be working with many of the existing clients he works with remotely now, just a little bit more remotely than usual.
When I look back at the year I really feel like we’ve had a mixed bag. Some projects have gone really well, while others have been problematic to implement and deliver. However, we’ve stuck to our core principles and we’ve ensured that we have delivered the projects, no matter how hard, or what the issues were. This is a testament to the team here, who really do want to make a difference in the world we live in, and delivering our projects to clients as best we can is just one small way we can do just that.
As we come to a close of another year, and I look at what’s coming in the new year, I’m excited. I think we’ve successfully weathered the storm of 2016, and 2017 does look nice and bright – but more on that in the new year. We’re closing down on Friday for our Christmas function (yes, it’s Star Wars related) and we’ll be back on deck on the 3rd of January.
In signing off, I’d like to wish all of our clients, suppliers, colleagues and friends a happy holiday season over the next couple of weeks. I think we are all looking forward to seeing the end of 2016, and here’s to the new year!