As we say goodbye to 2020, and welcome in a fresh new year, it’s always good to look back at what we achieved in the last year, and where we are going next.
To say that 2020 was not the year that anybody expected is probably an understatement.
The COVID-19 pandemic was certainly the focus of the last year, and we spent a lot of time within Gaia Resources making sure of two things – that we looked after our team (physically and mentally), and we still kept the business operating on an even keel.
Starting from way back in March, we kicked in our Coronavirus response, which was to keep our staff physically safe, and when the lockdowns began, we trialled and then implemented our Business Continuity Plan and had the whole team working from home. While this “physical health” arrangement went into practice across all three of our offices in Perth, Brisbane and Darwin, and then we doubled down on the “mental health” aspects, increasing the frequency of our planned online interactions .
We then started to work towards the way forward, keeping up our connectivity, changing up our office space (and in Brisbane’s case, moving completely), and making sure we kept to the health guidelines for each State we operated in. All this was also based on as much evidence as we could get from the team from our internal monitoring.
In looking back at the six months since then, even with our best efforts, we had staff that became isolated and run down during the virus. It feels very much like we staggered over the line to the Christmas/New Year break period, but we did make it, and we learned a lot that we are implementing into the new year (more on that later). Our internal monitoring has been fantastic to learn from as we went, and we now know what we should monitor into the future, too – but hopefully, we won’t need to do that.
Speaking of staff, we also hired a bunch of people during the year – including Billy, Rory, Sara, Gus, Tania, Tawanda, Sarah, Shushma, Marion and Jeff. We have a bit of updating to do on our “Staff” page as an early task this year!
With all these new team members, it’s no surprise that in the last year we saw some amazing milestones delivered in the very difficult circumstances we described earlier. Along with passing our annual ISO certification with flying colours, the project highlights included:
- Transforming the Queensland State Archives by implementing a new Archival Management System ecosystem
- Improving the way in which data comes into the Western Australian environmental impact assessment process through a new portal for the Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessment
- Updating the Essential Services Volunteer app to help support our volunteer firefighters
- Delivering the Q-Album project for Queensland State Archives
- Releasing a new fire mapping plugin for QGIS, which will assist a wide variety of organisations managing the land across the north of Australia
- Releasing Retromaps – a way to view our historical maps and to better understand the history of Perth
There are a number of other projects that we’re still working on or are yet to formally launch or announce – so there will be plenty of things to announce as we proceed with this new year.
Our forward plan for the new year revolves around five key points, which we are implementing through a program that stretches across the first six months of the year. This focuses on:
- Revising our corporate structures to cope with our growth,
- Focusing on improving our communication with each other,
- Continuing to improve our processes,
- Upgrading a range of our various operational technology stacks, and
- Ensuring we remain environmentally sustainable.
To enlarge on the last one, a month or so ago we provided an update on our efforts to become even more environmentally sustainable and this included becoming an accredited Carbon Neutral company as well as becoming a partner with the ClimateClever team to support our team to become more environmentally sustainable at home. This is a big part of our rollout for the new year, where we will also be looking at keeping our carbon footprint as low as possible, and including some new initiatives that will include our clients as well.
2020 wasn’t the year we thought it would be, but we’ve made the best of it wherever we can, learned from it, and are ready to come back even stronger in 2021. It’s certainly going to be another “interesting” year ahead – but I for one can’t wait to see the efforts we’re putting in bear fruit.