Dear Beagle Editor,
Recently Professor Tom Frame from the Public Leadership Group at UNSW Canberra spoke about leadership in public life. Professor Frame emphasised the importance of humility in leadership in public life. Humility is often misunderstood as allowing oneself to be trodden on. On the contrary humility is “having a clear perspective and respect for one's place in context” or as Prof. Frame says “true humility will not overstate or understate achievements and attainments in order to see others as you see yourself” to put yourself in another’s shoes.
Another aspect of humility in leadership is the common good and the public interest. In the Eurobodalla Shire the common good and the public interest are being challenged. Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Mackay Park Precinct Re Development plans will, commendably, include a new heated indoor Aquatic facility opened year-round with a program pool, learn to swim pool, splash pool and splash park. However, a 25 metre pool will replace a 50 metre pool and will not meet the needs of the whole community. We know that it is not possible to do the same in a 25 metre pool that can be done in a 50 metre because competition for lane space becomes premium.
Moreover, Eurobodalla Council withheld the plan to replace the 50 metre pool with a 25 metre pool from Batemans Bay Swimming Club, Surf Life Saving Clubs and local schools, when seeking endorsement for the Aquatic facility by not including a copy of the Aquatic plan in letters to the respective pool user groups. Evidently the Disability Trust in Batemans Bay were never consulted or involved in any meetings regarding the Aquatic facility, even though some clients participate in swimming and other sports for the Special Olympics. This is hardly in the public interest for the common good.
Applying the principles of humility in leadership will Councillors put themselves in the shoes of the Batemans Bay and surrounding communities to consider: ; the future of the Batemans Bay Swimming Club squad and swimming carnivals and school swimming carnivals ; Surf Life Saving Clubs at the northern end of the Eurobodalla Shire who require a 50 metre pool for endurance training for ocean rescues ; Disability Trust with clients who swim in the Special Olympics and need a great deal of support to be able to compete, regular pool users including Eurocoast Triathlon Club who swim competitively, for mental/physical health and socialisation, many who will have limited opportunity to use a 25m lap pool because again, competition for lane space becomes premium in a 25 metre pool. Will Councillors apply the principles of humility in leadership by considering the declining number of school children who can swim 50 metres and the unacceptable statistic that 70% of children cannot swim, that reducing the swimming space in the Batemans Bay Aquatic facility is not in the public interest or for the common good.
Fight for Batemans Bays 50m Pool