As a long-term Northern Territory resident and a contributor to education pre-retirement for 36 years (and post retirement in various capacities for eight years since) I am often asked for an opinion or comment on various issues. These matters have had to do with general territory living, with education and with matters relating to more rural and remote areas of the territory (where we worked for quite a number of years before coming to Darwin).
One of the things I find bemusing is that while people are quite willing to ask for input, if that input is provided, there is rarely if any feedback on outcomes nor the benefit of that advice may have offered.
That’s not a case of asking over and over for thanks. It is however a case of being appreciated and people knowing that you’re interested in the outcomes of the conversations or meetings, where advice given has been a part of the discussion.
Is this a case of being appreciated or simply used?
In 2017 and 2018 there was wide ranging discussion on School Based Policing and the need for it to be returned as a program in Northern Territory schools. This is a subject in which I’ve been deeply interested for many years both from the viewpoint of being a practitioner and a student who wrote on the subject during a Masters university course.
Following quite intense conversations between the government, the Northern Territory Police, the Council of Government Schools Organisation and others the program has been reinstated and guidelines developed for its re-introduction.
I did receive verbal thanks from COGSO.
What crystallised my thoughts on this topic was receiving an email copy of the reinstated guidelines from Thomas Moorhead who is advisor to the Leader of the Opposition Gary Higgins, in the Northern Territory Parliament. I really appreciated sent these guidelines and reflected upon just how rare it is to receive follow up and feedback from those to whom assistance has been provided.
Responses of this nature are, unfortunately, all too rare these days. For the provider of input the process has a beginning (request for support) middle (assumption of the negotiations that follow) but no ending.
This is unfortunately a modern day trend that should be recognised and put to rights. However, I doubt that there will be any change.
YOU NEVER HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN … UNTIL THEY WANT ANOTHER FAVOUR!