First leadership gathering since COVID

NSW Department of Primary Industries' top and middle leadership teams connected at a staff forum at Orange Civic Centre during the last week of May, creating the first chance for many to meet and re-connect after working from home during COVID. It was a chance for some to put real-life faces to the names of people they've spoken to via the phone, zoom or email during the past year. It was also an opportunity for Sam and Jenny Bailey to tell their story about facing change and challenges at a time when many of the DPI staff are supporting farmers, fishermen and forestry industries coping with the flow-on effects of drought, fires, floods and mouse plagues. Sam said many DPI staff told horrendous stories about the effects of the on-going mouse plague. "I really feel for everyone in the face of what has become a major disaster and I'm afraid it's only a matter of time before the plague spreads further afield," he said. "On top of years of drought, devastating fires and floods, it's really tough."