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Opportunity awaits

18 Feb 2019

Sometimes it’s good to choose the unknown, to say ‘yes’ to that opportunity even if you are unsure where it might take you. As I reflect on my first experience at the Global IABC Leadership Institute conference held in Long Beach, California, that’s exactly what’s going through my mind.

Long Beach, California

About 18 months ago I agreed to be part of the local IABC Canberra chapter board as Treasurer. As a career comms/marketing guy taking on the treasurer role seemed like a daunting task and was a hard decision to make at the time. Upon reflection though as I soak up the rays, in between the scattered showers that have seemed to follow me throughout my short time over here, it has been well worth the journey and I’m glad that I made the decision. It’s led to so many amazing opportunities and has been a great way to connect with communication professionals not only in Canberra but as I now have experienced, across the globe.

The Global IABC Leadership Institute, held annually, brings together IABC volunteer leaders from across the global to share their experiences and to plan how we can all play a role in advancing the communication profession – a passion that everyone seems to share. It’s also a chance to recognise chapters for their efforts through the annual Chapter Management Awards (the CMAs).

What an honour it was to represent, along with our past fearless president Victor Zalakos, the Canberra Chapter and our hard working dedicated board in receiving two Awards of Merit. The first was for ‘Engaging Students and Young Professionals’ as a results of our new partnership with the University of Canberra and the second was for ‘Strategic Planning’. Receiving these awards on the first night of the conference was a great way to kick things off.

I would like to put a big shout out our super star Canberra Board who all somehow seem to find the time to contribute between their busy jobs and family commitments.

Ginger Homan, Chair IABC International Executive Board (far left) and Stephanie Doute, IABC Executive Director (far right) present two Chapter Management awards to Damian Tunney and Victor Zalakos from the IABC Canberra Board

My number one takeaway from my experience abroad is the value of making a contribution. It’s the one element that seems to unite all IABC volunteer leaders no matter where they call home. Contributing means that you are not only part of a local community but, as I now have experienced, a global community and that’s something pretty inspiring.

So as I return to my busy family and work life and try to catch up on my sleep, I’m enthused about the year ahead and what other opportunities may present themselves.

If you are thinking about what’s next or interested in making a contribution, no matter how big or small, then I would encourage you to reach out to me or any of our superstar Board ( and let’s see what opportunity awaits for you.

Damian Tunney

Vice-President, IABC Canberra

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