Bewildered by Australian’s Negativity Towards it’s Leadership?

Filed under AusPol ~ by Throsby on  15 Jul 2019

This topic has so many levels of irony, Throsby’s not sure how rant on it. So he’ll just put it out there.

Victoria’s former Commissioner to the Americas and Senior advisor to Australia’s G20 Presidency, Victor Perton, is searching for optimists in Shepparton and the region.

“There are too many people in a fog of pessimism,” Mr Perton said.

Building on years of speaking sessions and interviews around the world, Mr. Perton will deliver two workshops on The Optimistic Leader: How to find your optimism and spread it to those you care about”  in Shepparton on Wednesday and Thursday this week ( July 17 and 18, 2019) at the Shepparton Senior Citizens and the Shepparton’s Nelson Mandela Youth Summit respectively.

Mr. Perton said he is “bewildered by the negativity of Australians towards its leadership”.

He said this negativity is in line with the findings of the global PR agency Edelman that Australia itself is the only country that doesn’t understand the qualities of Australian Leadership.

If egalitarianism, self-effacing humour and no BS plain speaking are the qualities of a good Australian leader, then we know there are millions of people like that! So why the negativity?” Mr. Perton asked.

Mr. Perton said his ‘Eureka moment’ on occurred when he returned to Australia from his Commissioner role and delivered a speech at the Global Integrity Summit in 2017.

It was then I worked out, there’s not much wrong with our leadership, it’s pretty good. It is just there are too many people in a fog of pessimism,” he said.

Victor Perton is the founder the Australian Leadership Project ( which has interviewed 2400 people on the qualities of Australian leadership, concluding that the three unique qualities are – egalitarianism, self-effacing humour and plain speaking. He has written two editions of “The Case for Optimism: The Optimists’ Voices” and has shared thousands of quotes on the case for optimism via social media.

From India to Taiwan to the USA and in the streets of Australia Mr. Perton asks leaders the global question: “What makes you optimistic?”. The question is based on the learnings of positive psychology and appreciative inquiry.

Shepparton Optimists (interviewed by Victor Perton

Chris Norman, CEO of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority: "The need for optimism has never been more important in dealing with the whole set of daily and long-term complex problems. Our resilience journey has been strengthened by an understanding of the critical need for optimism to underpin our approaches."

Mark Bailey, Head of Water Resources at Goulburn-Murray Water: “I feel optimistic because of mankind’s continual desire to learn and challenge. It happens throughout our societies. Investigators want to know why, how and if it can be done better. Scientists and engineers are tremendous examples of this thirst."

Rashidi Sumaili, Future Voices:  "What makes an optimist is the understanding that there’s not a permanent problem or enemy in one’s life. I am an optimist and dream positively with conviction and focus on the feeling of hope that strengthens my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing."

Cheryl Hammer: "I understand the ripple effect of optimism. It is powerful when it happens and empowering to all those who experience it. I am an optimist and I encourage everyone in my networks, particularly our young people, to bring to the table a positive attitude and an open mind. I love to create a circle of potential and promise and will it to ripple through our community.  I look to surround myself in my work and my personal life, with people who share my confidence and hope, people who are open to the possibilities, not knocked down by the problem.  Optimism helps me face life’s challenges and difficult relationships, it is not something I have to muster, it is who I am.  Let’s continue the optimistic ripple !!!"

Fiona Le Gassick, Greater Shepparton Council: "I believe in a better future looking at what is possible and all the great things that are still yet to happen. I am quite comfortable thinking outside of the square; in fact, that’s where I’m the most content, and when I do my best work. It’s only through collective vision, action and effort that real change can be achieved. I get my energy from the people I work with.  Barriers should be viewed as opportunities to do things differently. Having a clear vision provides us with purpose and an understanding of the role we each play in getting to the destination."

Sarmed Yassin, Greater Shepparton Council: "What makes me optimistic is knowing that God is always on my side."

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