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Perhaps it’s just me but November this year seemed a little crazier than usual. The new(ish) executive director of IABC, Chris Sorek and the Chairman of the IABC International Executive Board, Kerby Meyers visited Melbourne during the month for the World PR Forum and also for IABC's Asia Pacific Leadership Institute. Aside from the opportunity to meet the executive leaders in person, it was great to hear about some of the refreshing changes that they are implementing to two of IABC's flagship programs: Accreditation and Gold Quills.

On an events front we wrapped up the year with a senior communicators' round table, the IABC sponsored track at the World PR Forum and our member Christmas party on 19 November. Kerby Meyers facilitated the round table – exploring the changing role of communications and what we as practitioners need to do to lead the charge to adapt into the future. Thanks to all who participated in what was at times a lively and spirited discussion. Look out for blog posts and Linkedin discussions in coming months about some of the matters canvassed at the roundtable.

Our Christmas party was a truly global affair with members from Canada, New Zealand and the United States joining in the festivities and we have posted a gallery of photos from the night.

Most IABC Vic Board members and a number of volunteers took part in IABC's recent Asia Pacific Leadership Institute. Whilst a Leadership Institute, a conference for chapter leaders, is held in North America each year, a Leadership Institute in Asia Pacific is less common. It was a great way to meet other chapter leaders from across the region, exchange ideas and forge relationships that will serve to deliver even greater value to members in the future.

We are in the process of finalising our 2013 strategy with some exciting initiatives and events planned for the New Year. Stay tuned for information about regular gatherings for new members, awesome events starting in February to kick-off the year and more regular contact from us.

For those of you contemplating submitting a Gold Quill entry for 2013, but who missed the recent webinar outlining the "new" Gold Quill awards, you can still catch the insights. An audio recording of the webinar is available here. For those involved in accreditation – don't forget portfolio pieces are due in April so you may want to use the summer to prepare your work plans.

During member–get-a-member month in December, members get three months’ free membership for each new member referral. You could get up to one year's free membership (for four referrals), so why wait? Get recruiting and drive your membership dollar even further! (Unfortunately this offer does not extend to corporate memberships – as they are already discounted).

The IABC World Conference in 2013 will take place in New York (23-26 June). An awesome line up of speakers for general sessions and break out sessions awaits and registrations have now opened. Be sure to get in by 31 January 2013 to get a $200 discount on your registration.

That's all from me. Have a happy and safe festive season, a restful summer break and see you all in the New Year.