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After a frantic end to the year it has been great to take a few months off (well, sort of) before turning again to IABC business for 2013. Since I last wrote we are very lucky to have had two new volunteers join your Board. Louisa Graham is working with Deb Lemcke as co-chair of the events and professional development portfolio. Together they have assembled a varied and exciting calendar of events for the year – a wrap-up of the first event for 2013, Digital Darwinism, features on the IABC Vic website and appears later in this newsletter.

In addition Ross Monaghan, whom many of you know from Deakin Uni has joined in a newly created role of student engagement chair. Succession planning is critical in any organisation and Ross, who is the convenor of the annual Victorian PR students' forum, has joined to develop the chapter's engagement with students and foster their greater participation in the IABC community at a much earlier stage in their careers – which will no doubt bring a range of benefits for all members once it is up and running.

We have in recent months had a raft of new members join our ranks and it was great to meet some of you in person at our first new member drinks in February. These quarterly "new member drinks" events, whilst specifically targeted at new members are open to all members. So if you haven't been able to make it to an event for a while or feel you no longer know people in the chapter, do come along for a relaxed evening with like-minded souls. We expect to hold the next one of these evenings some time in May.

Whilst on the topic of members, member-get-a-corporate-member-month kicks off in March. If you have 5 or more people from your or some other organisation who would like to join up you could score yourself 3 months free membership (up to a total of one year) if they join. For more information please contact membership chair Rebecca Ketteringham.

On a professional development and recognition front, the deadline for Gold Quill submissions has been extended to 18 March so if the past month has somehow got away from you – don't panic! There is still time. Please get in touch with Education and Awards Chair Belinda Lawrie to find out how to submit your showpiece work for these prestigious awards.

As an interesting aside I have, on a number of fronts, had cause to reflect of late on the benefit of open and regular communication with stakeholders and the value it brings particularly in times of difficulty and change. This open and regular communication is something that we are building here at IABC Victoria and I invite each and everyone of you as members or potential members of our local chapter to let us know how we may develop this further. What could we do better? differently? What if anything are we missing? Please email your suggestions to

That's all from me. Have yourselves a wonderful March and I look forward to seeing some of you at our next event on the 26th.

Warm regards