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Life Membership, Thank you by Paul Fechner

Friday 23, Oct 2020

I was humbled, honoured, and excited about being awarded a life membership of RIMPA last week. A huge congratulations also to all who were upgraded and won awards (both at a branch level and Australasian level) - wow some absolute legends of R&IM.

Due to a few 'technical difficulties' I was unable to respond during the RIMPA Awards Night and I can't let an opportunity go to thank many and write an article for the RIMPA Newsfeed at the same time.

For approximately half my life I've been involved with RIMPA and to be awarded such a prestigious accolade from my peers is a tad overwhelming.

There are many people to thank as I could/would not have reached my current level of knowledge without your support, guidance, and networking friendships.
I started writing down people’s names who have influenced me, my culture, my ethics and R&IM abilities and knowledge and honestly the list was getting too long.

The reason I am involved with RIMPA is that we are a group of like-minded professionals who value and respect the importance of what valuable assets records and information are to both individuals and organisations.

It can sometimes be a thankless profession and stereotyped of living in the past when the physical record, date stamps and compacts ruled the world. I've never really seen it as such but much more as a profession with an extremely important role that manages records and information and doesn't just store the physical stuff down in the basement.

The RIMPA Family have given me the skills, knowledge, and an educated voice to enhance individuals / organisations all the while enhancing my own knowledge and skills.

I'm a firm believer that no one person knows everything about R&IM and that's why I love collaborating with like-minded people on a wide variety of topics.

RIMPA are the professional peak body in Australasia for records and information management (the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere) so it's a stable organisation regardless if you work in the private sector, local, state or federal government.

From my personal point of view, I cannot see any excuse why we still have Royal Commissions, ICAC Investigations, corruptions and 'nasty things happening' basically due to bad or non-existent recordkeeping / records and information management. We have the skills and knowhow to prevent such things - no use getting an electrician to fix your plumbing.

The positive side is that there are so many people within RIMPA who have showed, shared and proved that doing R&IM well opens up individuals and business to many benefits, enhanced processes, 'information on demand', time and money savings, much less angst because we find and or prove something (we're the managers of the truth).........the list goes on and on.

These important items need to come together for us to be successful:

  • Our knowledge / skills / methodologies to manage both records and information in any format must adapt to current situations / wants and needs.

  • The desire to make a difference in the R&IM world for ourselves and or the organisations we work for - we do great things for a reason.

  • Our ability to embrace a changing world and the constant changes in technologies / tools

  • I also personally think that technology is not the 'silver bullet' as often portrayed but an ultra-important tool to assist us in performing our various roles. 

  • The ability to collaborate and network - this is where RIMPA has vastly enhanced my current skills and will continue to do so.

As I'm getting older (and hopefully wiser) an old saying often enters my mind when I'm struggling with the many R&IM challenges we face and thinking 'is it all worth it?'...'evil flourishes if good people do nothing'. We're the protectors of the truth and the facts. 

I do honestly think it's our time to shine brightly in our world and make it a better, and more fact / truth driven place. For the world needs our knowledge and experience in managing the records and information within the planet.

I read something last year that by 2022, 90% of the worlds data will be unstructured (emails, documents, photo's, video's etc etc), this is where we'll prove to be a valuable profession in managing this huge amount of data and the records and information that are created from it.

Each and every one of us have the power to change ourselves and our workplaces and I cannot thank RIMPA enough for providing a constant stream of inspiration, knowledge, training, guidance and lifelong friendships.

A special thankyou to the RIMPA Family / devoted members, the company with its band of very hard workers, The Board, GABA and of course my beloved SA/NT Branch.

I dedicate this honour to my loved ones / family / friends who keep me grounded and for my family genes of logical / truthful and compassionate thinking (special thanks to my mum and dad), dear Liam, my great nephew who lost his battle with life aged 4 years the other month, and of course you, the RIMPA Family for inspiring me to do the best I can in our profession.

Thank you, enjoy life, stay well and may we all prosper in our chosen fields.

MRIM Life 

ps. Just remember, 'it doesn't matter where you go in life, you will always be there!'