I am just returned from Australia and great hospitality too. I was supporting the work of the International Coaching Federation by conducting a master-class for the large number advanced coaches in the continent. After several trips, I have warmed considerably to Australians who, from bush to city have so often shown proactive consideration and help. I feel that the country and its culture have matured over time to become more embracing and welcoming of others. The human values that were once only available to close friends and family are now overtly expressed to complete strangers and I am very warmed by the hearts of this great nation state. I spent time in Sydney before flying to Adelaide and then driving south through the great vineyards of South Australia to pick up the Great Ocean Road and head slowly east to Melbourne. The great spaces, friendly welcomes, rugged geology and the beauty of the coast made a lasting impression.
We spent some time in the Blue Mountains of NSW., arriving one evening in thick mist. The following day was magically beautiful and we walked almost alone into the Australian rain forest near Blackheath, their own ‘Grand Canyon’. Air plants hanging from limestone cliffs, fern-root systems thriving from the dripping water, impressive waterfalls, red crayfish, lizards up to four feet or more, so unstressed by humans that I was within 40cm of one this size or more, and then the 1000 ft climb out. A great day. Although Australians too are concerned about the corruption of their youth and the arrival or ‘swarming’ where kids get together using cell and txts to abuse the public, the fact is that so much of Australia is undamaged, littered or defaced as it is in England where unruliness and mob-mentality is a despicable ‘badge of dishonour’ amongst the corrupted. Or is it just an adjuvant effect of relative over-crowding here? We moved back to Sydney, a splendid showing of La Boheme and a day on Balmoral beach which has intuitive memory for I walked where my grandfather spent his last year or so before accident and death in 1943. A great memory was spending an evening with Susie Linder-Pelz and Michelle Duval. We ate in a restaurant overlooking the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House where everything was exquisite. The conversation was extraordinary, delving deeply into humanity, health and the connections for change. It was also extraordinary to be invited to run a coaching master-class for experienced coaches in NSW when Michelle Duval is on the ICF’s doorstep there. Michelle is one of the most breathtakingly brilliant coaches on the planet and well-known internationally, but her graceful and unassuming air have not helped expose her world-class profile and talent in her local community. Perhaps that will change now!
I returned off the red-eye immediately to the field of work and ongoing facilitation in the development of my favourite team, more coaching programs and coaching. Again, the rapid changes in experience provide a rich source of personal change and I am mindful to leave adequate spaces for reflection so that this resource is not dulled by time.