Change is our Business.

Tēnā koutou katoa, Tālofa lava, Mālō e lelei, Bula vinaka, Kia orana and Warm Pacific greetings to you all.

To say the second half of 2021 has been tough is an understatement for many in Aotearoa. Particularly for our whānau in Tāmaki Makarau, the last few months have required an enormous amount of resilience. As President, the CDANZ members and their ability to continue the wonderful work as career development professionals is my biggest concern especially as we move into a new way of managing the pandemic. I acknowledge the uncertainty. CDANZ like many of you don’t have all the answers but my hope is that as a membership we can come together to support each other as we navigate these uncharted waters.

He tōtara wāhi rua he kai nā te toki.

A split tōtara is easy prey for the axe

My first concern is for you, our members. Are you doing everything you can to look after yourselves? If like me, you seem busier than ever. Please find time and set boundaries to prioritise your own health and wellbeing. If you need some support, please reach out to another CDANZ member, your Branch or the National Executive Committee or look at engaging in professional supervision, which can be used as CPD hours as well. The old adage ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ comes to mind. I believe we take on so much of others anxiety, grief, loss and worry that we sometimes need to talk it through to let it go. As the year comes to an end, I encourage you to attend, online or in person, your CDANZ Branch functions as an enjoyable and refreshing way to unwind. Please be kind to yourself first so that you are able to continue to do the wonderful work you do.

My second concern is for your safety and mitigating risk. For some the organisations you work for will have already set policy in this area, especially if you work in Education or as an Allied Health worker. However, with many of our members working in private practice, some or all of the time, you will need to make some decisions on and set clear policy for your clients and staff. Whether you will meet with clients who are unvaccinated or how you might meet with them safety is something that you should all consider and make your own ethical decisions. We will as an Association endeavour to support you with information on the legislative requirements as they come to hand.

As a priority, I would advise you all to access the Work Safe risk assessment information.

Also, refer to the CDANZ code of ethics.

The new Traffic light system the vaccination certificates.

I am also concerned about the strong emotions, feelings of anger and betrayal that people are feeling at this time and so ask you to be careful to remain the unbiased professional that you are and not to express your personal opinions where situations could become inflamed. I believe having an upfront clear policy from the onset will be the key to ‘keeping yourself and others safe’ as mandated in the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

As an Association, we would like to know if you would like us to add an additional item to your online profile with CDANZ that states your vaccination status.

We have added a simple survey here.

Please complete the survey before the 27th Nov 2021.

My third concern is for the difficult conversations that many of us are starting to have with the people adversely affected by the vaccine mandates. In May of 2020 we developed a couple of banners to help support our vision of supporting the people of Aotearoa as they navigate what we saw was going to be a difficult time. My favourite was “Change is our Business”

I still believe this is a great tagline as we uniquely work with people going through change on a daily basis. The reason for the change may be different this time however, the emotions, and needs will be the same, feelings of injustice, hurt, anger, loss, grief, being bullied. People are even talking about the mandates making two classes of citizenship.

Our role as career development professionals is not to have conversations about the “vaccine”; we are not medical professionals. However, our role is to have conversations which consider how the client’s vaccination status impacts on their job choices in relation to the changing labour market, and their career plan. Remembering that in having these conversations we must maintain privacy and confidentiality, legal and ethical obligations. For example, where a client holds a current Vaccination Certificate, whether it is appropriate to include this on their CV and/or Cover Letter, to support applications.

Our role as always is to be the unbiased help and support needed by those who have had a job/training shock, which may have resulted in them being forced out of a job/ occupational area and to work with them as they discover alternative pathways forward.

Many avenues of employment and training will be cut off to people in the coming month if they choose not to vaccinate. As career professionals, we will have to stay up to date on industry mandates and organisations individual policies and be aware of the changing nature of the world of work. My hope is that as CDANZ career professionals we will be uniquely positioned to help. Let’s share information and new knowledge with our peers so that we can all learn this new work world together. I invite you to share insights with Kris our General Manager who will create a Page on the website much like we did at the start of Covid-19 for members to access links and information as it comes to hand.

Mauria ko ōku painga, waiho ko ōku wherū

Take what is good in this, leave the rest behind.

Aroha nui

Heather Lowery-Kappes

CDANZ National Presiden