2023 PD Bursary Report – Caitlin Single

After a decade since my last trip away for professional development I eagerly applied for the QPLA Professional Development bursary, instantly drawn to the themes of sustainability, diversity and inclusion. It definitely wasn’t the location of beautiful Noosa and three nights away from my small humans that swayed my decision.  The program presented a range of intriguing speakers and topics that not only sparked an interest but was also relevant to many aspects of my role at Citylibraries Townsville.

Highlights from the PD in no particular order:

  1. Lighting talks – There is something special about listening to inspiring library professionals share heartfelt projects, the passion and dedication doesn’t go unmissed. It’s hard to pick a favourite as the quality was high, however, if I had to it would be Teresa and Georgia from the Sunny Coast discussing inclusion membership (highly relevant to our membership strategy review in Townsville)
  2. Yumi Stynes – Yumi was always going to be a crowd favourite. Engaging, funny and candid about her journey writing and publishing the inclusive and shame-free book for young adults “Welcome to Sex”. My takeaway was be kind, look after yourself and make sure you put the time and effort into your own mental health. Another highlight was her re-enactment of a scene from the Barbie movie and listening to her talk about the impossible – achieving screen free nights 4 times a week with small children! Proving you really can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.
  3. Dr Bridie Kean – Advocating for reverse inclusion in all that we do, ensuring everyone feels safe and included in spaces, programs and services. Listening to Bridie share her life story and discussion around reverse inclusion made me think about how we can do better here at Citylibraries Townsville.
  4. Networking – not only to meet and talk with complete strangers with shared interests, but the opportunity to head outside of the office with colleagues I don’t usually work with and share this experience. It was nice to connect and learn more about each other.
  5. Cooroy Library visit – wow this library was amazing! Airconditioning from the floor, a rooftop space for programs, rainforest behind the front counter, I could go on!
  6. Three uninterrupted nights of sleep – a rare treat for parents like me!

It feels almost impossible to wrap up my 2 days down in Noosa into a small article – I haven’t even touched on the food. The whole experience was inspiring, educational and filled with memorable moments. Thanks to all the amazing people who made this happen –  I have caught the PD fever!

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