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Media and advocacy

The AHRI journey, so far

With the fondest feelings, I say goodbye.

At AHRI's 2020 AGM, I will be stepped down from 14 years’ service as national president and chairman of AHRI and as a board member. I have long held, and will maintain, a great passion and commitment to the purpose and vision of this institute as an active professional member. I am also very pleased to have accepted the AHRI Board’s invitation to chair our National Certification Council, which oversees awarding of the CPHR designation to members who have successfully completed one of its pathways.

“Peter’s leadership of AHRI has been both exemplary and inspiring.  
I have admired Peter’s unfaltering desire to serve AHRI and the HR profession.”

Jon Scriven FCPHR, incoming Chairman

A lot has happened in my time, and many significant milestones marked the journey. The first was putting a financial syndicate together in early 2006 with John Wilson to buy back AHRI Pty Ltd – which was then a subsidiary of Deakin University. Deakin had acquired AHRI after the institute was placed into administration in 1999. Our financial proposal to Deakin’s open tender succeeded and we remutualised AHRI into the current standalone and members-owned entity.

After the acquisition, John served as chair and I served as CEO, both on a provisional basis. That transition lasted six months and enabled us to establish a new constitution and independent governance arrangements. Senior staff came across from Deakin University, such as the then head of learning, Lyn Goodear, and public affairs head Paul Begley. In the first six months, we conducted an executive search that led to the appointment of Serge Sardo as our first full-time CEO, after which I assumed the chairman and national president roles.

Barely two years later, the global financial crisis hit. We prepared for the economic rebound by bringing out leading business recovery expert Professor Wayne Cascio from the University of Colorado in Denver. He advised, not only our board, but also top CEOs and senior HR practitioners around Australia about the do’s and dont’s on responsible restructuring. Those events demonstrated to AHRI members the valuable services we provide, and started us on our journey to achieve a high level of operating performance and debt-free status.

“Peter always had a big picture in mind,
generally able to find a path with a positive outcome.”

John Wilson FAHRILife, former Vice Chair

From there we moved further to build our research base, expertise and national advocacy on all major issues of HR practice – with a particular focus on diversity and inclusion. Similarly, the AHRI National Convention and Exhibition became the leading event of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. Soon after, AHRI won the right to host the World HR Congress in Melbourne in 2012. It was described by many of the 3000 delegates and attendees from over 50 countries as the best ever. The Congress program included keynotes from top world authorities such as Dave Ulrich, Wayne Cascio, Fons Trompenaars, Sir Ken Robinson, Mary Robinson, Cathy Freeman, Elizabeth Broderick and Li Cunxin.

After that major event concluded, Lyn Goodear was appointed to CEO. Since that time AHRI has undergone a significant rebranding and an upgrade of all our services and events. The certification program and post-nominal designations were introduced. So far, about 1000 members have attained that CPHR professional level. It’s the only post-nominal in the world to achieve full and immediate reciprocity with chartered certification status at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK. We encourage all our practicing members to reach the highest standards of certification. The evidence from the first graduates is that your career and fortune will grow too, if you join in.

My best wishes to new CEO Sarah McCann-Bartlett, incoming AHRI chair Jon Scriven FCPHR, and all my terrific friends and colleagues on the board, management team and state councils over the last decade and more! Good luck to us all.

The AHRI journey has been exhilarating, and I believe that the future will be even more exciting.

"AHRI has been extremely fortunate to have had
‘the right leader at the right time’."

Lyn Goodear, former CEO


If you would like to write a farewell message for Peter, please head over to the LinkedIn post and leave a comment.