To say 2020 has been a challenging and turbulent year would be considered an undeniable understatement. The year began with a baptism of fire, the bushfires that had been raging in Australia since late 2019 continued to devastate huge areas of bushland burning an estimated 18.6 million hectares by February 2020. Thousands lost their homes and property; some sadly lost their lives. What then followed in March with the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation brought the world to a grinding halt on a scale that many have not seen before. The novel coronavirus had been declared a global pandemic and with that international borders were shut, businesses were forced to close, and people were locked down in their homes in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Like all businesses, ISEC was not immune to the effects of the strict lockdowns that were imposed. Our clients were forced to close their venues and sites, cancel their events and festivals leaving their staff and many of ours without work for the foreseeable future. We were faced with having to stand down team members without being able to tell them when we could employ them again. This was truly one of the toughest times in ISEC’s history and a microcosm of what was happening all around the world.
But as the adage goes, when one door closes another opens, and for ISEC this came in the form of an opportunity to be one of the security providers to the NSW Quarantine Hotel program. With this, ISEC was able to retain staff during the lockdowns in addition to employing many others who were out of work in the industry. We had been given a lifeline, one that carried with it an immense amount of trust and responsibility and one that we would not take for granted. Our teams worked tirelessly to get our part in the project off the ground and we continue to strive for excellence every day. We have faced challenges along the way but have taken them in our stride and worked together to get through them. It has been rewarding to see that the efforts of ISEC and its employees, along with many others has helped in protecting our communities from the spread of COVID-19.
We were thrilled when many of our clients were able to slowly reopen their venues and sites. It was heartwarming to see their enthusiasm and dedication in getting back to doing what they loved, after having been through their own sets of obstacles and challenges. The new normal involved meticulous COVID safety plans, social distancing, regular cleaning and sanitising. Our teams were honoured to be given the chance to be a part of their business once again.
The recent outbreak in the Northern Beaches has been a very untimely and unfortunate situation, with Christmas and New Year celebrations just around the corner. But Australians have proven how capable they are in adapting to change and shown great resiliency throughout the year; even our children have displayed these traits. Thousands of school children adapted to online learning during lockdowns. Year 12 students graduated in what must be classed as one of toughest years in recent history. On a personal note, my daughter along with many other Kindergarteners began the school year in classrooms and quickly pivoted to learning from home. It amazed me to see how seamlessly they were able to adapt to these major disruptions.
Just like the rest of the world, adaption and resilience have been an underlying theme for ISEC in 2020. We strengthened already robust processes and systems to adapt and excel in the new normal. Our teams embraced technology and change, moving from working together in an office to working remotely. Face to face interactions and meetings went virtual via Teams or Zoom; “You’re on mute” would be a phrase that many would be familiar with this year. As the year went on, we welcomed new talent into our organisation who slipped right into the swing of things. With new pieces in motion, there was never a compromise on our commitment to service excellence. At all times we upheld ISEC’s values of TEAMWORK, TRUST, PROFESSIONALISM, RELIABILITY and PASSION.
With the end of the year soon upon us, I would like to wish all our valued clients, staff, and the wider community a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2021 will bring along its own set of challenges, but we know that the lessons learnt in 2020 will hold us in good stead to take them on.
General Manager – Risk & Compliance