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Oarsome night at LIA-Visual Connections Christmas dinner

It was a night billed as 'no speeches, just the industry getting together,' and what a get-together it was at the Sydney Rowing Club, waterside at Abbotsford. The LIA's Angus Scott and Visual Connections' Sarah Moore and Charly Blade were supported by The Press Gang, Society of Old Friends, Women in Print and Museum of Print folk.

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 On the banks of the Parramatta River, Sydney Rowing Club, venue for the united industry's end of year gathering


The only address to the gathering was from Angus Scott to give away a copy of James Cryer's book 'The Romance of Letterpress' and a few bottles of fine IMG 1341French wine. Fairfax and Rural Press legend Bob Lockley then thanked Angus for all his hard work shepherding the gathering and organising the whole thing, with the help of Sarah Moore and Charly Blade of Visual Connections. The rest was pure enjoyment and camerarderie.

The venue of Sydney Rowing Club's Watergrill function room was perfect, complete with spectacular sunset followed by the distant sparkling lights of Sydney and Parramatta.

Industry recruiter, James Cryer of JDA Printrecruit - who donated a copy of his book as a door prize - has offered the following op-ed (Note, the opinions expressed are his own views)

" Last Thursday (the 24th) was an occasion of great significance for our industry and yet, might it have gone unnoticed by some?

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James Cryer (L) with Cactus Imaging's Keith Ferrel

Last Thursday was a milestone and also a reminder that we as an industry are evolving and maturing. The event - in case you missed it - represented a milestone in our industry's evolution from primarily a trade-based one to a more diversified industry providing a wide range of solutions, processes and services!

This has not always been an easy transition. The dominance of offset has historically overshadowed other smaller specialist sectors of our industry such as labels, cartons and signage generally.

All that changed last Thursday, when under the LIA’s Angus Scott's masterful leadership, assisted by Visual Connections, we emerged as an industry of many colours! A veritable 'united nations' of print, if you will.

We are not alone, as many industries, after 100 years of fierce craft-based demarcation, would never sit down together, let alone rejoice in their own company.

This is why last Thursday's dinner at the Sydney Rowing Club, Abbotsford, was such a seminal event. This, to my knowledge, was the first time we've all come together as an industry, and hopefully could be the start of a trend, an annual event perhaps?

Collaboration and cooperation is the new black and I'm pleased to say we've been ''first movers'' in this regard as we reach out to embrace new technologies and new markets. We're being less defined as ''printers'' and more as brand managers as we offer an increasingly diverse range of services.

But I think the evening highlighted an even deeper set of values. In the audience were not only ''printers'' but suppliers; and the full age gamut from young to old codgers like me. But even more impressive was seeing (and meeting) a couple of printers from US-owned packaging supplier, Westrock. How rewarding it was to meet the future of our industry, face-to-face.IMG 1340

Many thanks to Angus Scott for having the vision, perseverance and drive to pull us all together - without any kicking and screaming. A sign that we really have matured as an industry and have come out of our silos to present a united front to not only our clients, but hopefully also to school-leavers.

Note: the headline included the comment 'unnoticed by some.' I refer to the absence of the new ‘peak’ national body, who were conspicuous in this absence. To board member John Georgantzakos, owner of Spot Press, great credit is owing as he was there, but it was disappointing there was not any official representation from the so-called ‘peak’ national body.

The LIA and visual Connections continue to show leadership in reaching out to our industry at the grassroots level.

James Cryer

End of op-ed.

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LIA Event Angus Scott
Event organiser Angus Scott of the LIA (NSW)