The small army of volunteers demonstrating out-of-towers the River City have apparently started organizing freelance « unofficial » events and organizing unapproved group visits, much to the chagrin of their thoughts at City Hall.
As a result, program director Bianca Maurice issued a concise letter of reprimand this month.
« More than once this week (and before) I have noticed greeters organizing ‘unofficial’ training events and / or reaching out to people / locations on behalf of Brisbane Greeters to arrange group visits for Brisbane Greeters and friends / partners. ‘ ‘she wrote in the email to City Beat.
« This is not acceptable behavior and something I want to stop. We need to make sure that we are always acting in the best interests of the program and not using ourselves. »
Maurice then increases the pressure by warning members of the group not to attend any training session organized by another greeter.
« The council is very strict (and for good reasons) and I want to make sure you understand the risks involved. This matter is grave and may lead to termination as a volunteer. »
Wow, can you actually get fired as a volunteer? Apparently, but that would be a pretty bad look if it came to the fact that Mayor Adrian Schrinner and his crew only rebuilt the popular initiative at the end of last year.
Maurice finished her spray on a positive note by encouraging greeters to contact her directly with ideas for training or other initiatives.
However, one member of the group told your diary writer that there was a lack of training and general insensitivity to the town hall, which has led people to take matters into their own hands.
« As you can imagine, there are a number of very disgruntled greeters who have tried to hold outside ‘information’ meetings, ‘ » he told us.
« There were times when museums and speakers approached us individually to visit us at their venue or to talk to us about Brisbane.
« A group of like-minded people attended along with their partners and friends, but not as an official welcome event. When we contacted the ‘office’ to contact the museum / person for an ‘official’ family, there was a no response the party concerned.
« There is very little training for a greeter in Brisbane. You basically have to do it yourself. »
Maurice declined to comment when we called for a meeting on Tuesday and said she would get someone on the BCC communications team to get in touch with us. You never did.
Originally launched by then Lord Mayor Graham Quirk in 2012, the Greeters program has drawn hundreds of retirees over the years looking to show off their city to visitors, dignitaries, students, and the like.
But it was inexplicably canceled last year when budget cuts and layoffs wiped out Brisbane Marketing, which has since been renamed the Brisbane Economic Development Agency.
After a number of criticisms of this move, the program was revived in December and Maurice was seconded from BEDA to oversee it.
Even then, there was controversy over whether the original red greeter shirts should be left to those with blue and gold. Some saw this as an allusion to LNP colors.
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