Reflections of a special week…

Well the time finally came last week for me to take over the reigns as President of PPMA from Stephen Moir. In my acceptance at the AGM I said how surreal the moment was as I had sat in the audience at PPMA Conferences more times than I care to remember never thinking that one day I would be wearing the chain of office!

It’s going to be a very hard act to follow the outstanding year that Stephen has had but we have a great team at PPMA and we will all work hard to make sure that this year is equally successful as last.

I took a bit of a gamble in moving our flagship conference to Manchester but I have to say I think it paid off. The theme for the conference was Purpose, Passion and Performance. All the speakers focussed on what that meant and were able to bring invaluable thoughts, ideas and debate to the bumper size audience. For those of you who were not able to attend, the speakers slides will be available for download form the PPMA website later this week. On the front page of the conference section you will also see a downloadable version of my opening address at the conference.

Copies of pictures from a very entertaining Thursday night can also be downloaded from  

I also set out my manifesto for the year at the AGM and this is something that I will be focussing hard on over the next twelve months. The five key areas of focus are:

  • The efficiency agenda
  • The changing size and shape of our organisations (see the PPMA/Deloitte thought leadership booklet on this topic that was distributed at the conference)
  • The future of public sector reward and pensions
  • The crisis in social worker recruitment
  • Leadership of our organisations  

Watch out for more news on these issues throughout the year.

Finally, I also had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people from PPMA, our sponsor organisations and partner organisations from across the globe during conference week. I was a pleasure to meet you all and thank you for your support at the conference. It is certainly a week I will remember for a long, long time to come.


By | 2017-07-30T12:23:42+00:00 May 5th, 2009|Categories: Gill Hibberd|2 Comments


  1. Joe Lunt 11th May 2009 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    When Nan and I were leaving Manchester Piccadilly on the Virgin Train to London Euston, there was a moment when we turned to each other and said, practically simlutaneously, we will be hard pressed to find equally warm, witty and welcoming people throughout the rest of our European jaunt.

    How right that turned out to be.

    We’ve never been made to feel more at home as quickly anywhere else. No matter how odd or out of sorts we felt, we never saw or heard that from any of the many people we met via PPMA. For two near-pensioner rustics like us, that’s saying something.

    Dean Shoesmith practically hovered over us hen-like while not otherwise occupied with matters of state. And John Tonks and Carol Sands were so cordial and helpful, we almost felt guilt was the only appropriate response.

    And how about a shout-out for Manchester itself? We loved the place, very accessible for two Yanks, friendly and funny people who strike me as thoroughly English. Certainly not what we encountered in France.

    Lastly, I want to say again that your manifesto, Gillian, is a clarion call for any who labor in “our business” of public sector human resouces management. Your salient points are finely honed, and it was a pleasure to be able to hear you deliver it in person.

    Thanks again from the Piney Hills of Northwest Louisiana. If y’all ever hereabouts, drop on in and sit a spell.


  2. Gill Hibberd 14th May 2009 at 7:56 am - Reply

    A big thank you Joe for your kind comments. It’s so satisfying to learn that delegates have enjoyed the conference, especially when they have travelled so far to get there.

    I know how much Dean Shoesmith appreciated the hospitality and warmth of reception he received in his recent trip to Las Vegas so I’m pleased that we were able to welcome our friends from America to our own conference this year. It’s also very reassuring to know that the British standard of hospitality was far superior to anything Joe and his wife encountered on their travels across Europe!

    Your comments remind me to ask everyone to complete and return the PPMA Conference evaluation forms that are in the process of being sent out. We really do value feedback and genuinely use it to shape next years conference. For example, last year people told us that you would like an alternative venue and more interactive sessions, which we hope we delivered this year at our Manchester event.

    Thanks again.


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