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Friday, 13 November 2009

Refining the learning

Mayor Felicity-Ann Lewis, Prof John Martin and CEO Mark Searle
We've summarised it - the essence of our one day seminars:
Some things we can teach; but integrity is a choice. Some things we know, some we know we don't know, and when it comes to a specific, and newly captured, political-management conversation, we're working together to understand what we're seeing. This is where the seminars are best for being Socratic in style. We join in pondering "what's going on?"
Marion City Council's conversation has been fascinating - a nine year working relationship between Mayor Felicity-Ann Lewis and CEO Mark Searle. John and I have edited - from the longer film he and Annie made in September - an eleven minute sample of separate clips within their conversation and then - drawing on later parts of the same conversation - two five minute exchanges in which Felicity and Mark negotiate their response to specific incidents - "events, dear boy, events!"
Mud-mapping - where we work on rough maps - jotting names, issues and events has enriched appreciation of a council's political context. I like this way of surveying a political landscape.
Waiting at Launceston, Tasmania
We've seen this work well in Darwin. It worked well in Launceston, and, a day later, in Melbourne. I'm used to doing this with more kit - geographically accurate maps and photos of members - but where we've been working with a range of individuals, perhaps pairs or trios, from different councils, where assembling all that kit would be tricky at short notice, the sketchier approach works really well - adding to ways of understanding and communicating the characteristics of a political environment.
We'd like to see politicians as adept at mapping the managerial characteristics of the council to which they've been elected, as many public managers seem to be at mapping their political environment. So far there's only one place I've been able to see this happen - in Peterborough City Council last year during a political-management project with Charlie Adan, where officers shared their perceptions with members and members theirs with officers - a conversation which led to a novel exercise in refining those mutual perceptions of one another - adding in a bit of jargon for fun, like 'scope creep'.
* * * Meanwhile in dear Greece I've just seen this story by Malcolm Brabant reporting the discovery of remains in the sunken bow portion of HMS Volage, one of the ships that struck an Albanian laid mine during the Corfu Channel Incident in 1946 - something Frank Carrick told me about last year. In September Frank and I, guided by George Psailas, visited the graves, in the British Cemetery in Corfu, of those whose bodies were recovered immediately after the event.
This is the AP story dated 2 November 09. The most comprehensive account seems to come from James P. Delgado of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, posted to Wikipedia on 23 Oct 09:
In July 2007, the RPM Nautical Foundation, a U.S. and Malta-based not-for-profit organization, began a comprehensive, ongoing archaeological survey of the coast of Albania in cooperation with the Albanian Institute of Archaeology (AIA) and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA). The inaugural season, conducted from the R/V Hercules, involved a multibeam sonar survey with remotely operated vehicle (ROV) assessment of targets to the 120 m contour. The area surveyed was from the border with Greece, through the Corfu Channel (but not into Greek waters) and to the Bay of Saranda, 21 kilometer from the border. A total of 125 anomalies were encountered, and 67 were assessed with the ROV during the 2007 season. The majority of anomalies were found to be geological mud and mud/sand formations created as silt from the mouth of the Butrint River to the south is transported by current in a N-S direction. Fifteen shipwrecks were identified, fourteen of which were classified as “modern” and one of which was an ancient wreck of ca. 300-275 BCE. One of the fourteen other targets, briefly examined in 2007, was later (2009) determined to be the bow of HMS Volage.
During the 2009 field season the sonar target in this area was re-examined by James P. Delgado of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Jeffrey Royal of the RPM Nautical Foundation, ROV specialist Kim Wilson, and George Robb, Jr., President and founder of the RPM Nautical Foundation, who immediately assessed the potential of the 2007 “wreck” as the possible bow of Volage in response to Delgado’s question of whether the surveys of 2007-2009 had encountered any traces of the Corfu Channel Incident. After consultation with Dr. Adrian Anastasi as the AIA and Albanian government representative, it was decided to non-intrusively reassess the site on 28 June 2009. An hour-long ROV dive was made to the site on that afternoon.
The site is located in the area of the mining of HMS Volage. The seabed is a loose mud and silt. The sonar anomaly delineated by multibeam in 2007 and reconfirmed in 2009 is approximately 15 by 10 meters in area and has a height of 1.5 meters above the current level of the seabed. Active siltation and burial of the vessel remains at the site is visible. Some localized scouring and uncovering of cultural material is also possible. The majority of the remains visible were a section of a steel ship’s hull, with explosion damage consistent with an implosion, exposed steel frames, electrical wiring, and a series of diagnostic artefacts. While identification of the site would have been better aided by the recovery of one or more diagnostic artefacts, because of the possibility of the site being the bow of HMS Volage and hence a war grave, no disturbance was planned and nothing was disturbed or removed from the site. The British and Albanian governments were notified of the find and provided with video and still images of the site after the survey.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting read. Did you do any surveying in Lake Butrint?

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