The truth is that academics are always busy; and the Principal Collaborators of the ESS Collaborative are no exception. We have been meeting and working together for several years and yet, the last item on our meeting agendas always seemed to be carried over for the next meeting. The item in question was ‘how we should name our group?’

In desperation last year I offered a gift voucher to whoever could capture the nature of the work we do, and the way that we do it, in a succinct name. This focussed everyone’s attention and finally we all agreed that Simon Cooper should win the prize for his offering The Education, Simulation and Safety Collaborative.

Last week we gathered in Sydney for a two-day meeting. I arrived in a post- summer holiday fugue state, hoping that the energy of the group would carry me along and that the meeting would be reenergising and productive. By the end of the first day we had achieved so much and on the second day of the meeting I paused for a moment to look around the room. It was buzzing…

Everyone was focused, engaged, enthusiastic, contributing, offering ideas freely and sharing the responsibilities for tasks required in order to develop our next project. And then it occurred to me that, as a group, we embody what it means to be a true collaborative. So whether by accident or design the name The ESS Collaborative suits us to a tee. By the way Simon immediately bought a lovely bottle of gin with his prize – which he has yet to share with his collaborators!

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