Leadership in the Top End: Embracing Opportunities and Thriving in Darwin and the Northern Territory

27 Jul 2023

After three decades of firsthand experience, Professor Leonard Notaras bears witness to the unparalleled allure of living and working in Darwin and the Northern Territory. As a testament to his journey, Professor Notaras shares his insights into the extraordinary potential this region holds for individuals from all walks of life. From the challenges of remoteness to the pressing health concerns, this captivating land presents a canvas of possibilities waiting to be painted with the colours of leadership, innovation, and diversity.

Leadership in the Top End: Embracing Opportunities and Thriving in Darwin and the Northern Territory

After three decades I can well attest that living and working in Darwin and the Northern Territory is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. The Territory is a place of opportunity, and a place where individuals at all levels and from all backgrounds can make a significant difference. A little more than one sixth the Australian land mass with a challenging and at times seemingly unforgiving terrain, the NT in fact has much to give and indeed reward. Although a small population, the health challenges are significant, but with enthusiasm and passion, surmountable.  Rich in indigenous culture, pride and caring, the environment well rewards commitment.   Keys to success are an ability to recognize and embrace opportunities. The challenges of remoteness, and most significantly those confronted by our Traditional Owners, are matters we need to urgently continue to address.

Great work has occurred and must continue to occur, and herein is an opportunity for leaders to innovate, shine. and make a significant difference.

While to some in the South may see Darwin and the Top End as remote, its proximity to Asia is a unique asset that makes it a most attractive hub. The proximity of Darwin tour Northern Neighbours provides yet another opportunity, an opportunity which attracts aspiring leaders and influencers.

Throughout it is important to respect all and to communicate.  Far from encountering a distant and professional wilderness, attractive opportunities enabled building … the building of services, specialties and relationships.  Association with education providers such as the NT University and the Fliders University of South Australia saw the development of a medical clinical school, nursing and pharmacy schools, and a number of other initiatives, all of which served the duel objectives of attracting and retaining key staff at every level.

The product of many of these endeavours was the emergency of the national Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, an internationally recognized leader in preparedness and response, not only for sudden onset disasters, but also communicable disease and public health as well demonstrated in 2010 with the Pakistan Assist response and more Recently with the National and international COVID responses.

In essence, leadership is about listening, respect and vigilance.  It is about seizing opportunities and enable others to thrive and innovate.