2013 Training Roadshow – Cairns (and SSAA Regional Meeting)

On Tuesday morning, I headed up to Cairns, QLD for the Self Storage Association of Australasia’s (SSAA’s) Regional Meeting & Dinner – and I was quite excited, having never visited Cairns before!

After a few flight delays (nothing unusual given Brisbane Airport’s experience in this department; there’s even a Twitter hashtag for it; #bnelateagain), we eventually departed Brisbane and touched-down in Cairns just over two hours later.

Upon arriving in Cairns, I bumped into a friend (a Virgin Australia Cabin Supervisor); he was boarding the same plane to take it back to Brisbane – so we had a quick chat before I entered the main airport terminal – which appears as though it was recently renovated… nice job, Cairns – your domestic airport is looking great! After exiting the newly renovated terminal, I remembered that we were now in the “tropical north”; emphasis on the tropical part… and it was a little more humid that I was used to / expecting.

After checking into the hotel, I completed some work and prepared for tomorrow’s training courses, then headed out to the Cairns Novotel for the SSAA dinner meeting; the first one held in Cairns for about three years.

Tonight we would be hearing from the SSAA’s Membership Officer Luisa Natoli, as well as the SSAA’s Legal Counsel, Simone Hill. The night started off with Luisa’s introduction, followed by a great self storage quiz! My table (at the time; I did move around a bit) was team “Green Edge”. We also had “The Storage Queens” and “BBS” as the other two teams. After several storage-related questions our table (team), “Green Edge”, ended up in a draw with “The Storage Queens”… but “BBS” won the quiz overall… well done!

After entree was served, Simone Hill took us through some important legal information about what you should and shouldn’t throw into the garbage if a storer defaults. Medical records, such as from a doctors surgery, should definitely be shredded before disposal, should the storer default on their payments & reach the sell-up stage.

Simone also covered some of the “weird and wonderful things” that people had found in storage units once the storer had defaulted – everything from bodies in freezers to illegal substances. We also shared our own self storage stories regarding things we had found in units that had reached the sell-up stage – everything from a unit full of old car tyres to an old lady’s unit which contained, well, let’s just use the phrase “a number adult pleasure devices”, shall we?

The night was very well attended – with about 30 of us taking part. Interestingly, I was the only Service Member in attendance.

After a terrible night’s sleep (unfortunately something I’d eaten for lunch at the hotel during the previous day made me quite ill – and I was awake virtually all night long), I headed over to visit the lovely team at Earlville Self Storage for a few hours, followed by a Storman Intermediate / Advanced Training session (as part of the Storman Roadshow), which was held at Big Blue Self Storage. Staff from Big Blue, Earlville and Centenary Self Storage were in attendance.

Then, at 4pm, I was back at the airport and heading home to Brisbane. I really enjoyed my time in Cairns and found everyone to be very down-to-earth and friendly… I’ll definitely be back! A big thank you goes to Earlville Self Storage for going out of their way on Wednesday morning to look after me (given my very unsettled stomach), and to Pam from Big Blue for her hospitality & use of their boardroom for the Storman training.

Next week, I’m off to Melbourne for the next leg of our roadshow, followed by Sydney the week after. I’ll leave you with a couple of photos from my brief stay in Cairns (below). Until next time!



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