The year that was

On Wednesday March 18, the bluenotes and ANZ News content team went home for the night and didn’t return. Like nine out of 10 ANZ employees, we spent the rest of 2020 working from home and continue to do so.

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Pic: ANZ's content team (L-R) Top row: Sue-Ellen, Andrew, Renee Bottom row: Gemma, Melissa, Jemma

Our experience was actually a relatively minor example of disruption in an extraordinary year in which the world was ravaged by a novel coronavirus and economies suffered the collateral damage of harsh measures taken to counteract the disease. Or, worse, continue to suffer the ongoing and long term damage of underestimating the impact of not dealing with a catastrophically infectious virus.

"Through 2020 bluenotes and ANZ News have strived to deliver stories across multiple formats which helped explain not just global macroeconomics but local, personal experience.”

Yet in this most horrible of years, we are pleased to say – as indeed did ANZ as a whole and so many other companies – we continued to do what we have always aimed to do: provide insight, analysis, opinion and human example of what is happening in our world.

ANZ News and bluenotes continued to publish every day, with our focus shifting as the year itself shifted, from emergency reaction to rapid response to understanding the implications and sifting through the opportunity.

Moreover, while COVID-19 dominated headlines other crises continued, unabated. Climate change – not just catastrophic in its own right but a generator of pandemics – remains an existential threat. Diversity, in all its forms, an unachieved ambition despite the evidence of benefits not just to companies and shareholders but society as a whole. Financial literacy across vulnerable communities remains a challenge.

But this year did bring some positives: societies and companies were forced to concentrate on what really mattered, customer focus sharpened, in the banking the digital revolution – with all its promise – accelerated. Workplaces changed, for the better, according to many, many employees and some of that change will be permanent.

Through 2020 bluenotes and ANZ News strived to deliver stories across multiple formats which helped explain not just global macroeconomics but local, personal experience. We hope 2021 will deliver much better news but we can at least guarantee we will continue to produce engaging, relevant and objective stories reflecting the financial environment of Australia, New Zealand and the Asian region.

On behalf of the ANZ content team, Sue-Ellen Atherton, Jemma Wight, Renee Levett, Melissa Currie and Gemma Simpson, I wish you the best possible festive season – and a much, much better new year.

Andrew Cornell is managing editor of bluenotes

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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