President's Report, March - A new President

24 Feb 2009 11:10 PM | Chris Betcher
 Hello everyone! It gives me great pleasure to announce we have a NEW president – Chris Betcher! Thanks very much to Chris for stepping up into this role, and even though he’s our current Website manager, he has volunteered to do this in addition to his role.

I have enjoyed my past year, and will continue to be a part of the executive committee as a councillor – thanks again to everyone on the committee who helped make last year another successful one, and to all of YOU for attending the events!

And now, a few words from our new president...

Pam

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Thanks Pam...

From what I've heard, it's been a while since an Australian has taken on the role of being president of the Canadian Australian club, so I hope I can live up to the high standard set by those who have done the job in the past.

For those that don't know me, I've lived in Sydney most of my life, except for a year when I lived in Oakville, Ontario on a teaching exchange.  It was during that time (well, just before I left to return to Australia actually) that I met a lovely Canadian girl by the name of Linda and, long story short, we both now live here in Australia.  So in our house, we have an Aussie who feels like Canada is a second home, and a Canuck who often feels the pangs of homesickness for life north of the 39th parallel.  I think these things give us a pretty good insight into why people would want to belong to a club like ours.

Linda and I have only been members of the club for a relatively short time, but we've tried to be as involved in club activities as we can.  I've been an active member of a number of other clubs over the years and I know from experience that when it comes to clubs, you only get out of them what you put in.

There are a couple of goals for the club that I hope we can achieve over the next year or so...

Firstly, I'd like to work with the rest of the club, both the executive committee and the regular members, to streamline a few processes and procedures to make the club run more smoothly.  I'm sure when we join organisations like this, we do it to meet new people, do interesting activities, and have some fun.  All clubs need people to to keep them running, and that's why we have a committee, to do just that.

Running the club, from an administrative perspective, should not be an onerous job.  So one of the goals we should set is to build an easy to use, efficient system that makes sense to the people who need to use it so we can keep the club growing.  To this end, we need to reinvent a few things... the way we manage membership, the way we manage email and the website, the way we run the back-end financial processes that our club needs.  I've spent the last few weeks looking at just how things work and I think we can do it better, easier and more efficiently.

The club has a good website thanks to the great work of Lenora in the past.  As we move forward, one of the things we need to think about is a website that will not need someone with special talents like Lenora to keep running.  I think our website has the potential to be a really central tool for the club to stay informed and manage our own data.  At the moment, it takes too many people working too hard to keep all the wheels turning.  I'd like to work with the club to create a new website that will centralise and automate many of our processes, simplify the way we manage membership and our data, all in one central place.  I believe the flow-on effects of doing this will be really substantial.

The second thing I hope we can achieve is to attract some new members to the club whilst keeping our long term members happy too.  I think we do this by having plenty of interesting club events, getting good deals and benefits for club members, maintaining good links between Canada and Australia, and giving people what they want from a social club such as this.  Canadians have a lot in common with Australians, and that's part of the reason our club exists.  We want to make sure that those who have just arrived in Australia have a place to feel at home, and those who have been here for a while still have a place to reconnect with their Canadian roots.

So there's lots to do, and plenty of fun to be had while we're doing it.  It will take a bit of work, but the challenge is to maintain all the great traditions and stories that exist in a club with a 40 year history, while also looking to reinvent a few things in order to remain relevant in the 21st century. As we do this, your suggestions and ideas are always welcome and will play an important role of helping us move forward.

Till next month,

Chris

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