President's Report, September - Number 1 in Google Juice

25 Aug 2009 11:47 PM | Chris Betcher
It’s been another busy month! The Canadian Film Festival took place this month and the club had a great turnout to see a group showing of “One Week”, a powerful film that looks at life and what it means to be alive.  I heard it was terrific.  I say “I heard it” because I was unable to actually attend the screening due to another prior commitment, but Linda went along and gave me a great film review later that evening.  I also got invitations to see other films in the film festival (courtesy of the Canadian Consulate) but again, I seemed to have something on that prevented me from attending either of them.  The tickets did not go to waste however, and were offered to other members of the executive committee who could attend, and I’m sure they enjoyed the films they saw.

The Canadian Australian Club is definitely a great contact point for the Canadian community in Sydney, especially now that we have developed some real “Google Juice”.  A Google search using the terms “canadian australian club” or “canadian club sydney” currently sees us coming up as the number one search result.  Getting on the front page of the Google search results is incredibly valuable, especially when you get the number one spot using such obvious search terms.  This steady rise in web visibility has helped attract even more attention to our club, with a steady stream of new members coming via the website… for a while there we averaged almost a new member a day!  Our club is certainly growing!

This improved web visibility also means I receive regular emails from random Canadians - both here and in Canada -  asking questions about life in Sydney.  Our club is seen as somewhat of an authority on how to live as a Canadian in Sydney.  In the last month I’ve received questions from people about setting up an Australian bank account, gotten suggestions for getting Canadian taxes done, had offers of tickets to Francophone performances, had requests for membership applications and messages from the Consulate. When you stop and think about it, our club is probably one of the best sources in Australia for anyone wanting information about living away from Canada, so it’s no surprise that people would turn to us when they want good suggestions.  Most of our members have plenty of real life experience to share, and some good stories too!

Of course, all that experience can only have an effect if we have a way to share it.  The best way to do this is to get on a club event, talk to other members, and share your stories.  That’s what makes the difference.  I can tell you from first hand experience of living with an occasionally homesick Canadian, nothing cheers her up more than a chance to hang out with her peeps! Swapping Canada stories, asking questions of other Canadians who have lived here for a while, and of course talking about the weather… it all helps ease the pain of being so far from home.  

There is also a place on the website to share stories and ask questions.  The members section of the website has a easy-to-use discussion forum where you can go to leave messages, offer advice or just strike up a conversation.  If you have a question, the discussion forum is a great place to ask it; and if you know the answer, the discussion forum is a great place to helpfully offer it.  If you haven’t been into the forums, take a few minutes to check them out.  The more conversation going on, the more sharing we experience and the more likely we are to make connections with other people.

Before I finish, I want to thank Lenora Carney for taking over the membership role from Tom and Lou Ikeda, who had to step down for various reasons.  Lenora used to be our website person so it’s good to have her back on deck to help out with the nuts and bolts of running of the club.  And it doesn't get more "nuts and bolts" than managing our members database.  Welcome back Lenora.

Speaking of running the club, don’t forget the committee elections are coming up in a few months, so give some thought to being part of the executive team for 2010.  It’s good to have some new blood in an organisation every now and then…  you don’t need a whole lot of experience, just a willingness to get involved and help make things happen.  Who knows, you might even like it! And I can certainly tell you from experience that the real core of what goes on in the club goes on within the executive committee.  That's where the real action is! 

Hope to see you on an outing soon!

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