President's Report, December 2009 - A Time for Giving

05 Dec 2009 11:42 AM | Chris Betcher
So here we are at the end of yet another great year for the Canadian Australian Club.  It's been a year of significant change I feel, as we have rethought, redesigned and remade some of the "engine" that keeps our club ticking along.  The move to the new website earlier this year has had major implications (in a good way I hope) on how our club operates on a day to day basis.  We've streamlined many of our internal processes, tried to simplify both the experience for members and the workload for the committee, and if the turnout at recent club events is anything to go by, I feel we are on the right track.

There were casualities along the way of course, and no doubt some members will still wish we were producing a paper newsletter but the economics of time and money required to do so when the website can provide all the same information faster just made it a little redundant. As of the new year, there will no longer be a monthly newsletter, either in paper or PDF form.  All you need to know regarding news, events and updates will be available directly on the club website by logging in as a member.

With the changes that were wrought over the past year, we had a long hard think (and a spirited debate) about our club constitution.  It was outdated in some areas, and simply needed to be brought into the reality of the way the club runs. Consequently, at the most recent AGM, those present voted on, and approved, the suggested changes.  In this process, some new committee positions were created, some were removed completely, and we think the new constitution is a pretty good reflection of reality for us.  We are just getting it into a form for online use and the new constitution will be posted on this site very soon.

Another change is an increase in fees.  As unpopular as fee increases are, it appears that the cost of being a member of the club has been static for, well, as long as any of us could remember.  It's unclear exactly when the last fee increase was, but it was apparently a long time ago. It was decided almost unanimously that a fee increase was long overdue, and so as of January 1 the cost of membership for the Canadian Australian Club will rise by $10 each to now be...
  • 12 month Single Membership - $35
  • 12 month Family Membership - $45
As much as we all dislike fee increases, it was felt by nearly everyone that such an increase was both overdue and reasonable.

At that same AGM, the new committee was also elected, and it's one I'm very much looking forward to working with over the coming year.  It is...
  • President - Chris Betcher
  • Secretary - Pam Trudel
  • Treasurer - Chris Warrick
  • Membership - Lenora Carney
  • Events - Sarah Hatfield
  • Content Manager - Linda Johannesson
  • Advertising - Alex Kijurina
  • Website - Chris Betcher
  • Councillors - Bonnie Lovelace, Barbara Glover, Allan Psaila, Kathleen Ryan, Ami Seymour and Craig Kokay.
It's a great group of people to be working with, with a good mix of experience and fresh ideas.  You can get more info and find out about these people here.

A special thanks needs to go to the Christmas Party subcommittee, who did an amazing job of putting together the club Christmas Party last Friday night. As well as making the Christmas snacks, collecting and wrapping gifts for all comers, organising food and everything else that happens behind the scenes, they also arranged for the club to make a charitable donation to 4 different Childrens' Charities.  A special mention must go to Frank Yong, who is technically not a club member as he is a Canadian only visiting Sydney for a short time, but who put a ton of effort into organising the charity donation project.  Thanks to the dedicated efforts of not just Frank, but the whole Christmas Committee, we raised well over $600 for kids in need both here in Australia and in Canada as well.  It's great effort, and a special thank you to everyone who helped make that happen!  Well done, it's nice to see that the Canadian Australian Club truly does live up to that age-old cliche about Christmas being "a time for giving".  On Friday night, many of you showed that you do more than just talk about giving to others, you actually do it.

If you were unable to attend the Christmas Party, but would still like to make a donation to the Childrens' Charities, you can make a donation through the club website.  We will pass on your donations to the charity you nominate.

Until next time, have a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas.


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