2015 Commodore's Annual Report
David's AGM wrap up and farewell
A beautiful day for the first of the
Good afternoon everyone.
This season has seen a continuation of all the good work undertaken by your committee from last year.
This year I am going to breakup my report using the areas described by Yachting Victoria's CEO Steve Walker as some of the things that have been clearly identified as contributing to / or needing to be addressed when considering the sustainability of yacht clubs. Namely: Programs, Assets and Facilities, Planning and People.
I could talk for a very long time about what we do and what happens at GLYC, but I have been doing so throughout the year in Wanderer so I will spare you the trauma of hearing me repeating myself. Suffice to say that these days we have something happening right through the entire year including: Sunday racing, Tuesday Twilight sternchasers, Ancient Mariners, Club cruises, 'Friday night' Club nights and all the other major events and activities such as the Pink fundraising Day, Paynesville Music Festival, Marley Point Overnight Race, the Easter Regatta and Interclub events with Metung Yacht Club, Loch Sport Boat Club and the interclub regatta and social events. All of this of course culminating with Celebration Night.
Of particular note is the continuing and developing cooperation between GLYC and our neighboring club, Metung YC. There have again been reciprocal arrangements made between the clubs with respect to sailing calendars for joint fleet racing as well as with the provision of assistance be it with boats and/or personnel. The goodwill between the clubs is excellent and has increased the communication and opportunities for further cooperation and joint events in the future.
Two programs that I will make special mention of are firstly our "Sailability program" which was again ably led by our Sailability Officer Andrew Thistlethwaite. Andrew along with a great group of members and volunteers, provide a weekly sailing experience for people with a disability as well as programs for school aged children and other groups. This is an incredible program and one that the club should be very proud of which contributes to "inclusiveness" within the community".
Secondly, Discover Sailing and Training school
GLYC's embracing of the Discover Sailing format has really paid off through new memberships, community interest and training Programs. This year has seen further development of these programs and the increased participation of families and friends of our Junior sailing group has been in clear evidence at the club throughout the year. Vice Commodore Lyn Wallace and Committee Member Sharna Baskett have taken the leading roles in this area and must be thanked and congratulated for what they have done and achieved.
Assets and facilities
All of these incredible programs could not be implemented if we did not have the appropriate assets and facilities to support them. This in turn necessitates constant maintenance and upgrades. Dave Bacon deserves special mention here: Dave has been in almost daily attendance throughout the year fixing this and tweaking that and basically making sure that when we come to the clubrooms they are in excellent, functional condition for our needs.
The major upgrades undertaken this year have included the completion of our Multimedia System, replacement of our Sailability Rescue Boat, repair and development of our marina jetties and the replacement of the roof over the boat shed. Further funds have been allocated for work on the Esplanade boundary retaining wall, remedial work on the FF slewing hoist and repair and replacement of the loft roof.
Now we have a look at People
Firstly, I want to briefly consider what it takes to keep the club going which in itself is a hard thing to start because once you do it is hard to find a finish! But here is a list to help us think about what is done to keep the club going:
Subcommittees: incl. sailing, handicapping, protest,
We've got: Results / Handicapping, A Web Master, Bar Staff, Publicity and Photography, Accounts and finance, Monthly editions of Wanderer, Weekly E-Flashes, Dim Sims, Soup Kitchen, Design Work / Logos, Tickets, Merchandise, The Pink Fundraising Day, Flood-watch, Maintenance, Housework, Social, Lawn mowing... The list just goes on.
Let's not forget the weekly commitment of people who man our home base operations as well as the Start, Course and Rescue boats. The core group of people, as well as the rostered volunteers, who carried out operations on each and every occasion we had a club ON-WATER event and provided the means for our enjoyment in our chosen sport as well as being in constant readiness to provide backup if such was ever needed. Special recognition and thanks to Rear Commodore, James Frecheville who, as Sailing Captain, has been instrumental in this aspect of our club activities.
All I can say is that on behalf of everyone, our thanks to you all!!!
And who does all this? You guessed it... our Volunteers. Again, we had many, many club members volunteering time and effort to help with Club events and to raise valuable funds for GLYC (and chosen Community Charities). Our fees are amongst the lowest in the state, so it is important to recognise the efforts that enable us to keep them down and to continue to pay our expenses, conduct our business of sailing and build the clubs assets and facilities. This amazing volunteering spirit at GLYC continues to set us apart within the yachting community. Thank you everyone!
Our Major Sponsors and Supporters help us monetarily and with 'in kind' support, which we greatly appreciate. Special thanks this year to: Gippsland Lakes Ministerial Advisory Committee, Lightfoot Wines, Paynesville & District Community Bank Branch - Bendigo Bank, Paynesville Business and Tourism Association, Paynesville Community Foodworks, Waterview Bakery, Riviera Meats, Ego Pharmaceuticals.
And what of GLYC as a Paynesville citizen?
Last year I posed the question of whether we have been successful in our endeavors in this area, but that perhaps it is best for others to comment. Well, they have. As I reported in my Feb Wanderer report, GLYC was honoured by being presented with the "Best Community Event" Award at this year's PBTA Australia Day Awards. A great start to answering the question, don't you think? Then we can add things like the excellent publicity we get from the East Vic Media (and hasn't Christie done a fabulous job in this area for the club?), and Win Television for the pre and post publicity for our regattas; the many favorable comments I have received throughout the year about the clubs' activities. Then there is the increased community inquiry and use of our Clubroom facilities for weddings, conferences, funeral celebrations, community meetings, Community club workshops, Service club meetings, Shire meetings and the list goes on.
Planning and Governance
Good governance is, I believe, what the COM must ensure and over the course of the past two seasons there have been (In my Humble Opinion) significant developments and improvements in all areas of club processes and procedures. At last year's AGM, I made a statement and I would like to repeat it now.
"For a Committee of Management, good governance is paramount. In today's ever changing society, the rules and regulations are constantly impacting on many aspects of our club - some requiring significant changes to our processes and practices. Most notably in the areas of Risk Management and financial practices - an inescapable sign of the times!"
So... what of risk management (RM)? I feel we have come a long way in this regard. Gone are the days of thinking of RM as a concept for stopping everything. This thought has been replaced with the recognition that RM is nothing more than a way of ensuring we provide the best possible practice whilst meeting our legal and moral obligations to members.
I am not going to preempt the Treasurer's report, but I will say that money around a volunteer
club such as ours is always in our thoughts and the use of available funds carefully considered. I am pleased to report that our financial position is very sound. Indeed, we have been able to make significant improvements in our assets, as well as ensuring our regular repair and maintenance requirements have been met. We have also commenced the process of identifying and budgeting for future needs and contingencies.
We currently have a financial plan that incorporates short, medium and long term goals.
Anthony and Claire Chapman enjoy the
Celebration Night festivities
Our short term financial plan is based on annual budgets and this year we have undertaken an extensive reorganizing of our club finances including development of individual "Portfolio" budgets. We have also undertaken a review of our reporting documents with the aim of being able to convey our financial situation to all members using plain English and with a clear identification of 'recurrent' vs 'non-recurrent costs.
Our medium term plan incorporates the development of a full depreciation schedule that identifies the cost of replacement of all club assets. It also has an amount within it identified as 'Contingency' which provides for unexpected events, eg. in the (hopefully very unlikely), sudden and dramatic reduction in membership and subsequently in membership fees.
For the long term, we have linked our financial situation and strategic plan by establishing a 'Futures Fund' in which money will be accumulate over time and which in turn will allow a full range of financial options to be explored with East Gippsland Shire, when our lease expires in year 2026. We currently have $40,000 invested and the plan is to make an annual allocation with next year's being budgeted at $20,000.
Funding for short, medium and long term goals is identified in both our membership fee structure and the significant revenue obtained through the hiring of our function facilities. With this in mind, we have identified a role for one of our members as that of "Function Coordinator" responsible for development, management and publicity of the club as a Major Function venue.
I can't let my report go by without special mention of Treasurer Jenny Brown for the professional way she has conducted GLYC's finances, and Ken and Janet of East Gippsland Financial Services for looking after the books all year and preparing the financial statements.
And what of the future, AKA Strategic Planning
Firstly, Policy development has been high on my priority list as I believe having policies in place provides a sound basis for decision-making both now and into the future. I am pleased to report that work over the course of the past two years has produced clarifications/updates of many existing processes as well as adoption of the following new Policies/Protocols: Algal Bloom Policy, Anzac Day and Bereavement Protocols, Boat Storage (Active Membership) Policy, Bullying Protocols and Code of Conduct Policy (Part 1 - All members/Part 2 - Committee of Management), Health and Safety Policy, Life Membership Policy, Responsible use of alcohol, and Sun Smart. We also have completed important Documentation in the area of Risk Management including the Asbestos, GLYC Safety Manual, GLYC Emergence Plan for the conduct of regattas and many other areas of club activities. As always, there has been a review of the Club Bylaws and, of course, at last year's AGM we adopted the rewrite of our Rules of Association in line with the new legislated requirements.
YV has recently produced two important documents for Clubs to consider, namely 'Member Protection' and 'Club Inclusive', Standards. These documents have been endorsed by Committee and we have stated that "We will not intentionally undertake any action or plan which is inconsistent with these documents. We will post them on our website in the Policies and Procedures section as documents endorsed by the Club for application within GLYC and, as our resources permit, will work consistently to implement these frameworks".
A couple of months ago, we had a workshop for our Committee of Management that enabled us to work through the YV Planning tool. In this session we identified a number of target areas in the redevelopment of our Strategic Plan. The intention is to engage the Club's Membership in a more far reaching and detailed discussion that will enable us to fully develop a plan that will take us into the medium and long-term future.
To conclude my report I would like to recognise and thank a number of people, starting with the retiring committee:
Immediate Past Commodore Jacqui Loft has been there right through and provided invaluable support;
Vice Commodore Lyn Wallace who has worked tirelessly on a myriad of jobs and with whom I have worked closely on much of the club's governance as well as 'scheduled events'; Rear Commodore James Frecheville whose skill and experience as Sailing Captain is clearly reflected in the great on-water enjoyment we all experience; Secretary Russ Peel who has been a pillar of strength for the club and a great sounding post for me; Treasurer Jenny Brown has expertly managed the complex tasks of Club finances and has worked very hard in the reorganizing of our budgeting processes; Sailability Officer Andrew Thistlethwaite has not only continued to run an excellent program of sailing for the disabled (and other) members of our community but has been a solid contributor to the general activities of committee;
Committee Member Christie Arras has continued her work in publicity (we all love to see the articles in the local paper), as editor of Wanderer and as one of our regular Course or Rescue boat operators (in fact, ask Christie to do anything and she will not hesitate to help); Committee member Dave Bacon whose efforts as House this year have kept him hard at work on an almost daily basis;
Committee Member Sharna Baskett who has not only worked with Lyn and James to revitalize our Junior Programs, but has also worked with me on the documentation of our Risk Management Plans; Committee Member Lou Hill has had considerable commitments as a Magistrate this year but has still managed to assist throughout the year with trophies and provide invaluable advice and service to the Committee of Management; Committee Member Andrew Somerville who has kept our fleet of water-craft afloat in his role as "Boats" this year.
You, like all committees before you, are owed absolutely heartfelt thanks... for your passion for the club and sailing, for your hard work and for your leadership within the club. Without your collective dedication, wisdom and shear hard work, our club would not be in the sound position it is. So from me personally and on behalf of the entire membership of the club, I say thank you.
To my long suffering wife Sue, you have always known I am a yachty but perhaps you didn't know what that might entail. For your unfailing support and understanding throughout my last 2 year's term as Commodore (and indeed the entire 12 years I have been on the GLYC COM), I want to give you the biggest thanks of all.
But of course, it's not the end; indeed, it's actually just the beginning of the next chapter in the history book of GLYC and I for one intend to continue to contribute to what is and will continue to be a great story.
To the members of the Incoming Committee, the challenge is now up to us.
Look to our statement of purpose to see at a glance what it is that we are here for: "To encourage and promote the sport of yachting..." We should continue to encourage an atmosphere that fosters a cohesive and collaborative approach; one that is based on mutual respect, tolerance and patience, and where a diversity of views is not only accepted but valued. Each committee person, I believe, should be out there encouraging positive talk that will raise the level of discussion to include suggestions for addressing perceived problems. We should be saying "the decisions that are taken by your COM are not taken lightly. Finding the balance between what are often very different ideas and sometimes very conflicting points of view, will mean that not everything will necessarily be in-line with your own thoughts. If you wish to make positive suggestions with solutions/ideas, then they will be most respectfully listened to." As they say in the classics "It's not rocket science".
To all members of GLYC... your continued support for the Club and for me has been exceptional and highly valued. What else can I say but thank you very much.
So here's to the future of GLYC. May it be a very positive one where the Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club remains an icon in Paynesville on the Gippsland Lakes and in the worldwide Yachting community.
Well done, everyone, and so...until I speak to you next, may we all continue to have calm seas and fair winds from aft of the beam.
Updated: 6 Jul 2015 2:58am by David Parish
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Tales of the Whale and the Bird
We have bananas, pamplemousse and mangoes
Bonjour family and friends,
So much has happened in the past month, in one word... boat 'maintenance'. We finally left the Marquesas on the 10th of June; I felt a mixture of relief to be on our way and nervousness as we left the security of Taiohae Bay and the towering mountains shrouded in cloud.
While in Taiohae Bay we replaced the transmission which arrived in record time from Massachusetts via Tahiti to Nuku Hiva, a total of 7 days. Pete did an amazing job of taking the old transmission out and fitting the new one by himself in one day. Well, I was the multi skilled trades assistant and, thankfully, the bay was calm for that day. In short, the shaft was secured in place by a clamp Pete made up from a piece of timber and long bolts (I was worried we would have a big leak). Then the engine was moved forward with the running backstay tackle attached to the base of the mast and a lot of 'heave ho'. The new transmission was fitted and the engine moved back with lengths of four by two timber. Pete then contorted himself into all sorts of upside down positions to re fit the engine bolts with me holding the ratchet with a long handle extension. We would never have achieved this without the wonderful advice and support of Kevin Ellis from Nuku Hiva Yacht Services; we gave him our Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club Pennant to display in his office.
We made plans to visit Manihi Atoll in the Tuamotus which was a 4-5 day passage from the Marquesas. We had perfect sailing conditions for 2 days then the wind started to build and we were hit by squalls that came up very fast. We decided to bypass Manihi and head for Rangiroa as it was not possible to enter the pass due to the bad weather. Then the weather continued to build with gusts of 30-45 knts and seas of 8-10ft; it was then also impossible to enter the pass at Rangiroa. We managed to find an anchorage in the lee of Rangiroa and sat it out for two days and did some emergency sail repairs. We were in radio contact with boats inside the Atoll and the conditions inside made it impossible to leave their boats in dinghies or go out through the pass. When the weather improved we decided to continue on our way to Tahiti a 30hr overnight passage. In keeping with the mixture of weather conditions, the breeze was coming from NW to NE, which is contrary to supposedly prevailing ESE trade winds.
We have been in Marina Papeete, Tahiti for just over a week and it has been a wonderful experience. The Marina is very new and located in a huge bay with the shipping dock on one side and the city centre on the other. Our berth is next to the city boardwalk, gardens and Main Street, so we have traffic noise, sirens, lots of people, shops, huge cargo and cruise ships all around us. What a culture shock! It's vibrant and entertaining with cafes that have amazing coffee and French pastries. Our favourite place is the paved outdoor area on the quay which has a dozen or more food trucks that serve a huge range of dishes; eating outside on a balmy night with lots of other people is great fun.
In the marina at Papeete, Tahiti. Moorea
is in the background
Yesterday as part of the celebrations of Tahiti's independence from France there was a colourful parade then at night the young people danced an energetic mixture of salsa and samba in the outdoor areas which kept us entertained for hours. I especially love going to the markets in each of the countries we have visited; I get a real sense of the people and their lifestyle. At the market in Papeete you will find fresh crunchy baguettes to take home or made up with a variety of fillings. You can eat amazing cakes and huge sugary donuts, or buy big fresh steaks of tuna for cerviche (raw fish 'cooked' with lime and coconut) and find the usual local fresh vegetables and fruit. After 5 months I finally had a visit to the hairdresser as did Pete. We also had to buy new clothes as we both have lost weight; our shorts are very loose despite the yummy food.
On our last night here in Papeete as we were sitting amongst the food trucks, who should we meet? none other than Russell Peel, a fellow Australian and member of our yacht club! He had just finished a sailing holiday on a chartered catamaran in the leeward islands of Tahiti. I had to keeping pinching him to make sure he was real, amazing!
We leave tomorrow for the island of Moorea and will visit some of the leeward islands before our last stop in French Polynesia at Bora Bora. Our next port of call is Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. It will be sad to say goodbye to some fellow cruisers here in Papeete,with whom we made friends in Mexico, as they head off in different directions. The number of yachts going our way is diminishing, we will miss recognising the yachts and seeing their owners each time we make a new landfall.
Cheers for now, Pete and Anne
Updated: 6 Jul 2015 3:08am by Christie Arras