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Antarctic Division
State Branches & Regions
President's Message

A Word from the President

A message from the President, June 2018. JoeJohnson

Dear Members

Midwinter has now passed and it was well marked around the Branches and at the Stations with suitable celebrations!

Progress is well advanced for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the ANARE station at Macquarie Island. All available spaces have been booked and it should be a great evening. David Parer and his special events team have done a wonderful job in setting up this important event.

The Club will have a stand at the Tasmanian Antarctic Festival in Hobart and we hope that we can attract new members, both from the expeditioner community and from the general public as subscriber members. Brian Harvey is to be congratulated on all the work he has put into this important activity.

The AGM will be held in Hobart on 6th August and ballot papers and other information will be posted on the website and also sent out with Aurora. Please read it carefully and ensure that you make your vote count.

It has been very pleasing to see a small increase in membership numbers over the past month, including a number of past members now re-joining. This is really good news and we should now attempt to swell the numbers more. If you know of people from your years who are not members, please encourage them to join up.

Two members of Council are stepping down this year. Chris Gamgee is retiring from the post of Treasurer. He has been an outstanding holder of this difficult position on Council and has worked tirelessly to ensure that the accounts are up-to-date and presented in a manner that all can understand. His position will be filled by David Dodd – as this position was uncontested, David will take over form 7 August. David Pottage has also resigned, due to family commitments. David was an excellent member of the Council, providing independent and constructive advice and I enjoyed working with him, and will miss his contributions. George Cresswell has decided to retire from the Vice-Presidency and he will be replaced by Lauren Wise, who was the sole nominee for the position. George was an excellent Vice-President and brought much wisdom and practical advice to Council. He stood in for me twice during the latter part of 2017 when I was hospitalized and unable to discharge the duties of President. George is standing for Council again and I hope he will be successful.

You will see that in the AGM papers there are two motions in respect to the capping of travel expenses by members of Council. As Council becomes more national in its composition, more members are required to travel in order to attend meetings. I believe that anyone elected to Council should not be deterred from attending meetings due to his or her geographical residence. Council has made use of Skype to enable distant members to contribute to all the meetings held in the past year but the system has not been entirely successful. We will, of course, continue to make use of Skype or other electronic methods in an attempt to minimize costs. At its February meeting Council resolved to increase the cap and in the event the expenses fell below the cap. I believe that fixing the expenses of travel is a matter for each Council rather than something that will need to be adjusted at each AGM to allow for changes in the CPI and increases in fares, but that is my personal opinion, and as President I abstained from voting on it at the Council Meeting and will do so at any other meetings if I am in the Chair.

Finally I would like to thank all the members of Council for a very productive year in which we have achieved a great deal. It has been a pleasure to belong to such a dynamic and committed group of persons and a privilege to have been its leader.

Best wishes and thanks

Joe Johnson