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President's Message

A Word from the President

A message from the President, September 2017. JoeJohnson

I would like to thank all those of you who supported me in my election as President for the coming year.

I would commence by thanking Ian Mackie, the outgoing Acting President for his leadership over the past year. Ian has a long record of support to the Club, is a Life Member and has held all the various appointments on National Council at some time. Ian has also indicated that he would like to hand over the role of Club Historian to another member of Council during the year.

We have a new National Council with several new faces. I welcome to Council the new Vice-President Dr George Cresswell from Tasmania. George's ANARE time started in the early 1960s and I believe he will bring a wide breadth of experience to Council.

David Parer from Victoria has also brought a long period of Antarctic service, both at the AAD and on the ice. He has been awarded the Phillip Law Medal.

Nancy Bulmer, also from Victoria, is a well-known former member of the AAD's staff back in the St Kilda Road days and is well known to those of us who joined up in Melbourne. Nancy brings considerable experience in electronic voting systems for associations like ours and we look forward to her contributions to the examination and revision of the voting procedures in our Rules of Association, which we hope to have in place before next year's AGM.

David Pottage also joins National Council from NSW. David has wide experience in Antarctic tourism in addition to his service as a meteorologist.

We lost two members of the previous Council, Jenna Kelley and David Dodd. Jenna was only with us for a year, but as she is closely involved with the new Victorian Branch, her wide variety of skills and experience will not be lost to the Club.

David has served as Secretary for the past four years and set a formidable standard in his secretarial duties, reflecting his long experience in this field. He was active in promoting the Club's image in the community through activities including organising the War Memorial plaque at the AAD headquarters and the commemorative plaque to the loss of SY Aurora recently erected in Newcastle Cathedral. David is succeeded as Secretary by Rob Nash and I look forward to working with him.

The election of Councillors at the recent AGM was a significant challenge for the Returning Officer, Max Corry. Over 230 members attended the AGM in person or submitted proxy forms; this resulted in Max having to consider over 2,400 votes.

Members will be aware that a challenge for the position of Secretary arose at the AGM from the nomination from the floor of Rob Nash. In the following vote, the votes of all holders of 'directed' proxies (around 125) were omitted from the ballot on the direction of the Returning Officer. This has caused some controversy which, at the time of writing, remains unsolved.

However, David Dodd subsequently indicated he would not be seeking a review of the decision. The matter should now be put behind us. As already noted, Council will review our Rules of Association with the aim of ensuring that such a controversial situation cannot arise again.

On a brighter note, we received very good nominations for the Club Berth for this season, and I am pleased to announce that the successful applicant is Graham Pryde from Queensland, with Rowan Butler from NSW as the reserve.

I remind all members that the closing date for nominations for the Phillip Law Medal is 31 December. Please give serious consideration to possible nominees for this prestigious award.

Finally, to all those members who are going South this year, my very best wishes for a successful season.

Joe Johnson