PC Update

From The President December 2019

David Stonier-Gibson

Well, my first monthly report for PC Update.

Executive summary: I’m learning the ropes!

I actually started on the job several weeks before the election, being as I was the sole nominee, by talking to a number of key individuals such as past presidents and a few SIG leaders and significant volunteers. There are too many such people to get around to all of them in a short time, but I gave it a red hot go. I also visited some “regional” SIGs, though a fall in the city (I was sober, I swear!) knocked me around more than somewhat and I missed a couple of planned SIG visits. The purpose of all this was to get a better picture in my mind of the many constituencies that make up our – your – club.

I am absolutely of the view that the club needs to undergo some major transformations, and soon, if it is to survive, and thrive, for many more years to come. We have been around for 35 years. Can we look forward to another 35 years? At the same time I am determined to understand and preserve those things that are important to members to whom the club itself is an important part of their lives.

I presided over my first committee meeting a couple of weeks ago. I survived that, and even finished it almost on time, thanks to coaching, coaxing and the occasional nudge from John Swale (secretary) and Stewart Grunneklee (last term’s treasurer). But most of the committee work takes place outside the formal meetings with phone calls, email, an online discussion board and plain old “water cooler chats”.

One of the strategies we are perusing for transformation is to create working partnerships with complementary organisations. We have reached out to companies that may sponsor future events such as half day workshops and daytime monthly meetings. We are also in talks with organisations like the Australian Computer Society, who are helping us design coding workshops for kids. I have secured agreement in principle for a local 3D printer supplier to sponsor a half day “Getting started with 3D printing” workshop by providing use of a bunch of printers on the day, and expertise to help set them up. If that works we will do more, maybe two or three a year. The general idea here is that we do stuff attractive to kids, who will be accompanied by their parents, and the parents then join the club. Naturally there will be room for existing members to take part (maybe more as grandparents!). There are a number of other companies I want to approach for sponsorship “in kind” of a variety of workshops and events, but it all takes time and energy.

There are two guiding concepts in this: One, to add activities that existing members will enjoy, and two, to bring new people through the doors to take part in the activities. The more new people we can get into the building, the more chance we have of signing new members.

But underlying the “through the doors” idea is this: We need our club rooms to have more WOW! factor. When someone walks in for the first time they should be impressed, intrigued and attracted, and immediately want to be part of it. So we are working to “tart up” the premises. First off is the training room, although there are ideas and visions that extend way beyond that. The committee has approved expenditure on rewiring the training room, as a first step towards making it more attractive and configurable.

On much more boring matters: Our emergency lighting fails its compliance test, so the lights have to be replaced. The testing company quoted well over $3K. On advice from our “resident” electrician I called for multiple quotes and have the price down by about $1000 or more. That should be finalised in the next week.


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