From the Secretary/Treasurer [57]

By Nick Palmer

At our recent club AGM for 2004, a review of our current membership subscription fee regime was undertaken. I pointed out that the club’s financial position was not healthy and that we were potentially exposed to some financial risk.

In response to some vigorous discussion, two motions were moved that have significant impact upon our membership fees. The first motion proposed to increase single membership fees by $25 per person. A second motion then proposed to increase family memberships by $25 per person. Both of these motions were supported by those members in attendance and both motions were carried by a strong majority.

As a result, annual fees for a single member have increased from $75 to $100. In addition, annual fees for family members have increased from $110 to $160, (this figure assumes 1 primary and 1 secondary family member). These increases will take affect from September, 2004 onwards.

Those members in attendance at the AGM also expressed a desire to understand how membership fees are utilised by the club, so I have provided the following breakdown:

The two main costs incurred by the club are:

  • The club magazine – based on figures to date from 2004, the magazine costs around $7.50 per person, per edition to produce and distribute. With four editions per year, this equates to $30 per full-paying member annually
  • AC affiliation (including insurance premium) – Single members cost $39 per annum, while family members cost $46 for the primary member and $20 for any additional family members.

This leaves $6 from each single membership and $14 from each family membership (based on two persons per family membership), lying in the club coffers to pay for other miscellaneous expenses such as NTP registration, web hosting fees, administration etc.

Anyone with experience managing budgets or with other clubs will understand that this situation was not tenable and that some action had to be taken to correct it. I trust from the information provided here that you will recognise the need for the membership fee increases and continue to support your club.

It is important to note here that all committee members, trip leaders and instructors (past and present), work on a purely volunteer basis and receive no financial assistance or compensation from the club. Club members get the services of these people for free!

The exceptions are:

  • Accreditation costs for instructors, sea guides and sea skills etc. These costs are paid for by the club as the skills gained are immediately utilised within the club and increase our capacity to run training, trips and other events
  • The annual Rock ‘n’ Roll extravaganza, which is historically self-funded and incurs a separate registration fee
  • Additional (‘off-water’) training materials such as folders and manuals etc, which are paid for by members undertaking official club training.

I strongly believe that your current committee is passionate about the club and passionate about delivering high quality services and value to members. It is worth highlighting some of these once again and thanking those responsible:

  • Ian Phillips and the Training Group for our professional (and extremely popular) training program
  • Peter Kappelmann for his outstanding work on the club website
  • Richard McNeall for his commitment to delivering the highest quality magazine – (enjoy your new life as President)
  • Richard Birdsey for his ‘behind-the-scenes’ work
  • Laurie Geoghegan for his contribution and passion, both on and off the water
  • and Kevin Brennan for compiling an extremely comprehensive trips calendar for 2004/2005.

A final thank-you to the outgoing committee members and a warm welcome to the new!

See you on the water …… somewhere !

Nick Palmer