President’s Report 2012
I’d like to begin by thanking you all for trusting me with the Presidency this year. As I indicated would be the case last year as a condition of accepting the nomination, I’ve not been able to be here for every meeting but have made every effort to be here as much as I can. Pressures of the work I’ve been doing with suicidal kids and some medical procedures, interstate, have provided some challenges. I certainly hope that next year will be easier to manage. As I said at the time, I do believe in sharing opportunities and I do want to thank Angelika and Kathy for ably filling the President’s chair when needed, and would you please thank the committee of 2012 for their work this year.
It has been an honour and a real pleasure to work with people on the committee who have been prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty. Several committee members have managed their duties under extreme personal stress this year, including serious personal illness and hospitalisation, yet they’ve soldiered on. I won’t name them, but to those people I am deeply grateful, and I would ask you to join me in thanking them for their efforts.
We’ve heard from some wonderfully entertaining speakers this year. I know I’ve learned a lot from them and hope you have too. Please remember, if there is someone you’d like to hear speak, let us know and we’ll see if we can arrange for them to come to one of our meetings.
My purpose as President this year was to try and find ways to help you as writers, help you to publicise your writing more, and to celebrate your achievements. To this end I made some small changes to the way our meetings are conducted and have encouraged those of you all to become much more technologically literate. I also proposed the GCWA bookshelf which has begun, and I would encourage those of you who are still trying to get around to putting your books up on the bookshelf to get a move on!
We’ve also offered several competitions, including a competition for young people. I hope you’ve all managed to get your entries in where appropriate. If not, you’d better be very quick!
We’ve also sought to find ways to encourage younger writers, and in addition to the competition, we have our Children’s Festival coming up as part of the upcoming Writers Festival thanks to Gary Ivory, and the highly successful partnership that Hilary Hulett forged with the students at Varsity Lakes provided a model that I hope we can build on this year. These came about as the direct result of proposals by GCWA members. So the message clearly is – think not just what GCWA can do for you, but what you can do for others.
Finally – a couple of years ago I made a throwaway suggestion at one of my writers group meetings that perhaps we could run a festival to showcase the work of independent authors, and with the support, enthusiasm and incredibly hard, unpaid work, particularly of Kathy Stewart and John Clark the Festival for Independent Authors and Publishers was born last year and morphed this year into the inaugural Gold Coast Writers Festival. How successful the festival and literary luncheon will be and when the next one occurs is largely up to you now. There has been a massive amount of hard work put unstintingly into developing a very exciting three day program, but our budget is extremely limited and every-one of you needs to help with publicity. So please invite your friends, family, book-clubs, libraries, local seniors groups, let bookshops, local newsletters and publications know, and encourage anyone else you think may be interested. There are flyers available for you to take and distribute, and make sure you book your own tickets. I do want to also particularly thank those of you who have offered to help over the three days. The Festival would never work without you, so, in advance, thank you.
Thanks for being members of the GCWA and here’s to a new year and more exciting opportunities.