Bob's team
Bob's annual report to members.....
As we all know, it is difficult to compete on the Sunshine Coast with so many worthy volunteer organisations, which are seeking members, trying to attract corporate and public donations and also trying to identify new fund raising opportunities.  In response to this problem we have tried this year to supplement our traditional fund raising activities with some new service activities to provide variety and “hands on” activity.  I take pleasure in recognising the fantastic commitment by members to all projects and activities and also the excellent weekly meeting attendance – often in excess of 85%.  Thank you all.
A key objective for 2012/13 was to build membership, enjoyment and satisfaction to all club members.  Based on feedback, I believe that we have done reasonably well to cement a strong and enjoyable club culture.  However, we have not done so well in terms of building membership, which is a very difficult task.  Having said that, our recent membership function will hopefully add some new blood to the club soon and we inducted Andrew Conroy last week.  Thanks to Peter Andrews for his tireless effort.
We set out to work more closely with our community.  During the year we supported the Sunshine Coast Regional Council with their “Opera at Alex” event, Montrose Access with their “Walk with Me” event, Alex Surf Club with “Clean up Australia” and the Surf Life Saving Club Carnival.  We participated with the Alexandra Headland Community Association with their Christmas pageant and other community based service projects including support to the University of the Sunshine Coast, Science and Engineering Challenge and assistance with the staging of the USC Community Fund Awards presentation dinner.
RCAH has forged closer ties with Sunshine Coast Private Hospital via fund raising committee participation, plus physical support and patronage for the very successful “Opera on the Green”, last weekend.  This event attracted 300 patrons to this inaugural event at the Palmer Coolum Resort and raised enough funds to purchase two fully equipped intensive care beds for the hospital.
Again on matters medical, our club participated in “Hat Day” for mental Health Research and we have just completed potentially lifesaving CPR and First Aid training, provided by the Alex Surf Life Saving Club.
As usual we participated in the “Mooloolaba Triathlon” and “Clean up Australia”, thanks to the coordination of Colleen Dunn. A memorable service activity was the field trip by a team to Murgon, with BLAZEAID, to help flood affected farmers rebuild fences.  This represented a win for those who participated and a clear win/win for the farmers both in terms of actual fence rebuilding, but also psychological support as they had lost their fences three times in 18 months.  RCAH also responded to a plea for help from flood ravaged Bundaberg with a significant cash donation which was boosted by a very generous donation from John and Ngaire Roberts.
We also set out to work more closely with our Rotary cluster clubs on the basis that “a larger critical mass can make a bigger difference in our community”.  To this end we embarked on a joint Coastal Pathway Signage Project involving the Rotary Clubs of Mooloolaba and Maroochydore, which is soon to be completed, on our joint behalf, by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.  Our club has also been active in encouraging the Rotary Club of Maroochydore in the establishment of a new “Men’s Shed” to supplement the very successful shed at Buderim.  This project is proceeding very well.
RCAH organised a joint meeting at The Big Pineapple, where 65 Rotarians from six cluster clubs enjoyed breakfast, fellowship and a train ride.  A subsequent joint vocational activity involved the RC of Caloundra for a joint visit to the old Caloundra Lighthouses.  Yet another RCAH initiative, organised by Sue Quinn, was a very successful combined cluster visit to the QLD Parliament, including dinner with the Speaker of the House and Honorary RCAH member, Fiona Simpson in her private courtyard.
RCAH has placed considerable emphasis on the importance of youth programs and youth issues.  Our club supported “Peace Scholar” (Summer Lewis), RYPEN scholar (Chelsea), NYSF student (Ridge) and Sienna College Awards.  An important milestone during the year was the re-establishment of the INTERACT CLUB at Sunshine Coast Grammar School, thanks to Chris Baker.  Recently we assisted this club to transport donated goods to Fiji for their pending field trip in late June and on Friday 14th we will present them with a significant donation to help with expenses.
We have enjoyed a varied and busy meeting program with many interesting guest speakers and lots of fellowship time.  This has been supplemented by three social functions (plus one, stormed out), three vocational visits, two special membership meetings, three special dinners and several informal meetings at Alex beach.  Our end of year family lunch will be held next Sunday.
This year we have introduced understudies, or 2IC’s, in all key club roles as well as asking all members to take responsibility for various initiatives and routine meeting duties.  I am pleased to say that in all cases the nominees have taken their roles seriously and have provided back up when needed.  Several members participated in the District Conference and District assembly.  Prue, Marg and I enjoyed home hosting of PE delegates from PNG and the Solomon Islands.  Our club has also provided funds to support District initiatives in the Solomon Islands for water, education and sanitation projects.
Our Club Training Officer, Carmel Hulett, has guided talks on a variety of useful Rotary issues. We continue to formally monitor the feelings of members on a variety of procedural matters in order to keep us as current and relevant as possible.  We believe that an important issue is “looking after our own member’s welfare” and several members have been integral in looking after us as a family.  It is important that we do not become complacent, particularly as our membership grows and diversifies.
One issue that came out of discussions was, whether we should change the fee structure.  After a lot of discussion at general club meetings, the Board approved a six month trial of a new, all inclusive, monthly electronic payment system which commenced on 1st January, 2013.  After five months and a great deal of group discussion among members, a decision was made to basically change back to the old system, with a couple of modifications.  This was ratified at the Board meeting on 28th May and the changes have already been published to members separately.  They will take effect from 1stJuly, 2013.
I wish to thank everyone for their contribution, commitment and effort, plus their ideas and advice.  Your friendship and support during this Rotary year has helped me to achieve a great deal of personal satisfaction and enjoyment from my term as President.  I apologise to those who grew weary of my never-ending emails and sometimes anal approach to detail, but I know no other way to do it properly.  I also wish to thank Marg for her tolerance and her unflinching support.  Now I need to buckle down and do all those jobs around the house that have gone begging.  It has been a privilege to work with such a fine bunch of happy and talented people.  Please accept my sincere thanks for a great ride.
Bob Thompson
11th June, 2013
A newsletter, with some interesting comments in inimitable Bob's style
..and a change over dinner