As 2019 winds down, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you on the year that’s been and share some insights of what is to come in 2020. 

2019 Reflections

Some of the main achievements of the past 12 months have been: 

The 2019 Federal Election Event sponsored by Gadens Law Firm at the Eternity Theatre in Darlinghurst.
The 2019 Federal Election Event sponsored by Gadens Law Firm at the Eternity Theatre in Darlinghurst.
Book launch with US author Julian Guthrie (L) presented in part with our event partner, Atlassian. Cath Pope – (R).
Founded by the SGLBA, Fair Day continues to be an important part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Season. Business Avenue will showcase our members again in 2020.
Founded by the SGLBA, Fair Day continues to be an important part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Season. Business Avenue will showcase our members again in 2020.
SGLBA Life Members Anthony Venn-Brown (L) and Mark Haines (R) attend The Education Fund Launch Dinner in conjunction with our Event Partner Dolton House, Hyde Park.
SGLBA Life Members Anthony Venn-Brown (L) and Mark Haines (R) attend The Education Fund Launch Dinner in conjunction with our Event Partner Dolton House, Hyde Park.

I am also pleased to confirm that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association Incorporated now has charity status and the SGLBA Education Fund has deductible gift recipient status.

Membership success must not be simply measured by how many members we have, but more broadly, by overall engagement (which we are increasingly able to better measure). With the change of venue and new membership benefits table, we can see increased membership engagement. The next step in our journey will be about growing the membership base.

Strategic partnerships provide valuable resources to members, and we have continued to pursue these at Fruits and Networking Women.  This has been enhanced with the appointment of a dedicated Partnerships Director.  

It is also a great pleasure to announce at the AGM that the association returned a positive financial result of $4,906.64 in the FY 2018/19. This is the outcome of prudent financial management by the whole of the board.

2020 Insights

Whilst 2019 was a huge year, 2020 will be even bigger! 

Mardi Gras Parade 

I am pleased to announce that we will be participating in the 2020 Mardi Gras Parade.  We have secured our spot and can confirm that we have 80 places that are exclusively available to our current and life members. 

If you are interested in joining us on the parade, please complete this ballot form by 5:00 pm AEDT Wednesday 8th January 2020 to go into the running for a place.  

Mardi Gras Fair Day

For 2020 Fair Day, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras will offer SGLBA members a 15% discount on the purchase of Premium Commercial Stalls. There is no restriction on the number of stalls you can purchase with this discount.

Name Change Discussion

A motion was carried directing the newly elected board to engage with members to determine if the membership felt a name change should be considered. The membership was clear that this process should not be rushed with comments that a two years process of consultation would be reasonable.

The board will make contact with other organisations in the community to seek guidance from them on the process they followed and the experience overall. A committee will be formed, and the results of the consultation will be reported back to members at the 2020 Annual General Meeting.

Constitution Change

After the discussion on the Constitution at the 2019 Annual General Meeting, the board will prepare the necessary paperwork to restore the sections enabling the membership to directly elect the statutory office holders of the SGLBA (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer).

I am personally working with the Secretary to ensure that this change is ready for the membership to vote on at a Special General Meeting within the next 6 months. 

Final Thoughts

The festive season is a time to come together and enjoy the simple pleasures of familiar company among those we know best. However, for some of our community, this time can be a poignant reminder of the loss and division created by some families, as well as difficult childhood memories. 

If you know someone who is in that position, then please reach out and talk to them. If you are a person who is in that situation then please know that you have a strong rainbow community around you to provide support and love during this time of year. 

PORTRAIT Katherine Maver PRIMARY 300x300pxl

Thank you all for such a great year and I look forward to seeing and chatting with you all in 2020.

Hugs,

Katherine Maver (and the Board)
President