The Yandina Community Gardens Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday evening 12th September 2018. We met at 6.30 pm to share a smorgasbord of homemade dishes and some baked yam from our garden before the AGM started at 7 pm. A very pleased Colleen, our president, presented her annual report. She kicked off by highlighting everything we achieved this year and ended with a glimpse of the future.
- Highest ever membership numbers with 158 current members
- Delivery of at least fortnightly workshops including 4 premium level workshops (approximately 30 workshops)
- Seniors week program offered and school holiday kids workshops
- A new strategic plan developed – (conducted a member survey as a part of this process)
- Within this process, each of the management committee members has been allocated a portfolio which has created stronger leadership, focused action and accountability.
- A new modern website which includes an e-commerce system to manage workshop bookings, membership payments etc.
- The purchase of an Eftpos device which allows for purchases in our shop using credit and debit cards
- Implemented a code of conduct which all committee members and volunteers have now signed. This has assisted us to clarify what behaviour is acceptable and what is not acceptable in our organisation.
- Established a volunteer induction process, which has proven to help us to get more volunteers who are clear about where they can fit in and the aims of the organisation
- Attracted approximately 15 new regular volunteers to the garden
- Two members events in December 2017 and May 2018. Notably, we planted a black sapote fruit tree in honour of Bill Mollison.
- Increased plant and seed sales
- Frances Michaels from Green Harvest delivered a seed saving workshop for all volunteers which will lead to us supporting a more focused approach to the saving of heritage plants and seeds at the Garden.
- Sent a committee member to the Australasian Permaculture Convergence in Canberra. A lot of new knowledge was brought back which will help improve the Gardens
- Networking from the convergence lead to the engagement of Morag Gamble to deliver a series of premium workshops with the focus on redesigning the Yandina Community Gardens space
- Morag has also agreed to be an official YCG ambassador
- We were successful in receiving several grants that have helped support the organisation’s vision to be a knowledge and demonstration hub for sustainable living
- Key achievements in the gardens have been the redesign and establishment of the food forest and also the creation of a brand new space known as the intensive orchard. The nursery has undergone several reviews and we have achieved improved quality of our plants.
Things to note
- The Facebook – “Giving Plastics the Flick” group created my Michelle Parry in April 2017 continues to attract new members and share important information on how to reduce plastic use in your home. Currently, there are 245 members with members from New Zealand, South Africa and England.
- Our Yandina Community Gardens Facebook page is active and we have grown to 3832 followers, which allows us to spread the message of sustainable living far and wide
- Margaret Hamlyn resigned as the Workshop Coordinator at the end of March 2018. Robyn Matthews volunteered her time to fill this role while we advertised and interviewed for this vacancy.
- Lissa Evans has been the Secretary for three terms and decided to step down as Secretary but be nominated as a general committee member.
- Claire Skipper has been Treasurer for two terms and due to the arrival of beautiful Madeleine and returns to part-time work and study Claire has stepped down from the committee.
Colleen also made the following acknowledgements.
- I would like to acknowledge and thank the Management committee of Lissa Evans (Secretary), Claire Skipper (Treasurer), and general committee members, Janenne Brown, Robyn Matthews, Mel Marx, Gayle Richens and Amber Grimley. These ladies are extremely passionate and hardworking and have committed many many hours at home and at the gardens. I am very proud of what we all have achieved. I would like to acknowledge Lissa Evans for her time and commitment to the role of secretary over the last 3 years. I would also like to thank Claire Skipper for her time and effort in being our Treasurer over the last two years.
- Thanks and appreciation also go to Renate Silwa, Dave Clark, Penny Foster, Linda Mahony and Shay Holmes who are members of the garden subcommittee.
- A very big thank you must go to Shay Holmes who was with us for over 12 years but left us late last year to live in the cool temperate climate of Tasmania.
- A further thank you and acknowledgement to Penny Foster who retired from her role as Tuesday Garden Coordinator so as to have more flexibility to care for her grandchildren.
- Thank you to Dave Clark for taking up the reigns and becoming our Monday garden coordinator.
- Thank you to Christa Louw for the donation of her valuable time and exceptional technical expertise in transforming and enhancing our technology capability.
- Thank you to all the lovely and generous people who have donated their time and valuable knowledge to conduct garden tours and workshops. We constantly receive extremely positive feedback about the quality of our tour leaders and presenters.
- Thank you to all our members who continue to believe in and support our vision.
- Last but not least gratitude to all our valuable volunteers who show up on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays to work and create in our gardens
The Management Committee for 2018/2019
We welcome new Secretary; Mada, and Treasurer; Louise. We also welcome new general committee member Bree to our team. Your committee for the next 12 months is:
President: Colleen Bichel
Secretary: Mada Brinkman
Treasurer: Louise Fraser
General Committee members: Lissa Evans, Mel Marx, Janenne Brown, Amber Grimley, Robyn Matthews, Gayle Richens and Bree Hale.
In the next 12 months, we will be focusing on the planning and implementation of our new garden design. A lot of this work is dependant on funds, so we will be looking into creative ways to fund the design. This includes increasing workshops and some other exciting plans in the pipeline. Part of the design is the improvement of our shop making it water, rate, possum, dust and snake proof but also more pleasing to the eye when customers come in to buy plants.
We are aiming to make the Gardens a thriving community hub where people feel at home and can come to enjoy some respite from their everyday lives by sitting in the gardens, enjoying the kids’ space, learning about simple living or connecting with friends.
We would love to hear from people who would like to contribute, offer their skills or who have ideas for us to increase our funding so that we can promote and demonstrate the art of sustainable living.