Annual Report – Year 2013



Maria Brown-Shepherd, President of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc., Regd. No A6321, delivers the Annual Report for year 2013 on 26 September, 2013.


The past year has passed very quickly and the business of the Ethnic Council has increased significantly to meet the demand for services from members and clients and as your President I wish to publicly acknowledge the support, assistance and advice I received from my fellow Board members and the Manager. It has been a privilege to have been your President and I look forward to the challenges of guiding the Council in its next phase of growth and development.

The funding bodies continue to apply increasing levels of scrutiny and accountability to the organisation which in part adds additional costs and responsibilities to the Manager and staff. It is apparent that these conditions will not change and we need to plan for the extra requirements and budget accordingly to ensure we meet the needs of all of our stakeholders.

The Board continues to monitor the Council’s performance and plan the strategic direction for the organisation to follow both at a political and service delivery level. The Board is committed to ensuring the ongoing financial viability of the Council and I greatly appreciate the role played by the Finance Business and Audit Committee under the excellent Chairmanship of Treasurer Jim Pascal in monitoring our financial and operational performance.

This has been achieved by working with the Manager Chris Hazelman in the preparation of the Annual Budget and a monthly reporting process to the Board including cash flow projections and a comparison of adopted budget and actual incomes and expenditure. I am con?dent in saying that the Board now receives comprehensive financial data which is provided in a timely and informative way The coming year will be challenging in meeting the changes thrown up by the Federal election and the progression towards a State election in November 2014. Elections always create changes in policy and funding opportunities and the Board and Manager will need to be vigilant and innovative to ensure the Council is well positioned.

In November of this year FECCA will hold its biennial national conference in Queensland and the Council will endeavour to send appropriate representation as this conference provides a critical opportunity to both network with people Australia wide and also promote the positive work of the Council with the bureaucrats and politicians who determine our funding outcomes.

Equally challenging is the composition of the Board with inevitable changes and the induction of new members and the alignment of individual and Council aspirations to achieve positive outcomes. It is a time of change with new technologies changing the way we do business and communicate creating opportunities as well as challenges to remain relevant.

I have taken on roles away from the Council in order to build my experience and networks and also to promote the work and role of the Council. I was appointed to Goulburn Valley Health’s Cultural Diversity Committee which has oversight of the Authority’s Cultural Diversity Plan and provides advice to the Goulburn Valley Health Board on cultural issues. I have completed a short course on preparing for Interpreter Training both to improve my skills and to market and promote the work of the Ethnic Council. I have joined the Advisory Committee at Harmony Village and participated in the annual graduation ceremony for Goulburn Ovens TAFE where the Ethnic Council sponsors an award.

It would be my intention to continue these activities and look to further opportunities where I can expand the profile and involvement of the Council. I wish to recognise the enormous contribution made by my fellow Board members, the Manager and his staff and the Membership in the successful operation of the Ethnic Council and I look forward to my continued participation in our events and activities.

Maria Brown-Shepherd,
President,
Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc., Regd. No A6321
26 September, 2013