Charles Oguntade, President of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc., Regd. No A6321, delivers the Annual Report for year 2020 on 28 September, 2020.
As you know, this year is a very unique one with the untold hardship, struggles and difficult lifestyle changes that we have to make collectively as a community due to the huge impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Let me use this opportunity to thank the entire board for their adaptability into the new ways of conducting business of the board since the beginning of the pandemic, most of our board meetings and other extra activities were conducted virtually which was a new technology we all have to learn and adapt ourselves with very quickly.
Today I would like to make a few comments about the year passed and the year ahead. I will then hand over to our manager Chris Hazelman who can go into more details about our performance and strategy.
The Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District has remained in good financial viability and was able to meet all our financial obligations towards many of the activities we embarked upon. The management provides the board with financial and activity reports every month for our review, discussion and advice to ensure we maintain our standard of delivery.
Going by our diligence and track record in service delivery within the multicultural community, the Ethnic Council of Shepparton has remained the key stakeholder with different government department in the area of program delivery and primary fund holder for different grants that involves consortium approach. There has been lots of rethinking due to the changes and the restriction the global pandemic may have caused to the structure of our program and activities, we are aware of what this would mean to some of the ongoing grants we have secured prior to the pandemic and how this will affect our projected budget and where necessary the management is making all needed adjustments and regularly interfacing with the funding bodies to meet the funding agreement requirements.
My stewardship as the Board President:
The past twelve months can be described as a very exciting but challenging time for many of us who have been involved with the board. I had two key agendas on my mind as I was coming in as the President for this board:
- To build and improve the board membership rolls and
- To increase community participation in all the various activities the Ethnic Council is involved in.
I would like to admit that these two agendas were not fulfilled to my satisfaction and this was no thanks to the global pandemic that really disrupted most of our activities and refocused our energy and even channelled most of the council resources towards COVID- 19 community response. However, saying this I will like to appreciate the council response and engagement with the local and state health authority in coordinating the community response.
I had the opportunity to attend the biennial FECCA national conference held in Hobart, Tasmania in October 2019, this conference also created a good opportunity for a number of board members and staff of the council to participate actively which has led to further opportunity for the staff to be engaged in other National events involving the multicultural community.
I represented the Ethnic Council at the Victorian Multicultural Forum on Employment and Housing where a lot was discussed on strength and opportunities of different regions and how to tackle the most important issues of housing and employment in our region. I am also a member of the VMC Regional advisory committee which also includes other members of staff and the council. I played a key role in the African Youth Task force activities, I have been a guest speaker at some of the key community empowerment programs organised by the Ethnic Council and I have also participated in a number of community events on behalf of the Ethnic Council.
I was nominated for the Victoria Multicultural award of Excellence in 2019 and finished as the second runner up. I also won the DPC scholarship to undergo a three months training in Foundation of Directorship program at the Australia Institute of Directors. I was appointed as the Multicultural Mental Health Ambassador by the Mental Health Foundation of Australia and was also re appointed for the third year as the Democracy Ambassador for Victoria Electoral Commission.
In closing I will note that I have chosen not to return to the board after serving for a period of six years but I will maintain my membership of the Ethnic Council and continue to contribute my part in a different capacity. I encourage every board member and management to reflect on the values of the Ethnic Council of Shepparton and how these values could influence our engagement both within and outside the organisation. I wish the entire board, management and the community a prosperous year ahead.
Ethnic Council of Shepparton and District Inc., Regd. No A6321
28 September 2020