AGM of the Australian Vellore Board

The Board Meeting was held in conjunction with the CMC Vellore Alumni Conference in Darwin Conference Centre on Saturday 17 August 2013.  Dr. Sunil Chandy, CMC Vellore Director was present as the chief guest. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Ian Olver, the President of the Board.

 Rev. Malcolm Sercombe, a Baptist minister from Darwin lead the devotion, He focused on Matthew 10:5 and Mark 8: 13-21 with faith being the central theme.  He shared his own background of having a mother who when confronted with any issues, would always take them to the Lord.  She taught him to do the same, no issue being too small or too big for the Lord to deal with.

Dr. Sunil Chandy, the Director of CMC, spoke about the recent happenings at Vellore and about the future plans during his term of office, He emphasised the need to expand the infrastructure beyond the current area of occupancy, because of the increasing demands for services. A land purchased few years ago, not far from current hospital, along the high way to Chennai, is going to be developed as a trauma centre as well as accommodating a few other specialties. The much talked about Chittoor campus is going to be developed to a lesser scale than originally planned for various reasons. Certainly there will be sufficient clinical services provided to suit the requirements of the surrounding areas.

He was very pleased about the high court decision in relation to the selection of the students for medical admissions and thus CMC will be able to continue to select according to its existing criteria. But it was unfortunate that many medical schools that mainly function as profit making organisations also benefited from the decision, dovetailing to CMC.

He also talked about the possibilities of CMC going beyond the boundaries of India in establishing medical education and services in needy surrounding countries. The existing faculties for Distance education for medical practitioners in remote areas is going to be expanded.

There was an urgent need for accommodation and care of retired senior medical staff in their twilight years and there are plans to establish a purpose built retirement home by 2015 to coincide with the celebrations of Paul Brand?s contribution to CMC.

Plans have been made to produce a new DVD about the work at CMC in the near future. The institution has been negotiating with the Australian producer Tim Nicholls, who made the last one ?The Home of the healing God?.

Prof. Ian Olver welcomed Devi and Barry Conde, Derek Scanlan and Mahiban Thomas (from Darwin) to the meeting. They will form the core group around which a chapter of FOV is going to be developed in NT. Devi has kindly consented to be the chairperson. Mahiban Thomas was responsible for facilitating this project. The Board wished them the very best in their endeavour.

The relationship between the Alumni Association in Australia and the FOV was discussed. The concept of the possibilities of a formal merger was touted upon by a few members but the majority felt that it was best served for the organisations to be independent but complement each other, working for the common goal of CMC.

The treasurer, Richard Caitens in his report mentioned that a sum of $101,300 was transferred to CMC from donations received in Australia.

The helpful role played by Hugh Skiel, the development officer at CMC was highlighted and the Director was requested to convey our sincere gratitude to him for all his assistance in the past.

The secretary, John Rothwell has indicated that he would not be re-nominating himself for the position. The rest of the office bearers were re elected and Liz Guiver, the chairperson of the FOV Victoria was elected as the secretary.

The meeting was closed with prayers by Chairman Prof. Ian Olver. The next AGM will be held in Adelaide in August 2014.

The board members were entertained by Devi and Barry Conde with a sumptuous dinner following the meeting. We thank them for their kind hospitality.

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