AGM – Australian Board – Sydney – August 2016

The AGM of the Australian Board of the Vellore Christian Medical College & Hospital Ltd was held on Saturday 20th August 2016 at the Uniting Church Hall, 31 Carrington Ave, Strathfield, Sydney, NSW.

Bella George, the President of the Board chaired the meeting. Devotions were led by Ian Olver based on the story of Martha and Mary entertaining Jesus. Bella presented her annual report which is presented as a separate post.

Evelyn Lehmann, the secretary in her report mentioned about the various matters which were discussed at the two teleconferences held this year on Dec 21st 2015 and May 9th 2016.

Richard Caitens, the treasurer distributed and read out the report. A total of $318,000.00 was transferred in 2015-2016 financial year. It was pointed out that funds are accumulating in the Wylie fund and it was discussed that it needs to be promoted more. Traditionally it has been used to pay for the travel expenses for the spouse of the Vellore visitor. David Runia, the President of the FOV Victoria mentioned the possibility of the Gault Trust Fund being handed over to the Board to be managed, in the near future.

Stephen Aseervatham, who has been acting as the publicity officer and Chellam Kirubakaran, the newly appointed Publicity officer in their combined report updated the news on various current projects at CMC
Kannigapuram Campus: plans have been approved recently and the work will commence soon, hoping to be finished in 4-5 years? time with 1400 beds. It has good access from the freeway and is in a great spot for a trauma hospital.
Chittor is starting inpatient service in the following week and the new operation theatre facility was also commissioned. Temporarily they have rented houses around the campus for the Dr?s and nurses, with the view of eventually building permanent staff quarters.
Chattram the accommodation facility for the out of station poor patients is attracting the attention of many potential donors with increasing support from various FOVs, including the Victorian branch.
A new brochure: We have discussed with Hugh Skeil at CMC and he has promised to look into CMC producing one which could be used by FOVs worldwide.
Newsletter: There have been a request for CMC to produce a periodical newsletter with updated news of Vellore specifically targeting the overseas friends of Vellore. Sasanka Dhara the President of Tasmanian FOV raised this matter originally at a teleconference. This was discussed with Hugh Skeil, about CMC possibility of the current ?Pulse? – a sporadic publication by CMC, to be modified to suite this purpose.
DVD: It was brought to the notice of the board that the DVD which was produced more than a year ago has not been widely promoted among the Alumni in India and abroad. It was pointed out that in Australia we have been very pro-active in distributing it to each and every one of our friends. We have raised this matter with Hugh to be looked into.

Representatives form the various state branches of the FOV presented their reports.

NSW – Past Chairman Allison Vickery mentioned that the state branch has not been very active during the previous year. It has recently welcomed new members to the Executive – Dr Robyn Bradley (Chairman) and Dr Gordon Thomas (Secretary) and hope it will bring a renewed enthusiasm.

QLD: Cathy Chandani, the president of the Qld branch mentioned the street stalls continue to be a great money earner. A fundraising dinner was held in May 2015.

South Australia: Ian Olver presented the report produced by Renjy Nelson, the president of the SA branch. Their annual dinner was held on 29th August 2015 with Sunil Chandy as guest speaker had a record attendance of 450 guests, Next dinner is planned for 27th August 2016 with Dr Norman Swan as guest speaker.

Tasmania:  Sasanka Dhara, the president advised that most of the FOV in Tasmania are mainly elderly and do not have email access and thus has to be contacted by mail for newsletters. A successful fundraiser lunch was held in June, raising money for Paediatric Emergency Monitor. Bella and Stephen thanked Sasanka for his efforts to get Tasmania FOV up and running again.

Victoria: David Runia advised us that they are continuing to establish strong bonds between University of Melbourne and Vellore. Two successful fundraising dinners were held, one to coincide with Sunil Chandy?s visit in August 2015 for the AGM and the other in May 2106 with Director of the India Institute, Prof Craig Jeffery and his wife Dr Jane Dyson as guest speakers. Generous donations for a Paramedic Scholarship, for a Nursing Scholarship in the name of Edward and Edna Gault and continued donations for CLLHT were received with much appreciation. Lack of contact with Alumni in Victoria is a concern for the executive and discussions are carried out with Dr Sunil Datta and Dr Meshach to address the issue.

Western Australia: Lovely Charles a nursing graduate from CMC has offered to help in forming a FOV branch in WA. She informed us of her progress in establishing contacts and potential members for launching WA FOV. The new DVD has been given out to some potential members. Approaching and getting potential members has not been easy but hopefully later this year a meeting will be held, posters will be put up in the Uniting and Anglican Churches. The Board is very grateful for Lovely?s continued efforts.

Alumni Association: Meshach Kirubakaran in his report mentioned that his wife Chellam and he are organising the Australian Alumni gathering in Mildura in September 2016. They have contacted Alumni
in NZ as well as Australia who are interested in keeping in touch. In the past the association was confined to the medical undergraduate alumni. He envisages it as a growing concern with post graduate medical, Allied health and nursing staff joining in and hopes by next year they will have much more interest with wider participation.

Election of Office Bearers: All the current office bearers agreed to continue in their positons for another year.
President: Bella George, Vice President: Stephen Aseervatham, Secretary: Evelyn Lehmann, Treasurer/Public Officer: Richard Caitens, Publicity Officer: Chellam Kirubakaran.

Other Business:
On-line donation: Richard advised that Josh Pugh, our IT consultant, has been given all the necessary information for him to amend the current PayPal receipt to make it comply with ATO requirement for tax deductible donations. Hopefully it will be up and running in the near future.

Allocation of the transfer made in June 2016: The Board discussed about choosing the projects we wish to support from our last transfer. The following were chosen and sent for the final approval by Hugh Skiel.
Community Health Department and CHAD Hospital
4 Wheel drive vehicle for mobile health clinics         Aus $20,000.00

Low Cost Effective Care Unit (LCECU)
1. Spirometer.
2. An auto-analyser for the LCECU lab                       Aus $15,000.00

Child Health: Developmental Paediatrics
1. Upgrade Early Learning Centre for small children.
2. Mini Occupational Therapy gym                             Aus $20,000.00

Scholarship Programme Jawadhi Hills
1. Students to train in CMC and return to the hills x 2 students        Aus $ 20,000.00

Total – Approximately Aus 75,000.00

AGM ? 2017 :  The next AG Meeting is planned for Saturday 19th August 2017 in Brisbane.

Evelyn Lehmann

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