Presidents Report – AGM October 2020

President’s Report –  Australian Vellore Board  – AGM October 2020

 

We had quite an eventful year since our last AGM. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has put an end to all the plans for the various fund-raising activities for this year by the state groups. But the upshot was that a few things which were in the pipeline for quite some time were completed. We thank God for his divine guidance during the year gone by.

Accounts and Auditing

It has always been a concern that we don’t present audited accounts at our AGMs as we are expected to do. Also, for various reasons, our accounts weren’t audited for the past 3 years. We were able to address the above issues because of two main reasons. Firstly, there was a change of auditors and the current ones are very proactive and were keen to get the work done on time. We also started using a professional accounting package. The outcome was that our past accounts were all audited and furthermore, last year’s accounts, which are presented today, have already been audited ready to be forwarded to the ACNC. I wish to thank and congratulate Richard for all the hard work he has put into achieving this. Our thanks also go to the auditor Connor Hindom who completed the work in time for the AGM.

Constitution

We have discussed in the past the need for a new constitution. Two main things were missing from the old one. Firstly, it did not mention the state groups, how they function and their relationship to the Board. Secondly, there was no mention of the support fund and its tax-deductible status.

Using a template provided by the ACNC we have drafted a new constitution which has been circulated widely among the Board members and state branches of FOV. Thank you all for your invaluable feedback. We have incorporated all your suggestions and today we are presenting the final draft for the Board’s approval before sending it to the ACNC.

I wish to express our gratitude to the following for their enormous input into the project. David has been involved from the word go. We also had legal input from Philip Slade, and John Connan has been meticulous in proofreading it at the end.

Donations and Transfer of funds to CMC

It has been an unusual year because of the large amount of donations we received especially in support of the COVID preparedness campaign. In April 2020 we made two transfers – $150,000 towards allocation of designated donations and another $250,000 from our reserve at the request of the CMC administration. This was used towards purchasing ICU equipment to be used for COVID patients. The understanding is that this amount will be considered as a ‘loan’ and could be used in the coming years towards our future designated donations. We will touch on the projects towards which we received donations and allocated our money during the financial report.

Council Meetings – January 2020

Chellam, David and I attended the council meetings. You would have received the report compiled and sent by David. We had the opportunity to visit Jawadhi Hills, Chittoor and Kannigapuram campuses. The highlight was the dinner meeting with the International FOVs. It gave us the opportunity to come to know them, share our concerns and exchange ideas. Many department heads also attended the meeting and gave short presentations.

International FOV Zoom meetings

One of the outcomes of the above meeting was, on our initiative, we have established a regular forum to meet via Zoom on a quarterly basis; the first meeting was a couple of months ago. JVP gave a power point presentation on the latest happenings at CMC. This is going to be a regular feature and we also hope to discuss combined projects in the presence of Hugh Skeil from the Development office.

Publications

Publicity Brochure: At the International FOV meeting in January, we raised the matter of the possibility of a generic publicity brochure to be produced by the Publicity Department at CMC, which could be used by various groups all over the world. They were quite enthusiastic about the proposal and we have agreed to help them financially. Unfortunately, it has been put on hold until the COVID crisis is over.

Newsletter:  In the past we have promised an annual newsletter from the Board to the friends at large and finally we managed to produce one which was circulated via the state branches earlier this year. I received positive responses back from some of our donor base in NSW. We hope to continue producing it in a more attractive format.

Tele / Zoom Conferences

Since the last AGM, the Board met via teleconference once and held one Zoom conference and the Board of Directors also recently had a Zoom meeting planning for the AGM. With the COVID restrictions, we may be using the online media for our meetings in the foreseeable future.

Acknowledgement

First of all, my sincere thanks to the Board of Directors for all your help during the year. We have maintained regular communication with each other via email and phone. Thanks to all the members of the Board with whom I have kept in touch during the year for all your input.

It was sad that Evelyn had to leave the Board early this year due to personal and family health reasons. She did a great job as the secretary for the past 3 years and we will miss her. I wish to thank Jenny Olver for stepping in to help us in the role as the acting secretary. It really took a big load off my shoulders as she worked tirelessly organising this AGM. We really appreciate all that she is doing for the FOV in South Australia.

Chellam has been a valuable part of the Board for the past couple of years. She is stepping down at the end of this term. The Board very much valued her knowledge and the years of experience at CMC she brought to all our deliberations. Thank you Chellam.

We are hoping to welcome a few new faces to the Board. We are quite excited about the prospect of a new lease of life to the organisation and looking forward to greater things in the coming years. Thank you.                                                  

Stephen Aseervatham

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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