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Members and supporters update
Monday, 17 December, 2012    Author: Chris Reside

Abbeyfield Australia National Conference 2012

The Abbeyfield Australia National Conference was held on Saturday 17 November at the Downtowner on Lygon, Carlton (Melbourne). The popular event was attended by representatives from most Abbeyfield local societies and branches across the country, and received very favourable reviews.

National Conference sessions

The Conference commenced with a key note presentation from Eddy Bourke, Policy Officer at the Community Housing Federation of Australia. Eddy spoke on the increasingly regulated community housing sector in Australia and the move toward a single registration scheme for the national community housing sector.

Other sessions over the day included:

Abbeyfield House Management Manual – Chris Reside, CEO of Abbeyfield Australia presented the Abbeyfield House Management Manual to be implemented over 2013. Chris explained the process which had been completed to arrive at a Manual which met the best practice regulatory standards of the sector, whilst also retaining the essence of the former Blue Book. Abbeyfield Australia will contact each Local Society early in the New Year and Chris hopes to meet with as many Committee of Management as possible to make the transition to the Abbeyfield House Management Manual as smooth as possible.

Cash is king – an informative and well received session was presented by Abbeyfield Australia directors David Kay and Andrew Moylan. The session addressed several aspects of Abbeyfield local society finances including:

• The potential impact of the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC)

• The benefit of sharing high level financial information between each local society

• The scope to pool investment resources to achieve greater returns

• Asset Management Plans

• Provisioning for liabilities (including LSL liability).

Moving towards a new housekeeper award – Heidi Roberts, Partner at Corrs Westgarth Chambers, together with Abbeyfield Australia’s Chris Reside and Peter Ridler, presented a workshop on a new housekeeper award. In introducing the subject Ms Roberts noted that the current Abbeyfield Australia Housekeeper Enterprise Award was set to expire on 31 December 2013 and complimented Abbeyfield Australia on its early planning for an orderly transition to a new instrument which will continue to satisfy the needs of Abbeyfield and its Housekeepers into the future.

Abbeyfield Australia will circulate further information to local societies and Housekeepers early in 2013.

Abbeyfield Australia service awards

Several ‘Abbeyfielders’ from across the country were formally recognised at the Annual General Meeting. These were:

Dimitri Kiriacoulacos

Dimitri Kiriacoulacos was conferred a Life Member of Abbeyfield Australia in recognition of his service to Abbeyfield Australia as Company Secretary and Vice Chairman, and as Director on the former South Australian State Abbeyfield Board.

Philip Watchman (Marion Abbeyfield Society, SA)

Philip Watchman was awarded a Certificate of Meritorious Service in recognition of his long service to Abbeyfield Australia as Chairman of the Marion Abbeyfield Society and for his outstanding leadership in successfully transitioning the Marion Abbeyfield House from an older persons Abbeyfield House, into an Abbeyfield House for young adults with an intellectual disability.

John Boland (Abbeyfield StJosephs Malvern, Vic)

John Boland was awarded a Certificate of Meritorious Service in recognition of his long service to Abbeyfield Australia as Chairman of Abbeyfield StJosephs Malvern and his remarkable leadership following the razing of Abbeyfield StJosephs on 16 February 2009. This required John to dedicate untold hours to the rebuilding of the house which was successfully reopened to residents in December 2009.

Marion Harriden (Dingley Village Abbeyfield Society, Vic)

Marion Harriden was awarded a Certificate of Meritorious Service in recognition of her long service to Abbeyfield Australia as Chairman of the Abbeyfield Society (Dingley Village) Inc. and your contribution to the debate and development of the Abbeyfield model in Australia.

Doug Parker (Mortlake Abbeyfield Society, Vic)

Doug Parker was awarded a Certificate of Meritorious Service in recognition of his long service to Abbeyfield Australia as foundation Chairman of the Abbeyfield Society (Mortlake) Inc. and subsequent service as that Society’s Executive Officer. Having recently retired as Executive Officer, Doug continues to serve in the development of Abbeyfield accommodation in Timboon.

Gay Gardner AM

A surprise presentation was also made to outgoing Chairman Gay Gardner AM. As Gay had previously foreshadowed her intention not to seek re-election as the company’s Chairman, Jacquelyn Landos presented Gay with a beautiful engraved clock with an inscription recording appreciation of Gay’s service as Chairman.

Amendment to the Abbeyfield Australia Constitution

The AGM held Saturday 17 November also considered and passed a special resolution to change the Abbeyfield Australia Constitution by setting an upper limit on the size of the Abbeyfield Australia board. Specifically, clause 18.6 of the Constitution was amended so that the board may have no more than 10 directors. The Constitution as amended is available on the Abbeyfield Australia website.

Board meeting outcomes – Sunday 18 November 2012

Following the National Conference, AGM and Conference Dinner on a very big Saturday 17 November 2012, the Board then met on Sunday morning 18 November for its scheduled Board meeting.

The Board started its meeting by electing the Company officers for 2013 and the officers of the company elected by the Board for 2013 are:

• Chairman – David Kay

• 1st Vice Chairman – Jacquelyn Landos

• 2nd Vice Chairman – Jill Parker

• Secretary – Eddy Bourke

• Treasurer – Andrew Moylan

David Kay may be contacted by email to:

Our congratulations go to David Kay on his election as Chairman!

The Board then worked thru a large agenda which included:

• Adopting an investment policy for the Abbeyfield Australia Investment Fund

• Approving the Abbeyfield House Management Manual as previously lodged with the Registrar of Community Housing, and a Notifiable Incidents Policy

• Adopting a new meeting cycle for Board meetings and tasking its Governance Subcommittee to investigate and report on an annual system of Board performance appraisals, Board succession planning, and formalised delegations of authority to the CEO.

• Appointing Board subcommittees and Local Society Liaison Directors for 2013.

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