The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Inc

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From the President

25 Sep 2018 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
Dear Members, it is a great honour to have been re-elected to the role of President of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland for 2018-2019. I thank you, the members of the Society, for giving me this opportunity. I would like to acknowledge and thank several Society members who have contributed a great deal over the past year.

Firstly, the excellent team on Council since the 2017 AGM: 

Council executive - Peter Griggs, Vice-President; Chris Spriggs, Treasurer and Margaret McIvor, Secretary.

Councillors - Bob Abnett, Paul Broad, Jennifer Carter, Duncan Cook, Ian Francis, Margie Keates, John Nowill, Leo Scanlan and Jamie Shulmeister.

Thanks to Chairpersons and members of all RGSQ committees and Special Interest Groups for their enthusiasm, energy and skills.

My special thanks to members of the “Gregory House” Committee, who, over the past 12 months, have done a tremendous job in relocating the Society to a new home:

Bob Abnett – Chairperson, enthusiastic seeker and investigator of 27 possible properties and supervisor of the move to Fortescue St.;

Paul Broad, without whose professional knowledge and advice in real estate matters our relocation decision and tasks would have been extremely difficult; Paul has guided us in selling the Milton building, searching for a new home, purchasing the Fortescue St. property and has conducted negotiations with our real estate agent and legal team;  

Ian Francis – for preparing excellent layout drawings enabling us to envisage operations in several possible locations, commencing modifications in the new premises and supervising tradespeople;

Chris Spriggs – for wise advice on the financial aspects of our property dealings and for keeping a vigilant eye on all things financial at the Society;

Bernard Fitzpatrick – working with the committee on a multitude of issues related to relocation;

Neil Simson – Honorary Planner, researched and reported Town Planning aspects of our purchase;

Paul Trotter  Honorary Architect, advised on the internal design and layout of functions in the new premises.

Thanks also to:

Supper volunteers, coordinated by Mary Comer, who provide delicious suppers and the opportunity for members and guests to mingle socially and chat after lectures;

Leo Scanlan – developing RGSQ Traveller and, together with Sharyn Scanlan, continues to run very successful geographical tours overseas.

Treks and Activities Committee members – Mary Comer, Ross Gardner, Audrey Johnston, Paul Lambert, Jeanette Lamont, Wayne Mackenzie, Chris Spriggs – for organising geographical treks and activities throughout the year.

And to the many other members who regularly volunteer in Society activities.

Office staff: Bernard Fitzpatrick – for the day to day running of the RGSQ office, liaising with Council to implement decisions, relating to members’ concerns and coordinating the AGC; Lilia Darii – for working on Incorporation and new Constitution, AGC, RGSQ Traveller, Bulletins, assisting with accounts and marketing our activities; Rosie Catt – general office duties, assisting with accounts and a welcoming face on reception.

I view the role of President as maintaining an essential overview of Society activities, providing some leadership when needed and occasionally signing documents to sell a building and buy another property! That was fun! An important role for the President is to chair the monthly Council meetings, ensuring progression and implementation of Council decisions in an orderly and timely fashion. I hope to contribute to the best of my abilities in these matters and in the varied ongoing activities of the Society. I aim to be always available to consult with members, Councillors and committee chairpersons should they wish to raise any issues.

My own recommendations for the Society going forward include:

  •  investigating community grant schemes for improving the Society’s financial stability and sustainability 
  •  engaging with various professional organisations in the Brisbane CBD/Spring Hill vicinity of our new premises, with a view to increasing membership
  • developing ideas and mechanisms for pursuing future Scientific Studies
  • reviewing our publications via a re-constituted committee

The move to new premises represents a different phase in the Society’s long history. I have no doubt that interesting opportunities will be presented and that, with the stalwart band of Society members, we will find solutions to the challenges that will inevitably arise. As we consolidate our activities in the coming year, Council will need to be diligent in our surveillance of emerging trends which relate to the question of what kind of Geographical Society we want for the future, and in what exciting directions we should be heading. I look forward to working with you in the year ahead to discover what lies over the horizon. To paraphrase A.A. Milne “I knew, when I took this on, an adventure was going to happen”. Thank you.

by Iraphne Childs, President

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The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Inc
Gregory Place, Level 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill Qld 4000
Tel 07 3368 2066
ABN 87 014 673 068

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