Chair's Report - January 2015

Published: Monday 19 January 2015

Some very significant events have occurred over the last few months for CEFPI Australasia and will have an impact on our immediate future.

Region Council

The Regional Council met in November in Melbourne following a Special AGM held as part of the very successful Big Day Out and the celebration of the Victorian Awards.  The Council meeting covered the full spectrum of business and planning, and setting up our initiatives and priorities for the 2015 year.

An important formality of the meeting was the handover of the Chair position from Mark Trotter.  I am truly honoured (and somewhat daunted) to take-over the Chair from Mark and take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of all members for his two years of service in the Chair and for his very significant contributions in that time.  Of course, Mark will continue at Council level as Past Chair.  The Council marked the occasion with a small memento to Mark – a cricket bat signed by the Council “Team” – referencing Mark’s other obsession!  Congratulations and sincere thanks to you Mark.

Some other important moves occurred at Council level.  Firstly, the meeting marked the departure from Council of three stalwarts of CEFPI: John Sewell, Andrew Pender and Alec O’Connell.  Their contributions in the positions as Treasurer and Chairs respectively have been enormous and far too many to list here.  On behalf of the membership, we thank them all for their influence and tremendous support over many years and we look forward to seeing them around in their “civvies”.

Secondly, the meeting marked the arrival of new members: Ros Marsland (WA), Marino Rossi (SA).  Welcome Ros and Marino and we look forward to your participation at Regional level

And thirdly, some important positional moves at Council.  I am delighted to confirm Deb O’Riley stepping in as Chair-elect, Ian Winch taking over Secretary (from Deb) and Laurence Robinson assuming the role of Treasurer (from John Sewell).  Together with Mark Trotter, Phil Idle, Helen Murray and me, they form the Executive Committee of the Region.     

All the members of the Council are listed on our website.  They all work hard to represent you, so please make yourself known to them and let them know of any issues you would like CEFPI to consider.   

Council Workshop

Continuing our review of the direction of the Region, the Council is again meeting face-to-face in Melbourne mid-February.  This will be an all-day workshop to continue the ever-expanding initiatives of our Region.  Once again, please use the opportunity to raise any matters with your Chapter representative.    


You will all be aware of the Canberra conference scheduled for 24-27 May – and congratulations to the Canberra team for preparing a sensational programme.

Working quietly in the background, at Council level, the following two years of conferences are being assembled.  Planning for Melbourne 2016 is well advanced and promises to be a block-buster!  Even more interesting are the early discussions for the 2017 event – too early to divulge, but exciting nonetheless.    


You will all have seen the steady stream of email invitations promoting local events.  The local Chapters have been working very effectively to build exciting programs of regular events and seminars.  Keep a watch out for the email advisories and we hope to include more feedback reports on our website in the future to expand the exposure to all members.  


It is particularly rewarding to see the New Zealand Chapter being so active and growing solidly.  The success of their site visits in 2014 has been outstanding and the Christchurch group continues to be active in an area of tremendous need.  The next event scheduled for 21st January in Christchurch explores cultural perspectives and narratives relevant to their context.      


Finally, the Region has been participating in the re-branding review of CEFPI international – an exercise that has been on-going for some time. The objective of the review is to reflect the international status of the organisation and reinforce our message and relevance.  Our representative on the re-branding committee is Phil Idle, taking on this important task in his position of International Director.  We thank Phil for his continuing commitment to this initiative – and for the loss of sleep in attending so many tele-conferences in USA time.  Stay tuned for the outcomes of this working group in the very near future.   

Richard Leonard


CEFPI Australasia