National President’s Report – Riding On Autumn 2018

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This will be my last Riding On report for this National Committee year and I reflect on a very busy time since the 2017 AGM.  Most pleasingly, this NatCom has worked very diligently to curb spending and continues to do so. Treasurer John has been pivotal to that task of course, and his even handed and detailed approach to identifying issues and suggesting where focus should be placed and savings could be made, as well as the efforts of the NatCom members to suggest and support changes and then seek to implement them, has provided the club with a much better financial basis on which to continue.

This current National Committee will be returned at the 2018 AGM and will continue the work.

Riding On has always been the main communication channel for the Ulysses Club.  In the Ulysses Story, Stephen Dearnley #1 wrote “I am convinced that the glue that holds Ulysses Club together is Riding On. Unlike many similar publications, the club magazine has always had firm editorial direction so it has not become just a bland and wishy-washy voice of a committee. From its earliest beginnings as s simple newsletter, all three of its editors have had the welfare and spirit of Ulysses deeply at heart. All editors have worked hard to ensure that there has been a fair balance of ideas and opinions, or information and entertainment, and that the simple aims of the club were kept firmly in the forefront.” This current National Committee supports that view. While the club has taken the step of using social media to “spread the word”, the Riding On will always be the main communication method.  Whether it remains in the same format will depend on members support to reduce the ever increasing cost that print magazines now must attract. We do need to reduce the cost of Riding On and to that end the National Committee is considering options.

Many previously formal Branches now find themselves facing changes with the effect that they need to consider moving from being an elected formal Branch Committee with a minimum of 5 Committee members, to the Committee by Consensus format which requires 3 members elected at a Branch AGM and informally running the Branch.  The Constitution includes Branch Committees as both formal and informal to conduct the affairs of the Branch under the reasonable direction of the  National Committee.

One of the really stunning aspects of our club are the volunteers who do their work without seeking any credit but whose work carries this club. At the Branch level we have our amazing volunteers who do so much as evidenced by the list of Telemachus medals, and Dearnley medals we award each year. As well, volunteers like Kim Kennerson who is the Ulysses Club Arthritis Research Coordinator, Graham Moore who coordinates the MAOTY scheme each year, Riding On Editor Gary Warner, Riding On proof readers Bryan Fricker and Colin Hook, our website Administrator Wayne Watson, all provide service to the club that we come to rely on.

I reflect on the work done by the National Committee team and the excellent efforts they have done during the year in all their portfolios. Teamwork is forged by working together with mutual respect, trust and a sense of collective purpose. We receive very positive feedback from members which is heartening.

Shortly after you receive the Autumn edition of the RO, the 2018 AGM Event in the Riverland area of South Australia will be close…have you registered for the Event?  We are extending the use of RFID cards at the AGM this year after the trial of the cards at Check-in and the gate in 2017; it is anticipated that the process should be more efficient. I look forward to seeing you at the AGM Event in the Riverland.  Enjoy the journey.

Jen Woods #21395

National President

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