President’s Report at AGM August 2023

Held on August 26th, 2023, in Adelaide.

We have completed another year; we thank God for his mercy and guidance in helping us to fulfill our task. It has been a team effort and I wish to acknowledge up front thanking each and every one of the Board of directors for their invaluable help.

We have come out of the COVID unscathed to a large extent. The report from Richard and the state branches will give more details regarding the state of affairs.

For the past three years, there have been no fund-raising activities held for obvious reasons. After the flurry of donations received during the COVID era, namely 2020-21, as expected there was a drastic drop in 21-22. It has slightly picked up this year. There is a matter of concern, which is regarding the remarkable drop in donations from SA. There are many reasons, and the executive is quite aware of it.

Our allocation of funds to CMC was mostly determined by the designated donations we received from individuals. But the Board also has been proactive in choosing some newer projects, for example Palliative care unit. We are back again starting to contribute for the travel fellowships, which was on hold during the COVID years and there was more money allocated for student scholarships – both Allied Health and Nursing. The request for a Hybrid Vascular Theatre at CMC has been finally given the green light by the administration and we were able to make a substantial contribution towards it. As you would recollect, this project was initially promoted by the SA state branch.

We have been participating with the international FOVs in a biannual Zoom Round table meeting. This has become a very productive forum.

The development office has been extremely helpful to us with all matters relating to CMC. Thanks to Sandeep, Shirley, Sekha, and others. One of the best things we have achieved is to streamline all our designated donations ensuring they reach the intended recipients. This has been a big problem over the years.

I am coming to the end of my term. As such, I have been looking back to see what we have done over the past 6 years.

It is true we have a new constitution, a regular annual newsletter from the National Board (Thanks to Sharon), a new publicity brochure (due to the arduous work of David) and a revamped web site in the process of being built. Again, many thanks to David for his input.

But I wonder whether the organization has grown in the past few years. The Tasmanian FOV ceased to exist. Our attempts to start state branches in WA and NT failed. In NSW, for instance, the membership numbers have dropped over the years but has been stable in the past few years. I don’t have the information but wonder whether the other state branches will have the figures to confirm whether their numbers have grown or fallen.

My gut feeling is that we are not getting any new additions to our donor pool. Quite a few of our long-standing friends have passed away. It was believed that the expatriate alumni will become ardent supporters of the cause at their respective state FOV level. But that is not happening to a large extent.

The Board has to become proactive in fixing this problem. If we are going to survive, we need an innovative approach to build up a strong base of friends. I hope we get to discuss this at length later during this AGM.

Thank you again to all of you who have been the members of the Board for your role in helping CMC through your hard work at your state level.

There are two personal acknowledgements. Richard has been a great treasurer, and many don’t realise the amount of work he does for the Board. We have had a very good working relationship for many years. Thank you, Richard, for all what you do for the cause. David is a very proactive secretary and has been the driving force behind the organisation during the past years. Thank you, David, for all your help.

I wish Mahiban and the Board of Directors who will be taking over for the coming year, God’s providence, and guidance in their task ahead. I know they all have great passion to help CMC in their mission.

Thank you again and God’s blessings.

Stephen Aseervatham