President’s report to the Annual General Meeting on 17th August 2013

This is the annual report to the Members of the Society on behalf of the Management Committee.

It has been a year significant change, achievement and success.

As president I wish to acknowledge and thank the members of the management committee, the co-ordinators and all who have given their time and effort to manage and operate the Society. The members of the management committee are

Peter Howie          President                                            Chris Hutchinson      

Tony Eades          Vice President                                     Eva Miller                                           

Philip Kreveld        Secretary                                            Phil Mylecharane

                            (From 13/5/2013)                                  Richard Birmingham

Cherie Carmody     Treasurer                                          Julie Chiffey

Eva Miller was secretary until 13th May 2013 and has since taken over Exhibitions.

We thank Nathan Paramanathan and Ian Wardrop who retired from the committee after many years of outstanding contribution and service as office bearers.

(The new logo in the heading of this report was created for the Society by Tony Eades.)

Studio Program

The Studio is currently being used for 29 hours per week plus occasional member work sessions.

All of our teachers continued this year – Yvonne Audette, Nathan Paramanathan & Jenny Scholes  Janice McBride Ralph Zimmerman.

We were delighted to welcome Shane Kent. Shane has many years experience as a highly successful artist and teacher and recently exhibited at the Australia Gallery.

Affiliated programs continued to be run by U3A and Jan Daly - Smart Art after School Program

Member work/practice sessions in Life drawing, painting and sculpture and portrait drawing and painting were run by  Charles Baker, Tony Eades, Eva Miller, Kirk Winter & Michael Knight.

The studio was also booked and used occasionally by individual members.

The committee thanks Lois Blount, Life Member, who coordinated the portrait sessions for several years before handing over to Eva Miller this year; and Peter Thistlethwaite and Gus Lancaster who assisted the committee as Studio Program Coordinators.

Public Events and Outreach.

Richard Birmingham organised an outstanding series of Artist Talks. He prepared graphic posters and wrote lively and informative reviews that were published in our Newsletter. The presenters were

Dr Heather Sebo, Dr Mark Dober, Mary Tonkin, Robyne Latham, Elizabeth ‘Giz’ James and Godwin Bradbeer

He also negotiated with Boroondara Council to have Mary Tonkin present at the Kew Courthouse.

Richard is discussing with council officers the opportunities we have to work together later this year as the Council rolls out the major renovation of the Hawthorn Town Hall as its focus for the arts.


Ian Wardrop initiated a relationship with Boroondara to run the Society’s exhibition at the Kew Courthouse. Although limited by space this successful exhibition was very professionally presented and hung with the assistance of the Council’s cultural officers.

We continued to support the local Xavier college with an exhibition at the May time fair .

In the coming year we intend to review our exhibition policy and are indebted to Ian for his analysis and critique as starting point for that review.


We are especially grateful to Kate Hart who redesigned our newsletter, then our web site, giving our communications a fresh, consistent look and professional layout. She produced two news letters - one printed and another in colour for email distribution.  She expanded the content and produced these every second month.

During the year Julie Chiffey joined the committee to assist Kate in gathering the articles, writing and distributing the printed version.

No one enjoys the photocopying, folding, enveloping and mailing of newsletters or unnecessary use of paper. If you can supply your email address to simplify our distribution or would like to fold and mail the printed version then please contact a committee member.

Web Site

Kate Hart redeveloped our web site using a generic platform which reduces the technical detail and makes changes and updates quicker and simpler. She has connected the e-mail newsletter to the site as a basis for further developing our internet presence.

Our website is at

Member Records and database.

The electronic newsletter is only possible because of the work done by Chris Hutchinson in maintaining our records and setting up the electronic mail out.

Chris reported at the July committee meeting that we had 149 members plus 8 life members.

This represents a significant increase again this year. Over 70% use electronic distribution.


The Society has been most fortunate this year in having Cherie Carmody as Treasurer. Cherie is a financial planner and her background showed in the timely and accurate recording and reporting of our financial position. The annual results were reviewed by John Marshall& Co. who has audited our accounts previously.

It is very pleasing to report another year of surplus. This was due to successfully increasing membership and studio utilisation while reducing costs largely through voluntary contributions by committee members.

We no longer run an office computer or telephone or telecommunications. Our members use their own computers and telecommunications and most of our files are electronic.

The surplus has placed us in a strong position for coming year and enabled the committee to recommend a reduction in membership fees for the coming year.


There was no significant expenditure on the studio this year. We thank Phil Mylecharane who continued as studio coordinator.

New Constitution.

The most significant issue facing the committee this year was to respond to the legislative changes governing our existence and operation. We hope that the adoption of the new Model Rules will make it simpler to handle future regulatory requirements. 

Peter Howie, President