Committee’s report to the members at the Annual General Meeting on 16th August 2014

The members of the management committee in the past year were

Peter Howie – President, Richard Birmingham – Vice President, Philip Kreveld – Secretary, Cherie Carmody – Treasurer, Chris Hutchinson, Eva Miller, Julie Chiffey

For part of the year Terry Michael joined the committee as Studio coordinator and Nathan Paramanathan has subsequently taken responsibility for the studio facility. Throughout the year Kate Hart has coordinated and run the web site and newsletter production.

It has been another year of significant change and achievement and growth.

Studio Program

The Studio is currently being used for 27 hours per week plus occasional member work sessions.

All the teachers continued this year – Yvonne Audette, Nathan Paramanathan, Jenny Scholes, Janice McBride Ralph Zimmerman and Shane Kent.

Affiliated programs continued to be run by U3A and Jan Daly - Smart Art after School Program A workshop to be run by Heather Betts in October 2014 was announced and quickly oversubscribed.

The committee continued to review the business operations of the Studio in order to improve our financial reporting and ensure that the correct insurances are in place.

These changes affected the untutored sessions. All these sessions were run by volunteers. An attendance book was implemented. The Society is now clearly responsible for all the revenue and expense of these sessions. This change in operation was a major reason for the extraordinary increase in the Society’s income and expenses shown in the annual accounts for the financial year.

For the same reason the Society has taken over the business management of some of the classes and contracted the teachers where this works best for the Society and the relevant teachers. For these classes the students now pay the tuition fees to the Society. Correspondingly increased revenue and expense amounts are shown in our annual report.

Untutored life sessions

A highlight of the year was the improvement in these sessions especially in the last six months. Eva Miller continued to run the Portrait sessions on Thursday morning providing a regular opportunity to draw or paint from a seated clothed model. Kirk Winter’s Monday night sessions continued to present one extra long pose repeated over five Weeks for painters and sculptors. David Giblett took over the Monday Life drawing morning session and his organization and innovations have increased attendance. John Smith has taken responsibility for the Sunday morning session and it has a strong and growing core support. From February this year Phil Kreveld has run the Tuesday night session and built up strong attendances and introduced new members for the Society. Throughout the year a number of members, including Charles Baker, Tony Eades, Michael Knight, Tony Atkinson and many others have assisted in running these sessions Hawthorn is now one of the strongest centres of life drawing in Melbourne. These sessions offer the best value in town for our members and offer potential new members an introduction to our society.

Public Events and Outreach

Richard Birmingham continued to organise an outstanding series of Artist Talks. He was ably assisted by Julie Chiffey in preparing graphic posters and writing lively and informative reviews that were published in our Newsletter. The presenters were Shane Kent Heather Betts Ann Howie Bill Kelly We had been limited by the venue for these talks, but from February Richard arranged for these to be run in the excellent facility at the newly renovated Arts Centre in the Hawthorn Town Hall.


It is disappointing to report no progress in this area. There are many reasons why it is difficult for a local or regional art society such as ours compared with a metropolitan or homogenous society or school specializing in a particular genre. Many of our members continue to independently and very successfully exhibit, as individuals and in groups.
We have budgeted the necessary funds but we have not had the members prepared to volunteer and work together with the committee to overcome the difficulties.

New Constitution/Governance

This was the first year of operation under our new constitution. At the AGM last year the members adopted the new model rules of the 2012 Act. We have successfully adapted to it and we continued to review our operations and governance using our limited resources.

Studio facility

There was no significant expenditure on the studio this year.

* Newsletter*

We are very grateful to Kate Hart who continued to design and layout our newsletters for printing and for electronic distribution – four editions in two versions. Julie Chiffey continued assist Kate by gathering the articles, writing editorials, creating artwork and distributing the printed version. Julie is also learning the layout under Kate’s direction. We thank Sue Fabian for contributing profiles of our members and others who contributed reviews and various other articles.

Web Site (

Kate Hart continued to develop the web site. It will be our main reference document. The printed news letters, for example, are stored on it and can be down loaded; all the artist talks posters are also there. It is worth looking at from time to time because it keeps changing and has the news first.
Kate also took over the distribution of our inbound emails.

Member Records and database

Membership continued to grow. Chris Hutchinson, the coordinator, reported at the July committee meeting that we had 181 members plus 8 life members. This represents a significant increase again this year. Over 80% use email for newsletters. Under our new rules, adopted last August, all memberships are due for renewal by 31st March each year. Of the 181 members, 149 were financial and we hope that the remaining members will renew now.


The Society has been most fortunate again this year in having Cherie Carmody as our Treasurer. The annual Financial Report for the year ending 30th June 2014 was prepared by her and 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 increasing membership and studio activities and many hours of free work and materials provided by the committee members and volunteers. Unfortunately the surplus also reflects that we did not have enough volunteers doing all that we budgeted for and a number of potential expenditures were carried forward to next year. The accounting activities and complexities grew significantly and it is most likely that the Society will need to implement a computerized accounting and membership system in the new financial year.

On behalf of the committee I submit this report to the members. On behalf of all of the members I wish to acknowledge and thank the management committee, the co-ordinators and all who have given their time and effort to manage and operate the Society.

Peter Howie, President