Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year!
Anniversaries can matter, like when it comes to paying your tax or getting the BAS done or renewing the wedding vows. Charities including the AMHF have important annual rituals and requirements, and your Directors, auditors and COO have been busy with formalities at year-end. And the annual opportunities for socialising and celebrating are all good too. Just look how the Club Lotus celebrated at our home base on 2nd December!
AMHF has just passed the seventh anniversary of our incorporation, and the Annual General Meeting of the Foundation’s Members is done for the year. The accounts and reports are all in positive territory. Our returns go in to the tax man (who oversees our tax-free status as a registered charity, and our Library’s continuing entitlement to DGR or Deductible Gift Recipient status for the Library). ASIC or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission gets its annual return, as does the ACNC or Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Both of these supervise our governance protocols and our compliance with the laws around our very existence.
Our volunteer administrators …. Geoff Piggott our COO, Mike Mekhitarian our Secretary and Treasurer, Shamus Toomey at the legal end, Kevin Snowball at the admin desk, all the Directors …. they are all precious in their roles and none are either superhuman or immune from conflicting priorities. All make big sacrifices in order to keep the doors open at our home base, and it hurts when they become unavailable.
Soon, at the end of February, we will be reading and promoting the outstanding research outcomes of the unique, important study of the economic value of the heritage and classic motor club movement across Australia. It is supported by notable entities and is to be published and owned by your Foundation. Probably it will prove a landmark, transformational for clubs and for the AMHF. We will all lose if we fail to take up the opportunities that come from it.
Right now the AMHF needs new people to assist. The great volunteers at the wheel must have relief and back-up. Naming no names, the ranks are about to be reduced by a couple of departures very soon. Unless these well-qualified people are supported or replaced we may not be able to ensure proper governance at the senior levels. Then we suffer and will have to reconsider the way we operate, and the reasons behind that.
Not good, my friends. Please consider what this might mean for us, and for you. To steal the immortal theme of The Man, “think not what your Foundation can do for you, but what you can do for your Foundation”.
And as always, our volunteer ranks in the vital roles around curation, digitisation of resources, marketing and promotion, professional library administration, liaison with motor clubs and supporters must be bolstered with new volunteers. We must be present at the home base more often than once each week. We must do more to meet the promises we have made and the opportunities we have uncovered. The work is there, it is worthy, it can be enjoyable and fulfilling, it is well led but it is under-staffed.
So for me and the AMHF the old year ends much as it began, with a plea for volunteer assistance in the new year which holds so much promise for the AMHF and the motor clubs.
My wishes for you … happy holidays, stay safe and enjoy the prospects of a great New Year.
See you in 2024!