All best wishes to all our valued Supporters and the enthusiasts for this New Year!
Our Christmas gathering at our AMHF was happy ….. we celebrated our progress and hosted some of our Ambassadors, Donors and many Supporters who all wish us well.
We have put out some markers for the Foundation’s main activities in 2024.
All eight Directors and our Chief Operating Officer Geoff Piggott met for a few hours on Saturday 16 December. We were hosted by our Director/Treasurer Mike Mekhitarian at his firm’s convenient airy new offices overlooking the river at Parramatta. Mike had structured our agenda, and our al fresco lunch was organised by Mike’s wife Suzanne. Many thanks to Suzanne and Mike for the day.
For this meeting our moderator was Director Brian Crump, and he called the shots splendidly.
Our directors will be meeting again at Mike’s offices on 10 February.
These two all-day meetings are reviewing the AMHF’s strategies and resources, preparing for the future. We have been at Sydney Motorsport Park for some years now, the big picture we sketched for our Supporters 2020 has become a reality.
An immediate focus is the launch of our Economic Survey due very soon now. It will follow shortly after our Board’s review of the experts’ analyses and their full report. With the tremendous base of responses – from over 6,400 enthusiasts – we know the Survey will excite a lot of worthy interest in our clubs and Supporters across Australia. We are now scheduling our first two-day conference AMHF event for our supporters, Volunteers, major donors, and many Supporters. The venue will be at the new AMIP building at Sydney Motorsport Park and the planned date is Friday-Saturday 23-24 August 2024. This dovetails with the major CMC day on Sunday 25 August.
The main conference sessions will be addressed by panels of creative people being brought together by our Director Peter Robinson. They will focus on the big issues faced by our motor clubs and by our other AMHF Supporters. The outcomes and lessons of AMHF’s Economic Study will have been with you for some months, and those will be up for discussion. The conference will be set up and conducted by your Foundation, with the CMC (NSW) and the ARDC providing our main support.
I will make a final point as the new year has got under way.
Our main tangible resources are five things. Numero uno is our Volunteers, who are all special people both individually and collectively. They are not only our enthusiastic experts. They are the custodians of our growing unique knowledge base. After seven years that group is a force for good.
Next is our special database. It is now in the Microsoft Cloud, thus is accessible across the world. It is tailored for us and is our unique resource, being populated by Volunteers now who will also enable its best use over time. It is not replicated by any similar entity in Australia. For this major innovation we are indebted to a great Partner. Bill Fatouros and his specialist consultant group First Software Solutions has designed the database and helped massively with ongoing support and training. Then
Number three is the building at SMSP, subleased from the ARDC. After four years of substantial capital investment by us and the ARDC it is in good serviceable condition, very much our home base.
Our home base now houses our fourth big resource which is the major and growing collection of hard-copy materials – thousands of books, periodicals, magazines, photographs, brochures and more – all carefully administered by our Head Curator Pete Eppel and his team of enthusiasts. The sorting and care of these unique collections is a never-ending task, willingly undertaken.
Then we have our website/Facebook working in tandem as our virtual front door. That is overseen by a number of us, but chief among them are our doorkeepers Brian Caldersmith and Shamus Toomey. The whole contains a lot of our precious intellectual property, including of course the growing number of copyright articles in ‘Robbo’s Archive’. Our partner Karyn at Hubsite Builder in Sydney’s Hills District patiently and expertly worked on the improvement of our website over two years now, so important for us. Our IT Consultant Igor Borovik is always on call too. Only a large amount of TLC and the many special contributions make it all work.
These five tangible resources together comprise our ‘library’. They are set up together to enable the Foundation to qualify as a charity and a Deductible Gift Recipient. They are in fact complex, they are inter-related, they are each crucial to us, they each have issues, are not fully realised at present, and their continuance relies on Volunteers and donations and sheer goodwill.
The Directors have developed strategies to deal with the issues inherent in them. Financial support is one factor, and we know that marketing technique and nous is another central need. We will be interviewing possible new talent there. I hope some Supporters can offer resources, ideas or personal skills that can assist in the process.