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Newsletter – Presidents report 2016

Presidents Report – 2016

Skal International Sunshine Coast

It has been my honour and privilege to serve as your President for the last two years, with last years hosting of the National Assembly here on the Sunshine Coast definitely being a highlight for me, and I’m sure everyone else involved will agree.

Our functions over the last year started with a lovely evening with Fish ‘n Crab charters , enjoying delicious seafood and delightful company. We then moved on to Arnica Restaurant in Maroochydore, with the beautiful view of the ocean and river, highlighting the delightful region we are privileged to call home.

As promised this year we have mixed the functions up, alternating between lunches and evenings to make the meetings more accessible to those that can’t get away from work commitments during the day. This year we will also be offering a breakfast or two, due to member request and we will assess the success of these events over the coming months.

Attendance at our only Noosa based function this year in May was fairly small, and with only a small representation in membership from the northern areas of the Sunshine Coast, this was the only function held in Noosa for the year. That said, Noosa holds great opportunity for us to grow membership, and with your new President and committee on board I am sure this will be a priority.

The combined South East Queensland Skal function was held during Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) and therefore I was unable to attend. A small contingent did make the event held at Queensland Cricketers Club, and by all accounts it looks like it was a lovely occasion.

In July we were delighted to host our Skal friends from Finland at The Terrace of Maleny, in our stunning hinterland. Embracing the friendships we develop through Skal is really what it is all about, and to have friends travel such a long way to explore our part of the world is truly special.

Our August function at Lefty’s (Maroochydore)was a lot of fun, and again we welcomed Skal friends, Mike and Heather Johnston from Rotorua, New Zealand.

Throughout the year your committee were busy organising the September function, the National Assembly based at Rumba Beach Resort, Caloundra. This event commenced with a stunning Meet and Greet at the Queensland Air Museum, and then the following evening we celebrated the gala at Aussie World where all who attended will attest to having a whole lot of fun.  Unfortunately fewer people attended the recovery lunch the following day at Flamehill Vineyard, possibly a result of having such a good time the night before.

We did expect to invest in this event, as our emphasis was on showcasing the sights and experiences of the Sunshine Coast, initiatives such as selling table sponsorship for the gala night, and receiving donations for raffles and giveaways assisted in keeping costs to a minimum.

We returned to Maroochydore in October, and while Mark and I were away in Europe for the Skal International World Congress in Spain during November, Susan Maynard led a group on an unforgettable tour to Rainbow Beach. We’ll hopefully repeat this one sometime soon, as it is a tour I am really looking forward to experiencing.

I have previously submitted a report on my attendance at the World Congress in Spain, and this is available for anyone that may be interested in hearing about this fabulous event.

In December we met at See Restaurant in Mooloolaba and all were once again invited to bring a present for children in the Sunnykids program. It was such a delight to present these to the staff at Sunnykids, and I would encourage the future committee to continue to foster this relationship into the future.

Last month we met at The Post Office in Ocean St, Maroochydore and enjoyed a lovely afternoon hearing from a couple of guest speakers, including Phil Harrip (Wings around the World)  and Bill Darby (The Events Board).

We have been very thrilled to have good quality and relevant guest speakers over the year, with Simon Latchford from Visit Sunshine Coast a regular attendee. I know I truly value the industry updates he and others have been able to bring to our events, and I am sure you all do too.

In Spain we voted to hold the 2017 Congress in Hyderabad, so start planning now, there are promises of some real VIP treatment for that one, and who doesn’t love the opportunity to join in on a genuine Bollywood experience. This October the Congress is being held in Monaco, with the promise of a very special event. Please join us, this will be a truly memorable experience, with opportunities for networking and “doing business amongst friends”.

From a membership perspective we have seen quite a few inductions through the year, including Marion Mollett, Julie Ellenberger, Tony Cridge and many more. Unfortunately, as is the nature of our industry, we have also lost members due to transfers and some not continuing due to their inability to attend functions.

Our numbers going into 2016 stand at 24 from 29 at the beginning of 2015. I implore all of you to keep our club strong, and to introduce a tourism friend to this great network through 2016.

And so, in looking back at the year that has been I hope you have all enjoyed the range of venues and experiences we have offered. I sincerely thank Maggie Shalhoub, as our function coordinator for organising the venues. Much time and effort goes into selecting these venues to provide new and interesting opportunities for networking, and I am very grateful for Maggie’s contribution over many years in this role.

As many of you know Lauris Bryant has been supporting Skal and serving as a hard-working and loyal member of this committee for many years, and I will be forever grateful to Lauris for her contribution during my term as President. Lauris would have to be one of the strongest women I know, and I feel very honoured to call her friend.

Vikki Done, what can I say about this gorgeous lady? Vikki’s enthusiasm and passion for Skal and life in general is infectious, and I just love spending time with her. She has been instrumental in introducing Skal to many now new members, and I know she will continue to do so in the coming years.

Our unstoppable Lynne Ryan has also been a great support to me over the last year and her continued presence on committee I know will bring wisdom and sage advice when required. Lynne is one of those people that is always smiling, and is truly an invaluable asset to our club.

I also must thank our secretary  Helen Wright whose happy and welcoming nature, and willingness to assist whenever required is very much appreciated. Helen also had the role of coordinating the raffles, and I thank her profusely for taking care of the prizes and raffle draws without needing prompting. Unfortunately Helen is stepping out of Skal for now to further her golf career, and I wish her all the best in sporting success.

Treasurer Linda Stevens is another pillar of strength to me, and she has competently and efficiently taken care of our funds, and while she is taking a step back from committee this year, I know she will continue to contribute to the ongoing success of our club.

For the Facebook and social media users amongst us you will have noticed a strong educational component around digital media being promoted in this space. I thank our Vice President Susan Maynard for her fabulous skills in the digital space, and for sharing relevant and appropriate posts from which we can all learn. Susan’s role in the committee looking after our social media and our web presence is invaluable, and I am sure you would all agree that her input is an extremely worthwhile asset to Skal Sunshine Coast members. Once again I thank Susan for her fabulous work in this space.

And lastly, but definitely not least, Mark.  Mark’s role as Past President and Membership Officer, sounding board, advisor, and best friend and husband a girl could have ever wished for has been outstanding. Mark’s commitment to the board of Queensland Tourism Industry Council will mean that he won’t be as active in Skal as he has been over previous years, but I can assure you, he will never be very far away! Thanks Mark for everything!

I am very grateful for the privilege of serving as your President for the last two years, and it has been a real joy spending time not only with my hard working, and fabulous committee, but with everyone who has had involvement with our club. Doing business amongst friends has been an absolute pleasure.

I certainly look forward now to stepping back and once again becoming an ordinary (immediate Past President) of Skal International Sunshine Coast as I hand over the reins. Rest assured though, I’m not going too far…watch this space, news on my next Skal role to be announced soon!

Thank you all, it truly has been an honour and a privilege.


Yours in Skal,

Joanne Skinner
President 2015