Cultivate - the Horticultural Therapy Society of NSW

19 Dec 2018

President's Message & AGM

Reports from AGM 12 December 2018

Our AGM was held on Wednesday 12th December 2018 after being postponed to torrential rain and flooding at Ryde TAFE.

President's Report

Retiring President Toni Salter
It’s been a good year with us doing what we do best by running great events. We’ve had Elizabeth Swane through to Steven Wells and Adam Robinson in between. We’ve enjoyed great support from the Royal Botanic Gardens who allow us to use first class venues to hold some of these events. 
Between local events, our focus has been to support the new National Body, Therapeutic Horticulture Australia (THA) through sponsorship of the annual conference ATLC in QLD. Our involvement and partnership within the national structure has also been discussed at length yet no clear and concise policy that best suits our members has been resolved. 
After almost 4 years at the helm, it is time for me to step aside and allow new committee members to keep the momentum flowing and bring some fresh ideas. It’s always good to leave on a high and I’m confident we will see Cultivate continue to go from strength to strength. Some highlights during my time on the committee are:

  • memberships almost doubled from 40 less active or retired members to 70 engaged and fully supportive members now
  • Corporate sponsorship has become a valuable part of Cultivate with the help of Jo Aquilina engaging companies large and small
  • events have become regular, reliable and well attended
  • an annual conference is now a reality and typical of TH professional development opportunity
  • Cultivate is known more widely and various industries are noticing what we are achieving
  • paid admin support has been implemented and is now a crucial element to a successful Society

I am not the only one to move on, as both Barry Quine and Craig Foyle are also retiring from the committee. I would like to personally thank each committee member who has contributed during the years of Presidency because it has always been a team effort. Without you all, Cultivate would not be in the strong position that it is today. I have so much appreciation for those who have worked alongside of me and absolute confidence in the incoming committee to carry on the good work further.

In-coming President Jo Aquilina

I am very excited to be the new President of Cultivate NSW and I am looking forward to working with the new committee to forge ahead with developing social and therapeutic horticulture in NSW.

Before outlining our vision for the next 12 months, I would like to thank the outgoing President, Toni Salter for the enormous effort she has put in over the past 4 years to keep Cultivate going and to put us in the position where we can continue to grow and strengthen, all of which will be of benefit not only to the NSW community but nationally through the newly formed national body, Therapeutic Horticulture Australia (THA).  Toni’s contribution to Therapeutic Horticulture in NSW will be featured in a special feature in the first edition of the newsletter in 2019.

We also would like to thank Barry Quine for his contributions during his time on the committee, particularly with regard to education programmes and the development of the national body.

Thank you also to Craig Foyle who served on the committee for the past twelve months.

We have an exciting program of work ahead for 2019 based firmly in creating more opportunities for members to engage with each other and with social and therapeutic horticulture.  The committee has agreed to meet early in January to set out some strategies and a program for 2019 but I want to share with you some of the projects, ideas, concepts that we will be putting into action during the next 12 months.

Membership: A new online membership management system that will simplify a lot of the office processes and make it easier for you to renew your membership, receive information, engage with other members; development of ‘members only’ benefits – project resources, links to other organisations, online resources and library; a member directory; revamped web site; mentor program; community engagement opportunities; engage regional and remote NSW virtually via technology in the initial stages and hopefully develop a program of face-to-face meeting/workshops around the state. 

Events/Education/Training: 4 main themed meetings/events per year; regular hands-on learning workshops to be held at the Telopea Centre; supporting other community events that provide opportunities for members to be involved in a variety of ways for example, as guest presenters to community groups or manning a Cultivate stand and support for the National Conference.

Projects: This is a new area and yet to be fully articulated but we are thinking along the lines of assisting members and non-members to promote their projects, provide mentors, call for volunteers, post jobs for project employees. We are also considering starting our own small projects that will provide further engagement opportunities for members. Stay-tuned!! as this is an exciting development and opportunity for members and the wider community.

This is a very brief overview, intended to give you a taste of what is to come.  I am super excited to be leading such a wonderful team – Bryn, Jacquie, Remus, Adam, Phil and Eleanor, and look forward to delivering an exciting program for Cultivate NSW in 2019.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you for your past support and I look forward to your support in the future.  We wish you all a very merry and safe festive season.  See you in 2019.

We welcome the new committee

President - Joanne Aquilina
Vice President/Secretary - Eleanor Dennis
Treasurer - vacant
General Committee members
Bryn Hutchison 
Remus Avramides
Jacquie Dredge
Adam Robinson
Phil Pettitt

Cultivate - the Horticultural Therapy Society of NSW
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