Our story is always measured by the interval between Australian Wooden Boat Festivals and we mark off the months as we go. We are 15 months out now and preparing for a very busy year in 2016. With two events to produce (the Antarctic THAW festival in September 2016 and the AWBF in February 2017), the office will be firing up to full strength earlier than usual. Once again, we will gather together a talented crew of experienced project leaders and dedicated volunteers to form the production team that will deliver these two events. The preparations have already started: booking venues, lining up sponsorship contracts, researching content and building relationships with organisations here in Australia and overseas.
This month we welcome Stephen Conway, a new member, to the Board of Australian Wooden Boat Festival, Inc. and farewell Nigel Reeves, retiring from that position after eight years of service. The Annual General Meeting of AWBF, Inc. was held at the Salamanca office on 2 November, returning Steve Knight as Chairman, Peter Higgs as Vice-Chairman, Peter Benson as Treasurer and Barbara Murphy as Secretary. Graeme Hunt, Geoff Pickard and Chris Palmer round out the all-volunteer Board, providing us with very broad experience in the law, finance, governance, business and of course, the world of wooden boats. Other matters passed at the meeting were changes to the membership rules, designed to encourage applications for new memberships, bringing new ideas and new strengths into the organisation.
With Christmas fast approaching, there’s a lot to be done before the silly season is upon us. We will be meeting with the Dutch Ambassador to Australia, Her Excellency Mrs Annemieke Ruigrok, to discuss the involvement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the 2017 festival, marking as it does the 375th anniversary of Abel Tasman’s 1642 visit to what he would name Van Diemen’s Land. We will also meet with the Jubilee Sailing Trust (UK) to talk about arrangements for the 213-foot barque Tenacious to be with us for the event. Chairman Steve Knight will meet with the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney to discuss joint projects in 2016 and 2017.
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