2020 President's Report
On behalf of our Directors, I submit for your approval and adoption, the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 31st December 2020.
What a year 2020 was. We had just come out of a small surplus result in 2019, only to be faced with the COVID-19 challenges throughout the year. The Club faced lock down periods on two occasions from March to June, and prior the Christmas into early January 2021. We also faced restricted trading conditions following those lockdowns. Given the challenges faced by the hospitality industry during 2020, the results were quite acceptable. This was assisted by the JobKeeper payments provided by the Federal Government from April to September 2020.
I extend our sincere thanks to our CEO, Ian Thomson, his Executive Leadership Team, and staff members for their efforts during the year. The COVID situation resulted in many staff being stood down, with only a skeleton staff working for the greater part of the year. Management’s approach to the situation was sound and understanding of the individual issues faced by the staff.
Robust governance practices that support sound decision making are essential to ensure the Club remains resilient and financially sustainable. We must be able to adapt quickly to changes to the broader environment, while remaining prudentially sound. Since January 2019 we have documented and made many changes to enhance our corporate governance practices, address changes in regulatory requirements, and ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the Board and Board Committees. Charters and Policies require ongoing annual reviews. We continue to ensure oversight of risk, so that the Board have assurance that Management are appropriately implementing the Board’s strategy for managing risk.
Approval of the Strategic Plan 2020–2023 during the year has added another dimension to Club operations. Our Core Values will provide for improved facilities and services, membership growth, and be the venue of choice in our catchment area. We must also consider potential club amalgamations and/or strategic property acquisitions, as well as new revenue streams through diversification. Members will be consulted on recommendations before any final decisions are made.
A key issue that members sought was for the Club to establish a more family orientated environment. Sadly, during the year our regular promotions were not held due to restrictions.“The Pickets” (weather permitting) has become a popular venue and was established to allow families to enjoy an outside dining experience. Feedback from members on Pickets has been positive.
In late October 2019, caterers Lam & Co commenced with the Club. Generally, feedback from members has been complimentary. This area is continually monitored by Management and suggestions made to the caterer to improve food quality, range, and service.
We are proud of the support our Club continues to make in donations to the various community organisations and junior sporting clubs as part of our ClubGrants program. The extent of that support was reduced considerably during the year.
The club enjoys a close association with the Forestville RSL sub-Branch. Thanks to President Bob Lunnon and his committee.
Our social section committees continue to support our membership through their voluntary work in ensuring varied activities for the benefit of members. As always, new members are welcome and details of social sections are on our website for your information.
Bill Law, a Director for the past 10 years left the Board in August 2020. We thank Bill for his service and wish him well for the future. At the August AGM, John Anstiss was elected as the incoming Director. We welcome John to the Board. Also, at the AGM, triennial elections were approved to commence at the 2022 AGM. Directors will retire by rotation over a three year period, ensuring continuity of knowledge and skills at Board level.
Finally, I thank all Board members for their support and contribution during the year. Key decisions were required from time to time and the Board responded in a professional manner. A special mention to our former President Bill Shields who stepped down as President in August battling health issues. Bill remains a Director. We thank him for his commitment as President from January 2019.
To any member who has lost a loved one during the year, the Board and Management extend our sincere condolences to the families concerned.
Change is occurring at Forestville RSL. I look forward to the Board and Management working together to provide a welcoming family orientated club with improved facilities for our members.
Bill Hardman OAM