Welcome to the new year of 2020 and to the new decade.

I am delighted to announce that our Artist in Residence for 2020 is Andrea Goldsmith. She has published a number of books and received several awards including the 2015 Melbourne Prize for the Memory Trap. Her literary essays have appeared in Meanjin, Australian Book Review, Best Australian Essays and numerous anthologies. I know she will be warmly welcomed at the Club.

A number of Circle Convenors wish to stand down from their role this year including Patricia Lele from the Drama Circle after a period of two years; Jenny Debenham, will continue as Convenor. Annie James the Chess and Scrabble Convenor for 14 years, will be handing over to Maggie Edmond and Annette Webb. The Friday Bridge Group had Catherine Scott and Ann Hyams as Convenors for eight years and Clare Buckley for two years. Libby Jones and Janet Duke, will begin the year and Catherine and Ann will step back later. Our thanks go to these Convenors for their outstanding contribution to our wonderfully rich Club programme. I will be stepping down as Co-Convenor of the Classics Circle.

Following a skills matrix analysis, the Board identified a need to deepen its capability in risk and financial management and has appointed Anne Flanagan to fill the casual vacancy created by the election of Ileana Guizzo as Junior Vice President, effective from 22 March 2020. Anne retired as Chief Financial Officer of RACV in July 2019 where she also had responsibility for the core business systems applications, the property portfolio and community activities. Anne is currently a member of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee and has embraced Club activities since her retirement.

The Board is reviewing proposed changes to the Constitution for the consideration of members at a general meeting to be held possibly in April or May. Consultation sessions are being planned for the first week in March. More details of the content of the proposed changes and dates and times for these sessions will be provided in the next newsletter.

I have contacted our members living in the areas directly impacted by the bushfires and can report they are safe and well. Our very best wishes go out to them, their families and friends and to our fellow Victorians suffering at this time.

With my best wishes.

Contact Yvonne Panagacos – President