AOGU Honorary President’s Remarks 2017
L-R: Treasurer Kate Nicholls (Hall 1985); Vice-President Rebecca Baillie (1989); President Belinda Burton (Tjeuw 1991) and Secretary Sarah Franks (1991).
By Kim Boniface, AOGU Honorary President
Reflecting on the year past is always a great reminder of how much we have achieved and how many members we have been involved with, in so many different ways. I have also taken this opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved over a number of years.
Some things never change:
• The amazing passion our Old Girls show for their school, their friends and their memories of a significant time in their lives
• The sheer quantity of events, reunions and general contacts
• Our critical role in the school community – both through participation, guidance and being the keepers of much knowledge and history
• The willingness for talented Old Girls to give back – sharing their time and talents through many means such as designing the chapel windows and jewellery, writing books, filming, speaking and more.
And some have changed so much during my time here:
• Can you imagine suggesting eight years ago that even our oldest Old Girls would be using Facebook to see what is happing with our Old Girl community, and that we would have more than 1,500 ‘followers’?
• We offer online options for bookings and payments for our events
• We offer events every year aimed across the breadth of our members – ranging from our newest Old Girls to our most senior
• We’ve expanded to include networking breakfast and evening sessions, which have created new connections and opened our minds with new ideas and shared experiences
• We’ve expanded our reunions to more regions, both in Australia and overseas
I would like to think that, as a committee, we have set the AOGU on a course that sees it remain relevant to all our members. The guidance given to me has always been to look forward, but not leave the past behind. We have continued to drive changes that extend our reach and although we don’t always please everyone, the fact that our members feel comfortable in giving us their feedback, ideas and suggestions makes us such a strong organisation.
As I step down, I encourage each of you to listen out for new people to join our committee and get involved. This is vital to ensure that we best represent all our members, keep our ideas fresh and continue to improve the way we do things. While we will still maintain and build on our ‘traditional’ events, we have many ideas still to be implemented and I look forward to seeing them evolve. The incredible depth of expertise into which we can tap is one of our greatest assets.
It has been a fantastic experience for me to be a caretaker of our Union and be part of preserving the Abbotsleigh Old Girl culture. I have appreciated all the support, guidance, helping hands and listening ears, which were always offered with incredible generosity.
Wishing you nothing but the best for the remainder of 2017 and into the future.