In Last year's AGM President's Report Greg McKean mentioned that the organisation was into its 17th year of operation. It is therefore pleasing to be here seeing Night Eyes Water and Landcare volunteers move into the 18th year proactively cleaning the Pumicestone Passage, Bells Creek, Coochin Creek, surrounding beaches and waterways.
The passing of Greg was a huge loss to the organisation with many wondering if Night Eyes would survive. The organisation has undergone many a rocky moment over the past months. We have had extraordinary meeting after extraordinary meeting plus an additional annual general meeting as members have accepted executive positions only to resign one month later. Fortunately, we now have an executive committee committed to their role and the success of the organisation.
Our membership continues to remain constant and continual growth in attendance at meetings is very encouraging. Over the past months it has been pleasing for me as the "new" president to witness the level of recognition and respect for the organisation and its volunteers held throughout the various levels of Government's, Council and like environmental organisations. A fact that I believe we should all be very proud of.
This financial year the Assoc. recorded over 20,000 hours of operation. This figure does not include administration or special function activity throughout the year. The collected rubbish figure, taken from operational forms, is around 100,000 litres. This is an encouraging statistic. While our hours of operation remained similar to last year, rubbish collected has dropped from 300,000 litres to 100,000 litres. Are the polluters being educated? We can only hope.
Night Eyes continues to be an active participant in the annual Clean Up Australia Day Program operating from Fraser Park at Golden Beach
The end of 2016 saw the successful completion of funding arrangements with the State Govt. Dept. of Heritage and Protection for the Pumicestone Passage Water and Mangrove Monitoring Project. The Acquittal process for finalising this Grant was completed earlier this year.
The Sunshine Coast Rivers Initiative project was also finalised earlier this year with funds distributed between all member groups.
The funding arrangement with the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Partnership has also completed at the end of 2016. We are currently completing the acquittal process with council awaiting evidence of expenditure for the 2016/2017 financial year. Our just completed 2016/2017 Audit Report will now be forwarded to them so that this can be finalised.
Last week I received a letter from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council advising that our application for participation in the Environment Levy Partnership Funding Program has been successful and we will be receiving funding for the next of 3 years. Excellent News.
We also thank our sponsors for their continued support. In particular Pelican Waters Heart for their annual rental assistance donation. Boat advertising sponsorship from North Coast Aboriginal Corporation for Community Health (NCACCH) and Coast and Hinterland Glass and Aluminium.
This year we have been successful in gaining two new sponsors namely Caloundra RSL with funding provided for new Polo Shirts and Caloundra Power Boat Club making a monetary donation plus payment for printing of receipt books.
We will continue to foster relationships with these groups for possible future sponsorship opportunities.
Recently we have been able to gain access to our website with the persistence of Dave Hamilton. The site has now been updated and information shown is correct and in line with our current operations. Being able to add sponsorship links on our site brings greater credibility to our organisation.
Our Facebook page is now administered frequently by Mark Nash with current photos and comments of our daily activities provided. Again, developing credibility of our activities through the environmental and wider community.
When discussing your volunteer activities with your family, friends, acquaintances encourage them to look us up on Facebook and like us or check out our web site. Lots to be proud of.
It was decided by the group that this year we would discontinue association with the Caloundra Music Festival and the Rustic Pathways Student Groups. It was felt that these activities fell outside of our core role in the community.
Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me throughout what has been a very difficult time. I can now occasionally smile and see a great and positive future ahead for Nights Eyes.
Finally, thanks go to the core of the group, the members, for without your involvement and support there would be no Night Eyes.
Dorelle Pustolla, 5 September, 2017