Notice of Annual General Meeting 2024

The 37th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails Inc will be held at 6.30pm Wednesday 17 April 2024 at the Torrens Rowing Club Functions Centre, Victoria Drive, Adelaide.

Call for Council Nominations

Seeking nominations from our members, for election to the following Council positions:

  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Ordinary Council Members

To nominate, please complete the nomination form (page 3 of AGM notice) and provide to The Secretary by 8 April 2024.
Forms may be submitted via email: heysentrail@heysentrail.asn.au; or deliver/post to Friends of the Heysen Trail, Suite 203, Epworth House, 33 Pirie Street Adelaide, 5000.

AGM Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Acceptance of Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 5 April 2023
  3. President’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Motion: To amend the wording in clause 11 of the current Constitution to provide clarification in relation to members positions and lengths of service before “standing down”. (for more detail refer to page 2 of AGM notice)
  6. Election of Returning Officer
  7. Election of Councillors
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary
    • Council Members
  8. Appointment of Auditor
  9. Report from Honorary Members Committee
  10. Other Business
  11. Close of Meeting

Registration

Members must register to attend the AGM via our website walk/events program.

FoHT new Council & Annual Report 2022

Member News: FOHT new Council & Annual Report 2022

The Friends AGM on 5 April 2023 at Torrens Rowing Club was well attended with an upbeat vibe and lots of chatting among members.  Thank you all for your membership, engagement and volunteering to keep the Friends and Heysen Trail alive.

Please welcome the incoming Council Members listed below who will continue that commitment.

2023 FOHT Office Bearers & Council Positions

Reminder that the revised FOHT Constitution adopted in 2022 included provision to assist renewal that all member are elected for 2 year terms, a limit of 3 x 2 years continuous in an Office Bearer position and maximum 12 years continuous for any Council member.

  • President – Neil Hendry
  • Vice President – Melanie Sjoberg
  • Secretary – Vicki Stewart continuing in current 2 year term
  • Treasurer – Basia Samcewicz continuing in current 2 year term

Council Members

  • Continuing in current 2 year term – Barbara Deed; John Babister; Margaret Fletcher.
  • Newly elected: Paul Bond; Judy McAdam; Ross McDougall; Kathy Wright; Mark Fletcher.

FOHT achievements and financial statements were presented and approved at the AGM.  The FOHT Annual Report for 2022 outlining those presentations is attached for your information.

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2023

Annual The 36th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Heysen Trail and Other Walking Trails Inc will be held at 6.30pm Wednesday 5 April 2023 at the Torrens Rowing Club Functions Centre, Victoria Drive, Adelaide.

Call for Council Nominations

Seeking nominations from our members, for election to the following Council positions:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Ordinary Council Members

To nominate, please complete the nomination form (page 2 of AGM notice) and provide to The Secretary by 27 March 2023.
Forms may be submitted via email: heysentrail@heysentrail.asn.au; or deliver/post to Friends of the Heysen Trail, Suite 203, Epworth House, 33 Pirie Street Adelaide, 5000.

AGM Agenda

  1. Apologies
  2. Acceptance of Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on 24 March 2022
  3. President’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Election of Returning Officer
  6. Election of Councillors
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Council Members
  7. Appointment of Auditor
  8. Report from Honorary Members Committee
  9. Other Business
  10. Close of Meeting

Registration

Members must register to attend the AGM via our website walk/events program to meet space limitations.

Vale David Beaton 1942-2021

David joined the Friends in 1996 about the time he retired from teaching. Within two years he had become entrenched in the office and become co-Membership Secretary in 1998, a post he held until 2009. At the same time, he joined the Walk Committee and started leading walks for the Friends.

The genesis of the End to End walk program

In 1999, at Walk Committee meeting, David suggested that, as we maintained the Trail, maybe we should also be facilitating our walking members to undertake the Trail, End to End.

As the first walk started in 2000, it was known as the Millenium Walk, however over time this has morphed into End-to-End One and then the End-to-End programme.

Consequently, he co-lead the first End to End, starting in 2000 and finishing in 2006 and then 2002, not happy with heading north, he started a southern trek from Parachilna south which he completed the next year.

The End to End walks have become extraordinarily popular as a result consequence of a simple suggestion, he made in 1999. The result so far is 15 groups and over 1,100 people introduced to hiking and the Heysen Trail.

David, the Administrator

Trail Maintenance

Trail Maintenance at Bridle Gap

David joined the Friend’s Council in 2003 and became Secretary in 2006, a position he held until 2008.

He was also a keen participant in maintenance, as Section Leader, strong, resilient, and resourceful and like many big men, quiet and thoughtful. His counsel was always considerate and considered.

In 2007, David was elected as an Honorary Member for his considerable contribution to the Friends.
In 2017, Walking SA bestowed on David a Special Recognition Award for his contribution to walking and the Friends.

Vale Cliff Walsh

Cliff – Change Agent

Cliff will not be well known to most Friends Members, however he played a pivotal role in the organisation’s resurgence in the early 2000s.

He realised the financial survival of the Friends depended on left over grant money that accrued interest, in the days when investments did that. And that was not very much. At that time, the Friends’ council dealt with the entire management process and Cliff thought that streamlining the various processes, using the committee structure, would benefit the organisation. Consequently, subcommittees of the Friends, i.e., Walking, Membership and Marketing, Financial and Trail Maintenance could focus on their tasks, improving efficiency. This, plus a dynamic council, could concentrate on increasing membership, revitalising the walking programme and generating yearly surpluses that could be churned back into the Trail though the Maintenance Committee. As a result, this lead to a massive increase in membership, doubling in 2 years, and to some extent, the End 2 End programme.

Apart from his association with the Friends, he was the economics professor at the University of South Australia, economics advisor to Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, introducing him to Grange, amongst his various achievements. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Tributes

“Sharp, focused, and unstoppable. Great Council member, and always there when needed. Didn’t stop even when very ill. Formidable. Vale Cliff. Well remembered.”
Simon Cameron

“Great intellect – set the Friends on a path to create the large, successful organisation we have today. Vale Cliff.”
Robert Alcock

Constitution Review – Member Information Sessions

Friends of Heysen – Constitution Review – Member Information Session

FOHT Council has decided to review our 35 year old Constitution to modernise and refresh it to meet our current needs. Council is undertaking consultation with committees and members to help build a framework for the next 35 years.

Why?

The Constitution outlines the rules for how the Friends manages the finances, policies and priorities for our activities: walks program, trail development, office and promotion.  Council members think it is a good opportunity to revitalise how we manage the Friends and encourage newer members to become more involved.

Interested members are invited to an information session that will outline key proposals, answer questions and obtain feedback from members.

Members will need to register via the Friends Walk/Event on-line system as numbers will be capped and usual COVID requirements apply.  A draft document will be available.

Council will consider any feedback and issues raised before seeking legal advice on the provisions and any formal process.

The current Constitution requires that proposed changes be presented at a special Meeting of Members or Annual General Meeting.

Annual General Meeting 2020- Rescheduled to Friday August 28th

The President speaks

Friends of Heysen Trail Annual General Meeting 2020- Rescheduled from March

Now that Covid 19 restrictions have eased the Friends is able to convene its postponed AGM.

  • President Report on 2019
  • Treasurer Report for 2019
  • Election of Council Members
  • Approval of Auditor for 2020/2021
  • Nomination of Honorary Members.

The meeting will be held at the usual location – The Woodville Bowling Club,
Oval Avenue, Woodville, commencing at 6.30 pm.

Members are asked to register in advance as numbers may still need to be limited to appropriate space requirements as defined by SA Health at that time.  Safe hygiene and social distancing will be in place.

Please note socialising after the formal meeting will not occur this year, consequently please don’t bring a plate.

Urgent Announcement – Postponement of Friends Annual General Meeting

In response to Covid 19 health provisions for social distancing and to avoid non-essential gatherings, the Friends Council has decided to postpone the Annual General Meeting that was scheduled on Friday 20 March 2020.

A new date will be notified when the public health situation becomes clear.

Announcements about other events will be made in the next day or so.

Hearing about Reconciliation from E2E8 walker Mark Waters

We were privileged at the December meeting of Council to have the opportunity to hear a presentation about Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people from one of our members. Mark Waters completed the trail with E2E8 in August and worked within Reconciliation SA for eight years. The presentation initially arose from members of E2E8 asking questions about what Aboriginal country we cross as we walk along the trail. This led the group to decide to commence its walks with an Acknowledgement of Country. It seems awareness was growing among Friends as similar discussions had occurred during a couple of other E2E walks I joined last year. Mark took the initiative to write to the Friends about generating a broader discussion.

The Reconciliation SA website outlines the following information:

‘Reconciliation’ is about Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians talking, walking and working together to overcome the reasons that there is division and inequality between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Reconciliation has both symbolic and practical elements. A spirit of goodwill, mutual respect and recognition of the effects of colonisation on Australia’s first people are the symbolic cornerstones of reconciliation effort.

In South Australia, an Acknowledgement of Country is a way of showing respect and awareness of Aboriginal owners of the land on which a meeting or event is being held, and of recognising the continuing connection of Aboriginal peoples to their Country. It is a demonstration of respect dedicated to the traditional custodians of the land or sea where the gathering of participants is being conducted. Government agencies and community organisations are adopting the practice of acknowledging the traditional custodians of Country at events, ceremonies, meetings and functions.

Awareness about Aboriginal history in SA and connection to country has grown since the Heysen Trail was developed 30 years ago. Council members were very interested and receptive to the discussion and felt that it was a good opportunity for the Friends to consider how we can understand more about the deep history of the areas we traverse. This is likely to be an ongoing conversation within the Friends and will also be raised at our next meeting with senior officers from the Department for Environment and Water, as owners of the trail.

Our new book Heysen Highlights includes a map identifying Aboriginal language groups along the Heysen Trail. Members are strongly encouraged to find out more and to consider showing respect through an Acknowledgement of Country at relevant times during the walk season. Council will provide further information about the Aboriginal lands that the trail traverses and a guide for appropriate words that may be used by walking groups.

Melanie Sjoberg
President, Friends of the Heysen trail

The Friends elect their first female President

Our new President, Melanie Sjoberg, walking the trail.

At the Friends Annual General meeting last Friday, the Friends welcomed Melanie Sjoberg to the role of President.

Melanie is a dedicated walker and in addition brings with her a wealth of organisational and negotiation skills.  She recently retired from the position as Director in the Office for the Public Sector SA Govt.

Melanie completed walking  the Heysen Trail in August 2014 with our E2E 4 group. Since then she has continued her connection with the Friends by joining the Lavender Federation Trail walks.

Melanie has provided the following thoughts on her role:

“As I follow a long line of dedicated people, I’m conscious of the challenges but also proud to be the first woman President. I am committed to the beauty and diversity of the Heysen, hence enthusiastic about its continued prominence as an SA icon.  On that basis I’m open to any thoughts, ideas or feedback members may wish to share.”

If you wish to pass on any comments or ideas to Melanie, you can do so by sending her an email at the Friends office, heysentrail@heysentrail.asn.au.

Melanie has taken the reins from our Past President (and now Vice President) Robert Alcock. Robert also spoke at the AGM about the many memories he has of the friendship he developed and the many walks undertaken during his 6 year term. Robert’s contribution was heartily acknowledged by those in attendance.

So thank you Robert and congratulations Melanie – welcome to the position of President of the Friends of the Heysen Trail and other Walking Trails.