April 2012 President's Note - Waterdale
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April 2012 President’s Note

Dear Members and Friends,

Another WATERDALE year has gone by, marked by our recent Annual General Meeting and I’m pleased and excited to have been re-elected president. I would like to welcome new comers Rachel Edwards and Nicole Kiely to the committee and thank the dedication and support of outgoing committee members Guilia Tedeschi and Kate Ferguson. While we are looking forward to the future I think it’s important to identify and acknowledge the achievements we’ve made in the last twelve months.

This past year has been one of rebuilding and renewed growth for WATERDALE and at the end of it I’m proud to say we’ve not only pulled through but we’ve gone from strength to strength.

At the first meeting of the committee (some 30+ committee meetings ago) I outlined 3 focus areas for the organisation

1)    The rebuilding of WATERDALEs financial position and the implementation of procedures to prevent future theft or fraud.

-I’m glad to say that financially we have rebuilt and are in our strongest position ever, the efforts of the whole of 2011 and the start of this year were a result of the generosity and support of so many amazing people who literally gave blood sweat and tears.

-We’ve also reformed the way we handle money, working with Treasurer Laura Perini we’ve introduced, a 3 signatory cheque system (and the subsequent increase in signatories to facilitate this), rid ourselves of the former petty cash system, given more people access to view the online bank account, introduced a “no receipt, no proof of payment” policy and a “cash as last preference” policy and implemented “WATERDALEOnlinePlus” payments through paypal. While this area is something that requires constant vigilance we’ve made significant steps.

2)    Advocating for community accessible venues in Banyule particularly the Banksia Theatre in West Heidelberg which shut down in 2010.

This year we made ourselves heard loud and clear, through an ongoing campaign of emails, letters and face to face meeting WATERDALE both increased its own profile (as a youth run organisation promoting community needs and as a unique volunteer focused arts group) and highlighted the lack of venues in our area, unfortunately the campaign for Banksia Theatre was lost in early 2012 when we were informed that all 4 former school sites had been sold off for housing. The progress we made however wasn’t in vain with the campaign for community venues ongoing.

3)    Investing in and increasing our online presence, moving to a paperless form and payment system.

WATERDALE has made great strides in our online presence in the last twelve months, supported by the introduction of our new logo and organisation branding, whether it’s moving to a more professional newsletter system which has increased our readership, the successes we’ve had through Facebook, YouTube and twitter or the many compliments we’ve received from members or publically through sites such as theatre people, we’ve made ourselves more accessible and made our presence felt! I’m also very excited about WATERDALEonlineplus which went fully live in December, it has enabled us to move cast forms, membership, volunteers, donations and any type of payment online, it’s been readily accepted by the membership and something I think we can really build on in the future.

Some other activities and achievements

-As President a major priority and focus was to increase the organisations profile externally, I believe we’ve made fantastic efforts we will serve as a foundation to further growth we’ve had the most external party meetings then all other previous years combined.

-Working with Banyule on two significant projects MASSdance (As part of the Banyule Arty Farty Parade) and CONSTRUCT with the possibility of more joint projects in the future.

-WATERDALE was accredited as a full charitable institution in July 2011 this comes on top of our accreditation as a tax deductible Gift receipent in 2010 which resulted our first philanthropic venture the WATERDALE Future Fund, which was launched in 2011.

-WATERDALE successful campaigned and were accredited to hold bingo and other gambling/gaming events as fundraisers for the next 10 years.

-We moved our storage facilities to Campbellfield, partnering with Purely Pensive Productions to purchase a second shipping container

-Launching the new WATERDALE logo and branding.

-Launching the new membership structure and the resulting increase in members

Our 3 projects this year were great success’

-Launching the new mid-year project with Beauty and Beast In Concert selling out.

-Our WATERDALE Annual “Can’t Touch This” received a massive crowd this year.

-Little known musical Parade achieved 75% ticket sales and we are still receiving compliments about it.

All of this would not have been possible without the support of our committee, members and the massive support of the WATERDALE community, so Thank You! I look forward to the amazing things we can achieve this year and as also stay tunned to here all about them and how you can get involved.

Shane Sanfilippo


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