SACUNE 2020 24th AGM and Dinner Report

At 6.00 pm on Saturday 12th September 2020, 30 Members and Guests gathered at the Naval, Military and Air Force Club.  When all present were seated, drinks and entrées were served, after which President Wendy DiMonte explained proceedings for the evening and gave a special welcome to Keith Yates and Victor Squires, our 2019 Alumni Award winners. Wendy also gave a special welcome to Dr Anne Pender, Anne Richards and Louka Parry, stating that she looked forward to seeing them again at some of our future functions.

With introductions and housekeeping covered, Wendy moved on to the Annual General Meeting. This was dealt with in our customary efficient fashion which included the election or re-election of the following people to the Committee.

President: Wendy DiMonte

Vice-President: Ed McAlister

Secretary: Janet Skewes

Treasurer: Bruce Dommenz

Membership Officer: Caroline Adams

Committee Members: Grace Taylor, Marilyn Joy, Lesley Campbell-hand, Kerrie Davies, Kym and Katie I’Anson.

It was announced to those present that the Chapter’s final function for 2020 will be Chamber Music Adelaide’s event ‘On the Terrace’ on Sunday 15th of November. An email will be distributed closer to the date.

The AGM was closed at 7:00pm.

A brief video from Robert Heather, thanking the Chapter for our involvement and wishing us a successful evening was then shown. Following on, Professor Norm Feather spoke for a few minutes about his experiences at UNE, which commenced in 1948. He concluded by proposing a toast to the University. All present enthusiastically joined him in this toast. Main Course was then served.

Following an enjoyable Main Course, Wendy called upon our Founding President, Jennie Teasdale, to present the Award of Distinguished Alumnus to Keith Yates. Jennie gave a brief summary of Keith’s important career before making the presentation to him. Keith responded most appropriately and among the remarks he made, he thanked the University for the opportunity and education he had received. He also thanked his family for their support over the years with particular reference to his wife Suzie.

Ed McAlister was then invited to present the 2019 UNE Alumni Achievement Award to Dr Vic Squires. Ed gave a brief summary of Vic’s illustrious career, especially in the areas of Rangeland Management and Dryland Farming and his work in 35 different countries, before making his presentation.  Vic responded with gratitude and said he had had a wonderful career and also thanked his colleagues over the years and his family for their support.

Following the presentations, Wendy called on Bob Teasdale to give a brief update on the recovery of Kangaroo Island after the devastating bushfires experienced there at the beginning of the year. Bob gave his remarks under three headings, Environment, Infrastructure and People. He stated that the Island’s ecology was making a remarkable recovery and some species were flowering better than he had ever seen before. All rubbish from devastated homes and properties had been removed and all of the fencing wire rolled up and sent off the island. He also shared that the people were a resilient bunch and were continuing to support each other as they work towards rebuilding their lives. Bob finished by encouraging all present to make a trip to the island to help support the local economy.

As a final word, Wendy thanked everyone for their attendance and involvement, wished them the very best for the remainder of 2020 and invited those present to enjoy their coffee and chocolates. This brought to a close a most enjoyable and convivial evening. At this point Jennie Teasdale proposed a vote of thanks to Wendy for her leadership and organisational skills, and to her committee for their ongoing commitment. This was recognised by a hearty round of applause.

Ed McAlister

14th September 2020.