As in most organisations, it is important to review the year’s activities, note the changes, and plan for the future, and the AGM is a good forum to review this with our membership. We live in a changing world and more so in our field in the use of technology.
Membership – Our membership at the end of March was 168, compared with 220 last year. Currently, we have about 100, which should build as the year progresses. Possible reasons for this reduced membership include iPad members not renewing after their “Basics” course, no major system upgrades, poor Open Day outcome this year and the increase in subscriptions to $40 last year.
Courses & Tutors – Earlier in this financial year, we had a busier period with W10, iPad and Facebook. Sue introduced some specialised W10 short courses and these had good attendance. More recently, course demand has dropped significantly. One assumes that most of us are sufficiently competent with our Windows & Apple systems, although there are continuing upgrades coming through and there is the increasing threat of cybersecurity. There are changes on the horizon and, as I see it, there will be greater emphasis around smartphones. They are getting more sophisticated and are a key contact for everyday activities with specialised apps.
Our progress in the smartphone learning space is slow, due to our not having a specialised tutor but we are working on this. Sue has trialled a single Android tablet or phone course this Monday in a different format.
Equipment – During the year we purchased a refurbished 13in laptop to run with our tutor desktop monitor as an alternative to replacing a troublesome PC. Meanwhile, our dated desktop computers continue to be just adequate for our reduced learning needs.
Our Website – Is an essential part of our learning centre for “login”, course bookings, enquiries and our database management and security of records managed by Wayne Power and Sue La Roche.
Premises – The reduced monthly rental of our rooms continues without any major issues. At some stage, the planned Childcare centre will commence, with building on the rear car park.
Financial – Our accounts to be presented by Janet Shaw again show a surplus, reflecting our lower rental.
Gold Coin Plate – Continues to help with offsetting some of our operating costs.
Federation – We still get worthwhile benefits. Grant Sidaway’s input and the Gizmoe newsletters are informative. The levy per member is now $5. Learner hour recovery continues at $1.25. We have yet to see the promised greater support for Learning Centres.
Monthly Meetings – We have had some good presentations during the year but attendances have been disappointing at times.
Thanks – Just a reminder that we are a voluntary group, relying on a loyal team of members who strive to provide updated guidance and give up their time to help others improve their knowledge and computing skills. There is a lot of effort and time put in by our team. In this regard our thanks to our Tutors, especially Sue, Graham, Janet and Ken, plus our iPad group, Pamela and Sheryn and their group of assistants. We also thank our Course and Membership Manager – Sue, Voicemail Monitor – Joan, Webmaster – Wayne and Federation Claims Processor – Kaye. Also the Committee: Treasurer – Janet Shaw, Secretary – Jeanette Beckett, Committee – Don Shaw, Pamela Kay, Peter Young and Rod Warwick.
This year we record the retirement of Liz Watson and the sudden passing of Judy Iggo in January, both foundation members who commenced teaching in the lone Microsoft era and transitioned to Apple iPad in supportive roles with distinction. Recently Graham Wright finished his last W10 course as Tutor on his retirement. Graham joined in 2002, started tutoring shortly afterwards and has taken an avid interest in the affairs of SNEB. In many ways, he has been the glue that has held us together in some of our more difficult times. We are sorry to lose such valuable talent that has contributed significantly to the success of SNEB over a long period of time. We intend to mark this occasion in a fitting way later this year.