They say every cloud has a silver lining and the clients of the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre found a silver lining in the Corona virus cloud, compliments of the Bellingen Show Society.
The recent cancellation of the 2020 Bellingen Show left the Show Society with some administrative and organisational challenges, including what to do with the meals already prepared for the show day luncheons. This food is currently in cold storage and includes enough cooked food for over 180 lunches, almost 800 scones prepared for the popular Devonshire teas, packs of frozen peas and other ingredients.
All this food was prepared by the wonderful Linda Hillman, chef and coordinator of the show day luncheon pavilion and her dedicated team - just like she has for the past 14 years. Linda and her team set to work earlier this year because she was to have knee replacement surgery and knew she would be out of action in the lead up to the show.
After consideration of this matter, the Show Committee unanimously agreed to donate the food to the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre for distribution through their Bowl of Plenty Program. Kerry Child, President of the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre said that it was a wonderful gesture by Show Society. May Smith, Coordinator of the Bowl of Plenty welcomed the donation and said that it would be a great contribution to their community meals program and their daily frozen take away food distribution.
We are pleased to report that Linda is recuperating well at home.
Areas that people might like to volunteer are:
Volunteers' contact form
Secretary,Mary Ann Perry, Vice-President,Elaine Leader and I attended the inaugural ASC conference representing the Bellinger River Agricultural Show Society. This was an excellent conference, well organised by the Qld Next Gen for the ASA (Australian Show Association). This ASA has only been operating for 3 years and is our overarching body covering all States and Territories.
One of their first achievements was lobbying and gaining grant funds under the Regional Australian Show Development Scheme. (This is the grant we have applied for with Dorrigo for stands. Although the scheme has some serious hurdles such as lack of time to apply, complicated grant applications, we were able to air these concerns with Dr Rob Wilson who is the Chairman of the ASA.
He was very aware of the shortfalls and listened and assured us they were issues they were lobbying Government about. Was good to talk directly to those concerned and feel like you had been listened too.
We were most impressed with the organisation of the conference and hats off to the ASA to ask Qld Next Gen to take on this role. These young people were outstanding in the way they conducted themselves and the professional organisation of the event.
The keynote speaker was Marla Calico President and CEO of IAFE (International Assoc. of Fairs and Expositions) based in USA.They have 900 members and represent 1,100 fairs around the world. Her enthusiasm was amazing and showed the advantage of having an overarching body which we now have. One of their main issues now is animal activists and hope we do not go down that path.
New Zealand was also well represented and especially the Next Gen movement are organising exchange events between NZ and Aust.
There were so many good sessions on topics such as Changing Conversations and Strategic Decision Making, Risk Management, Managing Leadership Transitions, Sponsorship, Understanding your role in Biosecurity, Ticketing,
And more. The two days were compared by Lyndsey Douglas, the best presenter I have ever seen. You actually looked forward to her coming back on stage to present the next speaker.
I particularly enjoyed Julia Telford's session on Thinking about YOUR why.
Something we could incorporate into our next Planning Meeting.
Lastly but not least it was a wonderful opportunity to network with other shows, listen to how they do things and share some of our strategies.
I personally came away feeling energised, and proud of the way we run our show. It was concerning to hear many shows are in conflict as they make the transitions to new ideas and new generations. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful committee that works together to put on the best possible Bellingen Show every year. We would like to thank the Committee for supporting us in attending the conference; they are a wonderful resource for Show Societies and would recommend that whenever possible we send committee people to both state and national gatherings.
Mary Ann Perry
The Bellinger River Agricultural Society Ltd has won a share of over $200,000 worth of toys, kitchenware and lifestyle goods. This endowment comes from the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW Foundation in partnership with Good360 and is distributed to societies across regional NSW.
The kitchenware was donated by the Sydney Showground and Canterbury Leagues Club and includes dinner plates, glassware and cutlery. The toys were funded by the Sydney Royal Easter Show and Thank a Farmer Day.
In awarding these gifts to regional Show Societies, RAS Foundation Manager Celia Logan said, "many communities in Northern NSW are struggling amid incredibly tough conditions. In the lead up to Christmas, we hope these goods go some of the way to lifting the spirit of people and communities throughout northern NSW."
Bellingen Show Society Vice President Ted Greenwood, pictured presenting the goods to Kerry Child, President of the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre, said that he was very pleased that the Bellingen Agricultural Society was able to provide this important community service - particularly as many in our Shire are facing very tough times.
Kerry noted that this would be a real boost for people in the Bellingen Shire at this time of the year. She added that the kitchenware will be distributed to families through a number of Community Groups, while the toys and lifestyle goods will be distributed to needy families in time for Christmas. The benefits will be most appreciated and far reaching.
Have you started decking the halls in anticipation of the holidays ahead? The festive season is coming quickly upon us, and it's a wonderful time to reflect on 2019 and start considering your new year's resolutions. Planning is already underway for the next Bellingen Show in May at the showground here in town - a lovely way to get involved and bring our diverse community together.
A number of new volunteers have already climbed on board. Joining those in the photograph above are Rowan Butler, Lydia Bezeruk, Janine Harkness, Patrick Post and Graeme Ross. Lani Carmody, the new Sponsorship Coordinator for the Bellingen Show, is happy to have the time to volunteer now she's retired. Lani says she's devoting her time and energy to the show because it's "a hugely important community event for the families and farmers" in the Bellingen Shire.
"We have a wonderful mix of new talent and experienced staff on hand all eagerly looking forward to arranging this event," Show Society President Gillian Anderson said. With the show planners still in need of help in a few areas, this is also a wonderful opportunity to help out: whether you're a lifelong resident of the shire, or like this writer, new to the area, participating in this annual event is a way to donate your skills and experience while getting to know your neighbours.
The Show highlights the talents of our community across many varied fields, from needlework to crochet, photography and fine arts, and jams and preserve making. It also includes competition in several categories for farmers and their livestock including cattle and poultry.
None of this could happen, from the scheduling to the entry submission through to the judging, without the hard work of data entry volunteers. With that in mind, Deborah Kent is newly lending a hand this year doing data entry, after helping out in a more ad hoc manner in the past. She's enjoyed the show and wants to do her part - perhaps you could join her and pitch in, too?
Positions still to be filled for the upcoming show are:
You can get involved with this fabulous community event by joining us at our next planning meeting on Friday, the 22nd of November at 4:30pm. We'll be gathering inthe Luncheon Pavilion at the Bellingen Showgrounds, located on the corner of Black and Hammond Street. Hope to see you there!
The 2020 Bellingen Show may be a way off but it's all go at Show HQ where planning for next year's Show is in full swing. Following her election as President of the Show Society, Gillian Anderson has taken the lead in setting up an organisational structure to ensure the viability of Bellingen's most popular and longest running event
Gillian explained that to commence this process she called for a full appraisal of the personnel needs of all the Show sections from Section Coordinators. Gillian added that after documenting those who were continuing to be involved in the organisation of the show, we set about identifying gaps in our personnel structure.
Gillian then put out a call through local and social media for anyone who might be interested in being part of organising to help fill the gaps and thereby help balance the heavy work load of staging the Show and bringing back the fun.
The response was most pleasing she said, especially when twenty-one people turned up to our first of two planning meetings earlier this month.
The planning meeting was facilitated by Kerry Pearse from KEMJ Pty Ltd who explained the format of the session and took the group through the Show’s operational structure, a summary of which was displayed around the walls on sheets of butcher's paper.
After this discussion, participants were invited to peruse the existing organisational format, discuss matters relating to key areas and to consider "gaps" they might be interested in filling. At the end of the meeting Gillian and Kerry were pleased to note that most gaps had a name inscribed on them and the Show’s operational structure had gained in strength
However there is always more to do and more people required to do it. Before our next planning meeting on 22nd November we will be posting information on media, notice boards and libraries, displaying where the gaps are in our organisational structure. If you are interested in any of these positions, or know anyone who might be, please come to our next planning meeting to be held on Friday 22 November at 4;30 pm in the Luncheon Pavilion at the Showground. You will be most welcome.
For further information, contact Show Society President, Gillian Anderson on 0419 124368 or Mary Ann Perry, Society Secretary, on 0498 483915.
The Bellingen Show has been running for over 130 years - the current Show Committee would like it to run for another 130 years! And, on the basis of show attendances over the past few years, we think that our community agrees with us. But unlike the weather outlook for the next few months there are dark clouds on the horizon and the year ahead will be a challenging one for the Bellinger River Agricultural Society.
As a volunteer organisation it is important that our people find their engagement with the show to be an enjoyable and satisfying community experience. Although we have good crowds attending the show, funds in the bank and a wonderful group of volunteers, the membership of the organising committee has declined over the past few years and we are now faced with situation where a few people are carrying too much of the work load. If the show is to continue we have to address this imbalance as a priority.
The committee are a committed, skilled, professional group, who are inclusive, supportive and gain a huge satisfaction each year presenting a wonderful community event.
The committee is in the process of identifying all the activities associated with running the different areas of the show. The members currently responsible for these areas have been asked to say which of these activities they are happy to continue doing to support the show into the future. The challenge for us now is to attract new people or find innovative ways to fill the 'gaps', particularly in areas associated with sponsorship, entertainment, volunteer co-coordination, marketing and promotion. This will be the focus for a series of planning meetings to be held later in the year.
If you share our belief that the Bellingen Show is an important community event worth supporting, why not join us and become a member of the organising committee. If joining the committee is not your thing but you would still like to be involved, come and talk to us about where you think you might be able to help.
The first planning meeting will be held on Tuesday 8th October between 4 and 7pm at the Luncheon Pavilion, Bellingen Showground. We are asking anyone who thinks they might like to be involved to come along see if they can help in some way.
Should you have any questions or like to discuss any issues raised please do not hesitate to give me a call.
0419 124 368