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Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Presented by:

Heather Wilson

ADFAS Pokolbin AGM

20 November, 2017

It is my pleasure to deliver the Chairman’s Report for 2017.

I wish to acknowledge the incredible efforts of my predecessors, whose efforts have laid a strong foundation from which we continue to develop and flourish. In particular, I wish to thank Paula Cameron, our Immediate Past Chairman. Paula has been a great source of encouragement and support to myself and to all of us. Paula leaves the committee tonight and should be content in knowing she has earned the respect and gratitude of all those members fortunate enough to work alongside her.

This has been another happy and prosperous year for our society.

Our annual membership reached 135 and we were fortunate to have many visitors join us throughout the year.

Our lectures have been of a consistently high standard, all receiving excellent reviews and feedback from our members and guests. These lectures continue to enrich our lives in both quality and content. We have enjoyed interesting and informative lectures from two Australian and six International experts in their fields.


Frequent social events are still very much a feature of our calendar. They comprise an important component of the ongoing success of our Pokolbin society.

In March this year eleven very fortunate members embarked on a memorable Tour to Tasmania. The content and experiences included in the tour were outstanding. This was in no small part, the result of the knowledge and guidance of our National Chairman, Mrs Jill Bale, in collaboration with ADFAS Travel. Members of ADFAS within the societies of Hobart and Launceston also contributed hugely to the quality of the experiences we so enjoyed.

A highlight was our attendance at The Glover Prize Cocktail Party and Presentation in Evandale, Tasmania. This followed an amazing day spent following in the footsteps of John Glover. We visited his home and farm, enjoying the surrounding scenery which provided much inspiration behind his artistic endeavours and creativity. Finally we visited his burial place.

It is important to note that we were very disappointed as a Society, when we learned that we were travelling under the guise of Academy Travel. We had planned our Tour and intended to be part of ADFAS Travel, our Australian Society Travel arm of the same company. One of our intentions being the added bonus of adding to the incoming funds of our National Society.

In May we held our annual “New Members’ Cocktail Party.”

Judy Wearne was again, our very gracious hostess and warmly welcomed us into her delightful home.

In early August we enjoyed a successful visit to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Fifty-one members and friends enjoyed two major exhibitions. In the morning we viewed “The Archibald Prize” and in the afternoon “The Georgia O’Keeffe, Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith Exhibition”. It was a day filled with camaraderie and shared enjoyment.


In September, we held our Young Arts Fundraising Dinner at Hunters Quarter in Pokolbin. Ninety-eight guests enjoyed a beautiful evening of fine food and wines, wonderful music, a successful auction, raffle and a “lucky dip” of local wines. As a result of the generosity of our donors and guests, we raised around $11,000. All proceeds being directed towards sponsoring our Young Arts Programme of which we are all very proud. We were fortunate to have Adrian Dickens visit from Melbourne and generously donate his time as our guest speaker. The theme of the evening was Jewels of Camelot and the life of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Everyone joined in the spirit and festivities. Many guests looked resplendent and dressed in keeping with our theme. It was a night to remember.

I would like to once again acknowledge the contribution of John Harvey from The Royal Oak Hotel in Cessnock. Thank you John for your efforts in preparing our delicious suppers. John continues to be

present in the kitchen, overseeing food production and maintaining a supervisory eye on the evenings’ proceedings.

We continue to enjoy our wonderful venue at the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre (CPAC). John Zedar is almost always on hand to support our lecturers’ audio visual needs along with our very own Ian Veroni. We have been fortunate recipients of major upgrades in the CPAC Projector and Audio-Visual equipment during this year.

As a committee we try very hard to meet the changing and developing needs of our Society. Every year we farewell old faces and welcome new wisdom and input. This year we have four extremely special and valued members leaving our committee:

Paula Cameron, whom I acknowledged earlier in my report. Paula along with her husband Bob has been incredibly generous and supportive throughout her years on the Committee. It is important to note that Paula is as well, a Foundation member of our Society. Thank you for your outstanding endeavours and achievements.


Robyn Emerson leaves us following ten years of committee involvement. Robyn served four successful years as Treasurer then undertook the role of our Inaugural Young Arts Coordinator. During her time our Society was awarded The Pauline Hopkins Cup for achievement in the Young Arts. This was in no small part the result of Robyn’s planning and effort. We appreciate your endeavours and expertise and will miss your input and presence. However, we are very fortunate that Robin’s husband, John, will continue as our very talented and committed Webmaster, par excellence. Your contribution and efforts John are outstanding, thank you.

Jane Pullin retires after eight years of commitment and committee involvement. Many of these were spent as our Archivist and as well our popular, successful and delightful Barrel Girl. When Jane was present the takings were high. Jane along with her husband Phil have been ardent and valued supporters of all that we do. We will miss you Jane.

Sue Abrahams has been with us for two very busy years. Sue has played, along with Paula, a crucial role in the development and successful implementation of our Inaugural Visual and Performing Young Arts Scholarship. Thank you Sue for your valuable input and endeavours.

Dear wonderful committee. Thank you for your support, friendship, trust, efforts, commitment, insight, patience, attendance, suggestions and endeavours. It has been a pleasure working alongside you all this year.

Special mention must go to the following members of our committee:

Judy Wearne has for the last few years continued to generously manage and oversee many roles. Judy’s primary focus this year has been supporting me and maintaining our Data Base as Membership Secretary. Thank you dear Judy.


Heather McKendry our Vice Chairman has continued to develop her role as Publicity Officer. Heather has delighted us with some extremely interesting and informative articles and prose throughout the year. Heather debuted on the airwaves with Paul Bevan in FourPlay ABC Newcastle. Heather did us proud and managed to grab some quality airtime advertising our next lecture. Thank you Heather for your support and creativity.

Ray Jacomb, has taken on the role of Treasurer this year and handled it with great aplomb and diligence.

Thank you members and committee for entrusting me with this role. I look forward to working with you in 2018, my last as Chairman.

Heather Wilson Chairman ADFAS Pokolbin

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