Friends of Grasslands 2014 AGM Minutes

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Lena Karmel Lodge, Barry Drive Acton

1.    Attendance and apologies

Attendance:  Sarah Sharp, Leon Pietsch, Stephen Horn, John Fitz Gerald, Kim Pullen, Andrew Zelnik, Andy Russell, David Mossop, Helga Mossop, John Fitz Gerald, Barbara Payne, Jamie Pittock, Janet Russell, Kris Nash, George Heinsen, Isobel Crawford, Michael Bedingfield, Kay Pietsch, Rainer Rehwinkel , John Buckley (minutes).

Apologies: Marg Ning, Geoff Robertson, Linda Spinaze.

2.    Minutes of 2013 AGM

Minutes accepted, Moved John Fitz Gerald, seconded Andrew Zelnik.

3.    Matters arising out of these minutes


4.    Treasurer’s report and presentation of audited accounts

Copies of report provided. There was a small surplus in the General Account of $1160 in 2013.

Publications also showed a surplus of $9884.  The written report needs a modification as the figure shown of $53000 is not correct.

Grants:  A quiet year with fewer grants.  Investment grant:  No expenditure this year.  This will make a small deficit if it is put back into 2013.

With on-going cost increases, the Treasurer noted that there may be a need to increase subscriptions in the future as the regular costs were not being met.  This would be something for the incoming Committee to consider.  The Committee might also wish to consider multi-year memberships.  There was, however, no crisis and the Organisation’s finances were healthy.  Members’ assets had increased from $28,000 to $45,860 and total assets stood at $100,000.

The Treasurer’s report was accepted on a motion from Stephen Horn, seconded by Kris Nash.

5.    Reports from groups and projects Reports were circulated and will be published in the newsletter.

Copies of the reports were circulated at the meeting.

Matters arising

Secretary’s Report:  Kris will identify the most appropriate and efficient means of converting gmail message for storage on a pen drive or similar.

Membership:  Kim Pullen suggested that Michael Bedingfield be given special acknowledgement due to his input .

Activities:  Stephen noted the importance of reimbursement of expenses associated with activities. He reminded the meeting that FOG can be billed directly for approved expenses.  The Committee will draw up guidelines.

6.    President’s report (circulated)

FOG has had another successful year and the amount of work done by members is amazing.  The organisation is held in high regard by the Government and the Conservation Council.  The President thanked the Committee for their commitment and diligence.  She particularly drew attention to Naarilla’s contribution, describing her as a “tower of strength” whose efforts are also relied upon by other bodies such as COG and the Conservation Council.  FOG has an enormous influence as a result of her work.  Mention was also made of Geoff’s continuing contribution which resulted in the award of life membership of FOG.  John FG’s award of the ACT Quiet Achievers Award was also recognised.  Sarah noted that Stephen was standing down as Treasurer, and Isobel as Newsletter editor, with Ann Milligan taking over.  John FG would be leaving the Vice-President position and John B the Committee.  Particular thanks were also given to Jamie Pittock, Barbara Payne and Michael Bedingfield. 

The new year would be a big one for FOG in view of the 20th anniversary celebrations, with a number of high-profile activities planned.

A motion of thanks was extended to Sarah moved by Isobel and seconded by Andrew. 

7.    Proposed changes to the constitution

Motions to change the Constitution had been published prior to the AGM.  These were:

To accept the proposed changes required the agreement of three-quarters of the members present at the AGM.

Andrew moved that both proposals be considered a single resolution and Dirk seconded.  The motion was put and agreed unanimously. 

8.    Annual elections

At 1920, the Returning Officer took over the Chair of the Meeting on the motion of Sarah, seconded by Dirk.  Andy declared all positions vacant and called for nominations.

Janet and Stephen nominated Sarah Sharp as President.  She accepted and was duly elected.

There were no nominations for Vice-President, so this position remained vacant.

Stephen and Janet nominated Leon Pietsch as Treasurer and he was elected.

Kris Nash was nominated as Secretary by Sarah and Janet and she was elected.

Dirk and Janet nominated the following as Committee members:  Ann Milligan, Margaret Ning, Andrew Zelnik, Kim Pullen, Rainer Rehwinkel, Isobel Crawford, John FitzGerald, Stephen Horn, Naarillla Hirsch, Kat Ng, Tony Lawson. There being no further nominations they were duly elected.

Sarah took over the Chair at 1932.

9.    Appointment of Public Officer

Andy Russell was nominated by Sarah and seconded by Janet for the position and he was duly elected.  Barbara was thanked for being public officer for part of the year.

10.    Other Motions with notice.

No motions had been received.


The Meeting finished at 1935.