This is a long post, but it contains important information about the AGM, so please persist…
As I write, I’m reminded again of the work done by those who volunteer to support GANZ through their participation as members of the GANZ Council. Without the support of those who currently hold these roles Barbara Churcher (Secretary), Leonie Sinclair (Treasurer), Eric Hougton, Anthony Jones, Madeleine Fogarty & Jelena Djoric, there would be no GANZ. And as we move towards this year’s AGM, I’m aware that there continue to be a number of pressing issues facing GANZ and the development of gestalt community that feels enlivened, engaged and robust. Part of the challenge is that as a Council we are somewhat under-resourced, hopefully though we can begin to address this through the coming opportunities to engage as a community.
The first of these events is the AGM, the second is next year’s conference in Sydney.
The AGM is scheduled for the 19th of September (at GTA in Melbourne), we are planning on a 6pm start to support the participation of those located in different time zones. Details on how to participate will be given closer the meeting.
At the AGM, as well as finding time and space to engage as a community, there are a couple of matters of importance we wish to address. More information on the AGM and the proposed structure of the event will come in the next few weeks, and with the formal announcement of the AGM (including the agenda and any procedural matters that need announcing prior to the meeting).
However, there are a couple of things we want to draw your attention to now. The first of these relates to the current membership fee of $90. This figure, agreed on by the last council, was based on the costs associated with running GANZ and projected membership numbers. Unfortunately, we have not even come close to achieving those numbers and are facing a significant budget shortfall. Aside from eating into what little capital GANZ has, this has significant implications for what GANZ can offer members. For example, Council has been keen to offer a nominal sum ($200) to groups wanting to set up some kind of peer network, to build a resource bank for members, as well as finding ways support either a broader range of PD offerings, or to negotiate a GANZ member discount for already existing PD events. The former we will do and have set aside money in the current budget for this, the latter is significantly compromised by the current restraints on our budget.
There are two ways of fixing this problem: increase membership fees and increase membership.
To that end, we have decided on a modest increase of $20, applicable after the 31stof August. That means that if you renew or join before that date it will be at the current rate of $90. This will go some way to alleviating the current problem. However, this is probably not enough of an increase going forward to support those projects we would like to support. We plan to discuss this further at the AGM, as part of a plan to further increase membership fees in 2019. The need to do this would, to some extent, be mitigated by an increase in membership numbers. To that end, I encourage you to join, re-join, persuade those of your gestalt friends and colleagues who have not joined to do so.
And what do people get for their membership? It always the question that people ask, and one not easily addressed, because the reality is that what GANZ can offer depends on what people give to GANZ. Currently GANZ supports a conference and a journal, crucial pieces in developing a community of gestalt practitioners. We are currently working to better support peer groups, create member resources, and working to support or make more accessible, a broader range of PD activities. In addition, we would like to be able to fund a range of projects that better support the development of gestalt in our region (some examples might include research and community/social engagement projects).
But it all takes time and money, and the commitment of the whole community. Financial support, combined with active interest is one way to do this, participation in council another.
On this point, and in terms of strengthening the resources of the current council, we would very much like to be able to elect a Vice-President at the September AGM. If you have some interest in this position, or more generally have willingness to be involved with council, please let me know at via the contact page
Wanting to better engage students, we have created a new student position on Council. A number of people have expressed interest, and we currently have two people who have put themselves forward – Wilhelmina Lyffyt and Marc Moskowitz. An introduction to Marc and Wilhelmina will be provided shortly, along with their expressions of interest in the role, and at the AGM we will formally vote on their election to Council.
Please put the AGM date in your diary. For those not in Melbourne, making the time to participate virtually will be a significant support. For those who are local, we hope that you can attend, not just for the formal AGM (6 to 7pm), but for an PD/Community Engagement event. While this will be something of a ‘taster’ for next year’s conference, it will provide an opportunity to think about how gestalt can be applied in ways that are relevant and meaningful.
(on behalf of GANZ Council)