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To enable all, of any age or background, to acquire the skills involved in music performance and an informed appreciation of music, to benefit them in their careers or lifestyle.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT to the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2012, HELD 19 March 2013.|
My first year as president has witnessed quite a change within the Central Coast Conservatorium (CCC) and the first six months required much work to resume confidence and stability within. With a newly elected board our main challenge was to review the structure and organisation of this institution, after concerns were expressed by many of the parents and stakeholders at the end of 2011. After much debate and consultation, it was decided the existing model of both an Artistic Director and Business Director was the most suitable with both being directly answerable to the Management Committee.
With the structure clearly defined, our next task was to find a new Artistic Director as Christopher Bearman had resigned at the end of January 2012. The Board tried to renegotiate his position but was not successful. The positioned was then advertised and more than 20 applicants applied. In early June the review committee narrowed the field and six interviews were given. From this group, the position went to Patrick Brennan, who started halfway through the year in July 2012. The Board wanted to broaden the Conservatorium’s appeal to the community with an emphasis back onto students and their achievements. I believe Patrick’s vision was very much in alignment with ours.
Throughout this period of transition, the CCC has proved itself again and retained its Tier 1 status amongst the Regional Conservatoriums. This ensures we receive the highest level of funding from the NSW Department of Education. Thanks must be given to our Business Director, Frank Cubirka and all the tutors for maintaining this position and ensuring the highest level of excellence and training in music. We remain one of the top regional conservatoriums in the state of NSW.
Economics and finances have, for the last 12 months, proved to be difficult and the CCC has not been immune to this. A deficit of approx. $50,000 was incurred, due mainly to a fall in one-on-one enrolments and the added expense of rent for our second premises at 35 Mann Street. Whilst this may sound substantial, this amount represents only a 5% loss of turnover. Also, in the previous three years the board has reported a net surplus of $135,000 so we remain in a financially secure position. I am highly optimistic for 2013 as we are already showing increased enrolments in CMP and the School’s Program. New ensembles and courses (eg the children’s choir) and changes in the fee structure should all help towards increasing enrolments.
The Management Committee’s vision remains unaltered, that is, the Central Coast Conservatorium will be a recognised leader and facilitator of education in all aspects of music performance, with emphasis on the young. It will be financially sound, community-based and a positive contributor to the culture, lifestyle and economic development of the Central Coast. In this respect we continue the good work of the previous board. We will also prove to the community, the value of music education and the enormous advantage it gives to our young people.
The Management Committee has also overhauled procedures and policies for all staff and the board itself. This year as part of Strategic Planning, we will undergo an induction and introduction to these new guidelines. This will provide a foundation for management committees in future years.
Having laid this ground work, we will begin focussing our energies on working on a solution for suitable premises. Whilst a performance hall is important, our focus will be reviewing our current situation and options. Ideally, we need to find a more cost effective and consolidated housing of the Conservatorium. I would like to thank the UON for their continued support in allowing us the use of the current courthouse at very little cost.
Thanks must also go to all our sponsors and generous donors. The success of the conservatorium and the benefit to our students relies much on the generosity of these people. Their belief in music education and support cannot be underestimated.
In general, I must thank all members of my current board. As President, I truly feel supported by this great working unit where much respect, openness, and honesty can be seen. Patrick Zuluaga will be leaving us and I wish him all the best in his endeavours. His expertise in marketing will be missed. I would also like to thank Carl Schmidt for the last 3 years as tutor representative, who is retiring to spend more time with his young family. It is no mean feat trying to convey the wishes of some 40 odd tutors. Professor Stephen Crump has also retired and we will be advised soon of his replacement from the University of Newcastle.
Special mention goes to Frank Cubirka, our Business Director, who did everything whilst acting as interim director for the first 6 months of 2012. It was an unenviable situation but with the support of tutors, Phil Rutherford and Carl Schmidt, he ensured the Con kept going.
Thanks also go to Patrick Brennan who has had to learn very quickly the ways of this organisation and how it is runs. To come into the position halfway through the year would have been difficult and I hope this year will prove much easier.
I would like to also acknowledge the work of the last committee, especially the executive of John Pinn, Patrick Brislan, Jim Buultjens and Lorraine Parks. It is only now that I can fully appreciate the dedication, time and effort that people contribute to manage this Conservatorium for no gain for themselves.
At the beginning of last year there was much concern about all the changes and whether the Conservatorium would emerge unscathed. Well, we are still here. It would be naïve to think that nothing ever changes but we should always be adaptable and see it as a positive thing. It means critical review and reassessment but the result of this is also renewed enthusiasm and rejuvenation and I am optimistic that this is what is happening now. I look confidently forward to 2013, at what we need to do and what it brings.
CLICK HERE to download 2012 Annual Report