March already!  The year is flying by!  Soon autumnal weather and shorter days will be here, and the heat, fires, drought and floods of summer will hopefully be behind us.  A couple of weeks ago, members of the Motoring Group, led most capably by Mike Robertson, joined a Drought Relief Drive to Boonah and Warwick.  It was a great day and the people of the inland really appreciated our contributions.

The Board has reached agreement with Australian Unity, (the lessors of our building, though not the land) which includes confirmation of car parking numbers and allocations, and detailed schedules on out goings, including air conditioning.  This gives us certainty on these issues, which is of great benefit to the Club.  Thank you to Michael Hawkins, as Secretary, and the Property Sub-Committee, which has been supported most effectively by external advisers Brian Noble and Angus Harvey-Ross.

Starwood Capital, who made an unsuccessful bid for Australian Unity last year, made a new off-market offer on in February.  You would be aware that Charter Hall’s bid for AU was rejected last year.  As AU continues to be the subject of take-over offers, the Club can only watch the activity in the market with interest.

Discussions that focus on the future of our Club have also started.  An initial strategic planning meeting was held in early January, led by an interstate facilitator and it has been very encouraging to see so many members and staff willing to participate in the early discussions.  I did just want to clarify a few things. The process will be a considered one that takes into account factors such as the age and condition of our premises, improving the spaces and amenities that are available for members and the increased pressure to provide accommodation.  Stay tuned for your chance to have your say.

On the topic of improvements, the level 3 “facilities” have been completed.  They may not be as spacious as those on Level 2 but they solve the decades-long problem of the ladies having to go downstairs.

The Club web page has been upgraded, and after a few initial teething problems, is working well.  It is much more attractive, but more importantly, more informative and easier to use.  Members can use the site to make booking for lunch, dinner or functions.  You can also make purchases from the cellar. (Don’t forget you can also arrange for your order to be delivered to the office or home – what could be easier!)  Of course, you can always phone or email the Club.

Member use of the Club has shown a significant and pleasing increase.  This is particularly apparent in the various dining areas, and for both special events and everyday dining.  When I think about the quality of our dining experiences at the club I am not surprised.  Special event dining is spectacular and basic “function” food is certainly on our menu!  I had tapas last week in the bar; with a glass of chardonnay, it was a delicious and easy option for a midweek dinner!  I am particularly looking forward to Japanese Destination Flavour on the 4th and the chefs are working on their take on the famous El Bulli on the 19th as this month’s Gourmet Enthusiasts.

March sees the hanging of Dr Daryl Hewson’s art collection as part of the Member’s Art Series.  These photographs will be a welcome addition to the Club’s artwork for the ensuing three months.  Another notable event is International Woman’s Day, to be celebrated on Friday 6th.  There is a plethora of other sporting, social, business and cultural events scheduled.  Please consult the calendar and make your bookings!

As usual, I look forward to seeing you around the Club.


Best wishes,

Mike Gould