July News from the President
It is a privilege and a pleasure to take the chair as President of the BMI again in 2015. Well done to Ann Cato, the immediate past president, for her commitment to the position and for the many hours she invested behind the scenes to better our Institute. There is much to build on as the BMI moves forward into the digital age. We are all proud of our new website and how it is tracking. The BMI is now on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! I encourage you to continue returning to our website and familiarising yourselves with all it has to offer. It is pleasing to note that during the past year the BMI experienced a 37% increase in use of the hire facilities – no doubt the website is already proving useful in marketing our venues.
At the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday June 24, BMI elected three new members to the Board. We welcome Professor Terry Lloyd, who has already made the commitment to become Vice President Library. We also welcomed David Berry and Andrew Oliver and are looking forward to their contribution. Andrew Miller will continue as Vice President Building with Phil Roberts as Secretary, and Grantley Hastings as Treasurer. Ann Cato, David Haymes and Jenny Haymes are remaining on the Board. I would like to thank immediate past Board members who have stepped down this year including John Blythman, Fiona Watson, Jan Ross, Michael Morrow and Michael Unwin. Michael Morrow has stepped away from the Board but is continuing on to champion the new Ballarat Mechanics’ Institute Foundation I thank them all for their many contributions.
The BMI Foundation is an important step forward for the BMI and will establish much needed funds for the upkeep of the building. This includes funds for research study and for major maintenance of the building and the magnificent collection of Heritage books. The BMI Foundation’s objective is to seek donations and bequests from like-minded persons who wish to assist the continued use of this fine building and to foster the teaching tenets upon which the early pioneers had for the growth of Ballarat.
We encourage all our members and supporters to continue to make good use of our facilities. I am sure, as in the past, capable people will step forward to contribute to the Institute and assist the BMI to continue as a Community Hub that enhances the experience of the arts and the sciences.