Board Chair Report
Annual General Meeting April 30, 2015
By Paul Dyer
It gives me great pleasure to submit my first AGM Report as the new Chair of Pollinators.
2013 was certainly a challenging year for the Board, but on reviewing the past twelve months, it has been an incredibly successful one for Pollinators on many levels. As an organisation we are tremendously proud of what we have been able to achieve, particularly in regards to the networks and relationships we’ve grown and the member’s ventures that have thrived as a result.
Some of the significant moments of 2013 included:
- January — CityHive moves from ‘Wedge’ to Post Office Lane as Swansea House renovations commence
- February — Success with Social Enterprise Funding for evaluation, business development and marketing
- February — Board decides to employ its first employee — an Executive Officer
- March — Final lease agreement for Swansea House signed
- March — Catalyst graduate raises substantial philanthropic investment through The Funding Network event
- April — Second Annual General Meeting held at Swansea House (mid-renovations)
- April — Marketing workshop develops new Pollinators ‘tagline’ and branding
- May — Success with Mid West Development Commission Regional Grants Scheme funding for Social Innovation Series of events
- June — ‘Marketing What Matters’ Swarm event
- August — Laneways art projects completed on Marine Tce, Post Office Lane and Lotteries House
- August — Goodness Festival (re-branded from Sustainability and Innovation festival) is a huge success
- August — CoDesign training closes the ‘Livening up the Laneways’ project
- August — Second Catalyst program begins
- August — Chair and EO present at ‘Measuring Social Outcomes’ conference
- September — Hire second employee – CityHive Host
- September — CityHive opens at Swansea House on Marine Tce!
- September — Board develops Risk Management Plan
- November — ‘Growing Good’ Swarm event
- November — Success with City of Greater Geraldton Community Grant to develop online Learning Marketplace
- December — Executive Officer 360 degree feedback and performance review
- December — Catalyst graduation and Christmas party
Some of the significant highlights of 2013 were:
- An independent evaluation report with high levels of participation from members and the community and very positive feedback. Some of the statistics include: more than 80% of 133 stakeholders thought we had achieved significant outcomes in our community including increasing vibrancy, connecting a community of members, supporting small enterprises, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and changing the culture of Geraldton.
- Expanding CityHive. We opened Western Australia’s first coworking space in 2011 then renovating and relocating to an iconic building on Marine Terrace in 2013.
- Attracting investment in member’s ventures. Through philanthropic funding, commercial investment and mentoring and pro bono support.
- Operating as a social enterprise! Very few non-profit, 3 year-old organisations earn half their income through sales and are financially resilient.
- Livening up the laneways and empty spaces of Geraldton. Creating urban art, markets and pop-up shops in collaboration with artists, government and business.
- Sharing our members stories. Our members and ventures have been featured in local and national media, conferences and awards.
- Creating meaningful work. As a volunteer-run organisation to now employing and developing two full-time and two part-time staff.
Some of the numbers for 2013:
- 125 new members
- 848 newsletter subscribers
- 15 Catalyst graduates
- 35 events
- 633 participants in events (not including Goodness)
- $270,000 income via earnings and grants
- 5 private offices tenanted
- 53 nominations for the Goodness Awards
Some of the challenges of 2013:
- Meeting demand for our services and support in a way that is high quality yet still affordable
- Delivering on funded projects while also generating revenue through marketing our fee-paying services
- Deepening relationships with and between members
- Having limited cash reserves
- Adjusting at a Board level to Director turnover
As an organisation we are grateful to:
- Our members! For inspiring us with your insights, successes and contribution to our community,
- Sponsors and Funders for supporting our organisation and projects:
- City of Greater Geraldton (Catalyst, Laneways and Flock)
- Department of Local Government and Communities (Evaluation and organisational)
- Lotterywest (Swansea House)
- Mid West Development Commission — Social Innovation Series (Marketing what Matters, Growing Good, We Love Local, CoDesign…)
- Sinosteel Midwest Corporation Limited (CityHive and organisation)
- Williams & Hughes — CityHive & Laneways
- West Coast Sustainability — CityHive
- Peter Creek – CityHive
- Staff and contractors
- Andrew Outhwaite
- Alison Hilton
- Dusty Lock
- Valli Papini
- Faye Sanders
- Eleanor Lambert
- Joanne Blayney
- Cassandra Ramshaw
- Ilaan Saraber
- Virginie Carbonatto
- Rhyanan De Jussing
- Board members
- Ann Larson
- Chris Wheatcroft
- Raina Savage
- Jen Hanrahan
- Christian Watters
- Alex Godley
- Natasha Colliver
- Brendon Davies
- Paul Dyer
- Ann Larson
As a Board we are very excited about 2014 and beyond, with Pollinators now established as a reputable provider of space, learning programs and connectivity. We are growing our partners, members and influence so that we can better serve our members and partners in achieving their goals.
In addition to running the highly successful Catalyst Program again in 2014, we also have some significant new programs already under way with Flock, Learning Marketplace and the Digital Enterprise Program.
We are also currently working with Geraldton Investments and CGG with a view to continuing our work on the regeneration of derelict West-End buildings and facades.
I look forward to working with my fellow Board members, our incredible staff and all our members and partners during 2014 with a view to making a significant contribution to our newly adopted Vision that By 2020, Geraldton will be globally-recognised as a model for sustainable communities.