President’s report

OHNNG President’s Report 2019

This, my second year at the helm of OHNNG has been challenging in many regards and a seemingly repetitive lesson in resilience. Despite this, as a team, we have continued to champion the group’s objectives and provide a variety of learning opportunities for  our members.

Membership numbers are fairly stable, as of mid February 2019 we have 220 financial members and 65 lapsed renewals. New members are generally attracted at local and national events and therefore hosting educational events is the best way of recruiting new members.

We hosted events in Queensland (4 different locations), Tasmania, Northern New South Wales and participated in the ANZHNCS meeting in Melbourne and in a Pacific Islands Project trip to Samoa.

Events in Victoria and a second event in the Hunter Region didn’t quite get off the ground and attempts will be made to ensure they happen in the coming year.

This group is reliant on nurses volunteering their time to construct and host events. This year we have experienced several coordinators resigning due to family and work commitments and of course this is not unexpected from time to time. It does however affect the overall impact of the group. This is just another challenge we face being a small group and is certainly not a problem unique to us.

We currently do not have a representative in South Australia, Western Australia, and northern New South Wales. Nominations have been made for state coordinator positions in metropolitan New South Wales and the Northern Territory. This is great news for those areas as it is much easier to coordinate and run events with someone ‘on the ground’. I will strive to ensure events happen in those areas and members from those localities are aware of their new state representative.

Additionally, our website has thrown many challenges at us over the course of the year. The data base soft wear is adequate but seems quite fragile and work is ongoing to ensure members are reminded of their renewal date. Sadly, this has been hit and miss during the year. Checking the website, updating it and working with our webmaster has been a constant and arduous task. We experienced a data breach despite maintaining the required level of security to repel such a breach. As the site does not hold any financial data this breach appears to have been minor, however it is still concerning, and steps have been taken to ensure this won’t happen again.

Communicating with our members is a necessary and challenging task. Again, I have failed to provide regular ‘ScopE Links”, they are not difficult, but they are time consuming and I know I need to focus on them more. If any member has an interest in assisting with regular newsletters, I would certainly appreciate their help.

On the financial front – overall, we remain stable. We have covered our overheads on most occasions and continue to maintain a healthy bank balance. This ensures we can continue to host events without worrying too much about sponsorship which is harder and harder to achieve,
especially for smaller events. If we can continue to provide education across the country whilst leaving the financial bottom line untouched, I consider it a job well done. This year our new treasurer was the victim of a financial scam, the investigation into this is still ongoing with statements being given to the police. We now use an encrypted mail server when discussing group finances by email.

At the 2018 AGM the notion was carried to join the Associations Forum, mainly to have our constitution assessed. This was done and the changes made in draft version. The Associations Forum was unwilling to assess the draft version and consequently our current constitution stands unchanged. After drafting the alterations, I have not had time to seek confirmation of the correctness of the draft and will endeavour to do so in the coming year. Consideration has been given to seeking legal advice to propose and provide a new constitution that could stand without the need for frequent alteration.

Also, at the 2018 AGM the notion was carried to become a member of the World Continuing Education Alliance. This was done but has been of questionable success. It was a significant task to create a member log in area on the website. This was the first step to allow members access to the
WEA. The second step was for members to log in to WEA to access the educational material there.

The OHNNG member log in has proved difficult for some members and password resets are frequent. The marketing campaign for WEA has not been adopted due to the ongoing challenges of our website and subsequent difficulties with member log in. I am in current and ongoing talks with
the manages of the WEA site. My thoughts are that we need to give this program another 12 months before defining its worth to our members.

In essence I believe OHNNG is in a good financial position to continue to meet its stated objectives. I trust the 23rd Annual Conference in Brisbane will be a successful, enjoyable and worthwhile meeting for all concerned. Should the membership support my re-election to the role as president for the coming year I will strive to offer more ENT H&N education nationwide, promote the group at every opportunity and to do what I can to ensure a reliable and use-able website.

Cheryl Kelly

1996 Gold Coast – 54 delegates
1997 Sydney 120 – delegates
1998 Sydney 125 – delegates
1999 Canberra 60 – delegates
2000 Melbourne 91 – delegates
2001 Adelaide 60 – delegates
2002 Perth 90 – delegates
2003 Brisbane 70 – delegates
2004 Sydney 65 – delegates
2005 No National – (IRS Sydney)
2006 Melbourne – 91 delegates
2007 Adelaide – 82 delegates
2008 Perth – 56 delegates
2009 Gold Coast – 73 delegates
2010 Sydney – 88 delegates
2011 Melbourne – 115 delegates
2012 Adelaide – 95 delegates
2013 Perth – 105 delegates
2014 Brisbane – 150 delegates
2015 Sydney – 98 delegates
2016 Melbourne – 167 delegate
2017 Adelaide – 138 delegates