Words by Chris Dunkinson and Leigh Kirkup; Photos by Paul Hollingworth and Jeff Whitehead
Saturday 13th May 2023
This was the day the committee relaxed its usual contemporary business-like formalities, and came together in a much more social and congenial manner for the inaugural informal committee meeting, held in the leafy suburbs of Pakenham on a delightful, sunny Saturday afternoon.
Previously the committee has met on the second Wednesday of every month at Swinburne University in Hawthorn, however after considerable discussion and debate during the April meeting, it was decided that a trial should commence as soon as possible to hold every second committee meeting with an informal, and yet very flexible format.
The first such meeting was thus kindly held at the home of Chris and Leigh, where leafy green parks and ample parking abounded for all to admire the coterie of cars that arrived.
All members and guests were welcome to attend, and eleven committee and four general members came along and were made to feel most welcome and included by all. We also welcomed a prospective new member who saw the event advertised to be held in Pakenham, and as a local to the area who is also considering joining, decided to come along for the day.
The day started at 11.30 am and Members and guests brought along a “plate” to share; with homemade sausage rolls, quiche, cheese boards, casserole chocolate, and sweet selections to name a few, a lovely spread of finger foods was on offer.
Things kicked off with some casual socializing and quite a bit of garage talk, which included some oohing and aahing at the many lovely vehicles parked outside and abutting the park. With everyone suitably satiated, the slightly more formal part of the informal meeting started at 1 pm, with the president reclined in the super plush swivel lounge chair, and all others casually seated around the living area.
Although somewhat structured and presided over by the jolly man in the lounge chair, it was a very open and welcoming group discussion covering a wide and diverse range of general topics. Many great ideas were raised, welcomed, and discussed; no doubt encouraged by a much more relaxed environment and sense of equality and freedom from judgment, which lead to a contribution of ideas from all in attendance.
The Inaugural informal committee meeting was a great success at the home of Chris and Leigh in Pakenham, with a magnificent turnout of members that would not normally be inclined to attend a formal style meeting. With them, they brought some well-thought-out ideas for future events and ways the club can improve; it was great to remove the formality of a structured business-like meeting and exchange ideas in a much more open, social, and congenial manner.
With the last guests leaving around 4 pm it was a great day for a fresh and invigorating new committee meeting format, and one that looks to be a continuing and very welcome success.
Chris Dunkinson and Leigh Kirkup