In about 1975 the NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs (as it was called then) had a crisis when its AGM failed to fill several key positions including president. They called an extraordinary general meeting and pleaded for every club president to attend (meetings were usually attended by club delegates other than presidents). Since I was president of the Uni of NSW Bushwalking Club I went along. Even at that tender age I could see clearly that a major problem with the Federation was its failure to communicate properly with the members of its constituent clubs. So with the brashness of youth I offered to produce a regular newsletter on behalf of the Federation, and proceeded to do so for the next few years. (A serendipitous side benefit for me was that I could later use my newsletter efforts as part of the practical requirements for one of my uni subjects that tried to teach engineering students about communication.)
Getting on towards 50 years later I’m again a club president and again interested in communication with members. Pandani is a wonderful club in which I have somehow become quite heavily invested. However there is always room to make things even better. So you can probably see where this is heading: I want to improve communication within the club, both from the committee to members and between members.
Currently the club has a few communication channels – the website, Facebook, emails and this blog. Sounds like a lot but I think we can use them better. The website is an invaluable tool for planning trips. Facebook allows us to share all those lovely post-trip photos. Emails are useful for important messages from the executive to all members. However none of those is ideal for sharing anything that needs more than a short paragraph of text. So I plan to make much greater use of this blog in future to communicate on behalf of the committee, and also hope that some (many?) of you who like to write will contribute stories about a trip or experience. In a way it may be a 21st century replacement for the old Pandani Post magazine.
Have a look at “How to use this blog” at the top of the home page and please sign up if you haven’t already.
(The photo at the top of this post is nothing to do with Pandani or communication, but since I mentioned 1975 it shows Tasmanian bushwalking 1975-style – that’s me on the left, at Junction Ck before we set off down the Port Davey and South Coast Tracks.)