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.)
Thank you Peter, and congratulations on becoming President. The old Pandani Post was a great resource for sharing walk stories; the serious and funny parts. We kept all our copies which we used as references to planning (or avoiding) future walks, and they became the foundation for publishing “Twenty Years Down the Track” recounting 20 years of Pandani stories. I hope the Pandani blog will fill the gap left by the Pandani Post.
Thank you Peter, for taking on the presidency and for your thoughts about communications. As a non-user of FB I’m happy to see the blog, which feels more club-specific (also less of a time drain). And as you’ve shown, there can be photos here too.
Good wishes to you and all the committee for keeping our club running efficiently and making it such a good group to belong to.
My experience with this community has been excellent, so my comment is no reflection here. But in 50 years of learning about community, I couldnt agree more.
Good concise, but caring and respectful communications are so important. They are so essential for functional communities of any sort.
Thanks to Simon and other supporters who have made it a happy and innovative club.
A great idea to share tales with members, of falling into buttongrass holes, the numbers of Tasmanian tigers spotted and of course sharing how many leech bites did Peter receive on the Jackson creek track; to all those who missed the experience at the time or cannot makes those trips anymore. Welcome aboard Mr President