Delegates from across NSW & the ACT gathered in Sydney on the weekend (August the 25th & 26th, 2018) for a state conference.
NSW & ACT President, Ed Davis, writes:
The focus of the conference was how ABC Friends can maximise its impact; how it can use its resources to best advance the cause of public broadcasting in Australia. Delegates from Sydney and Branches around NSW listened to a case study from Tim Gartrell, who had led both the “Kevin 07” campaign and the recent Marriage Equality campaign. He stressed the importance of having a very clear objective and keeping the focus on this.
He was joined by Daren McDonald and Ruby O’Halloran (GetUp!), who shared their experience of recent social campaigns. There were strong lessons for the Friends. Dr. Jane Connors, Staff-elected Director on the Board of the ABC, and Judith Whelan, Head of Specialist Content, talked about challenges facing the ABC and ABC strategies, such as the recently aired short ads showcasing the importance of the ABC to a range of actors, artists and others.
The conference also enjoyed a brilliant presentation from Dr Tanja Meyerhofer, who works with the European Broadcasting Union. She illustrated campaigns in Europe which have generated much-increased support for public broadcasting in a number of countries.
Delegates were invited to workshop practical steps that ABC Friends can take to lift our effectiveness. A range of measures was identified spanning recruitment, attracting donations, improving our communications and campaigning. The conference also very much appreciated the involvement of Peter Monie, Victorian President, who talked about Victoria’s marginal seats strategy, and Matt Peacock, former Staff-elected Director. It has been a very busy two days and all delegates left with good ideas to take up at national, state and branch levels.
(Right to Left Mal Hewitt, NSW & ACT Vice President, Margaret Foy, Blue Mountains branch president Sue Noske)
Two treasured and deserving ABC Friends were awarded lifetime memberships: Margaret Foy from the Blue Mountains branch, and Chris Cartledge from the Illawarra.