Once again I take great pleasure in stating that Brackets & Jam Central Coast Inc. has had a good year with positive outcomes for the Central Coast community as well as for the organisation. It has not been a smooth ride with a high level of administration being required to support the continuous increase in activity undertaken in the past year including the cessation of our Newcastle activities, the interest shown in replicating Brackets in Victoria and the highest yet level of activity in other community events across the region.
Following is a brief synopsis of different aspects of the operation for the past year and for each aspect, a view of the future direction we hope to take in the following 12 Months (financial year 2010-2011)
As President and speaking on behalf of the Central Coast community I thank the 2009/2010 committee [Nick and Colette Baron, Glenn Cannard, Tim Green, Kelli Mason and Craig McMullen as well as the sub committees: Terrigal Drummers & Twirlers, Brackets Lake Munmorah, Brackets Kincumber, Brackets Newcastle, Djembeat, Clans, Rhythm Unite, CoastFest and the latest sub committee ArtsBarn. I also thank committee members who also participated in various other event committees and community forums.
Without the dedication of our volunteer committees Brackets would not be able to function. I thank you for your commitment, dedication, time and inspiration in both strengthening and growing the organisation.
Future: 1. We are looking to introduce Directors & Officers Insurance to protect our committee decisions
2. In the coming year committee members will be encouraged to attend training to enhance their skills
As I said in previous reports volunteers are “the key resource needed to sustain not only the philosophy but the practical aspects of presenting Brackets events”.
Our regular and active volunteer numbers remain at an average of 16 across Lake Munmorah & Kincumber events. Recently we have welcomed some new helpers & hope they stay with us. 12 of these people also held a responsibility on the Organising Committees for the full year and as customary we also have a number of ‘transient’ volunteers who are crucially important to ‘filling gaps’ and backing up the ‘permanents’. Particularly, I wish to commend the committed volunteers from the Newcastle tribe who valiantly worked hard to sustain their event.
Future: 1. Due to the importance of not only maintaining but increasing our volunteer base, Andy Kilkelly is working to encourage more volunteers. Volunteer job specifications have been drafted, B&J has joined the Volunteer Referral Agency, we have exhibited at the CC volunteer expo, and attended the Volunteer Conference. We have also implemented Volunteer Accident Insurance cover.
2. It is hoped we can move toward contributing more to our volunteer costs which are currently borne mainly by the individual volunteers. During the year we also submitted for a Volunteer Small Equipment Grant and a grant for training of our volunteers
3. In this coming year projects covering training and documentation of procedures will be continued.
Our membership has grown from last year  to 149 and our membership programme covering performers, individuals, community groups, sole traders and commercial businesses is working well. I encourage all to join and promote the benefits to others.
Future: we expect to continue to increase members with our membership programme through our website.
During the year additional and replacement kitchen equipment was purchased, additional leads and lights and ongoing maintenance to our ‘fleet’ [2 vehicles and 4 trailers]. Our mobile stage project, under the watch of CraigM and WarrenG is under way with $$ support from Wyong Shire Council and a further grant applied for.
Future: 1. Complete the mobile stage project
2. Continue with an upgrade/replacement programme for all equipment
Over the year we continued to run 3/4 acts on a Brackets night with ‘walk ons’.
During the year we produced 24 monthly events [incl 12 in Lake Munmorah & 12 Kincumber], 52 Djembeat nights and participated in 15 other community events, which included Kids Day Out, Gathering of the Clans, Dads Day Out-Wyong Shire, Whale Dreaming Festival, Dads Day Out-Gosford City, Wyong Family Fun Day with the Benevolent Society, to name but a few.
Future: 1. Continue to support other community events whilst maintaining our monthly event frequency
2. Hopefully continue with the ‘benefit ‘concept twice a year, supporting other community organisations.
Event security has been a success in not only making volunteers feel safe but making the people who attend feel safe and secure. On many occasions parents have come up to me and said they are happy to bring their kids to Brackets as they feel safe.
Thanks to Richard Bennett for his continued support in keeping our events safe and his unflinching support throughout the year.
Future: Security will be maintained for the present and be increased as and when appropriate
In the last year attendances have remained stable, Spring/summer average 340 per event, Autumn/winter 200 per event.
A wide range of socio-economic groups are represented as well as a diversity of cultures in both audience and performers. We continue to attract attendance from all age groups. The popularity of the events is still growing across all groups in the community. We welcome the commitment of many people with disabilities within the community who, in spite of the challenges met in accessing the venue and its facilities, still support our events.
Future: 1. Our positive partnership with Gosford Community transport to provide buses for our Kincumber events to ‘shuttle’ patrons up the mountain with the aim to relieve parking congestion continues. Our positive arrangement with Waterford Village to utilise their off street parking also continues.
We thank Wyong Shire Council for their continued support for our events and for the refurbishment of the Colongra Bay Community Hall now taking place.
We thank Gosford City Council for their ongoing support in the continued maintenance of the ‘Mud Brick Hut’ & surroundes and look forward to a successful partnership in the ArtsBarn social enterprise initiative along with other community organisations.
Future: 1. Continue to work with our regional Councils to strengthen the sustainability of our events thus enabling continuation of our community building activities
2. We will continue working to develop and strengthen our relationships with other agencies to ensure sustainability of the organisation and events we produce or support.
Over the past year with the commitment to establishing other events [Newcastle] more effort has been committed to administration, not only for our planned events but due to our involvement in the many other community projects ………………and with the increase in membership and volunteers, as well as the continued imposition on community groups, of rules and criteria that must be met before producing an event we are dealing with even greater pressure on conformance, governance and accountability than ever before, thus the move toward upskilling committee members.
Future: The level of commitment needs to be continually monitored as resources are already stretched and as other tasks need to be undertaken eg; review of procedures, preparation of grant submissions, attendance at meetings and special projects, careful consideration needs to be given to priorities.
We need to resource our continuing and expanding administration requirements by searching and identifying funding opportunities to support the engagement of admin support..
The organising committee of B&Jcc continues to embrace the use of computers for administration [accounts etc], marketing [press releases, web development etc] and communications [email, instant messaging, text etc].
This has resulted in faster and wider communications between the organising group and with outside contacts. I certainly believe that the organising committee would not be able to ‘stay on top’ of everything if it did not utilise technology as it does. It is exciting as we move forward embracing not only the lighting and sound technology utilised in presenting our events but to use radio communications, recording equipment at meetings and at live events as well as moving toward multimedia and film and social networking with facebook, utube and twitter.
Future: 1. As Brackets strives for more efficiency [volunteers have other lives] the use of technology can only increase as volunteers and performers alike adopt more efficient methods of communication especially as the use of computers becomes more widespread within community groups and individuals associated with Brackets & Jam across the Central Coast.
2. We will endeavour to obtain funding for equipment to enable us to move more towards multi media and film so we may enhance our events as well as increase the skill within the community in utilising this type of technology.
3. We will consider the use of twitter and SMS for event notification
Other Groups/Relationships in the past year:
Councils – We have had a strong on going relationship with both Wyong and Gosford council staff and Councillors during the year and I anticipate that that relationship will continue to grow and strengthen. We have also come to the attention of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils.
Djembeat – Percussion group, within Brackets & Jam & is comprised of Brackets volunteers & members of the wider community purely for entertainment & social discourse. This group meets every Thursday at Kincumba Mountain and visitors are always made welcome.
Terrigal Drummers & Twirlers – Fire Twirling & Drummers meet at Terrigal Wednesday nights for public performance. This event is very popular in the spring and summer seasons and now is totally supported by B&J.
The Gathering of the Clans – Organisation of this event was undertaken at the request of the community, it was a challenging task and all credit must go to Glenn Cannard and the Lake Munmorah crew for pulling together a complex event and setting it up for 2010. A Brackets sub committee led by JulieS and BrettM are furiously working to bring the 2010 event to a successful conclusion.
- Thanks to Kelli Mason our Treasurer & Public Officer for getting to grips with the money stuff, particularly handling the complications of expansion along with our usual business. We are now having our accounts audited by Tome Accounting Services Pty Ltd, POB 3061, Umina Beach 2257.
- 2. We have continued to auspice other unincorporated groups during the year including Rhythm United, Terrigal Drummers & Twirlers, Kariong Youth Group and Pink Butterflies
- 3. Brackets has been challenged and managed to pay back its debt incurred through CoastFest and has paid all suppliers the $32k owed.
- 4. The asset base of Brackets has increased with equipment and vehicle exceeding $100k.
Future: 1. To expand our operations through grants & possibly increased charges with the aim of acquiring services and equipment which we are currently unable to access, subsidising volunteer/performer costs and paying for administration services.
2. It is important that within this process of expansion we avoid placing financial burdens on the organisation which can not be met in the event of a reduction in income or an extraordinary cost.
Marketing in the last year has been standard with dependence on web site, email, newsletters and word of mouth and due to the high levels of attendance at events marketing will continue at the current level.
This whole operation at both our monthly events has been an outstanding success and is a credit to the dedicated volunteers who unfailingly procure stocks, prepare, cook, serve, sell then clean up at each event. Thanks to all the dedicated helpers who contributed throughout the year. We hope that more helpers for Brackets Kitchen functions will step forward not only to help in the kitchens at our events but offer to join the ranks of our dedicated cooks, new recipes and sharing of the load would be warmly welcomed. Also thanks to Council officers who provided advice and guidance.
Future: 1. No changes are anticipated, however it is expected that training will be encouraged in food handling techniques with new regulations coming into force this year.
2. A positive ongoing relationship will be continued with council officers as appropriate.
1. New partnerships are being created to co produce events in the next year and further partnerships will be forged with other symbiotic organisations as opportunities arise.
In conclusion I would like to thank all volunteers, committee, performers and especially our audience who together make each and every event a success and I know that each and everyone will remain committed to our ideals and bring success to our future endeavours.
President - Brackets & Jam Central Coast Inc.