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Harmony Day – Wish You Were Here

By | Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News, Presentations | No Comments

Harmony Day is part of Cultural Diversity Week, designed to celebrate Australia’s multicultural society.

Maroondah has significant cultural influences, including the role of the Mullum Mullum Creek in Wurundjeri culture, European migration that settled into the area after World War II, and more recently communities from South Sudan and Burma.

Alex as Master of Ceremonies for the Maroondah Harmony Day Exhibition and Concert

Alex as Master of Ceremonies for the Maroondah Harmony Day Exhibition and Concert

Eastern Volunteers in partnership with Victoria Police, Relationships Australia Victoria, EACH, Department of Justice, Migrant Information Centre and Maroondah City Council, held a day of cultural festivities on the Main Stage at Eastland Shopping Centre.

Performances included traditional Wurundjeri dances, music from the Chin and Karen communities from Burma, reggae from an African solo guitarist and Scottish highland dancers. I served as the Master of Ceremonies for the proceedings, providing an introduction to each performance, as well as highlighting activities throughout the day.  I also kept the audience engaged, by discussing the activities of the partners and showcasing the range of festivities planned for Harmony Day.

The Harmony Day Concert was supported by a postcard exhibition, featuring community entries depicting cultural diversity.  Entries were received across Maroondah, including from schools, community centres and migrant groups.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition featured a range of community performances.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition featured a range of community performances.

One of the highlights was Maroondah signing a formal declaration stating that it welcomes refugees.  The Council resolution, declaring Maroondah as a refugee welcome zone, was one of of my last actions as a Councillor in 2012.  Maroondah’s formal signing of the declaration reaffirms this commitment.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition enabled the community to showcase the cultural diversity and welcoming atmosphere of Maroondah.  It was a pleasure to perform the role of Master of Ceremonies and to promote cultural understanding through the event.

 

Donors who contributed at least $500 for recognised for their efforts in securing a piece of the future of Eastern Voluteers

Eastern Volunteers Building Unveiling

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Eastern Volunteers is a not-for-profit organisation, that provides volunteer recruitment and community assisted transport across the Cities of Whitehorse, Maroondah and the Yarra Ranges. Like many community organisations, Eastern Volunteers has had a transient history, being moved from various locations over its 35 year history.

In 2006, Eastern Volunteers established the goal of wanting to purchase its own premises, providing an opportunity to establish a permanent and accessible location for the delivery of its services. To assist in this objective Eastern Volunteers established a Building Fund, diverting half of its operational surplus to enable a property purchase.

In 2011, the building that was being leased by Eastern Volunteers became available for purchase. The organisation was able to secure the property purchase with the assistance of the Mt Evelyn Branch of the Bendigo Community Bank. While Eastern Volunteers was able to secure a loan to assist in the property purchase, additional funds were required to support fit-out, cabling and relocation expenses.

As a result, Eastern Volunteers launched its Building Fund Campaign during the middle of 2011 calling on community and business donations to assist in funding the relocation expenses.

This afternoon Eastern Volunteers officially unveiled its new location at 1/36 New Street, Ringwood where donors and supporters were officially acknowledged for their efforts.

Donors who contributed at least $500 for recognised for their efforts in securing a piece of the future of Eastern Voluteers

Donors who contributed at least $500 for recognised for their efforts in securing a piece of the future of Eastern Voluteers

I facilitated as Master of Ceremonies for the Building Unveiling, introducing both Simon McKeon, the 2011 Australian of the Year and Inaugural Patron of Eastern Volunteers, as well as Terry Macdonald, Chairperson of Eastern Volunteers. Eastern Volunteers raised almost $34,000 through the Building Fund Campaign, with donors who contributed at least $500 receiving permanent and ongoing acknowledgement in the foyer of Eastern Volunteers.

These donors were allocated a jigsaw piece of a photograph of the new building. The jigsaw piece represents their support in buying a piece in the future of Eastern Volunteers. In addition, in-kind contributions were also recognised, highlighting the contribution that businesses have provided through discounts and support.

The Building Fund marks the start of a new future for Eastern Volunteers as it provides a permanent and ongoing head office for the organisation.

Eastern Volunteers 2012 Annual Fun Run

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations | 2 Comments

Eastern Volunteers is a not-for-profit organisation that provides community assisted transport and volunteer recruitment. The organisation holds regular fundraising activities, including its Annual Fun Run which provides fun and fitness on a course around Lillydale Lake.

Alex as the Master of Ceremonies for the 2012 Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run

Alex as the Master of Ceremonies for the 2012 Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run

I was invited to perform the role of Master of Ceremonies for the Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run, providing official announcements to manage participation in the race.

An MC role for an event like the Annual Fun Run involves several distinct activities, including directing participants through initial registration and to the starting positions. In addition, there is a need to provide periodic announcements, such as outlining the race layout and mentioning the sponsors who supported the event.

After the race, the role of the MC is to encourage participants to attend the award presentations and to facilitate the transition to the official speakers. The Master of Ceremonies assists in providing a seamless event by ensuring that participants are aware of the proceedings.

The Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run is a well established community event, which helps raise funds to sustain its activities.

Alex announcing winners of the Eastern Volunteers Raffle

Master of Ceremonies at the 2011 Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival

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The 2011 Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival was held today on Sunday the 9th of October. Unfortunately the weather was less pleasant than last year, with rain affecting the opening speeches and some of the earlier performances.

The rain subsided by the early afternoon providing an opportunity to enjoy the festivities. The Ringwood Soundshell featured an array of multicultural performances, while the grounds included food vendors, cultural and community stalls that were available throughout the day.

As the Master of Ceremonies I was responsible for welcoming invited guests, as well as introducing the performances on the main stage. The MC needs to facilitate a seamless transition between performers and it is often useful to utilise this time to provide announcements relating to the performers or the event.

Alex, as the MC for the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival, introducing Heidi Victoria the State Member for Bayswater

Alex, as the MC for the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival, introducing Heidi Victoria the State Member for Bayswater

A running sheet should be provided to the MC and additional information should be included to provide relevant announcements and discussion throughout the event.

An MC needs to manage any program changes to ensure minimal disruption for the audience. If there are alterations then the list of potential announcements and discussion topics can be utilised to fill these gaps.

The Master of Ceremonies should ensure that key parts of the proceedings are recorded or photographed.

The Master of Ceremonies should ensure that key parts of the proceedings are recorded or photographed.

It is also useful to consider how sponsors can be incorporated into the program to make business partners an integral part of the proceedings.

The inclusion of sponsors helps provide additional value to business partners and highlights the value of their support. Interviews can be conducted with key sponsors where they are able to discuss their involvement with the event.

The MC should also be aware of raffles and other prize draws to encourage people to purchase tickets and to announce the prizes that are available. Raffles can be significant fundraisers for community organisations and the purchase of tickets should be encouraged.

Alex announcing winners of the Eastern Volunteers Raffle

Alex announcing winners of the Eastern Volunteers Raffle

As a full-day event I served as Master of Ceremonies from 10am through to the final performance at 5pm. During this time I introduced a variety of performers, including a Chinese Lion Dance, an Irish band and Sudanese traditional dancers, as well as interviewing sponsors and volunteers.

The Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival is Maroondah’s largest multicultural event and it was great to see ongoing community support despite the unfortunate weather.

The Chinese Lion Dance will be one of the performances at the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival

The 2011 Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival

By | Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations | No Comments
The Chinese Lion Dance will be one of the performances at the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival

The Chinese Lion Dance will be one of the performances at the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival

I will be serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival on Sunday the 9th of October at Ringwood Lake. Last year’s Festival attracted approximately 5000 attendees and Eastern Volunteers are anticipating similar numbers for this year.

The Multicultural Spring Festival will feature a diverse variety of food, craft, community and cultural stalls, as well as an array of multicultural performances:

  • 10.30 am – Chinese Lion Dancers
  • 11.00 am – Bollywood Dancers
  • 11.45 am – Felix Meagher and Cyril – Irish Fiddlers
  • 12.45 pm – Viva La Dance Latin Dancing
  • 1.15 pm – Zumba with Samantha Jones
  • 2.00 pm – Heathmont Ultimate Martial Arts
  • 2.15 pm – Sudanese Dinka Traditional Dance Group
  • 2.30 pm – Rythym of Life African Drummers
  • 3.15 pm – Wadaiko Rindo Japanese Drummers
  • 3.50 pm – Croydon Secondary College Ensemble

Raffles and prizes will be available throughout the day, including whitegoods, artwork, vouchers and many other prizes.  The Festival aims to provide fun for the entire family and will include a variety of children’s activities, including jumping castles and an animal farm.

Eastern Volunteers is a not for profit organisation established in 1976, that provides volunteer recruitment and community transport to people living in the Cities of Maroondah, Whitehorse and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Ringwood Honda is the major sponsor of the 2011 Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival and supported by secondary sponsors; ConnectEast and Stockdale & Leggo – Ringwood.

For further details please visit the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival website.

Alex with Terry Avery, Mayor the Yarra Ranges Shire Council and Terry Macdonald. Chairperson of Eastern Volunteers

Master of Ceremonies for the Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations | 2 Comments
Alex as Master of Ceremonies for the Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run

Alex as Master of Ceremonies for the Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run

Like many community based organisations Eastern Volunteers holds events to assist in raising funds to support its volunteer recruitment and community based transport services.

The Annual Fun Run, which is held each March, is one of the major fundraising and community events held by Eastern Volunteers, with the event attracting over 500 participants and significant business support.

This morning I served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event, providing instructions for participants, as well as acknowledging the major sponsors and supporters.

This year’s Fun Run included three major sponsors, who were invited to participate on the day. As the Master of Ceremonies I introduced the major sponsors, as well as Terry Avery, the Mayor of the Yarra Ranges Shire Council and board members from Eastern Volunteers, including the chairperson Terry Macdonald.

Fortunately the rain held off until the afternoon, providing ideal conditions for the 2011 Annual Fun Run. The event was a success with a record number of participants and significant support from the business community. As Master of Ceremonies it was my responsibility to direct participants to the registration desks and starting positions, as well as acknowledge sponsors and their support.

At the conclusion of the race I assisted Terry who conducted the formalities and presentation of awards as Chairperson of Eastern Volunteers. I also ensured there was an opportunity for sponsors to speak to the participants, reinforcing the value that business partners received from the event.

It is important that business partners receive value from supporting an event. In this regard, the Annual Fun Run had clearly defined sponsorship categories to demonstrate the benefits from supporting the event and ensuring that equity between business partners. The major sponsors were also encouraged to be present on the day providing a direct opportunity to speak to participants and to be a part of the event.

The response from participants and business partners was extremely positive and it is wonderful to see ongoing support the Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run.

Alex with Terry Avery, Mayor the Yarra Ranges Shire Council and Terry Macdonald. Chairperson of Eastern Volunteers

Alex with Terry Avery, Mayor the Yarra Ranges Shire Council and Terry Macdonald. Chairperson of Eastern Volunteers