As has become tradition, ARA’s AGM opened with an opportunity to celebrate, as the graduates of this year’s Youth Ambassador program were awarded their certificates of completion. This was followed by our guest speaker, Amber Poudel who told the meeting about his experiences as a refugee from Bhutan, his life in a refugee camp and his subsequent arrival in Australia. Since arriving in Australia, he has been a client, a volunteer, and now a case manager with ARA.
Moving into the formal part of the meeting, ARA’s President, Ritchie Hollands and Treasurer, Wayne Turner gave their reports, now available online in the annual report.
In her report, Deb Stringer, ARA’s CEO, highlighted ARA’s proud history of consistent funding across many years. She further noted that the support of ARA’s funding partners is multi-faceted, and that our agreements are true partnerships.
Looking back on the past year, Deb highlighted the strength of ARA’s case management services and the importance of complementary programs and activities that expand ARA’s impact and influence. From the Health Expo designed to provide access to information about health services to the annual oration, a platform for refugee voices.
Alongside the presentation of the annual report, ARA’s new strategic plan was launched. This plan builds on the substantial foundations of ARA’s first 45 years, and provides a roadmap for ARA’s goal of delivering on our purpose, supporting newly arrived communities and individuals, empowering them to participate actively in all aspects of life in Australia.
The meeting ended with elections to the Board. Our Treasurer, Wayne Turner, stood down from the Board after many years of service, and ARA thanks Wayne for his significant contributions to ARA in that time.
Monique Newberry was re-elected, and Gokhan Ayturk, David McGlennon and Michael Pagsanjan were elected to the Board.