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  • Nov 28, 2016
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Foundation nears million dollar milestone

Foundation Broken Hill contributed a record amount to the local community during 2015-2016 and is likely to achieve a million dollar milestone in the current financial year.

The Foundation’s Annual General Meeting noted the year’s $104,450 directed to support emerging or expanding businesses and local community development initiatives was the largest contribution in any one year since the Foundation’s inception. It brings the total contribution across 16 years to $906,232.

Foundation Chair Vince Gauci said the only disappointment in what had been a stellar year for the Foundation was that only $8,700 was added to the organisation’s Capital Fund.

‘We have around $2 million under conservative investment, but we need to grow that significantly in order to continue to contribute to Broken Hill’s sustainability and diversification in a meaningful way. Fundraising will be a key focus for the Foundation in 2017.’

Mr Gauci was elected unopposed to the chairman’s position for the sixteenth successive year and the nomination drew formal comment from directors about his dedication to the task and committed leadership.

For the first time, the Foundation Board has appointed a deputy chair. Former primary school Principal Chris Dougherty was elected to the position unopposed. Mr Dougherty joined the board in 2014 and has been an enthusiastic and active representative in the community.

Karren Howe (who joined the board in 2010) has been appointed Company Secretary, replacing Guy Chick, who has served in the role for more than four years. Mr Chick had earlier advised of his intention to resign from the board at the AGM following his retirement from Essential Water and relocation to Adelaide earlier this year.

‘Guy has been an outstanding contributor to Foundation activities for more than seven years, specifically as Company Secretary and a member of our finance sub-committee, but also through project analysis and bringing initiatives such as our new Business Mentoring Program to fruition. Guy will be sorely missed on the board and we all wish him well for this new stage in his life.’

Another long-standing director, former Mayor Wincen Cuy, resigned from the Foundation Board in August prior to the Local Government elections. Mr Cuy had served on the board since 2010 and Mr Gauci said he had been a valued contributor in that time, particularly in providing insight to regional issues and assisting the board to a better understanding of the local tourism industry.

‘We have been fortunate always to have had an exceptionally cohesive board, with our voluntary directors working together through a shared passion for Broken Hill, so it’s a little sad when directors move on,’ Mr Gauci said. ‘However, it can also be a stimulating time of renewal and we are excited to have welcomed three new directors at the AGM who will no doubt bring fresh ideas to the table along with their outstanding expertise and experience.’

The three new directors are Lindy and Simon Molesworth and Travis Nadge.

Professor Simon Molesworth is a Queen’s Counsel (QC) who was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2012 and is renowned nationally and internationally in environmental, planning, heritage, natural resource and climate change law. Across more than 40 years of community leadership and corporate governance, Simon has served as director of 24 boards and chair of 14. Australian Governments at State and Federal level have appointed him to numerous positions of responsibility advising on environmental policy, resource management and town/regional planning. Since acquiring a rural property on the outskirts of Broken Hill, Simon has been active in regional community affairs and was instrumental in the nomination of the City of Broken Hill to the Commonwealth’s National Heritage List, achieved in January 2015.

Lindy (Rosalind) Cochrane Molesworth was a former resident of Broken Hill, who returned to the region in 2000 where she now manages the family sheep station. Lindy has worked in the geological, archaeological and environmental fields for mining companies, government agencies and environmental organisations and has worked as a consultant to State and Federal governments on natural resource and heritage projects. She is a member of a number of local community groups.

Locally born Travis Nadge brings general management and hands-on business experience to the board across mining, energy, utilities, information technology and small business. He was the local manager of Essential Water for four years and administration manager for Bemax Resources (now Cristal Mining) for four years, with a diverse background in electricity, water, energy trading, information technology and management. Travis is currently the Group Commercial Manager at Consolidated Mining & Civil Pty Ltd.

The other directors are Bill McLeod (16 years), Christine Ellis (14 years), Paul Edwards (9 years), Kevin Taylor (5 years) and Paul Keady (5 years). Mr Gauci said the diversity of expertise and mix of long-standing and new directors, coupled with the management provided by Kimberley Fell (8 years) will stand the Foundation Broken Hill Board in good stead for the 2016-2017 year.

‘Apart from a renewed effort in fundraising, the Foundation will focus on the new Business Mentoring Program, which is proving successful and exciting, together with other initiatives such as our Bequest Program, Skillshare Training Grant Program and Back to School Voucher Program.’