Letter from the Chairman – November 2017

With the Christmas season approaching, it is little more than a year until the 2019 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival!

One of the things I enjoy most about my role with our organisation is to see the festival develop, as ideas and concepts start to come to fruition.

One of those ideas, for the festival in 2019, was to feature the United States of America. We have been overwhelmed by the excitement and enthusiasm of our friends in the USA, and the program featuring that country is starting to come together in a wonderful way – and one which I think everyone will thoroughly enjoy!  In particular, I would like to thank our producer in the USA, Kaci Cronkhite, and also Kiwi Ferris, who is also providing tremendous assistance.

I am also pleased to report that the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival received a silver award for the festival in 2017, at the recently conducted Tasmanian Tourism Industry awards. It was a very pleasing result, and a wonderful and fitting tribute to all concerned with the festival, and in particular our incredible volunteers. Well done all! I would also like to specifically thank our General Manager, Paul Cullen, not only for everything he does for the organisation and the festival, but with respect to the preparation of the awards submission.

We have two additions to the Board of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, Joy Phillips, and our new Treasurer, Greg Hitchens. They are both quickly settling into their roles, and providing a great contribution to the board, and the festival. We are very lucky to have people of their calibre give up their time to join our voluntary board.

Greg was appointed to replace retiring Treasurer Peter Benson. Peter joined the AWBF Board the same year that I was appointed Chairman, in 2005. Peter has been a great, and dedicated, contributor, and his thorough work as Treasurer, and his wise advice, was very much appreciated. Whilst we have a great replacement in Greg, Peter will be very sorely missed, and we wish him well in his retirement. However, we all look forward to seeing him at the festival!

Speaking of retirement, I should also note that our long term project manager, Kelvin Aldred, has decided to retire. Kelvin has also been a wonderful contributor to the festival, over many years. His happy and cheerful disposition and enthusiasm always meant he was a pleasure to work with, and his efforts, particularly in managing the “Food and Beverage” part of our festival, was exemplary.

Kelvin – thanks from us all! Well done.

Steve Knight




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