At least one representative from all active NSW Branches attended the conference over the weekend of 23rd to 25th of August, 2013.

The topics were well chosen and sequential, and enabled all branches to complete some practical exercises to make their branch work better.

We started with a discussion of the ‘early days’, led by Neil Anderson. Neil showed us lots of photos of how we looked in 1995, and how we have developed to the present. It was interesting to note how our development has not only been physical, but also what we have gained in technology, man-power, finances, inclusion, and competition.

Ryan Sherry helped us with marketing strategies, helping us to see and experience how we can create, then communicate, deliver, sustain and capture value, and how improvement in these areas can help us increase the number of people for whom we make a difference, as well as continue to purchase the materials we need to make it all happen. A most inspiring hour to set us on the right track for the remainder of the conference.

Photo of Neil introducing Russel

This inspiration worked well in the following session as we were all encouraged to improve the Yachting NSW web-site in our own ways, as well as use it for our membership base, passing on of information, and sharing techniques and materials. Russell MacLaren had the difficult task of this segment, which was beautifully done.

Our next area of interest and participation was the discussion led by Malcolm Cameron about Risk Management within our branches, as well as in the Management of Sailability NSW, and the practical, how-to session run by Eli Demeny, in which every branch made a start on their unique Risk Management Tables.

Photo of Paul Taylor.Paul Tayler followed this up with the Financial Report up to June, 2013 , usually a dry subject, but Paul made us all feel that we are really a huge part of what goes on, and inspired us all to do a lot better in our Grant Submissions and the financial management of our branches.

Peter Risbey, a really innovative and stimulating speaker, motivated us all to do our best to involve lots of people in our community to help with Sailability. We were all in fits of laughter with his descriptions of the different types of Volunteers, as he not only knows all about volunteering, but is also an intuitive comedian.

Then it was dinnertime, and an evening of riveting entertainment, courtesy of Lucky Starr.

Our new patron, Liesl Tesch visited us at breakfast on Sunday morning. A great speech from John Price followed, inviting us all to ‘Come on Board’ to some of the jobs that need to be done in the next few months, followed by a description of the Canberra Sailability Australia Conference that had taken place at Easter 2013 helped direct us to the close of the conference.

We closed with discussions of some issues that had been raised by some of the branches during the weekend, and some consultation on what subjects we want for our next conference, which will take place in August, 2015, our 20 year anniversary.