THE unexpected resignation of key Dromana Australia Day committee members has forced the scheduling of an annual meeting to find replacements.
The president, treasurer and six members of the committee unexpectedly quit on the night of the debriefing for the Thursday 26 January event, followed by another a couple of days later.
Their resignations have prompted a plea by long-time office bearer and former president Ray Barnard-Brown for new faces.
“They are all a great loss as each has made a significant contribution to the successful Dromana Australia Day event,” he said.
“We now need to replace them, together with some others who also decided that they had given enough time to the project.”
Mr Barnard-Brown will act as interim vice-president until a new committee is elected at the annual meeting. He said the body was incorporated with Consumer Affairs Victoria on 6 January and cannot continue until a new president is elected.
Former president Val Jarman said she had “well and truly worked hard on the event” over the past 14 years “including this, the transition year, when the shire handed back management [of the event] and that stirred things up a little”.
Mrs Jarman said she was “not involved in anyone else’s decision – only my own”.
“It’s got to the stage where change will be good,” she said.
Former treasurer Rick Plummer has shifted his focus to the construction of the Dromana Men’s Shed, of which he is vice-president. “It is almost complete and taking up much of my time,” he said, adding that he had been on the Australia Day committee for 13 years. “I didn’t feel that I had sufficient time to give to the event.”
The Australia Day celebrations in Dromana have run for 11 years, with Mr Barnard-Brown describing them as the “major community event on Australia Day on the Mornington Peninsula”.
“We hope that one of the first things that the new incorporated organisation will undertake is a review of the whole program to see which, if any, events should be culled to reduce the workload of the committee without detracting from the appeal of the event,” he said.
“Remember that we are not starting from scratch but from a very successful and popular event that attracts in excess of 2000 people.”
The meeting to elect a new committee is at 7.30pm, Monday 10 April, in the Old Shire Offices, Dromana.