Photo: Dominika Debska, 2015
As you will be aware, 2020 has been one of our most challenging years for the Association and the Blazing Swan community as a whole. Most notably for the event itself, our 2020 cancellation due to COVID-19 and the ensuing matter of refunds which saw our association and the event enter a very uncertain future and has, understandably, provided much discussion and debate in the community.
It is now with sadness that we announce that in the last 4 weeks we have seen a significant number of resignations from Blazing Swan Committee Members. The resignations were as follows;
- Vida Barrett (Chair)
- Sharon Banks (Vice-Chair)
- Alana Meade (Treasurer)
- Sonia Vivienne-Thorpe
- Tim Viljoen
- Neesha Peacock
- Brooke Andrews
- Ryan Linkowski
- Karen Becker
Firstly, we wish to thank each and every Committee Member for their time, passion, efforts and energies for Blazing Swan.
For some, they had gifted their service for a number of years either as part of our volunteer team before stepping up to Committee. For others, they had recently joined the Committee looking to make a difference and stepped up to the cause. On behalf of the community and our membership, a deep heartfelt thank you.
To our community receiving this news, we recognise that this is a long list of names, and that it may create questions and further uncertainty from the community. And, in light of what has happened and that one of our core values is honesty, we are communicating this change and doing our best to provide some explanation, but that the communication is balanced with care; respecting the decisions, values and opinions of those departing.
These Committee Members made the difficult decision to step down for various reasons; some identified personal reasons, others that the volunteering environment did not align to personal values and for others that expectations and aspirations of others did not meet their own personal vision.
We should recognise that we have a very diverse community, everyone who volunteers balances their working and personal life with ‘Blaze time’ and that ultimately whilst we elect our Committee members through process, often, they have not worked together until they reach the Committee itself. It’s a lot of things to mix and balance, and it doesn’t always work out how we had hoped.
It is important for all of us in this beautiful community to keep in mind that despite making this tough call to step away, each of these members has contributed in outstanding ways for both the event, association and our community, and for that we are grateful. We can only imagine how hard that decision process would have been.
Volunteering for Blazing Swan, and especially as a Committee member, can be time intensive and at times, a challenging environment to be involved in. But despite this loss, we are reminded how many incredible achievements the Committee made together, including a successful 2019 event, a working recovery from the 2020 event cancellation, development and implementation of a range of new policies and procedures that will help the association going forward, a delegation structure that helped bring strength and new passion to the event, as well as most recently, the successful Blazetacular fundraiser event, to name just a few.
With that in mind, we’d like you all to join us in thanking these members and send them deep gratitude for their spectacular contributions to Blazing Swan.
As we look forward to our future, an SGM has already been held with the membership and Blazing Swan has formed a new committee. Their introduction will come in the following weeks, but for the moment we again, we thank our outgoing Committee Members and look forward to continuing to build our future.
Thank you for your continued support
Blazing Swan Committee