SCONSW President’s Report
The 2018/19 Year was an active year for most of the member organisations of the Swedish Council of NSW. The Council’s main task continues to be coordination and cooperation of our members:
- The Swedish School in Sydney
- The Swedish Church
- The Swedish Club
- SiS – Swedish Women in Sydney
- SMiSK – Svenska Män i Sydney Klubben
- SACC – Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce
The Raoul Wallenberg debate was a key highlight of the year. We had almost 100 guests listening to the debate at the Waverley Library, where a very high quality panel discussed how Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy is still relevant today. Thank you to all the sponsors for the $400 each from the School, the Club, SiS, Nordlingarna, SACC and SCONSW itself. I believe we made this a very memorable evening for our all various members.
SCONSW meets on a quarterly basis, and is responsible for the administration of the joint web site swedesinsydney.org, where blog articles and the calendar for most things Swedish in Sydney can be found.
swedesinsydney.org published 48 blogs during the year, leading to almost 18,000 page visits, or an average of 49 per day. That represents a 16% increase on 2017/18. While this is not bad, we suspect that we still don’t reach many Swedes or those interested in Swedish events in Sydney.
Most visits to the website come through Facebook, where we create a link to every blog published, followed by our growing subscriber base, and then from search engines like Google. We estimate that we reach about 500 individuals through these channels, but as there are approximately 2,000 Swedish born residents in Sydney, we continue to seek ways to reach them as well.
If you enjoy one of our blogs, or find an interesting event on our calendar, please pass it on to your friends. We are proud of our blogs, which range from the informative to the stimulating and entertaining. I would like to make a special mention of the excellent blogs written by Carla Dickens, who writes something interesting every month, and gets more comments than any other blogger. Thank you Carla! (And by the way she loves to get feedback on her stories).
We also believe that our events calendar is an under-appreciated resource. It’s even possible for you to contribute any Swedish related events to our calendar – for all our benefits! We will add our events to the Facebook calendar as well, for ease of finding.
This is not the place to discuss all the individual groups’ activities during the year, but I would like to make a couple of comments.
The Church is still awaiting a replacement for Katja Lin, who moved to Melbourne almost 18 months ago. The delay is largely due to new, stricter visa rules in Australia, which is very frustrating, but the Church committee remains optimistic that a new pastor will be appointed this year. In the meantime, Katja makes regular visits to Sydney (thank you!), Café Svensson is open Wednesday afternoons/evenings and a small but dedicated group led by Birgitta Sharpe is keeping the Church going.
The Midsommar celebrations of 2018 did not go ahead, essentially due to a lack of helpers. SiS has carried the main load in organising this important cultural event over many years, but as the burden fell on an increasingly small group of people, who all work full time, they felt that it was too much. At the time of writing, Midsommar 2019 is also at risk…
I know that this was/is disappointing to many Swedes in Sydney, but it is a strong reminder to all of us in the community, that we cannot take these events for granted. I would urge more people to join one of our groups, to lend a hand. You will also discover the enjoyment of giving something back to the community, which is what motivates all of us volunteering in the various member organisations.
Finally, I want to say a big ”TACK” to all the lovely people doing lots of good stuff for the community. I know that all the activities are much appreciated by the silent majority.
- Swedish Council Annual Update
- Swedish church will be at the Danish Christmas market
- Introducing Sydney’s two new Consuls
- What’s on in May? På gång i maj!
- Win tickets to the Scandinavian Film Festival
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