The Swedish Council of NSW (SCONSW) held its AGM on the 19th of May 2020, and as the retiring President I would like to update the community on our activities and purpose.
For some of our member organisations, memberships were down, activity levels reduced, and even some financial stress felt. And that was even before the corona virus really disrupted life as we knew it. However, a couple of our member organisations have done better, and we are pleased to welcome SWEA Sydney-Adelaide-Canberra (an international association for Swedish and Swedish speaking women) as a new member of SCONSW. It is not every year that a new Swedish organisation is formed in Sydney, so that is a noteworthy event!
These are the organisations currently actively participating in SCONSW:
- The Swedish School in Sydney
- The Swedish Church in Sydney
- The Swedish Club
- SiS – Swedish Women in Sydney
- SWEA International (SAC)
- SMiSK – Svenska Män i Sydney Klubben
- SACC – Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce
The Council’s main task is the coordination and cooperation of our members activities, with an emphasis on major, joint events. The Council also manages the web site www.swedesinsydney.org, where blog articles and an events calendar for most things Swedish in Sydney can be found.
The web site and our Facebook page has seen some increase in engagement with the community, but not to the extent that we had hoped. We average 55 page visits per day, with about 500 regular visitors, an increase of about 10% on the previous year. However, this indicates that we still don’t reach the majority of the estimated 2,000 permanent resident Swedes in Sydney, not to mention others interested in Swedish events.
The Council has sought to redefine its role and purpose during the year, with general agreement that SCONSW is primarily to act as a coordinator of major events such as the Raoul Wallenberg exhibition last year, or the Solander Day which was planned for April but has been postponed due to the current health restrictions. Our next priority is the events calendar, which should be a very valuable resource.
The blog articles appear to be less important to the community, and can be described as a “nice to have” rather than a “must have”. We do want the blog articles to continue, and anyone wishing to contribute a story is welcome to participate. Just let us know through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some community members have asked for our previous newsletter “Kvintessen” to be reinstated, which would be great. If there is an interested person out there willing to take on an editorial role for a regular Swedish community newsletter, we would love to hear from you!
The future SCONSW will see a change of leadership, as I am stepping down as President after 5 years on the Council, and 3 years as President.
Marie Alricsdotter is also retiring as our Treasurer/Public Officer, a position she has held for 11 years. Prior to that she was our President, and originally joined the Council as a SiS representative for some years. That is a massive contribution to our community, and I extend a very big thank you to Marie for her reliable, sensible and supportive service to us all.
Our Secretary Anders Mangen has also advised that he wishes to step down from his role, and I thank him for his excellent minutes from all the meetings we have had over the last couple of years.
Finally, I want to thank my friends on the Council, and all the volunteers in the Swedish community. Without your efforts our lives would be much poorer. A big TACK to you all!
President SCONSW 2017-2020
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