On Saturday 22 October Co-op members, board and staff gathered at Katoomba’s Big Beet Café for the 2017 AGM, to celebrate another productive and collaborative year of the Co-op and elect two new board directors.
Co-op members at the 2017 AGM, Big Beet Katoomba
Highlights of 2017 included the Little Shop’s move to its larger Big Little Shop location, increased community engagement and education around sustainability, healthy eating and food growing and with our Plastic Free July events, Boomerang Bags launch, establishment of the Nourishing Families pilot program with North Katoomba Community Hub, and our ongoing weekly Wellness Wednesday initiative.
This year we have also had the support of an active volunteer research group who have helped us delve into some of the gnarly questions we never have time to follow up. With the approval of the board we will make their findings available on our website over the next year.
As always we are grateful for support of the many members who volunteer their time and skills to make the shop and organisation as a whole run smoothly, particularly our dedicated volunteer board chaired by Georgia Page.
Georgia paid tribute to outgoing board directors Beeby and Louise O’Halloran. Beeby served as a director for four years and has worked extensively with Co-op Manager Halin Neiuwenhuyse on reviewing and updating the Co-op’s broad range of policies. Beeby’s background is in community services, community management and education, and her contributions to the board’s deliberations were always well considered, fair and insightful. Louise was elected at the 2014 AGM and served as a director until July of this year. She brought very valuable governance experience from her time serving on the boards of other community organisations and her work in the environmental, social and community investment fields. Her big-picture thinking made for great contributions to board discussions. Our heartfelt thanks to them both for their time and commitment to the Co-op.
We welcome our two new board directors Rachel Hall and Narelle Wilson, elected at the 2017 AGM. Rachel is a qualified high school visual arts teacher and teacher librarian and a passionate advocate for family and community, sustainability and the future of food production. Narelle grows most of her own food with the help of pigs, chickens and bees on her small Blackheath property. She brings valuable accounting and business management skills to the board, and has previously served as a volunteer on the Co-op’s finance committee (2010–2015) and as a board director for a couple of years from 1997.
See the 2017 Annual Report here.
currently two Board Director positions vacant, to be decided by a vote at the 2017 Co-op AGM on Saturday 21 October. Full financial members as at 6 October are eligible to vote. The nominees are Rachel Hall, Deb Hurley and Narelle Wilson. Read about them below.
I have been a Co-op member for many years now. I enjoy cooking and sharing food with friends and family so being able to access a variety of fresh, organic produce is a big thing for me. I shop at the Co-op weekly with my children.
Aside from being passionate about food and trying to live sustainably, I am a homeschooling parent who has been actively volunteering in our homeschool community for at least 6 years. I have worked collaboratively with other parents to organise weekly workshops for our children, to put on creative and performing arts nights, and to organise events that celebrate and engage our homeschooling community. I truly LOVE working as part of a team. Community is something I value greatly.
I have tertiary qualifications as a High School Visual Arts Teacher, a Teacher Librarian and a Breastfeeding Educator. I have worked in a variety of schools and as a volunteer with The Australian Breasting Association as Group Leader for the Lower Blue Mountains Group.
I am a passionate advocate for family and community, and care deeply about sustainability and the future of food production. Appointment as Director of the Co-op would allow me to make a significant contribution to these things so close to my heart, as well as deepening my connection to the place that my family’s food comes from. It will also provide an opportunity for me to use my skills on meaningful activities that support our Blue Mountains community and promote sustainable, community focused living.