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President’s report

President’s Report – February 2020

I reflect on my OHNNG 2019 year with a sense of pride and a small measure of disappointment. The year has seen many successful events hosted by the OHNNG state representatives which have benefited many members and their colleagues; however, the disappointment arises from unachieved goals and the best of intentions lost in the vapour of life.

We hosted educational events in all capital cities this year. Attendance across the board has been rewarding and the response from delegates overwhelmingly positive. We are surely on the right track; my aim however would be to offer more of the same and offer educational opportunities at centres outside the capital cities.

The 2019 conference was a success in every measure. The camaraderie was genuine and made this conference (perhaps because it was my hometown) personally enjoyable. The annual conference is most definitely a challenge to prepare and it is heart-warming to receive glowing reports of how much it was enjoyed both professionally and personally.

OHHNG have remained represented at the Coalition of National Nursing and Midwifery Organisations. Meeting are held twice a year and our South Australian coordinator and past president Tracey Nichols has a duel role of representing OHNNG and as the Organisations Deputy Chair. We also continue our Bronze affiliation with the Australian College of Nursing and our Secretary, Virginia Thomson represented OHHNG at the National Forum in Hobart.

At the OHNNG midyear general meeting the decision was made to resign as members of the World Continuing Education Alliance. Factors including difficulties with our website, lack of activity, increasing compliance costs and lack of valuable content were discussed and weighed heavily toward a unanimous vote to resign from the organisation.

Our website has also had it challenges throughout the year and is an ongoing time-consuming entity. As this is virtually our home base – this is something that requires frequent attention. We have engaged a new website developer and host who will take over the site in the coming months. I envisage this will improve the user experience and improve both reliability and responsiveness. I am hopeful that communication with members will be enhance, similarly with social media interaction.

Throughout this year I have made contact with a Pacific Island group of nurses – 6 of which are now OHNNG members. I hope in time we will have the opportunity to meet and assist them in achieving their educational goals. In addition, I have become a member and written an article for the (American) Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Nurses Inc. journal. I hope this burgeoning relationship will become mutually beneficial, the Education material offered on their website is available to all nurses and provides an opportunity that we are not in a position to offer at this point.

The strongest sense of disappointment stems from the lack of newsletters to members. I consider this to be a vital component of communication with our members which has been sadly lacking again this year. It will again be one of my aims to improve this sector of the group in the coming year.

Positively, the conclusion was made at the mid-year general meeting to renew our group’s constitution. It had been assessed by the Associations Forum in 2018 and the amendments were so comprehensive that a new instead of renewed constitution was deemed necessary. With the help of Madeline Fischer, our NSW representative and Tracey Nichols, we drafted a new document which at this point is yet to be ratified by a constitutional law firm. I hoped to have this done before the AGM – for approval and acceptance at that meeting. Unfortunately, the lawyers timeline was not as timely as I had hoped and the revision required is extensive – this document will be available for your perusal 90 days prior to the next AGM. Likewise, the Governance document which will accompany the new constitution is a formidable document which is currently a work in progress.

Financially we are holding steady – the balance sheet showing a fairly meagre profit over the 12-month period. This is my preferred position – creating and hosting quality events without depleting our reserves. Membership is up marginally which I expect will continue to improve over time with the now relatively efficient renewal reminder.

Currently we have representatives in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Our NSW representative has submitted her resignation and will be moving on to a fresh new legal career. Lisa, our long standing Coordinator in Tasmania has also resigned – her blossoming ear clinic business has broadened to become a national entity and that by necessity must take priority. Therefore I seek applications for the NSW and Tasmanian OHNNG coordinator position and the vacant position in Western Australia. Being an OHNNG representative is both a challenging and rewarding position, providing the opportunity to develop many new skills and professional achievements. I encourage all members to consider these positions.

I’m sure 2020 will bring new challenges for us all. I hope I can meet the challenges more successfully than last year and that OHNNG provides you the support, education and sense of belonging that our members have come to embrace.

Cheryl Kelly

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