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2023-2024 Committee voted in at the 2023 National AGM.

Friday 18th-Sunday 20th August.

From Friday 18th to Sunday 20th August, 2023, the DSAA National AGM took place. As in previous years, we gathered at Tugun on the Gold Coast, an ideal location due to its easy airport access for delegates flying in from various states.

Delegates arrived at the Golden Riviera Beach Resort at staggered times on Friday afternoon, with some delayed until late Friday night. This led us to forego the usual barefoot bowls activity, allowing delegates to unwind at the resort and savor the picturesque Gold Coast winter.

Friday night's dinner provided an opportunity for us to chat, exchange branch stories, and once again relax at the accommodating Tugun Tavern, which ensured we were all well-fed and refreshed.

The official business of Saturday morning commenced at 9am in The Tom Atkin Hall, conveniently located next to our accommodation. Delegates were again seated in the popular round table format that we successfully trialed last year.

After the official welcome and a Welcome to Country by Ian Gay, the proceedings were overseen by returning officer Shane Henn. All National Committee roles were subject to voting and the 2023-2024 National Committee was elected as follows:

  • National President: Ian Gay

  • National Vice President: Dave Hancock

  • National Secretary: Phil Christie

  • National Treasurer: Shane Henn

After a brief overview of national reports by Ian Gay, founder Gary Blaschke delivered a founder's report. Additionally, Ross Batty (Gold Coast) was honored with Life Membership for his dedicated years of service to the DSA. Life Memberships were also bestowed upon Mick Hoskings and Jan Pyne.

Following a brief morning tea break, we engaged in our Open Forum format, enabling delegates to share information and updates while fostering open discussions and idea-sharing. After lunch, we reconvened for the tabled Open Forum topics, which were concluded by 2:30 pm. Once again, this format proved highly popular, and we anticipate its expansion and improvement each year.

After a short interlude, we had the privilege of listening to our keynote speaker, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM from Gold Coast University Hospital. Dinesh captivated us with his life journey, from growing up in Sri Lanka to moving to Australia, studying law and medicine, and overcoming the challenges of life as a quadriplegic after a 2010 car accident. Remarkably, Dinesh completed his medical studies and became a doctor, excelling in both his career and his advocacy for disability rights.

Following an inspiring talk and a brief Q&A session, every delegate felt both moved and motivated. You can read more about Dinesh's life and his amazing journey in his book "Stronger" - available in all good book stores.

The AGM officially adjourned at 3:30pm. Comprehensive minutes will be available on our website shortly.

The remainder of the day allowed us to unwind and enjoy the beach and pool, before a final dinner at The Tugun Tavern, followed by a friendly pool competition among various delegates.

Once again, the weekend proved to be an unequivocal success!!!

We have already scheduled next year's AGM Weekend for 16th to 18th August, 2024.


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