Volume 2 - Issue 3 - December 2012

Friday 7th December 2012

2012 ... The Year that Was

With the end of the school year, students looking forward to a break, and graduates embarking into the workforce or undertaking further studies, all wondering what awaits them, some reflection is in order. But first ... another year is over and we can all put our feet up, at least for a while!

On a more serious note, after a somewhat uncertain start during 2011 where the Alumni Association was still defining its goals and objectives, gathering old student records - a comedy of frustration and lots of hard work - and undertaking development of its website, 2012 kicked off with a firm mission statement and plan of activities for the year. The core Committee members were ready to roll up their sleeves and implement the program - at least that was the theory. As with all plans, they didn’t quite work out when confronted with reality. There were setbacks, but with growing support from Genevieve Simson, College Principal, things got done, and sometimes we even had fun. As always, there was more work than people available to do it. Getting the Association known among past and present students, and recruiting more members is still an ongoing challenge.

So, what did happen during the year?

After an aborted attempt during 2011, the Alumni Association held its Annual General Meeting in April. It wasn’t large as these things go, but the event confirmed office holders and discussed activities for 2012.

The Association met ten times during the year, planning activities, initiating action, monitoring progress, and overcoming stumbling blocks. Sometimes those were daunting, but looking back, things were resolved satisfactorily - most of the time.

Our website went online in February, providing past and present students and staff a window into Association activities, allowing people to register as members, view the membership database, and read about latest news and events. The website also gave the Committee a powerful tool to manage the student database and general website pages.

A lot of work was put in by Barrrie Bowers and others to compile past student records and upload them to the Association database. This is still an ongoing activity. Starting with records from the St. Albans Technical School, the database now holds over 4,700 records, incorporating Jamieson Park College, Brimbank College, and VUSC. Work is underway to incorporate records from the Deer Park campus.

In April, an informal gathering of 2010 students was held at the Brimbank campus, giving everyone an opportunity to network and learn something about the Alumni Association. We were also looking for someone to be the Association Facebook administrator - and we are still looking. If interested, email the Association Secretary.

A major activity that took a lot of everyone’s effort was participating in the planning and organizing of the 50th Jubilee in August, celebrating the transformation of the St. Albans Technical School, opened in 1962, into what is now the VUSC college, incorporating the Brimbank campus, Deer Park and Kealba Secondary Colleges. This required ringing past students, updating email addresses, mailouts by the college, and lots more. The list was worrying. Much hard work by Luisa Fletcher, the college event coordinator, ensured the success of the dinner dance and open school day, giving past students, staff and parents an opportunity to network and view memorabilia from times past. A DVD of the event is available for purchase.

It took a while and some haggling with VUSC administration, but the Association managed to secure an office and the college IT department provided a computer.

With a lot of foraging, we also managed to secure two display cabinets and collect memorabilia dating back to 1962, which includes an old uniform, badges, plaques and awards, and lots of photographs. These are on display at the entrance to the Brimbank campus main office and the Association office.

Utilizing member contributions, it was with pleasure that the Association provided an award of $150 to be given to a student at the Brimbank and Deer Park campuses as part of the Awards Ceremony to be held on 18 December at the Flemington racecourse. This is a modest contribution by the Association, but one that will grow next year.

For those who did not attend the December Association meeting, the last for the year, you missed out on some lively discussions, which were followed by flowing wine, snacks, and much good will. Make an effort next time!

It is important to appreciate that the monthly Association meetings are not simply a gathering of Committee members where we chat about ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have this or that’, sip coffee or complain about why something cannot be done. We do that, of course, but serious work is also done as our achievements for the year demonstrate. We can always use more help, not only to achieve more, but generate ideas to grow the Association and further its objectives with the involvement of VUSC administration. You have ideas and you want to contribute, make a difference? Attend our meetings!

What does 2013 hold for the Association?

Formative planning is already underway to hold a reunion of students for the class of 1993 sometime in March or April. Details will be circulated through the College Newsletter and the Association website in February. Reunions are also planned for classes of 1963, 1973, 1983 and 2003. Lots of work involved with all of them and volunteers to help would be gratefully accepted.

The Association will actively support the VUSC college initiative to place students for work experience in July, and more permanent work during the year by linking students with potential employers.

On a more mundane, but equally important level, there will be an ongoing drive to update the student records database, carry out upgrades to the Association website, and update our capability to contact past students and staff, alerting them about our activities and upcoming functions. As always, attend our meetings and become involved. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month at the Brimbank VUSC campus college staff room, James St. Renew your membership or become a new member! Download the form from the Contact Us part of our website.

The VUSC Alumni Association wishes everybody a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Email: vuscassociation@hotmail.com

Website: http://alumni.vusc.vic.edu.au