RCAG Meeting 20/9/2017

Ruffy Community Meeting

20 September 2017, 7.30 pm at Tablelands Community Centre, Ruffy


  1. Welcome, The President, Erwin Weinmann, welcomed everyone to this meeting and extended a special welcome to Cr Alistair Thomson.

Present: Cr Alistair Thomson, Cathy Artridge, Gerry Ginnivan, Justus Hagen, Kerry Hewlett, Rob Jamieson, Bronwyn Jamieson, Anne Laherty-Hunt, Melissa McDowall, James Moore, George Noye, Henry Noye, Felicity Sloman, Pam Sprunt, Erwin and Verena Weinmann

Apologies: Don Cook, Tracey Reid

  1. Introduction (What is this meeting about?)

The President explained that this meeting is a follow-up from the Community Forum last month where inputs into a new Ruffy Community Plan were discussed. The meeting includes three parts:

  • (i). To wrap up the business of the existing Action Group

  • (ii).To discuss the role and make-up of the new Ruffy Community Planning Reference Group and to then form the new Group

  • (iii). For the newly formed Group to elect its office bearers and to sign the ‘Charter’ that governs its operation

  1. Wrapping up of existing Ruffy Community Action Group

The President explained that this part of the meeting was instead of the AGM of the old Action Group and was required to wrap up the RCAG business of the 2016/17 financial year. The minutes of this part of the meeting will be passed on to the Shire.

  • (i). Minutes of last AGM (5 August 2016)
    The minutes of last year’s AGM were confirmed and accepted (moved by Kerry Hewlett, seconded by George Noye). Minutes were signed by the President.

  • (ii). President’s Report
    The President read his report which highlighted the activities undertaken by the Action Group in 2016/17 and the contribution made towards establishing the new Community Planning Reference Group. He also thanked all the members of the Action Group who had worked over the years to make Ruffy an even better place to live, and acknowledged the support received from Shire Representatives. A copy of the Presidents Report is attached (Appendix 1).
    Erwin Weinmann moved that the President’s Report be accepted, seconded by Pam Sprunt.

  • (iii). Treasurer’s Report
    Treasurer Kerry Hewlett presented the financial report for 2016/17 (see Appendix 2)

    • Working balance at bank 01/07/16 $8,098.21

    • Working balance at bank 30/06/17: $5,286.27

Kerry explained that during the financial year the walking track funds held in the RCAG account for a number of years ($4,443.77 remaining) had been transferred to the Hughes Creek Catchment Collaborative.

An additional financial report dated 20/09/17 (see Appendix 3) showed expenditure of $938.60 for the Ruffy Community Forum of 4th August 2017, leaving a working balance of $4,347.67 for handing over to the Treasurer of the new Ruffy Community Planning Reference Group.

Kerry Hewlett then moved that the reports be accepted, seconded by Henry Noye.

With this formal business of the old Action Group being finalised, the President declared the existing Ruffy Community Action Group dissolved. The RCAG Secretary and Treasurer will hand over their records to the office bearers of the new Reference Group. Verena suggested that it might be time to create an archive for RCAG records.

  1. The new Ruffy Community Planning Reference Group (new RCAG)
    (What are its responsibilities and how will it operate?)

The President explained that the new group could continue to operate under the name ‘Ruffy Community Action Group’, as the term ‘Community Planning Reference Group’ referred to the Shire’s adopted model (replacing Section 86 Committees) rather than the group’s name.

To inform potential members of the new RCAG, the President explained that the operation of the group will be guided by the ‘Charter’ (copies tabled and a copy distributed with these minutes). He then read the most relevant parts of this Charter, and clarified that the term ‘Committee’ referred to the whole Reference Group not just the office bearers. Importantly, the composition of the Committee should be such as to be ‘representative of a range of local community groups’. While meetings are open to the public, decisions will be made and voted on by members of the Committee only.

Cr Thomson added that the Ruffy Community Action Group could essentially continue to operate as it had in the past under this new Charter.

The Charter is supplemented by the ‘Community Planning Program Guidelines. These spell out how the funding allocation by the Shire ($6,180 for the 2017/18 financial year plus unspent money from the previous financial year) should be spent in accordance with the ‘Community Plan’ and the ‘Annual Action Plan’. These requirements are clearly explained and should make it easy to comply with, without too much admin effort.

  1. Representation on the new RCAG
    (Discussion of most appropriate form of representation, then formal motion)

The President explained that, for the Action Group to be broadly representative, the Charter indicated two different forms of representation: (i) those members who represented community groups and (ii) ‘public members’ who represented themselves or a particular interest group. This meeting should pass a motion tonight on what it considers to be the appropriate number and mix of the two types of representatives. It would also be desirable for a new committee to be formed tonight. The list of Committee members and their contact details will need to be submitted to the Shire within 7 days.

There was considerable discussion about representation from the different community groups. The point was made that the interests of different community members and expert inputs could be considered by the Committee without these interests being directly represented through membership on the Committee. Cr Thomson added that his experience had shown that a larger committee could provide democratic representation and still operate efficiently.

A number of options for the composition of the Committee were discussed and different motions formulated. After consideration of the implications for election of office bearers, the President put the following final motion on the composition of the new Reference Group:

“The membership of the Ruffy Community Planning Reference Group will comprise representatives of the following community groups: the TCC, the Ruffy Hall, RuffArtZ, Ruffy CFA, Ruffy Recreation Reserve/Ruffy Adult Riders combined and possibly the Local Neighbourhood Watch Group, plus five ‘public members’.” Motion seconded by George Noye and carried.

  1. Nominations for Membership

The nominations for community group representations are as follows:

Community Group Nominated Representative Tablelands Community Centre Justus Hagen Ruffy Hall Henry Noye RuffArtZ Rob Jamieson Ruffy CFA George Noye Ruffy Rec Reserve/Adult Riders Pam Sprunt Local Neighbourhood Watch to be decided

Regarding confirmation of these nominations, Cr Thomson commented that the Charter allowed a Committee member to resign his/her position at any time and the Committee to appoint a person to fill the vacancy created.

The President then asked for nominations for ‘public members’ of the new Committee. The following nominations were received:

Nominated ‘Public Member’ Nominated by Felicity Sloman Pam Sprunt David Sleigh Justus Hagen Cathy Artridge Erwin Weinmann Kerry Hewlett (declined) Verena Weinmann Anne Laherty-Hunt Cathy Artridge Melissa McDowall Rob Jamieson

As there was the same number of nominations as positions, the President declared all the nominated people as elected members of the Ruffy Community Planning Reference Group and congratulated them on their election.

The President then handed over the chairmanship of the meeting to Cr Alistair Thomson for the election of office bearers of the new Committee.

Cr Thomson started with a vote of thanks to the outgoing RCAG Committee, especially its President Erwin Weinmann and Secretary Verena Weinmann, for the work they had done on behalf of the Ruffy community over many years.

  1. Election of Office Bearers

The interim chair invited nominations for the four office bearer positions:

Chairperson:                 Rob Jamieson, nominated by Justus Hagen

Vice Chairperson:         Felicity Sloman, nominated by Verena Weinmann

Secretary:                      Melissa McDowall, as interim Secretary, nominated by Pam Sprunt

Treasurer:                     Anne Laherty-Hunt, nominated by Erwin Weinmann

The Interim Chair declared the four office bearers elected and congratulated them.

Melissa McDowall clarified that as the interim Secretary she would be happy to do the minutes and general correspondence but that writing up of the Community Plan would be a task for the whole Committee.

The future of the Ruffy Community Website was discussed and Cathy Artridge indicated that she would be happy to continue in this role. Felicity Sloman offered to support Cathy in this role.

The Interim Chair then handed over to the newly elected Chairperson, Rob Jamieson, to conduct the remainder of the meeting.

This part of the meeting concluded at 9 pm.

Minutes prepared by: Erwin and Verena Weinmann, 26 September 2017


Appendix 1

Ruffy Community Action Group – Final Meeting, 20 Sept 2017

President’s Report 2016-17

Since my last President’s Report in August 2016, the operation of the Ruffy Community Action Group has been strongly affected by uncertainty about the future of the Action Groups in the Shire of Strathbogie. In this situation, an important role played by our Action Group was to keep the community informed about proposed changes, to receive feedback from the Ruffy community and to pass this on to the Shire. In this way RCAG has made a significant contribution to the development of a workable new model, and there is now a clear way ahead for the Action Groups in the new format of Community Planning Reference Groups.

Over the past year the Action Group has used its funding allocation from the Shire to work on a number of projects. Thanks to the generous help from RG Sheds and George Noye, the Boathole area has now a new picnic table and benches. Plans for further improvements at this site are still under discussion. The Historic Signs project has also been further developed but still needs to be finalised and implemented. And the Ruffy Community website continues to inform our community and visitors about what is happening in Ruffy.

As in previous years, RCAG funding has supported a range of projects undertaken by the various community groups in Ruffy. This year the main theme was kitchen upgrades, and we have contributed to improvements in the kitchens of the Recreation Reserve, the Tablelands Community Centre and the Ruffy Hall. The long running Streetscape Plan has received another addition through funding of a watering systems for the plantings along the main street. Finally, the Ruffy Artfest held last November also benefitted from a funding contribution.

I would like to thank all the members of the Ruffy Community Action Group who have worked over the years towards making Ruffy an even better place to live, especially Justus Hagen as Vice-President and former President, Verena Weinmann as Secretary, Kerry Hewlett as Treasurer and Cathy Artridge as Webmaster. I would also like to acknowledge the support received from the Strathbogie Shire Council through its various representatives.

Looking forward, a large number of community members took part in the Community Forum last month which developed the basis for a new Ruffy Community Plan – a promising sign that the Ruffy community will continue to take an active interest in planning for its future. I hope that a good number of people will step forward to be part of the new Ruffy Community Planning Reference Group. Making this relatively small personal commitment is important if the Ruffy community wants to achieve the aspirations expressed at the Community Forum.


Erwin Weinmann

Jacqui Hagen