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2023 Aroid Society of Australia Annual General Meeting Minutes


Date:          14th September 2023, 8:30pm


Location:   Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens Auditorium



Aaron Urquhart

Andrew Baker

Maddy Furness

Paolo Avinante

Lee Thorneycroft

Cat Bennett

Leanne Bennett

Gabrielle Harland

Stan Walkley

Bruce Dunstan

Alan Phythian

Doug Spring

Stephen Bartlett

Stephen Flood

Kim Hunter

Jenny Felton

Rachael Gray

Sandra Kane

Ian Sturgess

Emmaleigh Muddle

Barry Kable

Zac Mansfield

Dominic Kain

Greg Ure

Jade Browne

Chris Hood

Rod Filmer

Peter Starkey

Thulasia Raja

Ashley Clarke



-   Jacqueline Kvello

-   Alexia Loader

-   Jenny Felton


General Meetup 


Welcome by the Interim President  

-   References to the emailed apologies to email and opened to the floor for any more apologies

-   Thanks to Cat and Leanne for continual support providing the supper for members


Suspend General Meetup at 1847 and Start AGM 


In the normal running of an AGM, we would present the President's report, the Treasurer's report, and the minutes from the last meeting.


Previous minutes presented

-   No objections were made and the motion was moved by Paolo Avinante and seconded by Sandra Darling


Presidents report


I’d like to thank all the member and guests who have attended tonight’s AGM


I have been the interim president as voted by the committee since December 2022 due to Jacobs resignation from to his change in work commitments.


Over the last 12 months the society has been focused on attempting to return the society to its pre COVID19 state, which in result has seen a return to our regular in person meet ups with an increased frequency across most states and or territories. Earlier this year the committee voted unanimously on the introduction of a membership management software “Joint it”. Members may now notice that communication via emails now is completed through this software and has reduced the administration time by our membership team by about ¾. It has also been fabulous to see a majority of our members continue to support the society with our membership renewals remaining strong even with the tailing off of the "Aroid hype" experienced in the COVID years and the inflationary pressures placed on the economy and peoples spending budgets.


We have also recently launched our website and biannual publication “Aroida Australis” with the help of our editor in chief Liz. I would like to thank those members and guests who have contributed in any way shape or form to the content produced in this and the previous issue. If you have any ideas for content or would like to contribute, please let Liz know by reaching out to her by email at


As for the website, you all may notice that it has lacked a members only area which we so desperately crave. Post Dr Croat’s visit the society’s goal is to establish this members only area where we can post a member directory as well as provide exclusive and share online content from our guest speaker’s as well as content form the IAS and EAS


As you all may be well aware of (unless you recently joined the society) the committee has been hard at work fundraising with the goal of being able to bring Dr Tom Croat over to tour Australia and provide what can only be summaries as “probably the best guest speaker in the world” (apologies to previous guest speakers). I’d like to thank the committee, volunteers and those, be it business, members and or others who have assisted in the efforts for this fundraising.


It's been great to see all the pictures and hear all the stories of members enjoying themselves at the various meet ups, garden visits and other events throughout the country. We're really excited to be continuing to bring these awesome events to members and can't wait to share with you what we have planned with our upcoming visit by Dr Tom Croat (more on this later tonight)


I would also like to thank you, our members, who continue to engage with the society, be that renewing membership, attending events and even contributing to our Facebook pages. The society is always looking for ways to engage members and encourages you all to participate in any way you can. At the end of the day; the Aroid Society is YOUR society!


Once again it is with gratitude that we thank the Committee Members, numerous Volunteers, State Representatives and those who have donated prizes. This cohort has really helped the society begin to flourish again and it's great to see some new faces volunteering at our various meetups!


A massive thanks and congratulations go out to all of our previous Office Bearers, State Representatives and general committee members for all their contributions over the years in growing our Society from humble beginnings to the nation wide club we are today.


I would like to finish by acknowledging the passing of Michael Pascal a few months ago. Michael was the very first president ever elected by the members of the ASA and to this date is the only president to have held office for the maximum of three years.


Michael was always there to assist the committee in any ways shapes or form and his dry humour and casual nature was sometimes the highlight of an occasional heated debate in our committee meetings.


I know that without having listened to Michael spruke the ASA on an Australian based plant podcast back in 2019; I may never have found myself standing where I am right now!


Rest easy our dear friend 


No objections were made and the motion was moved by Aaron Urquhart and seconded by Alan Phythian.


Treasurers Report


Paolo presenting the financial updates of the society with the society starting the financial year at $35,750 with the total income for the year being $59,931which was about $10,00 less than previous years which is expected given the drop off in sales income. The Society has tried to find ways to raise funds for the Tom Croat Fund. There is about 2,350 raised for this financial year and previous financial year there was about $2,150 to cover his travel and accommodation expenses. The society is aiming for about $5,000 to be able to fund the trip.


We also saw a large increase in membership fees from the last financial year which has really helped financially to run the society. The expenses also again dropped considerably due to the society heavily investing in assets the previous years. The society focused on sustaining and maintaining the current assets we have. The main expenses for the year are related to the Tom Croat trip. Branding and marketing were about $1,500, venue hire and catering $3,110 which has led to the net position of the society being about $10,00. These numbers are not indicative of any expense past July 1st 2023 and will be captured in next years financial report. The closing balance of the society in the bank account as of June 30th $36,096. The timing of payments are not captured within this financial report and the surplus does not necessary constitute as a benefit or gain for the society. Any questions? Nil questions


No objections were made and the motion was moved by Andrew baker and seconded by Kim Hunter


Lee Thorneycroft invited to conclude the remainder of the AGM.


Welcome everyone I’m Lee, thankyou Andy. For all those who aren’t nominating for re-election we wish you well and hope to see you at the next meet ups. For those wondering why no-one is taking notes; the meeting is being recorded and to be transcribed at a later date and emailed to all committee members. The other process that normally runs during an AGM is that the existing committee disbands and the new committee steps up for their positions. 


All committee positions declared vacant.


It is therefore, without further ado, that I announce your new committee:


•   President/chairperson: Andrew Baker – QLD. 1st Diane Tran, 2nd Brendon Shoon.

•   Vice-President/ Vice-chairperson: VACANT – To be filled at first committee meeting

•   Secretary: Madellaine Furness –QLD. 1st Kate Scanlon, 2nd Andrew Baker.

•   Assistant Secretary: Aaron Urquhart – QLD. 1st Diane Tran, 2nd Andrew Baker.

•   Treasurer: Emma Spiteri – VIC. 1st Kate Scanlon, 2nd Diane Tran

General Committee

•   FNQ Rep: Blake Jolly. 1st Andrew Baker. 2nd Diane Tran.

•   SEQ Rep: Andrew Baker. 1st Diane Tran, 2nd Brendon Shoon.

•   NSW Rep: Brendon Shoon. 1st Diane Tran, 2nd Andrew Baker.

•   VIC Rep: Danny Nguyen. 1st Kate Scanlon, 2nd Diane Tran.

•   Tas Rep: Brodie Mc Henry. 1st Kate Scanlon, 2nd Andrew Baker.

•   SA Rep: Loretta Morandin. 1st Keith Bradyberg, 2nd Jess Schinella.

•   WA Rep: Brocc Rogers. 1st Stuart Taylor, 2nd Andrew Baker.

•   NT Rep: VACANT

•   Editor: Liz Showniruk – FNQ. 1st Kate Scanlon, 2nd Andrew Baker.

•   Special Projects Coordinator: Kate Scanlon -VIC. 1st Andrew Baker, 2nd Jess Schinella.

•   Liaison Officer: Jess Schinella – SA.1st Loretta Morandin, 2nd Keith Bradyberg.



The new committee will step up after the objection period has passed. Unfortunately the Northern Territory Rep, North Queensland rep and the Western Australia Rep positions was not able to filled. This means we will open the floor to anyone interested,


Interruption: Andrew Baker: We received late nominations for the North Queensland rep and the Western Australia Rep by Blake Jolly and Brocc Rogers respectively.


Lee: is there any objections to these positions and everyone’s happy with the new nominees? Welcome new committee


The ASA declares that it holds public liability insurance for $20M. 

All positions were made vacant, the new committee has been elected. The AGM is closed at 1907. I now welcome Andrew, the president to the chair


Resume general meeting

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