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President's report

Kate Evans (OW1998) President of the OWCA speaking at this year’s Founders’ Day Dinner

Season’s greetings to all. The OWCA has been as productive and progressive as possible during the last year, despite the continuation of the global pandemic. As we have set out in our OWCA five-year strategic plan, we aim to be relevant, delivering tailored activity for our community. We continued with developing a sense of community for our OWs online, due to the restrictions. I acknowledge the hard work that our Executive and Operations teams have accomplished in pivoting so quickly during the last two years, thank you!

The OWCA held their Annual General Meeting, virtually, back in September and it was hailed our best one yet. We had the pleasure of welcoming four new Board members onto the committee. Rob Lancaster (OW1982) as our new Treasurer, Vibeke Pederson (OW1996), Kunal Rastogi (OW2002) and Alessia Francese (OW2016). We look forward to welcoming them much more appropriately, and officially, when we can come together as an Executive in the same meeting room.

We also farewelled and acknowledged two very special board members, both who have tirelessly contributed to our organisation over the past few years:

Past Co-President Belinda Danks-Woodley (OW2004), who brought her strategic lens to all OWCA matters, particularly across key turning points of our Association; we would not have been able to produce our five-year strategic plan without her. We will miss her intellect, professionalism and polish.

Considerable thanks must go to former Treasurer Chris Foster-Ramsay (OW1999), whose unfaltering commitment and efforts to all things Wesley and OWCA have been greatly appreciated. He brought a clarity and structure to our finances as an organisation that we have never had before. Many thanks Chris!

We have seen the successful continuation of our ‘OWCA at home webinars’, connecting OWs with professionals who have been able to share, advise, provoke and enlighten. Our third Women of Wesley (WOW) event was held in August, featuring female OW Olympians and hosted by celebrated triathlete Emma Carney (OW1989). It proved popular and was such a timely, feel-good event. And another exciting and ‘fashionable’ WOW webinar was held in October by Lisa Stockman (OW1992), helping women to reconnect with our personal style after a year and a half of wearing activewear.

The next 12 months will see us focus on further promoting our OWConnect app, executing our next round of goals in accordance with our five-year strategic plan (which includes further refining our networking/event offering) and further developing our OWCA ‘Culture Code’, as driven by our passionate Vice-President David Kennedy (OW1967). Finally, we hope to further build on the progress we have made regarding social media across our platforms of Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn – if you aren’t following us there, please do.

We hope that the OWCA event calendar for 2022 will be packed full of reunions and celebration – and that we will be getting back to doing what we love – providing you with the opportunity to connect and network within our community.

Our hearts go out to the graduating ‘Class of 2021’ for all the memorable traditions they have missed as a result of the continuation of COVID-19. We look forward to supporting them as much as possible as they transition into the next stage of their life, and formally welcoming them into the OWCA when we can.

The past year has again been an honour and a pleasure serving Wesley College and the OWCA as President. Best wishes for the festive season and sending much positivity for the year ahead from the OWCA.

#oldwesleycollegians #bleedingpurpleandgold #WomenofWesley #FDD2021

Kate Evans (OW1998)

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