Sunday, August 14, 2016

2015/2016 RMSA President’s Report (Aug 2016)

Extracts from Ian Doyle’s 2015/2016 RMSA President’s Report
Presented to 2016 RMSA AGM

When I think of 2015/2016, I think of fewer and better - fewer meetings and bigger and better audiences. I think generally we achieved our aim of providing quality speakers to talk about relevant and current topics of interest to our Members and Corporate supporters.

I've always been of the opinion we need to ensure the cost of attending our functions is reasonable for Members and guests. Importantly, the reason for attending RMSA functions is because our guests want to hear what the speakers have to say. We seriously appreciate the support offered by the RA&HS though the provision of quality venues, fine wines for the tables and subsidised Showground parking for our guests.

Most of our speakers have been women. All have been entertaining, informative and engaging. The ABC's Fiona Reynolds, Senator Anne Ruston, the CWA's 'pocket rocket' Linda Bertram and Rural Bank's Alexandra Gartmann were memorable.

It was a great honour to formally bestow the status of Rural Media Icon on Richard Fewster during the year. The recognition of Richard in this manner was highly justified and well overdue.

The annual ‘Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards’ continue to be a highlight for RMSA in terms of effort and outcome for the organisation, South Australia's rural journalists and the state’s rural photographers. This Awards program would not be possible without the support provided by Telstra and Rural Business Support, in addition to the assistance provided by PIRSA, FULLER, SA Horticulture Coalition, AgCommunicators and Superior Selections.

We have had increasing and greatly appreciated Corporate support over the past couple of years, co-ordinated through the very good efforts of Committee member, Karen Holthouse. Corporate membership ensures greater attendance at meetings and as we are all aware, the same effort is required to stage a meeting for fifty attendees as it does for one hundred.

Our current Corporate Members are Grain Producers SA, Wine Grape Council of SA, Mack's Advisory, Piper Alderman, Fulcrum deCerno, Winemakers' Federation of Australia and Colliers International. Their interest and support is greatly appreciated.

It would be remiss of me not to publicly recognise the sustained contribution made over many years by our retiring honorary auditor, Peter Frazer. Peter has contributed not only to RMSA, but also to the people of regional South Australia over a working lifetime.

National and international success of our rural journalists and photographers continues to inspire and amaze me. The 'Three Photography Amigos' at The Advertiser – Dean Martin, Mark Brake and Matt Turner took all before them in the national Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists’ ‘Star Prize Awards’. They earned the right to represent SA in those awards after initially winning their respective photographic award categories in our own ‘Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards’.

ABC Landline's Prue Adams stole the international spotlight in Germany recently by deservedly being announced as the Best Rural Broadcast Journalist in the world for her outstanding Q Fever television story, ‘The Quiet Curse’. Once again, this journey for Prue to international recognition started with the RMSA ‘Telstra & Rural Business Support Rural Media Awards’ and the ACAJ national ‘Star Prize Awards’.