The President’s Report

October 1, 2015 by  

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In so many ways, 2014/15 has been a very sad year for Australian Cricket and for the members of the Primary Club. Not only did we lose one of our strong long-time supporters in Honorary Vice-President Ian Craig OAM last November, but then after his own personal battle to recover health following a car accident 18 months earlier, we lost our esteemed Twelfth Man and Patron, Richie Benaud OBE, in April. Australian Cricket also lost one of its promising young and upcoming stars, with the sad passing of Phillip Hughes in late November following a freakish injury on the cricket field. I have rarely seen such widespread grief around the country, not just amongst the cricket community but across all walks of life. Cricket lovers responded overwhelmingly to the “put your bat out” tribute that reinforced the importance of social media. Then, just weeks ago, Arthur Morris OBE passed away at age 93, following a brief illness. Arthur, also a Vice- President of the Primary Club, played 46 Tests for Australia and earned a place in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. He and Judith attended many Club functions, most recently the Marathon Cricket Dinner in 2010, where we celebrated his 88th Birthday amongst a number of his former cricket mates. Much has been written and said about each of these gentlemen in public forums. I personally lost a dear friend when Richie died. He was an inspiration to me in my career and in my approach to broadcasting; but as Twelfth Man he was always willing and available to share thoughts about Primary Club matters, to say nothing of his and Daphne’s amazing record of participation at Club functions since he accepted the post in 2003. Our recent edition of “First Ball” was a special tribute edition to Richie, his career and his leadership within the Primary Club. While the aforementioned occurrences were felt deeply by our membership and several of our planned events were impacted, I am pleased to report our ongoing activities yielded some $249k in grants to charities, either paid or committed. This may be down on our record of $302k in the prior year. However, Lindy Stuart alludes in her report to the fact that there is a healthy backlog of deserving projects for her committee’s review. So, with the ongoing support of our members, a new record year is just around the corner! Two grants of significance were firstly the $38k for a‘softfall playground’at the Chalmers Road School at Strathfield (Sydney), a primary school with 72 children with moderate to severe intellectual disability; and secondly, the $16k for playground equipment at Port Phillip Special School (Melbourne), a school catering for 150 kids. The latter is significant because of the ‘hands-on’ role played by our own Victorian Committee members, who will no doubt be coming back to the well requesting additional financial support in the months ahead. I recently returned to Sydney from the UK. The Australian Cricket Team lost the Ashes over six extraordinary days of cricket at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge. They performed impressively coming from a loss at Cardiff to win convincingly at Lord’s. However, in the next two matches, England’s skillful bowling made the most of the conditions and won the Ashes by humiliating the Australian batting line-up. For Michael Clarke it was a disappointing conclusion to a brilliant career after winning the World Cup so decisively. The margin between success and failure as a batsman is narrow, and alas for Clarke he couldn’t confidently produce his best, and around him the inability of batsmen to adapt to the moving ball, to be more patient, wrecked Australia’s aspirations. Clarke’s record averaging nearly fifty with 28 centuries is outstanding and his successor Steve Smith has some challenges ahead to make sure Australia can win as well away as they do at home. A reflection of the fact that Australia has been performing well on the international cricket stage is that the number of Aussie Golden Ducks in 2014/15 has declined to the lowest number (9) in the last ten years and down from the peak of 19 in 2010/11. For the first time, this year’s number includes Australian Women cricketers, the Southern Stars, who only registered one Primary. For the Primary Club, this translates to lower fines or donations into our charity trust account, unless of course members make more discretionary donations over and above the Golden Duck fines, and we grow our member numbers. With Richie’s passing, the Management Committee decided with Daphne’s approval to establish a Memorial Fund in his honour. To date, donations to this fund total over $14k. In time, we intend creating an enduring charitable memorial to Richie in recognition of his work for the Club and our mission. In 2014 we celebrated our 40th Anniversary. This culminated in a celebratory dinner at the SCG last November, where we welcomed over 50 past committee members and their partners. Highlights on the night included the panel interview with founders, Peter Howarth OAM and Jon Erby AM, and Dr John Yeo AO who has consulted with the Club over the decades about the challenges for people recovering from spinal injuries. The Primary Club congratulates our rugby cousins, the Cauliflower Club of Australia, whom we were instrumental in helping to form over the last three years. With over 600 members, the CCA has achieved its own DGR tax status and is now operating in its own right and already making significant contributions to sporting and recreational facilities for organisations around the country. We look forward to continued association with the Cauliflower Club, as we share similar objectives helping people with a disability. It gives me great pleasure to advise members that our new Twelfth man is Mark Taylor AO. Mark has served the Club as a Vice President since 1999 soon after retiring from his long service as Australian cricket captain. Mark has been guest speaker at several PCA functions. Mark played 104 Tests and scored 7,525 runs at an average of 43.49, is a current Cricket Australia Director and a well-known voice of authority on Channel Nine’s cricket coverage. Mark is highly regarded for his strong sense of community through a number of charitable commitments. Looking ahead to the 2015/16 year, your Management Committee has plans to encourage membership growth, create several new member and fund-raising events and improve the profit yield from our functions in order to satisfy more of the backlog of applications from our charity partners. Thank you all for your ongoing support. Please help us grow our membership in 2015/16 by inviting a friend or two to join. Only with member retention and growth can we expect to achieve higher charity goals in the months and years ahead!   Jim Maxwell AM President

RIP, Arthur Morris MBE

August 26, 2015 by  

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Honorary Vice-President of the Primary Club of Australia, Arthur Morris, sadly passed away on Saturday 22nd August, following a brief illness.  Arthur was 93 years old, survived by his gorgeous wife Judith and loving family. Arthur played 46 Tests for Australia and earned a place in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.  On behalf of President Jim Maxwell AM and the members of the Primary Club, we offer our sincere sympathies to Judith and the family. He was also a great servant of the Primary Club, a Vice-President since our inception in 1974.  He and Judith attended many Club functions, most recently the Marathon Cricket Dinner in 2010, where we celebrated his 88th Birthday amongst a number of his former cricket mates - Ken Archer, Ian Craig, Neil Harvey, Sam Loxton and Warren Saunders. Judith and the family have determined that in lieu of flowers for his Memorial Service, you may donate to the Primary Club's charity trust providing sporting and recreational facilities to people with a disability.  You may donate now by clicking on this link.  Or calling Anja on (02) 9980-2525.

May 2015 Newsletter – Farewelling Richie

July 6, 2015 by  

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imagex300This year's newsletter pays tribute to our Late Patron and Twelfth Man Richie Benaud OBE. Please feel free to download this and share it with friends and family.  

Two versions of the newsletter are available.

May 2015 - Primary Club of Australia newsletter - High Quality version - 20 Mbs May 2015 - Primary Club of Australia newsletter - Low Quality version - 2 Mbs  

Charitable Donations – Making a difference

June 7, 2015 by  

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There’s that particular moment when watching International Cricket that I’m sure many of my fellow Primary Club of Australia members have experienced. It’s the moment of disappointment when an Australian cricketer gets out first ball followed by a moment of satisfaction knowing that this means Primary Club members will be making a donation that will make a difference to our charitable causes. I think it’s also safe to assume that our members have a similar moment of disappointment when an Australian cricketer gets out second ball followed by the thought … “bugger”. Alas, whether it’s a donation that comes from a Golden Duck or a donation that comes from the heart, when it comes to donating, I’ve always been satisfied knowing that 100% of my donation to the Primary Club of Australia to our charities.
Photos Jimmy Smith, popular NRL player turned commentator joined members of the Primary Club Committee at the launch of playground equipment at Tallowood School, Kellyville (lower left); Two photos of students playing on the donated equipment at the Port Phillip Specialist School; At the Chalmers Road School, Strathfield, committee members Benjamin Richards (left) and Lindy Stuart (centre) along with Karyn Tzapu, Assistant Principal (2nd right) and the school captains.

Photos Jimmy Smith,
popular NRL player turned commentator
joined members of the Primary Club
Committee at the launch of playground
equipment at Tallowood School, Kellyville (lower left);
Two photos of students playing on the
donated equipment at the Port Phillip
Specialist School; At the Chalmers Road
School, Strathfield, committee members
Benjamin Richards (left) and Lindy Stuart
(centre) along with Karyn Tzapu, Assistant
Principal (2nd right) and the school captains.

Unfortunately one aspect of donating to a charity is not being able to experience the difference that my donation makes. While I know that my donation will make a difference to organisations supporting people with disabilities, ultimately I came to accept that I would never really know the difference my donation will make. In the Primary Club we give members updates of our charitable donations via the Annual Report, on our website and in our newsletters but it was never the same as experiencing it for myself. So when I joined the Primary Club of Australia committee 10 years ago, I was thrilled to take several opportunities on behalf of the members to visit the organisations that we donated to and experience the difference that we make first hand. This year fellow Committee member and head of the Charities Committee Lindy Stuart and I visited Chalmers Road School in Strathfield and Tallowood School in Kellyville to celebrate the opening of the new play equipment donated by the Primary Club members. Both schools cater for students with special needs. Tallowood School received a grant from us in late 2013 for over $50,000 worth of playground equipment for the 100+ moderate to severe intellectually disabled children to use during their recess and lunch times. Chalmers Road School, a small public school of 70+ moderately to severely intellectually disabled children, received a grant over $35,000 for a soft fall surface for their playground. Openings usually involve The Primary Club of Australia being acknowledged in front of the children, teachers and support staff on a regular school day followed by an opportunity for the students to play on the equipment. Deb Swinton from Tallowood School said that the children have been loving having the equipment in the area and it was being used during class time as well as at breaks. What was extraordinary about our visits was seeing the children playing on the donated equipment. The children would often come over, take us by the hand and insist that we played on the equipment with them. There was little question that our donations were making a big difference as we had provided a fun and interactive environment for the children to play in. So, on behalf of all the people who have benefited from your donations, I thank the members of the Primary Club of Australia for your continued generosity towards the club, thus allowing us to continue to make a difference for organisations supporting people with disabilities. Benjamin Richards Committee Member