MBBO Chairmans Address AGM 2021

The Chairman's Report

Annual general meeting Mediators Beyond Borders Oceania

18th of November 2021

Firstly, let me welcome all the attendees at this the first formal AGM of Mediators Beyond Borders Oceania. It’s a pleasure to have members participate and meet with your Board albeit virtually.

A short history

What wonderful progress we have made from our little 3 person working group that formed in mid-2019 in the lead up to the Mediators Beyond Borders International conference. This resulted in an enthusiastic commitment at the November Bali conference to form an Oceania chapter of Mediators Beyond Borders.

In the following 6 months the enlarged working group, with limited funding, but much enthusiasm was able to:

  • Establish a formal legal not for profit member driven entity
  • Appoint a board of directors
  • Agree on an organisation mission and vision
  • Write our first a strategic business plan

Active volunteer executive

The Board has delegated implementation of the plan to an enthusiastic and committed volunteer executive. They are now 18 months into executing the important work of MBB Oceania. The engagement model adopts the use of working groups led by committed professionals who each volunteer their skills and experience

Some of the valuable initiatives and engagements include:

  • A community awareness program
  • Membership development
  • A fund-raising sub committee
  • A website and quarterly newsletters and to members

In addition to these essential organisational tasks, we have been able to commence the important work that represent the core mission of a more peace-able world. Our active community engagements include:

  • Working with our members to build mediation and conflict management capability in indigenous communities particularly in far north QLD.
  • An active and passionate environmental conflict working group committed to assisting communities of our region be equipped and enabled to manage climate change and environmental conflicts that are inevitable in this vulnerable region.
  • Active participation with mediation and conflict resolution thought leaders participating and presenting at reputable conference forums.

Engaging the international mediation community

As a chapter of MBB International we work hard to maintain active engagement with our international colleagues. And despite the challenges of uncomfortable time zones the board is active on following international working groups:

  • Strategic organisation review
  • membership engagement team
  • the climate change programme
  • team mentoring
  • MBBI Ombuds program
  • MBBI rotary working group

This involvement has helped us maintain our friendship and professional linkages as well bring an Oceania perspective to the valuable work completed by Mediators Beyond Borders International.

Looking forward

Much has been achieved in a short space of time, however the challenge for Mediators Beyond Borders Oceania remains ahead of it. As we close out this annual cycle the board is finalising its next business plan for the coming 2022 year.

We recognise that for the Oceania chapter to be able to fulfil its Mission requires it to have an active, committed, and passionate membership base. This task remains a top challenges for the incoming board and its executive.

Equally in order to be able to engage and support a more “peace-able” Oceania region we will need funding resources to supplement our professional and membership resources. Thus, an active fund-raising programme is also a top priority to ensure that we can meet and support those projects of regional importance.

Thanks to the Directors

It is incumbent on me to say a very heartfelt thank you to the existing board and executive all of whom have willingly and voluntarily committed hours to this exciting first two years of our existence. Each of them has contributed their expertise, energy and enthusiasm
allowing a wonderful camaraderie to exist that has been stimulating for all of us.

I wish the new board and chair every success in the coming year. I encourage and welcome all members to engage and participate willingly in our working groups and to bring your professional skills and passions to our organisation.

Finally, thank you for the privilege of allowing me to be your inaugural chair of Mediators Beyond Borders Oceania.

Ken Waldron