Life after survey and workshop

The idea for a member survey and later on for a workshop/aivoriihi started as a conversation in the ‘Finns in Melbourne’ Facebook group. At the end of August ideas were flowing on the Facebook page and consequentially on the 15th of September the idea for a survey was presented at the Finnish Society of Melbourne (FSM) Annual General Meeting. As the green light was given for the survey, it was created and more than 100 members and non-members shared their thoughts regarding the Society’s future.

After the survey, the results were presented in the workshop/aivoriihi that was organised at the end of October. The workshop was held in Altona and it was a success as almost 70 people took part and shared their thoughts on the future development of the Society. It was also an opportunity for the older members and the new-comers to meet and cooperate.

The written report and analysis of the survey was published at the end of the year and as summer holidays are now over, it is time to go through, What next?

The FSM board got together before Christmas and went through both the survey report and all the posters created during the workshop. The board decided to choose 3 things that will be done differently this year and 3 initiatives that will be further developed. These were chosen based on the feedback both from the surveys and the workshop.

Things that will be done differently
– FSM Christmas Bazaar will be moved one week earlier – This allows us to take part in the Scandinavian Bazaar at the Swedish Church.
– Members, non-members and the board acknowledge the fact that the Finnish Society and Finnish Church of Melbourne have been working separately for many years. As a step toward closer collaboration, FSM will invite the Church board members to a meeting to discuss the possibility of a future with closer partnership. This will hopefully end the division between the two organisations and save scarce resources; people power and money.
– Mölkky competition together with other Nordic clubs – to be more active in establishing links with other Nordic countries’ societies in Melbourne and opening our activities to them

– Recruit a fundraising and sponsorship coordinator – to offer more people the opportunity to contribute to the FSM and to improve the Society’s financial position.
– Look into holding some events on the Eastern side of the city – majority of survey respondents were from the Eastern side of the Bay.
– This year commemorates 40 years since the opening of the Finnish Hall at Pier St Altona. We plan to celebrate the occasion on the 20th September with a catered Dinner Dance.

These are things that the board members have decided on and the FSM welcomes each and everyone to participate in. The board can’t make everything happen by themselves and appreciates everyone’s help in creating a Society that suits its members’ needs.

If an initiative that was close to your heart isn’t on the above list, it doesn’t mean you can’t act on it. The board has also decided to create instructions on how to proceed with an initiative and will publish some instructions on the FSM website. However, you don’t need to wait for these instructions to be ready. They are only to support and make it easier. You can act now. If you have an idea in your mind that you’d like to take further or have wondered why the Society hasn’t thought about doing something – make it happen! Contact a board member and bring your idea to the board meeting. All board members are happy to help you with any questions.

Finally a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has kindly volunteered their time, skills and effort to the Finnish Society of Melbourne. Without this people power the Society would cease to exist.