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North Wharf News - June 2014

05 Jun 2014

Within communities people with shared values come together to achieve all kinds of goals.

My thoughts turned to the nature of community recently, and how it is best sustained, after participating in the activities of two long-standing associations at events in Melbourne and Ballarat.

On the second Sunday of each month at 10am the First Fleet Fellowship meets at the Mission to Seafarers Victoria, 717 Flinders St, Docklands.  The fellowship’s members are descendants of those who arrived with the First Fleet in 1788 with Captain Arthur Phillip.  When considering the First Fleet, can you imagine the preparation that went into the voyage?  There were certainly many skills on board that ship who proved to be equipped for building and construction and other people who came together to plan a community that became a nation.

Last month, the First Fleet Fellowship celebrated its 30 year anniversary at Melbourne Town Hall.  I enjoyed the hospitality of the occasion and the opportunity to speak with ancestors of the early Australian settlement.  I found myself agreeing with members of the fellowship, however, that the 60+ age group needed a “giddy-up” to attract the next generation of ancestors to uphold this important history.

Earlier in the weekend I had been a guest speaker at the Anglican Men’s Association (AMA) of Ballarat, at the historical St John’s Anglican Church, Soldiers Hill.  Founded in 1899, the AMA was established to provide Christian fellowship for men. In the course of my visit, I noted the age of the men and wondered, as the First Fleet fellowship had, what their plan was to attract the next generation to their meetings.  

Vibrant communities are thoughtfully considered, they don’t just happen randomly, and they require conscious succession planning for their future. Just as neighbours rally together to achieve outcomes for their communities, organisational communities need ongoing and renewed vigour to ensure that they can uphold their traditions, preserve their history and fulfil their purpose.

At the MtSV we have built an exceptional community among our neighbours and supporters near and far. They contribute greatly to our work and its social and community outcomes.  Thanks to Bendigo Wealth, the wealth management division of Bendigo and the Adelaide Bank at Docklands, the sponsorship of the MtSV Heritage Program has seen our archive recognised as of both state and national significance. In recognition of this, and with funding from our sponsors, MtSV has formed a succession plan for preserving this heritage for the next generation.  

On South Wharf, ANL Container Line is the naming sponsor for the MtSV’s annual ANL Maritime Art Awards, hosted annually in October.  

Thanks to ANL, the art award is now our largest fundraising activity and is recognised as Australia’s leading maritime art awards.

MtSV is now calling for entries into the exhibition, with artists responding to the theme “The Relationship Between Humanity and the Sea.”  For further information on community activities at MtSV or to make a donation see the website http://www.missiontoseafarers.com.au  or like Mission to Seafarers Victoria on Facebook.

Andrea Fleming
CEO, Mission to Seafarers Victoria

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