Managing QSW&FA

volunteers

Managing QSW&FA is a big job. There are many members in the organisation that know this only to well, having put their hand up at one time or another and working to achieve the great things we have done as a group.  But how big a job is it?

“How can we improve something if we don’t know really know what the problem is.”

So we decided to find out.

We sent out a member survey a couple of months ago, asking for input on a range of areas affecting the group. (The final results will be published at the AGM on Saturday 3rd of August.)

We asked if volunteering should be a requirement of membership. Almost 50% said no, with 30% saying yes and the remainder undecided. There were good points raised on all sides of the question.

Survey_Volunteer

There is no right or wrong answer, only what will work for the Group

Another question we asked revolved around the purpose of the Group. The top three responses, in order, were:

  • Manage all resources and facilities to ensure the group remains financially viable, operational and solvent.
  • Promote, raise awareness, and create interest in fibre arts in Queensland
  • Be an educational body of fibre arts and craft in Queensland.

Most of the available volunteer time, including that of the Board are spent on the first response, very little time is available for the other two.

We identified all the tasks, effort and hours required to manage the group.  It takes on average 15 full-time employees/volunteers to run all aspects of the Group as it is today. From the break down, we identified whole areas of management that aren’t getting any attention, due to lack of resources. (For those who would like to review the data, it’s on the Extraordinary General Meeting page.)

This corresponds with the number of roles that are currently vacant.

  • Communications Officer
  • Events Coordinator
  • Grants Officer
  • Librarian
  • Property Officer
  • Workshop Coordinator
  • Membership Officer

So what does all this information tell us?

In a nutshell, it means that we as a group, need to decide how to best manage the Group into the future. We have a few options.

In the short-term, we can start with the obvious – Letting our members know about the open positions along with the roles and responsibilities of each. We are currently reviewing them to make sure they are relevant and will be posting them up on the website, Facebook and in Clippings.

A medium-term option is to register with Volunteers QLD and bring in people who would like to fill those roles. Some may have relevant experience or just a desire to try something new.

The long-term option, which is always the hardest and the longest to achieve, would be to go back to the drawing board and say to ourselves, if we were starting QSW&FA today, how would it work. There were many great suggestions in the survey and we will publish them, so that everyone can read them.

There are dozens more possibilities, but we need to work through these together.

But at least now, we know the problem, we can start trying to solve it.

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The case for change

spotlightchange

Hello to all the members of QSW&FA Group.

Some of you may not be aware that at the beginning of this month an Extraordinary General Meeting was held at Fibrecraft House. Please go to the EGM page for more details. The purpose was to inform members, so that a vote can be taken at the upcoming Annual General Meeting on Saturday 3rd of September on the long-term direction of the group.

The presentation (there’s a copy on the EGM page) was the culmination of over six months of research. This included reviewing almost 50 years of board minutes and Clippings, as well as gathering and analysing over 10 years of financial and membership data, and the results of the membership survey undertaken in June.

The result of this has led to an honest look at ourselves. There are fundamental challenges facing the group. Our financial and membership numbers are steadily in decline and the day to day overhead of managing the group, with fewer and fewer people, is unsustainable.

This is not a Board issue, this is something that will effect every craft group and member. The decision we have to make is this…

Do we downsize our offerings and minimise the overheads and make provisions to eventually close down?

Or do we go back to our original purpose, communicating, engaging and operating in a new way, to reach new and different audiences and a new generation to ensure the group can continue on for anther 50 years?

If we decide as a group the we want the latter option, we will need to work together over the next 3 years to turn our position around. That will mean change. And not everyone is comfortable with change. “One reason people don’t like change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.” There is much to be gained from reaching out to new people in new ways.

We are not changing the fundamental purpose of our commitment to fibre art. If anything, we would be keeping true to the original aims of the group as it was formed in 1969:

  • To promote a knowledge of and interest in spinning, weaving and dyeing in the state.
  • To share one’s skills with others.
  • To create a friendly, caring atmosphere

What has to change is the way we do these things and ensure we remain relevant, not just for ourselves, but for anybody who has an interest in fibre arts.

Spinning and weaving are traditions that have been passed down for over 2000 years. Cecile, our founder, had a dream – she was brave enough to act on it and share it with others. To ensure that the tradition, as well as the craftsmanship and the art would continue. That dream has become our dream and our passion and the responsibility of all of us, regardless of what craft we pursue, to emerging generations and beyond.

The other option on the table, to continue as we are, would mean each of us going our own separate way and saying goodbye to the incredible history and accomplishments of the last 47 years.

Please take the time to make your voice heard and vote on Resolution 4 at the Annual General Meeting.

Thank you

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Mapleton Camp is Coming!

QSWFA’s fantastic craft retreat, known as Mapleton Camp, is just over the horizon – July 29-31!

The camp convenors are working hard to bring you a selection of interesting and informative workshops, talks, and demonstrations. Stay tuned for the lineup!

Mapleton Camp 2016 Enrolment Form

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or just want to find out what it’s all about, please don’t hesitate to contact the office.

See you in Mapleton!

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Beginning Weaving with Kay Faulkner

Beginning Weaving Workshop, Sat July 23 & Sun July 24
This workshop is designed to equip the beginner weaver with basic skills to enable them to go forward and weave independently at a basic level. Participants will work step by step in a simple logical manner to create this framework and in addition the participant gets to weave their own individually designed and hand woven scarf.

For tickets, please click here.

 

Beginning weaving workshop 2012.

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Mapleton Camp

QSWFA’s fantastic craft retreat, known as Mapleton Camp, is just over the horizon – July 29-31!

The camp convenors are working hard to bring you a selection of interesting and informative workshops, talks, and demonstrations. Stay tuned for the lineup!

Mapleton Camp 2016 Enrolment Form

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or just want to find out what it’s all about, please don’t hesitate to contact the office.

See you in Mapleton!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment