The World of Rumours – new phase of development of the Queensland Russian Community Centre |
We are launching a long awaited collection of news articles “Russian Spirit in Russian Centre” – it is about the new life of the Russian Community Centre in our beloved city of Brisbane. My name is Maria and, as the Press Secretary of the Centre, I will be regularly informing you about the latest developments, changes and innovations that are taking place at the QRCC. This will allow you to monitor the events as well as become actively involved in the programmes and cultural activities that will be organised at the Centre for all Russian community and other citizens of Queensland interested in the Russian culture.
At the suggestion of the Management Committee, the 2010 Annual General Meeting passed a resolution which abolished the requirement of a minimum of three years culturally active QRCC membership, before becoming eligible for election to QRCC Management Committee. As a result, that resolution of the QRCC AGM meeting removed the requirements to the new members of QRCC Management Committee to have prior knowledge of the Centre’s financial and administrative operations, Russian culture and traditions, history, and importantly knowledge of the Russian language.
As a consequence of the above changes, in the last years, QRCC had no longer functioned in the expected culturally oriented manner. Its cultural activities programme being largely replaced by the occasional thematic undertakings and the Centre mainly operated as a hall hire business. Most probably, as a result of this, the number of QRCC members had been steadily declining over the past years, and there were no efforts made to attract new members.
QRCC Management Committee
In recent months, Queensland community has been flooded with the rumours about the current activities at QRCC – time has come to enlighten our members and public in general, about the present State-of-Affairs.
On the 25/01/2015, as a result of the Annual General Meeting elections, the following nine candidates were elected to the QRCC Management Committee: Wayne Tilley, Elena Proscurina, Liudmila Larkina, Valeria Squires, Anton Shchetinin, Edward Kartashov, Maria Plotnikova, Alexei Vikulov and Julia Nesterova.
On the 31/01/2015, at the first meeting of the new QRCC Management Committee, Liudmila Larkina was elected as a President, Valeria Squires as a Vice-president, Edward Kartashov as a Treasurer and Julia Nesterova as a Secretary.
The new Committee commenced its activities by making a commitment to the culturally focused Centre activities and to the responsible administrative and financial management of the QRCC affairs. In order to manage the QRCC finances in a responsible manner, it was necessary for the new Management Committee to become familiar with the preceding QRCC financial documentation and the auditor’s financial annual reviews. During the subsequent process of trying to understand the preceding administrative and financial management, many questions were raised, however, the appropriate answers were difficult to obtain from the previous QRCC management committee members. All of that caused significant tensions within the newly elected management committee.
To resolve the difficult situation, a Special Meeting of the management committee was arranged and held on the 25/02/2015. Independent observers Elena Chipizubov, Serge Voloschenko and Peter Gouriev were also invited to that meeting. After four hours of heated discussions in search of optimal solutions to the presented questions, an unpredictable result emerged – at their own initiative the four members of the Management Committee resigned at the meeting from their positions at the QRCC.
At the same meeting during the re-organisation process of the QRCC Management Committee, one of the independent observers (Peter Gouriev) was invited to join officially the QRCC Management Committee. The decision was made on the basis of recognition of Mr Gourievs’s extensive knowledge and experience with QRCC and long service as a President of QRCC in past years, as well as his extensive work with the Queensland ethnical communities and Government.
At the following GM meeting held on the 27/02/15, the members of the QRCC management committee voted for the following people to hold the official company’s Office Bearers positions:
• Peter Gouriev – President;
• Edward Kartashov – Treasurer;
• Maria Plotnikova – Secretary (including Press Secretary).
The QRCC Management Committee also being made of other Ordinary Members: Alexei Vikulov, Anton Shchetinin, Julia Nesterova and Victor Ovchinnikov.
At this stage, the new management committee is actively trying to address many of the remaining vital questions and issues related to the past years of QRCC administrative and financial work activities. It has become evident that such activities were not adequately performed: no annual QRCC financial reporting being done to its members; no annual reporting to the Government Licensing/Taxation bodies; overdue insurance premiums; some unpaid bills; absence of some payment records and receipts; noncompliance to the By-Laws and non-up-to-date relevant documentation; unmatched and contradicting details of QRCC financial members, and many other issues.
Without listing all the details, it’s been unfortunate to conclude that QRCC is presently in a critical position. Much work is still required to reach the appropriate and compliant status of the financial and administrative documentation, as is expected from non-for-profit community organisation by the Law of the Australian Government (particularly the Department of Fair Trading).
I would particularly like to highlight the fact that under the Australian Law, any financially registered member of the organization is entitled to view any of the organization’s financial documents and reports and such a request, usually, made through the organization’s secretary. Thus, should any of our members be interested to know more about the current QRCC situation, they are most welcomed to request an access to the documents of their interest.
As mentioned earlier, in 2015-2016 period, the new QRCC Management Committee is planning to introduce a number of improvements and innovations aimed at more efficient administrative and financial process as well as more culturally enlightened activities and entertainment for our community.
The first official function at QRCC will be the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Russia’s Great Victory. All day, on the 9th of May, the doors of the Centre will be opened to the Russian and local communities, their friends and families.
In relation to the important to all of us 9th of May 2015 celebrations, we are inviting all parties who may wish to contribute to the preparation and participate in the event, such as: all community organizations of Brisbane, Gold Coast and wide Queensland communities, who associate their activities with Russians and Russian culture; artists (musicians, singers, dancers); leading community activists; artistically creative people and also active members of QRCC, everyone is welcomed to join and support us in these preparations to celebrate this Grand Occasion! In relation to this event, we will be providing more details in our next edition of the “Russian Spirit in the Russian Centre”.
In summary, I would like to confirm that our team spirit of the QRCC Management Committee is high and strong. We are confident that we will address and resolve many of the current difficulties and issues. We welcome all the constructive input from members of QRCC as well as other representatives of the Russian speaking community. If you are willing to help the Centre in any way or you have any suggestions on how to further enhance growth and development of QRCC, you are most welcomed to contact us. We would be happy to consider and implement the great ideas together.
Dear Friends and respected members, thank you for all your support and trust, we are trying to do our best to justify your faith in us. Please remember that with all your strong support, together, we will unite all Russians and will provide a facility were we all can meet and socialise as one united community.
QRCC Press Secretary