National Office activities: Brett Constable

A year of strengthening the foundations upon which we grow.

By Brett Constable, National Manager

It was a very busy year attending to some fundamental activities to ensure we have solid foundations for our continuing development and growth.

Strategic and Operational Plans

The first part of the year was focused on finalising our Operational Plan which seeks to achieve the goals laid down in our Strategic Plan which is intended to see us through to 2020. This was a project that took the best part of a year and involved many members, office bearers and National Council having input on what the Australian Greens should be setting its sights on and how the national office can support all the work required. Naturally, expectations are very high and beyond our current capacity, but we are doing everything possible to progress the many projects (more than 150) identified. A key to our success is monitoring our progress and reporting to every National Council and Conference our achievements, delays where they occur, and strategies for overcoming obstacles.

Migrating our systems infrastructure

Another key project taking the full year has been to migrate our systems infrastructure from a relatively fixed server configuration to a more dynamic one hosted by Amazon Web Services. The new configuration has involved significant upskilling of our IT team of Andrew Cormick-Dockery and John Twyman who have been more than capably supported by Seamus Lee and Effy Elden from the NSW and Victorian offices. Our new infrastructure is proving to be highly flexible in its capacity to accommodate the fluctuating demands of back office and campaign activities right across the party.

New fundraising initiatives

The enormous contributions from our legion of volunteers has to be accompanied by the financial capacity necessary for us to achieve our strategic and operational goals. For this we rely heavily on donations and other fundraisings from all our supporters. It is always a challenge to grow our funding base at a rate to match our need, and to this end we have trialed a number of new fundraising initiatives this past year including partnerships with Inspired Adventures and call centre work with Community Shapers, along with planning and implementation of a program promoting Gifts in Wills. These initiatives are continuing under the capable guidance of our fundraising coordinator Susan Griffiths-Sussems.

It's all to support our campaigning

Our reason for being is to get more members elected to all levels of government and the better our collaboration and coordination across the party the more leverage we can generate for effective and successful campaigning. Andrew Beaton, our campaign coordinator, has been very busy this year laying the foundations for our coming federal election with engagement across all offices on key projects surrounding research, design, advertising and communications. With the shift from TV to online for effective communications, we have engaged Eva-Victoria Bates as our digital strategist to ensure we are pursuing all opportunities for growing our support base.

International projects

We also manage a grant from the Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program which enables us to employ our part-time International Development Coordinator, Michelle Sheather. This grant enables us to support the development of the Asia Pacific Greens Federation and the development of fledgling Green parties in the Asia Pacific Region which have included projects over this last year in Bangladesh, Nepal, Mongolia, Indonesia, Lebanon, India and the Solomon Islands.

Not much can happen without our support staff

We were joined by two new faces in our support team this year: Shirin Dawood, our part-time finance officer, and Joana Partyka, our part-time communications officer. As well as supporting campaigning and fundraising communications, Joana also produces our monthly magazine.

And last but definitely not least we have Mark Quinn who manages our virtual 'reception desk', financial administration and many other activities around office systems and communications.

Thank you for such great teamwork

My thanks as always for all the contributions by so many people across all offices of the party and the many, many volunteers which are the lifeblood of so much activity and achievement towards our goals.