Apex can sometimes be very reluctant to showcase its success or list its achievements. From time to time we will give you some success stories, some contemporary and others historical, that reflect the can do attitude of Apexians and their ability to harness community goodwill, reflect community values and challenge the status quo.
Aggressive Citizenship in Action
APEX CLUB OF CENTRAL AUSTRALIA – Club 677
Every two years, Alice Springs hosts the Masters Games, a weeklong sporting event for entrants over 25 years of age. For many years now, the opening and closing ceremonies have given local community groups the opportunity to run the bars. Last games (2008) the Apex Club of Central Australia was one of the two organisations to win the tender of one of the bars, after having not been a part of it for two previous games. In 2008, this even raised our club a net profit of approximately $35,000.
This year, the governing body responsible for the operational decision making of the Masters Games, Major Events (a subsidiary of the Northern Territory Government) decided that a private entrepreneur from Darwin will run this years’ bars at the opening and closing ceremonies. Gerard Coffey, one of our members who had put his hand up to organise this years’ tender process, had on numerous occasions attempted to get an answer from Major Events about when the tender process would go open. He eventually got through to a person, who he was informed would tell him “what was happening”. Gerard called this person, that he had been given both bars (in essence, there was no tender process). He stated to Gerard that he would be happy for us to man the bar for him and he’d give the club a donation of about $1,200.
As I’m sure you can all appreciate, we were not happy with this whatsoever. Not only because he insulted us by offering approximately 3% of what he would make, but also that the organisation (created by the NTG) had not undergone a procurement process, thereby not giving us, or any other local community group or business the opportunity to apply to run the bar. One of our associate members went to a local radio talk show host, who took it on board and went to town on Major Events. For three straight business days Apex were discussed on all radio stations, in the local newspapers and in general discussion throughout Alice Springs. Not because we were pissed off that we didn’t get the bars, but that we were supporting local community and its not-for-profit organisations.
All this came to head on the Thursday. By Tuesday morning, Gerard and I were on ABC Radio talking about it, and the radio station got a call from Major Events. The Masters Games General Manager, Jim Lawrie, came on air and declared that due to our public protesting about this, and the community’s support for our cause, they had decided to reverse their decision and award the Games Bars back to local community groups. Due to there not being enough time for a proper tender process, we, along with the Federal Sporting Club (who also ran the 2008 bar) were automatically awarded this years’ event, and a proper tender process ONLY AVAILABLE TO LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS will be implemented as of the next games.
The Apex Club of Central Australia was publically congratulated by the entire Alice Springs community, including the Mayor, local MPs and presidents/chair people from many other local community groups and service clubs. As a follow on, our club have decided to advertise in the local paper on an ongoing basis to remind everyone of our presence, and have built strong cross club relationships with all three Rotary Clubs and the Lions Club.
This shows that by standing up and using Apex as a voice, you will be heard, and you can use local issues as a platform to promote your club and the Association as a whole.
THE Optus Gympie Music Muster this year marks its major 30-year milestone and the beginning of a new era for the iconic festival that has become a major inclusion on Australia’s annual event calendar.
With a new management team, consolidated stages, varied entertainment, returning artists and some making their debut, 2011 will signify the beginning and future of the Optus Gympie Music Muster, designed to provide more for fans and partners than ever before.
The event’s new chief executive officer Vickii Cotter leads a team of fresh staff working alongside the stalwart volunteers from the Apex Club, to improve activities already in place. Her involvement in Bluesfest at Byron Bay, as well as a legal and entertainment background, Ms Cotter has been a welcome addition.
“The Gympie Music Muster has played a huge part of our lives for my entire family,” Ms Cotter said.
“My husband John and I became involved as Apexians from the very first event at Widgee. We’ve been involved in various forms ever since.
“I’ve spent many years working at the Muster office as an employee. John has worked as well, at every Muster, and was for quite some time the local representative of the then event sponsor.
“We’ve watched the growth with pleasure over the past 29 Musters and we are excited as to how the milestone 30th year will be marked and how the event’s fans will have a chance to celebrate.
“I congratulate the Gympie Apex Club on its achievements.”
After three decades of growth and expansion, the 30th Muster will include major national and international acts.
With more than 10 performance stages spread across an enclosed section of the Amamoor Creek State Forest, to accommodate the 60,000-plus ticketholders the event attracts annually.
In 2011, the event will promote performances scheduled for the Main stage (open from the Tuesday), Blues Bar (open from the Tuesday), Muster Club (open from the Tuesday), Crowbar, Wine Bar, Mustadance, Talent Search, Kidz Klub area, Bundy area, and XXXX Retreat.
“With a dedicated refocus back to its roots of country, the event’s three decades of delivery will be recognised as we look forward and create a vision for the future,” Ms Cotter said.
THIS year’s Muster line-up includes:
Montgomery Gentry (USA), Doc Walker (Canada), Kasey Chambers, Lee Kernaghan, Adam Brand, Ash Grunwald, Beccy Cole, Nick Barker, Jace Everett, Adam Harvey, Graeme Connors, James Blundell, Shane Nicholson, The Sunny Cowgirls, Ezra Lee, James Reyne, Harmony James, Ross Wilson, Jasmine Rae, Alvin Youngblood Hart (USA), Bryan White (USA), The Backsliders, McAlister Kemp, Peter McWhirter, Rob Black, Eric Bogle, Kristy Akers, Jayne Denham, Eugene Hideaway Bridges (USA), Aleyce Simmonds, Blue Shaddy, Bondi Cigars, Morgan Evans, The Wilson Pickers, Lowrider, Travis Collins, Steve Forde and The Ultimate Rock ‘N’ Roll Session. More artists are yet to be announced.
Celebrating its 30th year, the event will take place at the Amamoor Creek State Forest from August 23-28.
Tickets on sale now at www.muster .com.au or www.ticket ek.com.au. Additional information about accommodation, camping and event stages can be found online at www.muster.com.au.
Angel Flight Donation
ANGEL Flight's aircraft will be kept flying for some time after the charity received a cheque for $71,388 at the Optus Gympie Music Muster Round Up dinner.
The organisation was the major beneficiary of the 2010 Muster and event chairman Carl Green, accompanied by Optus manager Garth Da Silva, presented the cheque to Angel Flight representative Terry McGowan on stage at the annual dinner.
Angel Flight co-ordinates non-emergency flights to help country people trying to deal with the triple trouble of bad health, poor finances and daunting distance all over Australia.
All flights are free and may involve patients travelling to medical facilities anywhere in Australia.
Aircraft used are all privately owned and the owners and pilots freely give of their aircraft and time to serve those in need, many times on multiple trips.
Mr McGowan said the money donated went towards buying aviation fuel to keep the aircraft flying, with all other costs met by the aircraft's owners.
A second use of the fuel money is for those who use their own vehicles to meet the flights to convey those in need to and from their medical appointments.
During the dinner, a number of Gympie-based organisations received substantial cheques as part of the funds distribution from the 2010 Optus Muster.
Gympie Apex 2010 president Darryl Blacker presented substantial funding to Robins Roses, Gympie Sportsmans Association, Gympie Special School P and C, Chatsworth State School P and C, Gympie Cricket Association, Cooloola Schools Chaplaincy, Alma Street Kindergarten, Sailability Tin Can Bay, Gympie Girl Guides, St Vincent de Paul, Putting Youth in the Picture and Athletes with Disabilities Soccer Olympics.
2010 Muster committee treasurer Jon Weller and grounds co-ordinator Wayne Dean presented plaques to Muster media supporters while Carl Green and fellow Apexian Reg Leis presented mementos to the event's corporate partners.
Mr Green also announced Optus as the 2011 naming partner.
Optus manager Garth Da Silva said his communications company would this year be providing even more improved services at the Muster with the company having made an investment in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide services and support the Muster.
Gympie Apex Muster 2011 chairman Glenn Smith announced the major beneficiary of next month's Gympie Music Muster would be the Starlight Children's Foundation and he was hoping to raise an even greater amount in the Muster's 30th anniversary year.