Call to community from MDAS leadership

Get on board with membership drive

Mallee District Aboriginal Services’ new Acting Chief Executive Officer Jacki Turfrey says her first focus is on broadening membership in the lead up to the organisation’s Annual General Meeting later this month.
The Mildura barrister takes up her new role this week (November 2) after her predecessor Andy Charles began leave last week to complete studies.
Ms Turfrey will work with the organisation’s Executive Director and Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation CEO Jill Gallagher on re-energising MDAS membership in the lead up to the AGM on November 28.
“We’ve had a new community leadership group in place for the past month to help us to reach out to the mobs, and begin broadening the consultation base for MDAS,” Ms Turfrey said.
“Our commitment is to broaden and strengthen the community control of the organisation, and the AGM is where that process takes place,” she said. 
“It’s at the AGM where mob have a chance to look at who represents them on the MDAS board and what the board stands for.  It’s an important process and everyone has their thoughts, but the only way to have a say is by being a member.
“Membership of MDAS is free, it’s open to every Aboriginal adult who lives in the Mallee region, and it’s never been more important.”
Ms Gallagher said a membership drive that began three weeks ago was the biggest in the organisation’s history and provided an opportunity for fresh ideas.
“In the past people might have felt they wouldn’t be heard, or they wouldn’t be welcomed.  We want as many diverse voices and perspectives as possible within Aboriginal Community-controlled Organisations and we are welcoming everyone,” Ms Gallagher said.
“It’s exciting that people are hearing us.  Young people are coming forward to be members for the first time, and Elders as well who might have been members in the past, or who have never been members are signing up. 
“We’ve already had a 200 percent increase in our membership and it will grow further.  We have gone from 40 members to 104, with more than 50 new membership applications to be considered by the Board this week. 
“That’s more than 100 people who have felt they have something to say, or something to offer. That’s an act of empowerment, in itself,” she said.
The MDAS AGM will be held on Saturday November 28, with the deadline for applications for new members at the Close of Business on November 11. 
Applications for people wanting to nominate as directors on the MDAS board have until Close of Business on November 20.  All details and application packages are available on the MDAS website or at all MDAS sites.

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MALLEE DISTRICT ABORIGINAL SERVICES  “Our Vision: "Self-determined, healthy, robust and culturally strong Aboriginal communities across the Mallee region."

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