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Mardi Gras EGM announces $177k loss for 2014 season

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The AGM of sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was held today with members passing several key motions as well as the organisation presenting a loss of $177k for the 2014 season.

Here is the full unedited statement from the organisation.


At the Extraordinary General Meeting today, the following motions were voted on as follows:

Motion 1: That the protection of the intellectual property of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is best achieved by ensuring the continuity and solvency of the organisation. – CARRIED

Amendment to Motion 1: That the protection of the intellectual property of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is best achieved by ensuring the continuity and solvency of the organisation, rather than structural separation. – CARRIED

Motion 2: That the Members ratify the establishment of Mardi Gras Arts Ltd and it’s constitution. – CARRIED

Motion 3: That the constitution of Mardi Gras Arts Ltd is amended to delete the current clause 7.3 and insert instead that “Mardi Gras Arts Ltd is governed by the Board of directors of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Ltd.” – CARRIED

Amendment to Motion 3: That the Members of SGLMG direct the Board of SGLMG to amend the constitution of Mardi Gras Arts Ltd to delete the current clause 7.3 and insert instead that “Mardi Gras Arts Ltd is governed by the Board of directors of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Ltd. CARRIED

Motion 4: That the constitution of Mardi Gras Arts Ltd is amended to insert in clause 2.3 that “Mardi Gras Arts Ltd is a non-profit organisation.” – CARRIED

Amendment to Motion 4: That the Members of SGLMG direct the Board of SGLMG to amend the constitution of Mardi Gras Arts Ltd to insert in clause 2.3 that “Mardi Gras Arts Ltd is a non-profit organisation.” CARRIED

Motion 5: That Clause 6.9 of the SGLMG Constitution be amended by inserting the following new provision: 

(g) if it is an Annual General Meeting and there is an election of Directors, the provisions for voting in accordance with Clause 7.12(l).

 and

That Clause 7.12(l) be deleted and replaced with the following new clause:

The Returning Officer is required to make provision for the election of Directors by providing a pre-poll facility at SGLMG’s principal place of business and by providing postal ballots on request.

The postal ballot papers will be required to be returned and received by the Returning Officer no later than the close of business (5:00pm) four business days prior to the appointed date for the annual general meeting.

Pre-poll voting must be complete no later than the close of business (5:00pm) four business days prior to the appointed date for the annual general meeting.

The Returning Officer will ensure that whilst the vote of each member who casts a ballot by post or casts a pre-poll vote, remains secret, the name of the member is to be recorded in a register maintained by the Returning Officer. – CARRIED

Amendments to Motion 5: The Returning Officer is required to make provision for the election of Directors. This may include but is not limited to providing a pre-poll facility at SGLMG’s principal place of business, by providing electronic voting facilities and by providing postal ballots on request.

All ballot papers will be required to be returned and received by the Returning Officer no later than the close of business (5:00pm) four business days prior to the appointed date for the annual general meeting.

Pre-poll voting and electronic voting must be complete no later than the close of business (5:00pm) four business days prior to the appointed date for the annual general meeting.

The Returning Officer will ensure that whilst the vote of each member who casts a ballot by post or casts a pre-poll vote, remains secret, the name of the member is to be recorded in a register maintained by the Returning Officer. – CARRIED

 

After today’s meeting, the Board will convene to set in place an action plan to implement the changes to the company structure voted on by the Members. A further communication will be released outlining this plan in coming weeks.

Also at the meeting, an update was presented on the outcomes of the 2014 season. This presentation is summarised below. While the final audited accounts are not yet complete and will be presented in the Annual Report and at the AGM, this is an accurate account of the season result as it currently stands. Ordinarily this information would not be released until the final audited accounts were completed, but in the interest of transparency the Board decided to inform Members to allow them to vote on the IP motions with the most current information.

The forecast result for the 2014 season is a loss of $177K, with reserves of $530K. The major factor for this unforecast loss is that our ticket sales & fees this year were below budget by $526K ($350K from Party). This was largely due to the following factors:

·       In hindsight given the competition and consumer confidence our ticket pricing was too high

·       Not being able to secure our programming choices;

·       Competing commercial events being able to offer higher fees to headline talent outpricing Mardi Gras;

·       The number of local community events has increased;

·       There are greater overseas competing events and

·       A$ staying high despite hope it would have fallen much more than 2013 levels

Mardi Gras continues to be financially viable and able to continue to implement changes we have already commenced in the last two years (such as Parade enhancement, growing new revenues from viewing, growing audiences from interstate and internationally) as well as changes we intend to make to our business model over the next two years.

Some of these will be hard decisions. The reliance on Party will be significantly reduced in our model and budgets in 2015 and beyond, and the motions presented today regarding Mardi Gras Arts are part of this solution, as are changes to the events we produce as well as expenditure reductions.

 

Actions taken to date:

·       In February when we lowered the forecast for ticket sales, we reduced costs in respect to all areas but not enough to fully address the revenue shortfall

·       We have now reduced head office year round overhead, and are budgeting for lower employee levels for season and greater volunteer involvement in working groups, Marketing, Partnerships, People, Finance & Admin

·       We have made structural changes to a number of committees and responsibilities

·       Ongoing improvement in management, development and retention of volunteers

·       We have consolidated our partnerships management with the addition of a Partnerships manager to protect & grow sponsorships as well as ensure we deliver and grow outcomes expected by our partners

·       The proposed adoption of MGA structure to provide tax benefits and bolster our effort to attract donors, as well as other benefits that similar entities enjoy due to DGR status

·       Business remodelling underway to improve budget models and business cases, identify and contain expenditure creep and uncontrolled costs

·       A “reimagining of MG” strategy workshop will be held in mid July, to set the long-term creative vision and strategy for the organisation and that will identify additional key streams of work to realise this vision

Full accounts for the financial year will be presented in the Annual Report which is due to be released in mid-July, and at the AGM which is currently scheduled for mid-August.

Like all great, iconic social institutions there is a time when the indicators tell us it is time to refresh and re-imagine. We have commenced this transformation and commited to making Mardi Gras vital, fabulous and relevant to current and future generations of our communities.

Thankyou to all Members who participated in the process leading up to this EGM, and we look forward to sharing more with you about our transformation plan at the AGM in August.

 The Board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Rob Manser

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