As we enter the final weeks of 2017, it is a nice time to reflect on those who have helped shape the Centre throughout the year.
On Sunday 26th of November, KSP Writers’ Centre did just that by hosting a champagne BBQ breakfast to thank its volunteers for their valued services. In 2017, over fifty volunteers were publicly acknowledged for their hard work by the Centre’s Chairwoman, Tabetha Beggs.
Normally the proceedings would involve a speech, followed by a certificate for each volunteer. This year, however, there was a twist in the proceedings; volunteers were encouraged to come up and speak about their work. There were a variety of speakers come up from different groups, including members of LitCom, Poets @ KSP, the Events team and the Board of Management. It was wonderful to hear so many different stories from our volunteers. Patrick Bertola, Shire of Mundaring Councillor and owner of Lion Mill winery, long-time sponsor of the KSP Writers' Centre, said these lovely words, which made everyone on the team swell with pride:
It is a pleasure to be able to support the work that KSP does. Fostering the arts and humanities is vital for a vibrant, engaged and healthy society. Without the work of people like you and the volunteers at KSP the stock of intellectual “capital” in our world would be that much less. So thank you and I hope that we can in our small way help to keep your endeavours alive.
The ceremony concluded with the Volunteer of the Year Award. The Volunteer of the Year Award was decided by a blind vote submitted to the Director, Shannon Coyle, by the Board of Management. It is with great pride that Tabetha Beggs was nominated to receive the award. Tabetha has given a great deal of her time in representing KSP, not just this year but over many years, providing exceptional leadership in her time as Chairwoman. It is with a heavy heart that she has stepped down from her role due to outside commitments, but she will still be around the Centre and remains an important part of the KSP community moving forward.
In her farewell newsletter article this month, Tabetha said these moving words:
I joined KSP in March 2014 with the sole intention of learning the craft of writing. Feeling I had something more to give, I offered to become the Competitions Secretary; a position advertised on their website. But instead they said, ‘We think you’d be a good candidate for our Management Committee’ and liking the sound of that, I accepted. Within a couple of months, former Chairwoman Renee Hammond resigned and I stepped up to the mark. I had no idea at the time what this would entail or how it was to shape my life.
Since that day, I have thrown myself into the role, more than any role I’ve ever undertaken before, (I’ve been on many committees, but nothing that thrilled me the way this one did!) I have always treated my role as Chairwoman like a paid job and given it the same (if not more) energy and respect. I put this down to being something I wanted to do, not needed to do for the pay packet. I have learned so much. More than I ever anticipated: how to be a leader, how to be innovative, how to be fair and how to listen, how to mentor and share my skills and knowledge and how to keep people motivated in times of adversity.
Thank you to everyone I’ve met during my time at KSP, whether you were a Board member, subcommittee member, writing group facilitator, workshop presenter, young writer tutor or school holiday teacher, a kid that came to Press Club, a writer in resident, a Sunday Session presenter, a workshop facilitator, a fellow, a sister-centre affiliate, a patron, a guest at a lit dinner, a member or a person who attended an event or a writing workshop, it has been an honor to get to know you. My life is full and fulfilled because of meeting you. I hope as the years go on, we will cross paths again, time after time, and talk about KSP and the incredible place it is.
As the year comes to a close, and KSP has now hosted its last event and writing group session, it is important to acknowledge the enormous effort of our volunteers; it really does take a village, and this Centre is fortunate to have so many capable and inspiring volunteers who contribute to make KSP what it is today.
Thanks everyone, and here's to another fruitful and vibrant year!
Tabetha Beggs, Chairperson
Shannon Coyle, Director
Lisa Wolstenholme, Secretary
Nathalia Tjandra/Robert Perks/Mick Tuteja, Treasurer
Renee Hammond, Homeschoolers Group
Rosanne Dingli and Renee Hammond, Scribe Tribe
Melinda Tognini and Guy Salvidge, KSP Press Club
Mardi May, Past Tense & Poetry groups
Jane Wallis, Writefree Women’s Writing Group
Carol Astbury/Phil Mayne, Thursday Night Group
Lisa Wolstenholme and Lisa Holt, Tuesday Writers Circle
Nadine Browne and Lisa Holt, Marathon Writers
Wence Vahala, Non Fiction Group
A.R. Levett, Fantasy, Scifi and Horror Group
Literary Advisory Committee (LitCom)
Hospital Poets Australia Committee
Anna Soter (Founder)
Maggie Van Putten
Rose van Son
Events & Marketing Committee
Wild Weeds Press Committee
Sponsors (including Friends of Katharine, Jonquil level donors and above)
Patrick Bertola, Wine Sponsor, Lion Mill Vineyards
Flora Smith, Lavender Donor
Brand Family Foundation, Rose Donor
Bill Leadbetter, Rose Donor
Shire of Mundaring, Rose Donor
Carolyn Wren, Ghost Story Judge
Brenda Berrisford, Library
Eris Macdonald, Archives and Tour Guide
Agnes O’Kane, Tour Guide and poetry youth prize sponsor
Chris Oakeley, Public Fund trustee, general advisor
Robert Perks, Financial advisor
Douglas Sutherland-Bruce, Publicity (Swan Magazine) and Quiz Master
Catherine Noske, Publicity (Westerly) and WAWU supporter
Nathan Hobby, KSP monthly newsletter column
Valerie Everett, Hugo Citizenship Award coordinator, Quiz Night marker
Annabel Wolstenholme, Harry Potter stall, Open Day
Mimma Tornatora, Quiz Night marker
Mark Keenan, Residency networking coordinator
Fay Dease, Competition Secretary
Cailin Lilley, Administration and Publicity
Ashley Valli, Newsletter and Digital Content