Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Please have your say!

Please have your say!
I am sure that you are all aware that the CBCA has a new management structure. Gone is the rotating 2-year National Executive term, which had its own strengths, but also many weaknesses. Instead, we now have a National Board, made up of one representative from each of the eight branches, the past National President, and a rep. from each of the following : Reading Time, the Awards Foundation, the Lu Rees Archives. The new structure may well have its weaknesses too but we are doing our best to minimise them. And hence this blog.
I am the Tasmanian representative, chosen after our original delegate Angela Briant was elected President of the National Board. In that role, Angela is non-partisan so Tasmania needed another voice. We have been working hard since the CBCA AGM last November. The National Board meets regularly by teleconference as it’s far too expensive for us all to travel to one venue for a monthly meeting, but we have had one face-to-face meeting since the last AGM in November 2012, and another is planned for August before this year’s AGM in November.
A lot of the progress has been administrative: putting in place good governance and organisational strategies to take CBCA well into the 21st century. I would like to acknowledge all the work done within the Governance and Constitution portfolios. But of course, the Book of the Year Awards process is well underway. The Australian young people’s book world is looking forward to the announcement of the CBCA winner and honour books in Canberra August 16. The next round of judging has started too, and the judges are into their demanding reading schedule.
The next major National Board task is a strategic planning day to be held at Pinerolo in the Blue Mountains at the end of July. Thanks to Margaret Hamilton for making her children’s book cottage available. For this, each board member is canvassing opinion from his or her branch membership and will be completing the same questionnaire. And so, if you would like to contribute, please do so. If you are not a CBCA member, your opinion will still be welcomed, but could you include this within your response, and please seriously consider joining CBCA and helping to promote all the organisation’s aims.  Please send your comments to maureen.mann@cbca.org.au by July 18. No names will be included so it will be completely anonymous, except the compiled report will show that it comes from Tasmania. After July 18, it will be too late to give me time to collate it and send it on.
There are 5 major areas, where I would like to hear your opinions. If you don’t have an opinion for one or more I’d still like to hear from you. Your response can be as informal or as formal as you would like. And your point of view does matter. Please try not to be one of the silent majority.
1.       What does the CBCA do?
List all the things you think the CBCA does or should do at the National level. List everything that comes to mind – no matter how insignificant. (This will help the planners determine what outside help we may need.)
2.       As an individual, what do you think ought to be the aims and objectives of the CBCA National Board?

3.       As an individual, what do you think should be the main priorities for the National Organisation for the next 3 to 5 years?
List the 5 (or less) most important goals that you consider need to be addressed.
4.       To assist with the process of a Risk Assessment, please list all risks that you perceive are facing the CBCA.
(Definition: A Risk can be broadly defined as any event that has an impact on the realisation of the CBCA’s stated objectives. Significant areas of risk include those that may reasonably present a risk to the CBCA's key assets: reputation, people, finances, infrastructure, and intellectual property.) 
5.       SWOT. This is made up of 4 subsections. The aim is to look at Strengths and Weaknesses as internal matters and Opportunities and Threats as external influences.
A.      Strengths
What does the CBCA nationally do well?
What unique resources can we draw on?
What do others (branches and other organisations) see as our strengths?
B.      Weaknesses
What could we improve?
Where do you consider we have fewer resources than others?
What are others likely to see as weaknesses?           
C.    Opportunities
What opportunities are open to us?
What trends could we take advantage of?
How can we turn our strengths into opportunities?
D.      Threats
Keeping your list of Risks in mind, please answer these questions:
What are our weaknesses?
What are other organisations in our market doing?
What threats do our weaknesses expose us to?
I realise that asking you to respond to all these points is a fairly daunting task and that some of the answers will contradict each other. Despite that, I really would appreciate hearing from as many people as possible. I’ll be happy to receive a single sentence answer but will also be delighted if anyone has the time to write several pages’ worth.
Looking forward to reading your thoughts. Many thanks to those who take the time to send me something.
Until next time, and thanks to http://www.freestockimages.org for some of the images

Maureen Mann

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