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Updates from our CEO

The effects of COVID-19 have seen a real need to support each other, check in on friends and family and focus some energy on our own, individual mental health. On top of this, we are ensuring time and energy is equally spent focusing on sustaining financial levers so that we can have the means available to deliver strong camps and programs when the time is upon us.

We have been successful with Job Keeper and other government assistance programs that have allow us to see only a 18% drop in cashflow (and stabilising) over the past 6 months actuals combined with the future 6 months forecast (March ’20 to March ’21). We also have been able to nuture a healthy balance to past grants and donations in readiness for a return to the programs we love so much whilst also seeing new ways to live our values through the KTSA working group.

We’ve been able to monitor closely on a weekly and monthly basis with the support of the finance committee our P&L which is now entering a more settled position following the initial unknown waves of lockdown. We also have support of our sub-tenants at Power House that allows us this opportunity to enter a sustainable financial maintenance period.

Not content with standing still, there is exciting work at positioning Somers Inc on the starting blocks to accelerate a return to revenue through the Somers Roadie concept, together with the program development with the KTSA working group, there is plenty of positivity towards working productively through, and beyond this crisis.

I’d like to extend my thanks to my staff, who have been working creatively through many problem solving sessions in what sometimes feels like a never ending week. My deep thanks also to our committee members for supporting the organisation with such grace.

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R U OK Day, a trove of handy resources!

Today is R U OK Day – a national day of awareness to serve as a reminder that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs. Given this year has been particularly challenging for so many people, it is even more important to be constantly checking in and supporting those who might be feeling swept under. 

It has been so wonderful to see the Somers community adapt to the situation at hand and be their usual compassionate selves through these tough times, continually serving others in helping them stay strong.

Though we cannot be together in one place right now to share in our fellowship, we do have the power of the internet. The links below will take you to to websites, activities, and information that we have been using during lockdown to keep ourselves entertained, healthy, and connected. 

There’s more to say after R U OK? It can be a daunting question to ask these days, especially if we feel ill-equipped for what the answer might be. But we should never stop asking “are you okay?” to our friends and family, especially these days. The team behind R U OK? Day 2020 have created simple resources that make it easier to navigate tough conversations. Check out their website, and continue to check in with your loved ones during this time.

Camp Music Musings Music can be the best medicine for almost any situation. Nothing gets us moving like the tunes spun at Camp. We have built a few playlists and shared some classics from Camp to keep you grooving in your living rooms.

Sign up for weekly Yoga classes Weekly yoga classes are available to all LSC&PH members and friends. These 30/45 minute sessions can help you feel grounded, connected, and in control through movement and mindfulness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Office’s must-watch list! With so many shows and movies out there on dozens of streaming sites, it can be hard to sift through it all and decide what to watch next. Our office team has therefore been diligently watching content to review what should be on your next in the queue for you to consume.

 

 

Board Games Online Just because we aren’t able to visit other households, doesn’t mean we should stop playing board games. Fortunately, there are an abundance of online versions of games we know and love. Check out our comprehensive list to discover old favourites and new gems to play at home.

Meditation Spending time with your thoughts might seem like a scary or pointless activity, but it can be a great way to process thoughts and feelings that have been churning up inside for a while. Meditation can be a powerful tool in learning how to mediate our own emotions and provides an opportunity to step back from the demands of the day and find time for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Tours The exhibitions on show at the National Gallery of Victoria have been translated into interactive virtual tours that you can experience from home. Discover the 14 collections available via their website.

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NAIDOC Week 2020

NAIDOC Week 2020 is running 8-15 November. The theme is Always Was, Always Will Be. and celebrates the spiritual and cultural connection that First Nations people have had with this land for more than 65,000 years, navigating and caring for our great country.

Our organisation is continually working toward reconciliation and greater outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Be Deadly @ Somers program has been an important milestone in this journey. We’re immensely proud of Isaac Young and the Be Deadly committee for the work they’ve put in to run a program that brings together young First Nations Australians to celebrate their culture and connect with peers.

There are tons of activities happening locally and virtually and lots of learning you can do to get around NAIDOC 2020. We’ve collated some links below to get in the spirit and help you to do the same!

Events – the best way to celebrate NAIDOC is to get involved in one or more of the events happening in your area. This year, many of them are virtual so it’s easier than ever to take part in exhibitions, conversation series and seminars. It’s also great to get the kids involved!

Learn about the history of NAIDOC – the origins of NAIDOC Week go back over 100 years, where Aboriginal rights groups sought to spread awareness of the treatment and status of Indigenous Australians.

Learn more about Be Deadly – Our own Be Deadly @ Somers program is going virtual this year and will be running sessions for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Years 7-9) in the coming weeks.

Logos and Social Media – support NAIDOC Week in your own workplaces, community groups and personal pages by using their posters, logos and hashtags.

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Solar Power Somers – Measuring our impact

The solar panel initiative at Somers was installed and running by December 2018. It is now timely that we review the impact to our organisation and the planet from our generous donors of the solar panels.

Calendar year 2018Calendar year 2019Percentage change
KWh used from grid77,80052,000– 33%
KWh exported to grid014,500
Cost per KWh $25 cents32 cents+ 28%
Annual total cost $$18,900$15,200– 20%
Solar rebates $0$1,600
Greenhouse gas emissions tonnes99 tonnes66 tonnes– 33%

 

These figures are approximate as the camp was more occupied in 2019 and the electricity price per KWh rose by 28%. Had we not installed the panels our projected annual cost of electricity would have been $24,900 for the year so in real terms the saving generated was $9,700 in the first year.

It is difficult to effectively track the impact of these panels throughout 2020 as use of the Campsite has been significantly reduced due to COVID-19 impacts, however our panels are still generating solar rebate!

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From the Archives – Accounts of the Original Camps

Two LSC&PH members hit the jackpot last week! Danj and Umma Beadman discovered a treasure trove of 1930s newspapers hidden under carpet, during renovations of their own house. How they got there is a mystery, but the articles are chock full of first-hand accounts of the original Lord Somers Camp at Anglesea, and Lady Somers’ community spirit. Many of the founding principles of Lord Somers Camp & Power House echo strongly throughout the articles and photos. There is an emhpasis on the fun and frivolity among the 80 young men from diverse social backgrounds. One particular quote seems timeless, as though it could have been written in 2020.

“One of the things that has most impressed me is the way every youth appears as if he has known his companions for years. Everyone must hope this movement will be successful and the inaugurators deserve the greatest credit”.

With 91 years of creating a stronger, more inclusive society through service to others, we reckon our movement has been successful.

Click on for clippings for transcriptions and a larger image. 


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Make the Members Laugh In Lockdown

With the intention of keeping the Somers spirit of mischief alive and well and in keeping with our 91 year tradition of donning a laughter launching costume, Camp Chef Cath is launching the weekly “Make the Lock Downed Members Laugh” competition.

Each Wednesday the Camp Chief and / or her nominated member will nominate the pic of the week for sharing in the weekly No Rest News. A very special prize will be awarded to the winner at the end of the 6 weeks!


Week 1: Innovation and creativity will be the order of the day given that we can’t access the wonderful array of costumes and props that Banana Alley normally provides us! So instead, it’s time to rummage through the wardrobe or Camp costume bags and send a selfie of yourself to [email protected]

Congratulations to Mandy and Danj for winning the week 1 challenge with their re-enactment of Disney Mess Theme from Easter Camp of years gone by ‘Ugly Stepsisters’!


Week 2: Pinkies up this week, get a bit fancy and dig out your most extravagant Formal Mess outfit. Bonus points for matching your outfit and accessories in Camp colours! Send through your selfie or group application to [email protected]

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CareMonkey is rebranding to ‘Operoo’

The platform which we centralise digital forms and medical information provider, CareMonkey, will be rebranding as ‘Operoo’: Your processes, without the paperwork

Operoo’s mission is to help eliminate operational inefficiencies so you can focus on what matters most.

The name change will occur the week beginning Monday August 10. How you use the service, as well as the ownership and operation of the company, will remain unchanged.

The ongoing benefits of us using Operoo in our workflows mean that it will greatly reduce the burden on you to provide information that is repetitive. For example, it will allow you to keep your or your emergency contact and medical information up to date; so you don’t need to continuously repeat this information again. It also puts you in control of this data so you’ll always know what emergency contacts and medical information is shared with us at Lord Somers Camp and Power House.

You can continue using the system, and its mobile application, as usual. Just be aware that, after Monday August 10, emails and notifications sent from the system will start appearing under the new name ‘Operoo’. You will also be automatically diverted to the new Operoo website if you go to the old CareMonkey website.

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The South Field Beautification Project

Closed gates on the corner of Parklands Ave and Lord Somers Road are a sad sight indeed.

But while these necessary measures have been made for the safety of our community, a select few from our Lord Somers Camp team have been making regular visits to ‘beautify’ our campsite.

South Field in particular has untaken a rigorous spruce-up. It has done away with suffocating weeds and breathed a sigh of relief for new growth and prosperity! Wildlife has returned in vast numbers, birds of all colours fill the trees, and undergrowth has seen the light of day for the first time in centuries.

The Centre Lawn is flourishing, it almost looks artificial, and Merricks creek is flowing with the tide, bringing new life which each surging wave. As this pandemic does it’s best to taint our high spirits, you can rest easy knowing that it most certainly has not tainted our beautiful camp!

The results of the South Field Beautification Project.

Lord Somers Camp Manager, Alex Escudero, on site with the team.

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Congratulations Graham Lockwood OAM

We are thrilled to congratulate one of our members, Graham Lockwood OAM for being the recipient of a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General division at the Queen’s Birthday awards. Graham has received this recognition for his service to community through a range of roles.

Most impressive is the work Graham has done with Rotary International. President of Probus Club of Port Melbourne 2019-2020; President of Rotary Club of Melbourne South 1999-2000; Honorary Member since 2010; Leader with the City of Port Phillip building of two pre-schools in Suai, East Timor 1999-2003; Past Chair of District 9800 Rotary Foundation Committee 1990-1991, Awarded Paul Harris Sapphire Pin, 2000; Past Chair, International Committee; Leader with the District Group Study Exchange team to New Mexico and West Texas, USA in 1984; Chair, District 9790 Rotaract Committee, 1980s; Leader, Rotary District Rotaract team to Japan, 1979; Past Member, West Footscray Club, 1980s; Awarded Paul Harris Fellow; Past President, Heidelberg Club, 1977-1978; Member, Rotary Club of in Newstead, Brisbane, 1968.

From his early years Graham served in the Australian military. Across 28 years, from 1950 through to 1978 his service saw nine Artillery, Infantry Units and Formations in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. He was attached to the 1st and 2nd Pacific Island Regiments in mid-1966, and was attached to the 9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment in South Vietnam from December 1968 – January 1969. Member of the 58/32 Infantry Battalion, Victorian Boer War Memorial, Melbourne University Regiment, and the Defence Force Reserves Associations. He was Commanding Officer of the Monash University Regiment 1971-1973, and President of The Naval and Military Club in 1987/88, Graham was awarded the Efficiency Decoration and Reserve Force Decoration for his many years of Military service.

Interspersed with his military involvement, Graham has held many roles as an accomplished businessman. Graduating from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Commerce and working with Godfrey Phillips P/L 1953-55, Australian Paper Manufacturers Ltd and Containers Ltd (Amcor) 1955-94 in senior managerial positions in Accounting, Sales, Manufacturing and Corporate Affairs. Additionally, Graham has held the positions of Chief Executive Officer at Vicgate P/L, Executive Director of Table Tennis Victoria in 1997-2001, Vice President of Australia China Business Council Victoria in 1992-1997, and was a member of the Victorian Government Trade Mission to China in 1997.

Graham originally became involved with Lord Somers Camp and Power House as a Light Blue Grouper when he attended Lord Somers Camp in 1950. Due to his business and military commitments, he was unable to return to as a volunteer during his youth. Now reconnected with the organisation in later years, Graham is a regular face amongst Olds and Bolds outings.

As well as his ongoing involvement of LSC&PH, Graham has generously supported many other organisations across the years. A volunteer guide at the Melbourne Cricket Ground since 2001 and a guide at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance between 2000-17. With Claremont and South Port Aged Care (formally Claremont Homes) Graham was a member of the Finance Committee and Governing board between 1995-2008, and was made a Life Governor in 2007, and continues to provide volunteer support at Napier Street hospice. Serving his local council, City of Port Phillip, Graham has been a member of the World War I and World War II Commemorative Committees, was previous member of the Audit Committee, and initiated the restoration of nine Boer War, World War I and ll, and Vietnam War memorials since 2003.

An avid sportsman across many fields including Football (Premierships Caulfield Grammarians 1953, Eastern Suburbs, Sydney 1954-1955), Cricket (Caulfield Sub District, Caulfield Grammarians, The Navel and Military Club and sub district cricket teams in Sydney and Brisbane), Pennant Squash with The Naval and Military Club 1970-1989, and Tennis (Caulfield Park, Royal South Yarra Tennis Clubs and pennant in clubs in Sydney and Brisbane). To this day, Graham is still an active golfer, and has recently retired from tennis.

Graham married Lois Therese Thomson (dec) in 1960 and has three children Andrew, Claire and Leonie and five grandchildren Kai, Josh, Alison, Declan and Cara.

Congratulations Graham and thank you for all your contributions to the Australian community.

Bravo!

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Financial Update

LSC&PH continues to manage our financial situation through this epidemic very closely and whilst it is difficult to predict definitive end to this period, there are some positive highlights on the horizon.

Through JobKeeper payments together with fundraising efforts and other government stimulus we have applied and had approval for, we have successfully maintained a neutral financial position. We have continued to hold expenses at a minimal levels to sustain our organisation whilst putting in a great deal of time working on future planning to slowly return revenue.

Our camp site has been awarded COVID Clean Business Accreditation by the Australia Tourism Industry Council, that comes with a detailed cleaning schedule and risk prevention measures which in turn has given our school clients great confidence. We are currently working with the education department following their announcement that school camps can resume based on the fact that these schools groups are contained to single schools and single year levels. We hope to continue to work towards a slow, safe and measured return to these school camps.

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