New President’s Statement to AGM


As Nicky has mentioned in her final address at the AGM, I’ve served on the Executive Committee since 2019, the last three years as Vice President.

Considerable changes have been made behind the scenes during this latter period, most as a direct consequence of the charitable status granted to the Société in May 2019.  This status imposes significant obligations that affect all parts of our surprisingly complex organisation, including requirements to carefully manage our finances and investments, our people, our administration processes, our properties and many other areas.  All of these activities should be focussed, of course, on delivering the underlying purposes of the Société, printed on the first page of our Bulletin, which have changed very little over the last 150 years.   

Helping to introduce improvements in governance and operational matters has been an increasing area of focus for me.  The underlying aim of this work is simple – to ensure that the Société is in a robust state to deliver its published objectives well into the future.  This will enable us to make a stronger and more relevant contribution to the Island’s heritage, culture and environment that is responsive to the ever-changing character of our community.  This relies on Committee Members, staff, volunteers and general members sharing a common vision and working together to ensure that the Société continues to evolve and to excel at everything that we do, inspiring people to join us.  

On a more pragmatic note, there are seven areas where I intend to focus as incoming President:

  1. To bring a new set of rules forward to an Extraordinary General Meeting later this year, providing us with an up to date constitution that is relevant to how we operate and what we do;
  2. To consolidate our financial position so as to stabilise our recently increased staffing levels, enabling us to gradually expand our services within the Island, and beyond;
  3. To continue our work in strengthening governance and operational procedures to ensure full compliance with Jersey Charity Commission guidance;  
  4. To strengthen our presence in the media, drawing greater attention to the important and diverse contributions that we make, thereby reversing a gradual decline in our membership;
  5. To continue to implement the objectives set out in our Strategic Plan, which will require substantial fund-raising efforts and the forging of new external relationships to achieve this;
  6. To develop a stronger rapport between the Executive Committee and our many Sections, giving support and guidance where needed;
  7. To keep our members better informed about what is going on behind the scenes.

My final point relates to the vital contribution made by all of our excellent staff and external advisors.  I’d like to draw particular attention to our CEO, Rebecca Bailhache.  Rebecca’s absolute dedication and commitment to her central role in our organisation has underpinned all that we have achieved in the last couple of years. 

Our future looks very exciting!