Missed our Annual General Meeting 2016? Here’s a Recap!

Missed our Annual General Meeting 2016? Here’s a Recap!

On Friday the 25th of November, SCARF held its Annual General Meeting for 2016. In addition to reports on SCARF in 2016 – our successes, challenges, and future outlook – the event featured a graphic artist, musical performances, Syrian cuisine, performances, trivia quizzes and community member guest speakers. How very SCARF!

Reflecting the diversity of the SCARF community, the night was attended by SCARF refugee community members, volunteers, staff, the management committee, friends of SCARF, and special guest and SCARF Founding Patron, The Hon. Sharon Bird MP.

The first and arguably most adorable segment of the night was a storytelling performance by SCARF kids and Lillian Rodriguez-Pang, Storyteller and SCARF Volunteer, who together shared ‘a settlement story.’


Next up was a welcome address by The Hon. Sharon Bird MP, who having just returned from Parliament in Canberra, spoke about the need to challenge divisive political commentary, the benefits of diverse societies and the importance of welcoming all Australians.


After some formalities (apologies and confirmation of minutes), Drew Arthur, President of SCARF’s Management Committee and MC of the night, shared his ‘Presidents Report.’ Drew discussed where we began, SCARF in transition, our transformation strategy, activities, successes and challenges in 2016, keys to sustainable success, and future directions. If you’d like to read the President’s Report in full, you can download it here. 


Next, guests were spoiled with a performance by classical guitarist, Sako Dermenjian, who wowed there audience with an incredible live set.

Following Sako’s performance, guests at the AGM heard stories from SCARF community members and leaders, Elizabeth and her brother Peete, and Ghada.

Elizabeth shared a story of her journey to Australia and involvement in the community, and her brother, Peete, read a moving poem he had written about his Mother’s refugee journey. Ghada, a community leader originally from Syria, shared her story of escaping conflict in Syria and building a new life here in Wollongong with her family. These stories of strength, resilience and determination were told to a captivated audience, some of whom commented how moved they were at the end of the night. 

After community stories, it was time for reports from each of the operational teams. A testament to the diversity of programs and initiatives that make up SCARF, the team’s presentations were wide-ranging in style – from a trivia-style quiz, to jokes and comedy, to more serious presentations. We heard from Sherryl Reddy (SCARF’s Executive Officer) first, followed by Lindsay (Volunteer Coordinator) and Lyndall (Long-time Volunteer), Asher and Alex from SCARF Youth, John and Carole from L2P, Caroline and Maureen from SCARF Social Inclusion and Administration, Andrew Crichton from Homework Help, Sophie-May Kerr from the SCARF Speaker Program, Maddie and Bernadette from SCARF Communications, Meredith Young-Whitford from Art4Refugees, and Emmett and Amanda from SCARF Trivia.

Lindsay (SCARF Volunteer Coordinator) with Lyndall (Long-time SCARF Volunteer)

Lindsay (SCARF Volunteer Coordinator) with Lyndall (Long-time SCARF Volunteer)

Emmett anf Amanda from SCARF Trivia

Emmett and Amanda from SCARF Trivia


Presentations from the operational team were followed by more formalities – the appointment of auditor and the election of SCARF Management Committee for 2017. We’re pleased to announce that SCARF’s Management Committee for 2017 are as follows:

President – Drew Arthur, Vice-President – Kath McCollim (also filling role of Human Resources & Risk Management Advisor), Secretary – Andrew Crichton, Treasurer – Irene Latoa, Fundraising Advisor – Joanna Stuart, Business & Strategy Development Advisor – Jo Mould, PR & Marketing Advisor – Alina Azar

The evening concluded with a comedy skit from Sherryl Reddy, who nodded to some important, but often overlooked, members of the SCARF community. These being the in-volunteers – the partners, children, parents, friends and pets of SCARF volunteers and staff, who put up with the at times all-consuming SCARF work, and are regularly roped in themselves to help out.

Overall, the evening was an engaging and informative event, and one that reflected the people, programs and values that make up SCARF. We’re proud to celebrate another year, and grateful to the countless people who have worked tirelessly to keep SCARF surviving and thriving.


Thanks are owed to many, but here are just a few people and organisations that we’d like to recognise for their contributions in 2016:

SCARF Empower Business Partners

Mo Chi Dining & Caveau Restaurant, Access Law, Rotary Club of Wollongong South, Rotary Club of Fairy Meadow, Rotary Club of Corrimal

SCARF Empower Individual Supporters

We would love to name you individually, but also wish to respect your privacy. THANKYOU for your truly kind and generous support to SCARF.

Program partners

Big Fat Smile, Community Gateway, Explore Discover Act, Eaton Gorge Theatre Company, Flourish Australia, IMS, Kiama Community College, Lillian Rodrigues-Pang, MCCI, Navitas, Refugee Council of Australia, STARTTS, Outdoor Education Group, St Marys Star of the Sea College (Interact Club), St Therese Parish, UoW/UoW Cares, Wollongong City Council

SCARF Pro Bono Supporters

Daniel Parsons Media, David Thompson – Storyboard Artist, Genevieve Swart, 2515 Magazine, Mark Broadhurst, MPC Automotive, Scarlet Design Group, Sifters, Social Impact Systems, The Illawarra Grammar School, The Little Prince, Torilo Studios, Unitive Consulting, Urban Timber, Zayra Dolores

SCARF Funding Partners

Collegians Rugby Club, Commonwealth Bank, Dept of Family & Community Services, Illawarra Master Builders Club, IMB Community Foundation, Multicultural NSW, Partners in Recovery, Transport for NSW

SCARF Fundraising Supporters

Affinity, Beechies Espresso Bar, John Whiteside, JCI Illawarra, Edmund Rice College, Figtree Anglican Social Justice Group, Rotary Club of Gerringong, Hydro Simulations, Rotary Club of Kiama, Oliver Ellis, Permian Storage, Thirroul Anglican, Wollongong Baptist Church

SCARF In-Kind Supporters

Bright Star Kids, English Family Foundation, Illawarra Quilters, Jo Napier Quilting Group, Kiama Welcomes Refugees, The Nowra Quilting Mouse, Gateway City Church, Second Life Stationery, San Churro, Samaras, Mylan restaurant, Little Vietnam restaurant.

SCARF Management Committee and Strategic Advisors 2016

Drew Arthur, Jo Mould, Svetlana Kovalevskaya, Andrew Crichton, Irene Latoa, Rob Ringer, Sharyn Mackenzie, Georgina Pearman, Kath McCollim, Alina Azar, Joanna Stuart, Greg Knight, Joe Ringer, Bobby Mehta

SCARF Patrons

The Honourable Sharon Bird MP, Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery

SCARF Operational Team 2016

Adnan Aboukasem, Obouko Agnatson, Azita Azimi, Mitra Bakshihzadeh, Ted Booth, Jocelyn Booth, Amanda Bottomley, Kuer Bul, Maddie Burkitt, Lindsay Burlton, Maureen Burt, Carole Carter, Bernadette Clarke, Andrew Crichton, Lyndall Dawson, Caroline Dempsey, Ann Duffy, Rand Faied, Elisa Fellows, Ryan Frazer, Claire Gerson, Jarryd Gillen, Alexandra Harden, Francis Htjaru, Marion Jacka, Carl Jackson, Elizabeth Jowanie, Sophie May Kerr, Pamela King, Moira Kirkwood, Sharyn Mackenzie, Kel Mackenzie, Christina McLellan, Narges Mirzaee, Georgina Pearman, Alexa Peggie, Bill Pyne, Eugenia Pyne, Joe Reminis, Rob Ringer, John Ruperto, Asher Taccori, Emmett Weatherford, Steve Winter, Maaike Veenkamp, Talei Vulatha, Kate Wall, Meredith Young-Whitford, Burhan Zangana

It’s a big team that keeps the wheels of SCARF turning – hope we haven’t forgotten anyone!

The SCARF Community

You are the magic of SCARF – we can’t name you all, but we thank each and every one of our volunteers, involunteers and community members who participate in and support our programs and activities. Together, we build a home, a community and a genuine sense of belonging for us all!